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Essential Truths of the Christian Faith Paperback – February 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. R. C. Sproul is chairman and president of Ligonier Ministries, an organization that provides biblical and theological training for laypeople. He is the Minister of Preaching and Teaching at Saint Andrews Chapel in Sanford, Florida and has served as a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, Knox Seminary, Westminster Seminary California, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The author of many books on the Bible and Christian doctrine, including the award-winning The Holiness of God, he also hosts the international radio program "Renewing Your Mind," heard in over 120 countries.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0842320016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842320016
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. R.C. Sproul is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Fla. He is also co-pastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Fla., chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. He can be heard on the radio program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and around the world, and on RefNet 24-hour Christian internet radio. Dr. Sproul has contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, has spoken at conferences, churches, and schools around the world, and has written more than ninety books, including The Holiness of God, Faith Alone, and Everyone's a Theologian. He also serves as general editor of The Reformation Study Bible.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L Edelen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Essential Truths of the Christian Faith" lives up to its title. As a quick overview of Christian doctrine (from a Reformed Theology perspective) there is no book like it that I have come across. And having once been the book buyer for a Christian bookstore, I've seen a truckload or two of books.
I have always liked R. C. Sproul's works. His "The Holiness of God" is the finest overview of that topic available. Sproul brings the same dedication to "ETotCF", providing the reader with core theological points and the Scriptures to back them. As a quick reference it shines. For anyone starting in the faith or seeking a more broad grounding in doctrine, this is as good a place to start as any.
The very fact that so much is being covered in so few pages means that there is an automatic issue of depth. No topic is covered in its full theological glory. Entire volumes have been written on topics like faith and sin, so one cannot come to this work expecting mind-bending treatises or total analysis. Most of the hundred and two topics are only given two to three pages at most. This makes the "Essential" in the title true: only the essence exists here. But again, for what it seeks to accomplish, this book hits the bullseye.
If you are not familiar with Reformed Theology, it differs slightly from other schools of theological thought, but not in any way as to be questionable. Personally, I find Reformed thought to be the most solid of all the differing viewpoints. But as such, there will be some differences in the issues of grace, eschatology, methodologies of sanctification and justification, and ecclesiology. Charismatics/Pentacostals, for example, will find him at once sympathetic and antagonistic to many cherished doctrines.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A. Wolverton VINE VOICE on November 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
R. C. Sproul's 'Essential Truths' is just that: essential. For anyone new to the Christian faith, or for anyone seeking answers to what Christians believe, this book will be a welcome read.
Sproul tackles all of the major tenets of Christianity from "Who is God" to "What is Heaven like?" What does baptism mean? What is sanctification? Should I obey the government?
The book contains 102 chapters, none of which runs more than three or four pages. The bite-sized chunks are perfect for personal daily reading or for group study. Each chapter also contains Scriptural references dealing with the topic covered.
'Essential Truths' will not answer all your questions, but it is a good place to start for the new Christian, the skeptic, or anyone in between. My only complaint: Sproul gives a list of books for further reading at the back of the book, but doesn't break them down by category. All in all, however, Sproul has given readers a great introduction to the basics of the Christian faith.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "davespn" on March 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
In short, this is 100+ of the most basic (therefore "Essential" as the book's name implies) topics in the bible, well-organized, discussed in a concise, reader-friendly format.
This is a book for:
1. The Christian that knows "what" they believe but really not "how to prove it." (Most of us)
2. A NEW CHRISTIAN, or someone who is thinking about becoming a christian and/or questioning it. IT HELPS THE NEW CHRISTIAN know what the Bible says so they have a better chance at not getting deceived by false doctrines/Satan's tricks.
3. A strong Christian, to keep on the shelf for debate material or to show/explain to the people listed in #'s 1 and 2.
One thing to note: it is from a reformed perspective (if you don't know what that means, then don't even worry about it.) Even though it is reformed, it leaves for some interpretation and shows respect for slightly different viewpoints on the minor topics.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Labarum VINE VOICE on March 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Whether you are a fan of his work or not, you can never accuse R. C. Sproul of lacking conviction. Few Christian writers can match his talent for defending a position on important issues facing the Church to a wide audience in a clear and coherent manner. In an era when equivocation is the norm and even the existence of truth itself is called into question, Sproul is an uncompromising advocate of the traditional Protestant position against all rival worldviews.

Essentials of the Christian Faith is a catechetical work designed as a readable exposition of the Christian faith aimed at Protestants. The book is divided into ten sections (Revelation, Nature and Attributes of God, Works and Decrees of God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Human Beings and the Fall, Salvation, Church and Sacraments, Spirituality, End Times) with expositions of related topics contained in each. As appropriate for the purpose, the writing is concise but Sproul's talent for teaching shows through and it is never a dull read - regardless of one's reaction to the presentation.

Readers of Sproul will not be surprised that he leaves little doubt where he stands on almost every issue of theological importance. It becomes obvious early on that he equates Christianity with its Reformational form - and while striving for charity within variations of traditional Protestantism, he vigorously opposes views held only by non-Protestant Christian traditions. This glossing over internal differences, while not surprising, soon begins to appear a bit strained. There is simply no good reason for many of the points disputed within Protestantism to be considered less essential than those separating Protestantism from Rome (or Orthodoxy).
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