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Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs Paperback – February 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

How can I know God better?
"If only I had the time to study theology. . . ."
If only someone could explain the essentials of theology in bite-sized portions. If only there were a resource that went deeper without drowning the reader in page after page. J. I. Packer has done it!

Finally, there's a book that explains the essentials of theology in a style and length that busy readers can appreciate. J. I. Packer, noted theologian and author of Knowing God, offers 94 concise studies. Each focuses on our great God and his wonderful plan for us.

Where does the Bible say that?

Each study is just a couple of pages long. That means you can find the answers you need quickly. But don't be fooled--there are plenty of Scripture references on every page. You can go as deep as you want at the pace you want. Short studies on the essentials. In these chapters, you'll find what Packer calls the "permanent essentials of Christianity." The essentials are summarized so that you can find them quickly and easily. The essentials are expressed in such a way that you can both understand and appreciate the greatness of God. So jump right in. Discover for yourself how Christian theology is not just a system of beliefs, but a way of life.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Concise Theology

A Guide to Historic Christian BeliefsBy J. I. Packer

Tyndale House Publishers

Copyright © 2001 J. I. Packer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780842339605


Excerpt


Part One

God Revealed As Creator


Revelation

Scripture Is the Word of God


The tablets were the work of God;
the writing was the writing of God,
engraved on the tablets.
?Exodus 32:16


Christianity is the true worship and service of the true God,humankind?s Creator and Redeemer. It is a religion that rests on revelation:nobody would know the truth about God, or be able to relate to him in apersonal way, had not God first acted to make himself known. But God has soacted, and the sixty-six books of the Bible, thirty-nine written before Christcame and twenty-seven after, are together the record, interpretation,expression, and embodiment of his self-disclosure. God and godliness are theBible?s uniting themes.

    From one standpoint, the Scriptures (Scriptures means ?writings?)are the faithful testimony of the godly to the God whom they loved and served;from another standpoint, through a unique exercise of divine overruling intheir composition, they are God?s own testimony and teaching in human form. Thechurch calls these writings the Word of God because their authorship andcontents are both divine.

    Decisive assurance that Scripture is from God and consists entirely of hiswisdom and truth comes from Jesus Christ and his apostles, who taught in hisname. Jesus, God incarnate, viewed his Bible (our Old Testament) as his heavenlyFather?s written instruction, which he no less than others must obey (Matt. 4:4,7, 10; 5:19-20; 19:4-6; 26:31, 52-54; Luke 4:16-21; 16:17; 18:31-33; 22:37;24:25-27, 45-47; John 10:35), and which he had come to fulfill (Matt. 5:17-18;26:24; John 5:46). Paul described the Old Testament as entirely?God-breathed??that is, a product of God?s Spirit (?breath?) just as the cosmosis (Ps. 33:6; Gen. 1:2)?and written to teach Christianity (2 Tim. 3:15-17; Rom.15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11). Peter affirms the divine origin of biblical teaching in 2Peter 1:21 and 1 Peter 1:10-12, and so also by his manner of quoting does thewriter to the Hebrews (Heb. 1:5-13; 3:7; 4:3; 10:5-7, 15-17; cf. Acts 4:25;28:25-27).

    Since the apostles? teaching about Christ is itself revealed truth inGod-taught words (1 Cor. 2:12-13), the church rightly regards authenticapostolic writings as completing the Scriptures. Already Peter refers to Paul?sletters as Scripture (2 Pet. 3:15-16), and Paul is apparently calling Luke?sgospel Scripture in 1 Timothy 5:18, where he quotes the words of Luke 10:7.

    The idea of written directives from God himself as a basis for godly livinggoes back to God?s act of inscribing the Decalogue on stone tablets and thenprompting Moses to write his laws and the history of his dealings with hispeople (Exod. 32:15-16; 34:1, 27-28; Num. 33:2; Deut. 31:9). Digesting andliving by this material was always central to true devotion in Israel for bothleaders and ordinary people (Josh. 1:7-8; 2 Kings 17:13; 22:8-13; 1 Chron.22:12-13; Neh. 8; Ps. 119). The principle that all must be governed by theScriptures, that is, by the Old and New Testaments taken together, is equallybasic to Christianity.

    What Scripture says, God says; for, in a manner comparable only to the deepermystery of the Incarnation, the Bible is both fully human and fully divine. Soall its manifold contents?histories, prophecies, poems, songs, wisdom writings,sermons, statistics, letters, and whatever else?should be received as from God,and all that Bible writers teach should be revered as God?s authoritativeinstruction. Christians should be grateful to God for the gift of his writtenWord, and conscientious in basing their faith and life entirely and exclusivelyupon it. Otherwise, we cannot ever honor or please him as he calls us to do.

Continues...
Excerpted from Concise Theologyby J. I. Packer Copyright © 2001 by J. I. Packer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tyndale Elevate; 42542nd edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0842339604
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0842339605
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 407 ratings

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J.I. Packer currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. An ordained Anglican minister, he hold a D.Phil. from Oxford University. Dr. Packer's many published works include "Rediscovering Holiness, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God," and the best-selling "Knowing God."

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