Friday, June 11, 2010

Doctrine: A review you will actually want to read

My friend Iain D. Campbell has written a review of Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears.

Iain D. writes:
There are some books I wish I’d written. Let me re-phrase that. There are some books I come across, whose design and structure is so brilliantly simply that I could wish I had thought of it myself.

This new book on ‘Doctrine’ has a structure that gets right to the heart of theology. Theology is about God. It is not about proving that there is a God; nor is it about our responses to the world around us. It is simply a bringing together of the great themes and strands of revelation, without which there can be no theology.

So the chapter headings in ‘Doctrine’ all remind us of this simple fact: ‘Trinity: God is’, ‘Creation: God Makes’ ‘Covenant: God Pursues’, ‘Incarnation: God Comes’ – and so on. It is all about God...It is a matter of knowing God before it is a matter of serving him. Creeds are far more important than deeds or needs.

The review contains notes of appreciation and notes of disagreement. It is well worth reading. Here is Iain D.'s conclusion:

So would I give ‘Doctrine’ to someone for their theological education? Absolutely, although I would insist on Berkhof as a companion volume. This book, however, is a masterpiece of thoroughness and simplicity, covering all the theological topics in one simple, readable volume. That’s the sort of book I want to write one day.

You can read the whole thing here


Jonathan Thomas said...

just bought my copy...glad it's sound.

Martin Downes said...

My copy should arrive tomorrow.

Although I gather that the section on the covenant is not so good, bits of it are positively unhelpful.