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Systematic Theology

By Robert Letham
June 2021 | Review by Kevin Bidwell
  • Publisher: Crossway Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-43354-130-8
  • Pages: 1072
  • Price: £39.99
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Book Review

This tome could be considered Robert Letham’s magnum opus, and will undoubtedly enrich the theology and ministry of the church for years to come.

The most striking feature is the accessibility of the writing style – something not easy to achieve for this kind of book. It is free-flowing, easy to read and highly enjoyable, and leads to a sense of worship of the majesty of the triune God throughout.

Structured with eight parts, the book covers all the usual systematic headings. What strikes you when you begin to read the first few pages is that they come quickly to the doctrine of God, without what has become a typical and sometimes cumbersome elaboration of his existence. Letham argues that the ‘Bible does not follow this method’ (p.43), and then proceeds to introduce general revelation followed by special revelation.

I will elaborate upon two sections which I deem to be particular highlights. Part 1, ‘The Triune God’, is an exciting series of writings which breaks the mould. It gives the clearest exposition of the Trinity as the doctrine of God, and vice versa, that you will find in books of this category. This is enriching for theology in the season ahead. The opening chapter concludes: ‘Special revelation comes to its highest expression as God reveals himself to be Trinity (Matt. 28:19-20). This is the apex of covenant history. It is the supreme revelation of God’s name’ (p.65).

Part 6, ‘Christ, the Son of God’, focuses entirely upon the incarnation of the Son under three sub-headings: biblical teaching, church formulations, and ongoing questions. This whole panorama of theological teaching is most excellent. Letham clearly believes the two high points of redemptive revelation are the incarnation and resurrection of Christ. While I loved the writing on the former, I would have equally enjoyed the same depth of treatment to be given to the latter.

There is so much I could say to commend this volume for theological seminaries, pastors and elders, missionaries, and Christians who want to better understand their faith. I hope I’ve whetted your appetite enough for you to cross the bridge to fathom the unfathomable knowledge of God. May this book aid you in that endeavour on this side of eternity.

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