The new edition will help future generations of evangelicals understand Scripture and grow as Christians.
With more than 750,000 copies sold, Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine has been the most widely used resource in its area over the past 25 years. Now all 57 chapters have been thoroughly revised and expanded for the first time. The new release from Zondervan Academic retains the features that have made it the standard in its field: clear explanations, an emphasis on each doctrine’s scriptural basis, and practical applications for daily life, but it has been expanded with nearly 200 pages of new content.
“Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology is a monumental accomplishment,” said Phoenix Seminary President Brian Arnold. “As a pastor, I was able to recommend this book to anyone in my church. As a professor, I use it as a textbook. As a president, I hope to raise up many who know and love God like Wayne Grudem, and who awaken others to the truth, beauty, and goodness of Christian theology.”
Part of the brilliance of Systematic Theology over the years has been its simplicity and ease of use. It is deep enough for theologians and yet accessible enough for the young believer or the curious seeker. Its simple structure has made the book a helpful tool for discipleship in the local church, the classroom, and on the mission field. “I love to hear that churches use Systematic Theology for leadership training,” said Grudem. “When I see Christian laypeople, not just pastors or academics, reading the book and finding help for their Christian lives, I’m grateful to the Lord for that blessing.”
Each chapter of Grudem’s book follows the same structure. First, there is a discussion of the doctrine being considered, such as justification or the deity of Christ. An explanation of that doctrine’s biblical support and possible objections to the doctrine follows. Personal application and key terms to know for personal growth are then provided. “Grudem is ruthlessly biblical,” said Arnold, “ensuring that he has supported each tenet of his doctrine in Holy Scripture. Even in those places of disagreement, Grudem forces his reader into the pages of the Bible, the source of theology and truth.” Systematic Theology’s chapters also include a Scripture memory passage, references to other literature on the topic, and suggested hymns and worship songs.
“After a quarter-century of remarkable usefulness globally . . . [Systematic Theology] remains remarkable,” said Pastor John Piper. “I thank God for this precious gift to Christ’s people worldwide.” Author and Old Testament scholar, Jack Deere, gave similar praise. “I used to tell people that Grudem’s Systematic Theology was the best single volume theology available. After using it for a quarter of a century, I now believe it is the best of all the systematic theologies in print, single or multivolume. It is one of those rare works that can challenge the scholar and instruct the beginner. This new edition addresses the most important changes in the theological landscape since 1994, and it has completely updated bibliographies. It is simply indispensable.”
Systematic Theology’s numerous updates and corrections have been prompted by letters and emails from people around the world and by interaction with the students Grudem has taught over the last 26 years both at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and in his role as distinguished research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary. New content includes a fuller analysis of several recent controversies within evangelicalism including the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son in the Trinity, the translation of monogenes in John 3:16 and elsewhere as “only-begotten,” the question of God’s atemporal eternity, the role of women in the church, “seeker-sensitive” churches, miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, and contemporary worship music.
“One new addition to Systematic Theology that made me pause was the discussion of impassibility,” said J. Michael Thigpen, provost and professor of Old Testament at Phoenix Seminary. “In an academic work, one does not often read words like ‘I mistakenly failed to consider this other sense in the first edition.’ Dr. Grudem did not need to cite his error. He could have simply nuanced his discussion. Instead, he chose to directly address what he viewed as a mistake. This revision reflects Wayne’s humility, continued desire to learn from others, and his deep devotion to the word and our Lord. Dr. Grudem is not defending his turf, interpretations, or reputation. Instead, he’s seeking to know his Savior more deeply, understand the Scriptures more clearly, and teach theology more precisely so that others might be equipped.”
The book also now contains new thoughtful critiques of open theism, theistic evolution, the new perspective on Paul, Molinism (or “middle knowledge”), “Free Grace” theology, and the preterist view of the Book of Revelation. Additional material respectfully explains evangelical Protestant differences with Roman Catholicism, Protestant liberalism, and Mormonism. Systematic Theology’s bibliography has also been completely updated, and all Scripture quotations have been updated from RSV to ESV.
Grudem holds degrees from Harvard (AB), Westminster Theological Seminary (MDiv, DD), and Cambridge (PhD). He is the author of more than twenty-five books including the Bible Doctrine and Christian Beliefs. He has served at Phoenix Seminary since 2001. The new edition of Systematic Theology releases on December 8.
More information about the book, including a free chapter download, can be viewed at Phoenix Seminary’s website.