One of the first books I bought after becoming a Christian was Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology. I had no idea what systematic theology was, but it looked interesting. This was my introduction to what would become a life-long love of theology. The newest entre into this field is Reformed Systematic Theology vol. 1 by Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley (Crossway, 2019). This is the first of a proposed four volume set. The first volume covers prolegomena and theology proper. Volume 2 will cover anthropology and Christology. The third volume will detail pneumatology and soteriology. The final book will cover ecclesiology and eschatology.
Here is reformed theology at its best. Layman should not be put off by the 1300+ pages. It is written at a level suitable for a variety of readers. Each chapter includes a two-part set of study questions. The first set is for average readers and the second is geared toward more advanced students in seminary. Anyone familiar with Beeke will know his expertise in reformed theology in general and the Puritans in particular. Accordingly, this theology is designed to apply to the whole person and will bring together “rigorous biblical, historical, and theological scholarship with spiritual disciplines and practicality—characterized by a simple, accessible, comprehensive, Reformed, and experiential approach” (19).
I read with great interest the authors’ treatment and defense of God’s impassibility (832-50). They nicely answer the charge that the doctrine is nothing more than the fruit of scholasticism or is rooted in Hellenism. They demonstrate that the doctrine is rooted in Scripture and their discussion, while deep, is written in very accessible language. Here is a theology that is robustly reformed, up to date, and well written. This will serve the church for generations!