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ISBN/ASIN : 0764225529
Manufacturer : Bethany House|
Release data : 01 August, 2003
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I bought this book for a Theology I class. The book is the best I have ever read on the subject. Although at first the concepts were challanging and took some deep thought to grasp. With each chapter the concepts bacame clearer and clearer. Geisler does a wonderful job of keeping it simple and to the point while he expains deep and complicated issues.
Excellent for referance. Tedious to read through...
I have been reading Volume 2 off and on for close to a year. I haven't gotten thorough Part One yet. Where Volume One was able to keep my interest enough to read it through in a couple months, Volume 2 becomes a bit monotonous. You would think that learing about God and Creation would be more exciting than Volume One's "Introduction and Bible" topics. Not so in this case... 3.5 stars. By God's grace, I rounded it up to 4 (Although my flesh wanted to knock it down to 3 at times...).
In this second volume, the Dr. goes more in depth on his support for the Gap Theory, and possible long periods of time for the days of Genesis. Again, this is the only thing about Dr. Geisler's theology that turns me off. No matter how hard I try, I cannot find adequate Scriptural support for these views, apart from accomodating current scientific hypotheses into God's Word. I don't rule out the Gap Theory, I just don't see enough Scriptural support to accept it. At best, it interrupts the flow of Scripture. On this point, I think Dr. Geisler is more of an Apologist than a Theologian...
This volume does contain a lot of very useful information, and I do recommend it, but only as a referance book. I own all 4 Volumes of Dr. Geisler's Systematic Theology. I have found Volumes 3 & 4 to be very helpful referances as well. For a more readable book on Theology, I HIGHLY recommend Charles Ryrie's "Basic Theology".
Geisler Systematic Theology
Dr. Geisler is a prolific writer in the Evangelical tradition. This tradition presumes Biblical inerrancy, and the fundamentals and distinctives of Calvinism. Within this tradition, this is certainly the most comprehensive and creditable exposition of Evangelical systematic theology presently available in print. It assumes nothing, builds from Volume One to the end in Volume Four.
Dr. Geisler provides in depth historical backgrounds for each of the topics he discusses and critiques each of the historical positions from an evangelical perspective. Even without holding all of the positions posited, these book are good expositions of most of the conflicting theories in the fields of systematics.
Volume Two is in two parts. The first part is an in depth exposition of the attributes of God and concludes with a chapter addressing the response expected from the believer to those attributes treated as a practical matter: how, for example, the believer will respond to God's beauty, or His impassibility.
The second part concerns with the now controversial subject of creation. There are, Dr. Geisler thinks, three schools of thought about creation: materialistic, those who hold the cosmos was created from preexistent matter (ex materia), held largely by those without a belief in God, theist --positing the creation of the world by God from nothing (ex nihilo), and pantheistic, who hold that creation came from God (ex Deo). These alternative explanations of our cosmology are dealt with and the consequences for belief in any of the theories, is set out in about 450 pages. The question of evolution vs theology is the subject of an Appendix so that that discussion does not take over the more basic approaches to creation.
There are extensive quotes from the most important voices in the fields under discussion, and in those fields where I have a marginal competence, the quotations seem to set forth the author's view rather than being redacted by Dr. Geisler to permit him to deal with strawmen.
In the whole four volume set, each chapter contains its own Sources list, and the references are to that shorter list. There is a full bibliography at the end of each volume, a comprehensive table of Scriptural citations and a good index.
The Table of Contents is cryptic, the index exhaustive. Each volume also contains Appendices of varying lengths to discuss matters that are tangential to the discussion in the main volume, or that are covered in several places in the set (for example Christology is covered in Volume Two as a part of the discussion of God, but it is also covered in soteriology in Volume 3 and in eschatoology in volume 4.
This book is not a baby version of seminary. It permits study in the depth you wish to give a subject. I recommend it for students of systematic theology, to Sunday school teachers (I use the section on exchatology in part of a twelve week discussion of the Olivet discourse and Revelation concerning Jesus' teaching on the last days, for example), and to serious seekers of knowledge. If you look for an in depth discussion of Protestant theology, its relationship to Catholic theology, and critical reviews of the intersctions between theology and philosophy, this is the place for the Protestant to begin. For the Roman Catholic, Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles or his Summa Theologica would be a better starting place, although Geisler;s discussions of Augustine is outstanding for either sect. Any serious student of the differences between Catholic and Protestant theology will find many months's of well written, clear and cogent "meat" in these volumes.