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The Moody Handbook of Theology – A Book Review

“Pneumatology”…”Bibliology”…”Ecclesiology”… these words don’t typically make their way into our everyday vocabulary.  In fact, these kinds of words can seem overwhelming and at times unnecessary.  When talking to people about Biblical Counseling and Theology, it is common to hear people say dismissive things like: “I’m no theologian” or “I read my Bible, but I could never do biblical counseling, because I’ve never been to seminary.”  In the foreword to the Moody Handbook of Theology, Dr. John MacArthur writes that

“Every Christian needs to have a sound, true, biblical understanding of God and His truth, and we must never stop growing in our pursuit of that goal.” (11)

He goes on to say that “it is every Christian’s duty to be a discipler of others.” However, “someone who is unskilled in doctrine cannot possibly be a capable teacher.  We must be learners before we can be instructors.” (11)

It is the calling of all Christians to be discipling, teaching, and counseling.  If it’s true, that we must concern ourselves with becoming learners before we are instructors, where does one begin?  Is it necessary to pack up, quit your job, and go to seminary?  For some, yes – but this is not necessarily true for everyone.  We live in a time where valuable resources for cultivating healthy learning habits are literally at our finger tips.  If you have a desire to grow in your knowledge of God and his truth, this book is a tremendous starting point.

The Moody Handbook of Theology serves as an introduction to the various contours of theological study.  This volume is divided into 5 parts, each providing a solid taste of the major theological disciplines: Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, Dogmatic Theology, and Contemporary Theology.  Each section is neatly organized to help the reader follow the logical flow of the author.  The language employed in this text is easy to comprehend and helps the reader along in a way that is easy to follow and manageable. For example, when addressing a complex issue like the hypostatic union of Christ, Enns provides this succinct definition:

“The hypostatic union may be defined as: the ’second person, the pre-incarnate Christ came and took to himself a human nature and remains forever undiminished Deity and true humanity united in one person forever.” (240)

These simple, yet weighty definitions make for a very valuable addition to anyone’s library. For those who wish to dig deeper, the author points towards valuable resources for further study at the end of each section.

Some will read this book from cover to cover, while others will find this as more of a helpful reference book. If your desire is to grow in your knowledge of God and his truth and become a discipler of those around you, this book will be a valuable resource. This book will help the reader feel less overwhelmed by the scope of theological study.  If you dedicate yourself to a close and careful reading of this book, you will be deeply blessed by the wealth of knowledge it contains.

 

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The Moody Handbook of the Bible is on ACBC’s Approved Reading list, which means it can help you complete Phase 1 of certification.

Calvin Payne
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