CONCISE THEOLOGY – J.I. Packer (1993)

Concise Theology by J.I. Packer could be considered a miniature systematic theology.  The four general sections of the book are set forth as follows:

(1) God Revealed as Creator

(2) God Revealed as Redeemer

(3) God Revealed as Lord of Grace

(4) God Revealed as Lord of Destiny

Each section contains a short, but extremely pointed summary of a particular doctrine.  The book is not designed to be a comprehensive systematic theology.  Rather it is written with the layman in mind who has a desire to learn doctrinal truth or may not have the time to devote to a larger work.  The precision with which this book is written may encourage readers to study further in a given area.

J.I. Packer continues to write in a way that many have grown to love and expect.  Three basic strengths must be noted.  First, the author emphasizes the greatness and majesty of God.  Packer emphasizes that “theology is for doxology.”  He writes, “The truest expression of trust in a great God will always be worship, and it will always be proper worship to praise God for being far greater than we can know.”  Second, Concise Theology is a superb introduction to Reformed thought.  Yet the author does not “wear his theology on his sleeve.”  This work may appeal to a broad range of people who otherwise may be reluctant to study Reformed theology.  Finally, the most controversial points of Reformed theology are dealt with in an honest and forthright manner.  The most engaging essays include Packer’s discussion on particular redemption, the enslaved will, effectual calling, and the constitution of man.

The church owes a tremendous debt to Dr. Packer’s faithful ministry over the years.  May his tribe increase!

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