Systematic Theology Series

Systematic theologies are some of my favorite books. I have nearly 50 in my print and digital libraries and a list of more than two hundred others that I’m working to see added to Logos Bible Software‘s already impressive digital offerings. The vast majority of systematic theologies are written by one author, and more often than not they fill a single volume. But there are a couple of “systematic theologies” that are made up of a series of books featuring a different author and volume on each of the main themes of evangelical theology.

Two series that I’m fairly well acquainted with are Crossway’s Foundations of Evangelical Theology (Crossway’s listing) and IVP’s Contours of Christian Theology (IVP’s listing).

Foundations of Evangelical Theology

The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of SalvationBased on the listing in the front of No One Like Him, it appears that there are ten volumes projected, but there are currently four in print:

  1. Demarest, Bruce. The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation. 1997. 544 pp. [Amazon | Crossway | Logos | WTSBooks]1
  2. Feinberg, John S. No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God. 2001. 879 pp. [Amazon | Crossway | Logos]
  3. Clark, David K. To Know and Love God: Method for Theology. 2003. 464 pp. [Amazon | Crossway]
  4. Cole, Graham A. He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. 2007. 320 pp. [Amazon | Crossway | WTSBooks]
  5. Allison, Gregg R. Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church. 2012. 496 pp. [Amazon | Crossway | WTSBooks]
  6. Feinberg, Paul. TBD. Scripture.
  7. TBD. Man and Angels.
  8. Gruenler, Royce. Wellum, Steve. Christ.
  9. Vanhoozer, Kevin. McCall, Tom. Sin.
  10. VanGemeren, Willem. Allison, Gregg. Eschatology.

By the date range, I’d guess that another is due out in the next year or so. If you know anything about the future volumes, please share in the comments.

Contours of Christian Theology

The Work of ChristHere are the nine volumes in the series, eight of which are currently in print:

  1. Bray, Gerald L. The Doctrine of God. 1993. 281 pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]
  2. Letham, Robert. The Work of Christ. 1993. 284 pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]2
  3. Helm, Paul. The Providence of God. 1994. 246 pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]
  4. Clowney, Edmund P. The Church. 1995. 336 pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]
  5. Sherlock, Charles. The Doctrine of Humanity. 1997. 303 pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]
  6. Ferguson, Sinclair B. The Holy Spirit. 1997. 288pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]
  7. Macleod, Donald. The Person of Christ. 1998. 303 pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]
  8. Jensen, Peter. The Revelation of God. 2002. 304 pp. [Amazon | IVP | WTSBooks]
  9. Runia, Klaus. The Last Things. Forthcoming? Canceled? Reassigned?

It’s been seven years since the last volume was released. My guess is that the final volume on eschatology has either been canceled or reassigned. According to Wikipedia, Klaas Runia died on October 14, 2006 in Kampen. Perhaps he didn’t finish his volume before his death at the age of 80. Does anyone know the story on the final volume?

I’m a bit surprised that we don’t have more series like these. Anyone know why? Are there any other systematic theology series that I’m forgetting?

Update: I added the projected volumes in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series based on the information in Chad’s comment, which he got from the front of John Feinberg’s volume.

Footnotes

  1. See my review.
  2. See my review.

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17 Responses to Systematic Theology Series

  1. Chuck Bumgardner August 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Hi, Phil,

    How about the “Foundations for Faith” series?

    David Wells, The Person of Christ
    H. D. McDonald, The Christian View of Man
    Ronald S. Wallace, The Atoning Death of Christ
    Paul Helm, The Divine Revelation
    Christopher Kaiser, The Doctrine of God
    Peter Toon, Justification and Sanctification

    They seem to be out of print now. A revision of Kaiser’s volume is available from Wipf and Stock.

    It is not, of course, a complete systematic treatment, but along the lines of what you are discussing.

    • Phil Gons August 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

      Thanks, Chuck. I wasn’t aware of this series. I’ll have to check it out. I appreciate your pointing it out.

  2. Mark Snoeberger August 10, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    Phil,

    I think you’ve fingered an important gap in the literature. We have whole systematic theologies and we have very narrow studies, but only scattered titles that are useful as textbooks on the various theological disciplines. For instance, I teach bibliology, and can identify no suitable, seminary-level, systematic survey of all the key issues of bibliology–except as part of the various whole systematic theologies.

    This is an interesting gap, because producing textbooks such as these is the very strategy that propelled Dallas Seminary into evangelical prominence during the 1960s and 1970s–and for good or ill, the impact of that strategy is still felt today. It’s strange that few have attempted to reduplicate this strategy.

    MAS

    • Phil Gons August 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks for the confirmation, Mark, that I’m not the only one noticing the dearth in this regard.

      I find it particularly interesting when compared to the number of multi-author commentary series. These days that’s by far the most common way to do a commentary on a testament or the whole Bible. Single-author commentaries are fairly rare anymore (and, I think, for good reason). However, the opposite is true for systematic theologies. Multi-author series are virtually non-existent. I wonder if it has something to do with the nature of the task. Systematic theology focuses on harmonization and unity, and a single author with a single view is perhaps better suited to the task. Unity with the rest of Scripture and harmonization is less the job of a commentary, so multiple authors and viewpoints is less of an issue. Another factor could be the size; a commentary on the Bible is generally a much larger undertaking than a systematic theology, making the former more daunting for one person. A third reason might be specialization. It’s probably harder to be a specialist on the exegesis of the whole Bible than it is to be a specialist on the major themes of systematic theology.

  3. Chad August 10, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    Hi Phil,

    On the inside of Feinberg’s volume (No One Like Him), it lists the forthcoming volumes and contributors:

    Scripture: Paul Feinberg
    Christ: Royce Gruenler
    Man & Angels: to be named
    Sin: Kevin Vanhoozer
    The Church: Walter Kaiser
    Eschatology: Willem VanGemeren

    Not sure if this is what you were after, but this is what I found. Not sure on the dates though.

    Chad

    • Phil Gons August 10, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

      Chad, I checked the front matter in the other three volumes, but didn’t see any mention of future volumes. I just checked a copy of Feinberg’s volume, and it lists only the projected subjects, not authors. Perhaps you have a newer printing. Anyway, thanks for pointing these out.

  4. Ted Hans August 10, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    Hi Phil,
    What about New Studies in Biblical Theology editor D.A Carson, The Bible Themes(The bible speaks Today)Series Editor Dereck Tidball & the McMaster New Testament Studies Edited by Richard N. Longenecker formerly but now by Stanley E. Porter.

    “two hundred others that I’m working to see added to Logos Bible Software’s” Now, that will be the day & i will be a happy man, when that vision comes true.

  5. Tom McCall August 11, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Phil,

    Regarding Crossway’s FOET series, the old list is outdated. Here is what I know: (i) Paul Feinberg passed away before the Scripture volume was completed… I don’t know who is doing it (or the Anthropology volume); (ii) Steve Wellum is working on the Christology volume; (iii) Gregg Allison is doing/has done the Ecclesiology volume; (iv) I’m plugging away on the hamartiology book.

    Blessings and best wishes,
    Tom

    • Phil Gons August 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks for the update, Tom. Good to know. I look forward to picking up these volumes in due time.

  6. David Mathews August 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    I bet they're lined up on the shelf in order of descending height, each binding exactly one inch from the edge of the shelf. Unless Ryan McNeely has pushed one in… LOL-memories.

  7. Phil Gons August 11, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    Thanks for the fun memory, David. :)

  8. Ted Hans August 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Oops! Got carried away. Make sure you read the blog entry carefully, before you post, would be a good practise. :-)

  9. Yoh Shirato September 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    Make sure you flip those thick hard bounds upside down periodically in order to avoid the pages from sagging :-). What about the 4/5 views series on theological positions as supplimental readings?

  10. David Mathews September 3, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    Back to the serious side: I was working through Grudem last winter and enjoying it. I kind of left off a while back to do some other reading. I'll have to pick that back up. What's the obsession with the Systematic Theologies, anyway? Why read so many? Do you find that many differences between them, or is it the different ways the authors have of expressing the concepts that makes the exercise beneficial? Besides Grudem, what volumes would you recommend?Last question: what do you mean you're "working to see [more volumes] added" to Logos? Are you actively pursuing that in some way?

  11. Alan Gielczyk September 29, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Hey Phil,
    If I can throw my 2cents in I would love to see the IVP “New Studies in Biblical Theology” series. Here are the volumes and the website I found for them, I would pay almost anything to have them in Logos.
    al Titles
    Father, Son and Spirit (paperback)
    Possessed by God Volume 1 (paperback)
    God’s Unfaithful Wife Volume 2 (paperback)
    Jesus and the Logic of History Volume 3 (paperback)
    Hear, My Son Volume 4 (paperback)
    Original Sin Volume 5 (paperback)
    Now Choose Life Volume 6 (paperback)
    Neither Poverty nor Riches Volume 7 (paperback)
    Slave of Christ Volume 8 (paperback)
    Christ, Our Righteousness Volume 9 (paperback)
    Five Festal Garments Volume 10 (paperback)
    Salvation to the Ends of the Earth Volume 11 (paperback)
    Now My Eyes Have Seen You Volume 12 (paperback)
    Thanksgiving Volume 13 (paperback)
    From Every People and Nation Volume 14 (paperback)
    Dominion and Dynasty Volume 15 (paperback)
    Hearing God’s Words Volume 16 (paperback)
    The Temple and the Church’s Mission Volume 17 (paperback)
    The Cross from a Distance Volume 18 (paperback)
    Contagious Holiness Volume 19 (paperback)
    Shepherds After My Own Heart Volume 20 (paperback)
    A Clear and Present Word Volume 21 (paperback)
    Adopted into God’s Family Volume 22 (paperback)
    Sealed with an Oath Volume 23 (paperback)

    http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=2600

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