Review: Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth

As a member of Crossway’s Blog Review Program, I was given a digital copy of Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth. Let me begin by saying that it was a privilege and to review this book and be given an electronic copy.

    To begin, as a seminary student, I have read three theology texts and Biblical Doctrine is by far superior in my estimation. The book is thoroughly grounded in Scripture. Firmly, the book holds to Creationism, Premillenialism, male eldership and the Trinity. Few theology books take a firm stance on Creation, Premillennialism (that Jesus will return before He establishes His Kingdom on earth for 1000 years, see Rev 21 and Rev 22), and male eldership, instead spending the bulk of their space simply describing all the views without critiquing them by the Scripture. Yet, Biblical Doctrine upholds Scripture as their authoritative evaluation criterion.

     An encouraging feature was the prayers and hymns within the book and that quotes were used to compliment Scripture, not to argue its interpretation. In other theology texts, I have seen perhaps an overemphasis of what theologians have said and not a fair treatment of Scripture.

      The book is not just information. No, it is a thoroughly devotional work as well. One comes face to face with the Scripture and the tone balances between thorough study and devotional encouragement of Christ’s sacrifice for you. The book is not overly academic in tone yet maintains scholarship. What a rare masterpiece!

      I disagree with the Cessationist and Calvinist conclusions of the book. I don’t agree with cessationism (the view that certain spiritual gifts have ceased) because the Scripture nowhere says that. Secondly, While there is not space here nor is the purpose to address Calvinism, Calvinism teaches that God has predetermined the universe and predestined some to Heaven and some to Hell. On those sections, the work, in my opinion, departs from the Biblical exposition that is used in the rest of its contents and turn to arguments to defend their conclusions rather than standing on what Scripture says. Yet, I would still give the book 5/5 stars.

     If I was a theology professor, this would be my primary teaching text. My other theology books gave me a lot of knowledge but left me feeling wanting on the Gospel, getting caught up in spotting and knowing all the different ideas out there rather than gazing deeply on the face of Jesus. Biblical Doctrine helped me to gaze on Jesus and the Word again instead of being distracted by “theologies.” It was encouraging to see a stand for Biblical truth on Creation, Male Eldership (yet maintaining the Biblical truth of women deacons) and premillennialism.

Ryan Marks

Ryan Marks is Director of Focusing on the Mark Ministries and an Author, Bible Teacher, and Support Specialist. He has a passion for discipleship and Bible study. You'll find him contributing to FMM as a blogger, video teacher, and podcaster. Ryan holds a B.A. in Communications from Thomas Edison State University and is a seminary student at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary studying theology and Christian education. Ryan enjoys hiking through nature, reading, and spending time with his family and local church. Ryan hopes to one day serve a Christian university or online program helping prepare students for Christian education and to continue writing books and curriculum to help the local church make disciples. Ryan's business endeavors and bio can be found on RyanMMarks.com

Leave a Reply