Concise Theology

Concise Theology

by J. I. Packer


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Theology can be difficult to understand and challenging to navigate. This concise introduction to biblical doctrine distills complex topics so both scholar and layperson alike can treasure the unchanging pillars of the Christian faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433569548
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 08/04/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 356,102
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

J. I. Packer (1926–2020) served as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He authored numerous books, including the classic best seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

Table of Contents

Publisher's Foreword 13

Preface 15

Part 1 God Revealed as Creator

1 Revelation: Scripture Is the Word of God 21

2 Interpretation: Christians Can Understand the Word of God 24

3 General Revelation: Gods Reality Is Known to All 27

4 Guilt: The Effect of General Revelation 29

5 Inward Witness: Scripture Is Authenticated by the Holy Spirit 31

6 Authority: God Governs His People through Scripture 34

7 Knowledge: True Knowledge of God Comes through Faith 37

8 Creation: God Is the Creator 39

9 Self-Disclosure: "This Is My Name" 41

10 Self-Existence: God Has Always Been 44

11 Transcendence: Gods Nature Is Spiritual 46

12 Omniscience: God Sees and Knows 49

13 Sovereignty: God Reigns 51

14 Almightiness: God Is Omnipresent and Omnipotent 53

15 Predestination: God Has a Purpose 55

16 Trinity: God Is One and Three 58

17 Holiness: God Is Light 61

18 Goodness: God Is Love 63

19 Wisdom: God's Twofold Will Is One 66

20 Mystery: God Is Surpassingly Great 69

21 Providence: God Governs This World 72

22 Miracles: God Shows His Presence and Power 75

23 Glory: God's Glory-Showing Requires Glory-Giving 77

24 Idolatry: God Demands Total Allegiance 79

25 Angels: God Employs Supernatural Agents 81

26 Demons: God Has Supernatural Opponents 83

27 Satan: Fallen Angels Have a Leader 85

28 Humanness: God Made Human Beings in His Image 87

29 Humankind: Humans Are Body and Soul, in Two Genders 90

Part 2 God Revealed as Redeemer

30 The Fall: The First Human Couple Sinned 95

31 Original Sin: Depravity Infects Everyone 98

32 Inability: Fallen Human Beings Are Both Free and Enslaved 101

33 Covenant: God Takes Sinful Humans into a Covenant of Grace 103

34 Law: God Legislates, and Demands Obedience 107

35 Law in Action: God's Moral Law Has Three Purposes 110

36 Conscience: God Teaches and Cleanses the Heart 112

37 Worship: God Gives a Liturgical Pattern 114

38 Prophets: God Sent Messengers to Declare His Will 118

39 Incarnation: God Sent His Son to Save Us 120

40 Two Natures: Jesus Christ Is Fully Human 124

41 Virgin Birth: Jesus Christ Was Born by Miracle 127

42 Teacher: Jesus Christ Proclaimed God's Kingdom and Family 129

43 Sinlessness: Jesus Christ Was Entirely Free from Sin 132

44 Obedience: Jesus Christ Fulfilled His Father's Redemptive Will 134

45 Vocation: Jesus Christ's Mission Was Revealed at His Baptism 137

46 Transfiguration: How Jesus Christ's Glory Was Revealed 139

47 Resurrection: Jesus Christ Was Raised from the Dead 141

48 Ascension: Jesus Christ Was Taken Up into Heaven 143

49 Session: Jesus Reigns in Heaven 145

50 Mediation: Jesus Christ Is the Mediator between God and Man 147

51 Sacrifice: Jesus Christ Made Atonement for Sin 150

52 Definite Redemption: Jesus Christ Died for God's Elect 153

Part 3 God Revealed as Lord of Grace

53 Paraclete: The Holy Spirit Ministers to Believers 159

54 Salvation: Jesus Rescues His People from Sin 162

55 Election: God Chooses His Own 164

56 Effectual Calling: God Draws His People to Himself 167

57 Illumination: The Holy Spirit Gives Spiritual Understanding 169

58 Regeneration: The Christian Is Born Again 171

59 Works: Good Works .Axe an Expression of Faith 173

60 Repentance: A Christian Changes Radically 176

61 Justification: Salvation Is by Grace through Faith 178

62 Adoption: God Makes His People His Children 181

63 Sanctification: The Christian Grows in Grace 183

64 Liberty: Salvation Brings Freedom 186

65 Legalism: Working for God's Favor Forfeits It 189

66 Antinomianism: We Are Not Set Free to Sin 192

67 Love: Loving Is Basic to Christian Behavior 195

68 Hope: Hoping Is Basic to the Christian Outlook 197

69 Enterprise: A Christian Lives to Please God 199

70 Prayer: Christians Practice Fellowship with God 201

71 Oaths and Vows: Christians Must Be Truthful 204

72 The Kingdom of God: Christians Must Manifest Kingdom Life 207

73 Apostles: Jesus's Representatives Exercised His Authority 210

74 Church: God Plants His People in a New Community 212

75 Word and Sacrament: How a Genuine Church Is Identified 216

76 Elders: Pastors Must Care for the Church 218

77 Sacraments: Christ Instituted Two Seals of God's Covenant 220

78 Baptism: This Rite Exhibits Union with Christ 223

79 The Lord's Supper: This Rite Exhibits Communion with Christ 227

80 Discipline: The Church Must Uphold Christian Standards 230

81 Mission: Christ Sends the Church into the World 233

82 Spiritual Gifts: The Holy Spirit Equips the Church 236

83 Marriage: Matrimony Is Meant to Be a Permanent Covenant Relationship 238

84 The Family: The Christian Household Is a Spiritual Unit 241

85 The World: Christians Are in Society to Serve and Transform It 243

86 The State: Christians Must Respect Civil Government 246

Part 4 God Revealed as Lord of Destiny

87 Perseverance: God Keeps His People Safe 251

88 Unpardonable Sin: Only Impenitence Cannot Be Forgiven 254

89 Mortality: Christians Need Not Fear Death 257

90 Second Coming: Jesus Christ Will Return to the Earth in Glory 260

91 General Resurrection: The Dead in Christ Will Rise in Glory 263

92 Judgment Seat: God Will Judge All Mankind 267

93 Hell: The Wicked Will Be Banished into Endless Misery 270

94 Heaven: God Will Welcome His People into Everlasting Joy 273

General Index 277

Scripture Index 285

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“J. I. Packer’s Concise Theology is the best simple guide to Christian doctrine that I know. Because it is systematic, precise, and saturated with Scripture, I often use this book to introduce young people and new believers to the basics of their faith.”
—Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

“J. I. Packer has the gift to write theology that is simple without being superficial. Concise Theology puts the food on the bottom shelf where we can reach it, but to our delight, it is not sugar cookies but steak and potatoes for the soul.”
—Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Reformed Preaching; coauthor, Reformed Systematic Theology

Concise Theology is poetry to Christian ears: the best words in the best order about the best news there is—the gospel of grace poured out in Jesus Christ. Packer here sets forth with lucid brevity everything Christians need to know to become biblically literate and to grow in wisdom and understanding. Doctrine and doxology here walk hand in hand. I am delighted to see this new edition, for Packer’s description of the ‘permanent essentials’ of the Christian faith remains as relevant today as when this book was first published.”
—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author, Is There a Meaning in This Text?; The Drama of Doctrine; and Biblical Authority after Babel

“J. I. Packer is one of our greatest theologians and he does something remarkable in this classic compendium: he illuminates the deep things of God in lucid language that makes sense. I have had this volume at hand for nearly three decades, and I welcome this new edition.”
—Timothy George, Research Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

“Although this book was published decades ago, its introduction to Christian theology remains focused, clear, and especially valuable for its deep immersion in the biblical record. J. I. Packer's ‘concise theology’ is, as he states forthrightly, reformational and evangelical, which means that some readers will be Bereans checking the Scriptures to see ‘if these things are so.’ All, however, should find the book valuable for illumination and understanding but even more for doxology and devotion.”
—Mark A. Noll, author, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind

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