This post is the first in a series where I’ll reveal my favorite resources for preparing Apologetics speeches. I think I’ll call the series “Equip-ment”! Topping the list is Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
There are two complementary approaches to theology: “systematic theology” and “Biblical theology”. Biblical theology is more or less chronological, and draws theology from an individual passage of the Bible (hence the name). Conversely, systematic theology deals with a single topic and studies verses from all over the Bible that deal with that topic. When researching for Apologetics, you typically need to use the systematic approach, because you’re studying an individual topic.
Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology is used in seminary courses all across America. Its whopping 1,264 pages covers basically every theological concept you could ever be interested in. However, despite the length, Grudem is incredibly easy to read. He takes even the most complicated of theological concepts and makes them easy to understand.
One of the things I like most about Grudem is how balanced he is. When writing about a particular concept, Grudem will explain the various viewpoints concerning that topic. Only then will he reveal which viewpoint he holds to. He will bring up the Biblical support for that position and explain why he holds to it.
I disagree with Grudem over his position on the cessationism/continuationism debate. But, since there isn’t a topic on cessationism/continuationism (Praise God!), that isn’t really an issue.
So, I highly recommend Systematic Theology to anyone competing in Apologetics. It is a very comprehensive yet very readable resource, and deserves a place on every Apologist’s shelf.