Skip to main content

Book: Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day

Note: I think I was supposed to do this as a blog tour last week, but I have lost all my record of it. So, I am going to go ahead and do it now. Perhaps BethanyHouse Publishers will never again send me a book. Perhaps they will. Either way, easy come, easy go.

Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day is one of three (currently) books in the "Understanding Fill-in-the-Blank in 15 Minutes a Day” series from BethanyHouse Publishers. The first one I have not read, the second one, Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day, is reviewed here.

Note this before continuing: BethanyHouse Publishers sent me a copy of this book so that I would review it. That is the only connection between myself and the company, and the only influence is the insistence that I actually do the review.

Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day, Daryl Aaron, 978-0-7642-1012-9

The essence of this book is realizing that theology, like any other truly complex subject, is going to take more than 15 minutes a day to really dig into. However, you have to start somewhere. And having read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and a few other of the “basic-intro level” theology texts out there, I would agree that a lighter load of introductory material is helpful.

So this is, by necessity, a slightly shallower introductory text. If you come to it with that pre-conception, you’ll be in good shape. If you come expecting a fully exhaustive treatment, you will be disappointed. Considering that most theology books are either 3 inches (or more!) thick or are multi-volume, that should not be surprising.

Now, moving into the content that is present:

First, this book presents a basic systematic theology. The material is organized around addressing an orderly set of topics. This begins with a statement of what theology is and then proceeds to how one can know anything about theology. From there, the progression is into an understanding of each person of the Holy Trinity, an examination of angels, eternity, the nature of humanity, salvation, and the church. This is all in a fairly normal order.

Second, this book presents a strongly conservative theology. There is no sense in beating around the bush: Daryl Aaron firmly holds that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. That is his foundation for this text and for his theology, so if you have a differing view of the Bible and his chapter on why the Bible is inerrant does not persuade you, you will have difficulties with the further parts of the text.

Third, this book attempts to present a balanced theology. In examining the chapters on the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, Aaron has presented the multiple points of view on each. Baptism includes both the Paedobaptist and Credobaptist views and does not endorse one over the other. The end result of this is mixed: both views are presented concisely and so neither is deeply explained. This is because Aaron is targeting the broadest possible audience in conservative Christianity, and so the book gives equal offense to Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Baptists.

At the low cover price this book has, it looks like a good pick-up for the Christian who wants to approach how they do theology from an organized standpoint. It’s fairly often that we want to say that “we believe what the Bible says” but we don’t take the time to go through and grasp what the full testimony of Scripture about a subject may be. This book will help with that.

I would gladly recommend it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and en…