A terrible confession: I’ve never read a Systematic Theology book cover to cover.
It gets worse. I’ve never read more than three consecutive chapters in a Systematic Theology tome.
Sure, I’ve read many chapters in many Systematic Theologies when researching for sermons or lectures, but I’ve never successfully read any volume from start to finish. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried and tried again. But I just can’t do it.
Are you ready for this?
It’s a really dark secret.
You really want to know?
OK, here goes. They’re usually way too long, way too complex, way too technical, and way too….boring.
There. I said it. Yes, theology can be boring. I know, I know, no one is meant to admit this. But if you asked most unread systematic theologies on most shelves (and, yes, most of them are unread), they would reluctantly agree: “It’s not fair, I’m the biggest cleverest book in the library, and that guy never takes me on a date. Sure he picks me up for a functional chat ever few weeks, but he doesn’t love me, he doesn’t spend time with me, he doesn’t caress me the way he touches these skimpy little paperbacks. If only my creator had made me a bit thinner, a bit more enjoyable, a bit more attractive, a bit more accessible. If only he’d given me a personality; instead, he made me a big, fat, ugly robot.”
Enter R.C. Sproul with Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology, a book you’re going to want to date…again and again…maybe even marry!
I’m reading chapter after chapter, and I can’t stop. I’m not finished yet, and I’m not sure I want to either. It’s classic Sproul and will, I believe, become another Sproul classic. It covers all the bases of Systematic Theology in a brief, simple, and enjoyable way. Yes, enjoyable!
Although the chapters are short (five pages on average), I’ve learned something in every one of them. I’ve also enjoyed re-learning what I had learned before, though this time with intoxicating pleasure rather than with tedious drudgery. Sproul has that rare knack of challenging the reader enough to stimulate the intellect without overwhelming it and shutting it down.
As we watch a good and godly man enter his latter days, we have the privilege of hearing his much-loved “voice” once again in the pages of this book. I almost felt his grandfatherly arm around my shoulder as he shepherded me into a deeper knowledge and love of the truth. Everyone’s theologian is still laboring to make everyone a (better) theologian.