A Theology for the Church – Revised Edition edited by Daniel Akin. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2014. 770 pp. $54.99. Purchase at Amazon or Kindle for less.
Daniel Akin is the President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written 1, 2, 3 John in the New American Commentary series and is also collaborating with David Platt (President of the International Mission Board of the SBC) and Tony Merida (the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. and as Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Seminary) on the Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series.
Other contributors include Chad Owen Brand, Mark Dever, David S. Dockery, Timothy George, R. Albert Mohler, Russell D. Moore, and Paige Patterson among others.
Divided into eight sections with fourteen different chapters, this revised edition of retains its original structure, organized under these traditional theological categories: revelation, God, humanity, Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church, and last things.
Only Russell Moore contributed more than one chapter (chapter 2 – Natural Revelation and 14 – Personal and Cosmic Eschatology) which means that each contributor writes in his particular area of expertise.
For this revised edition, two new chapters were added: theological method from a missional perspective (Bruce Ashford and Keith Whitfield) and theology of creation, providence, and Sabbath that engages current research in science and philosophy (Chad Owen Brand).
Each chapter seeks to answer four main questions: What does the Bible say? What has the church believed? How does it all fit together? and How does this doctrine impact the church today?
A Theology for the Church is a distinctly Southern Baptist systematic theology. While it can (and should) be used across denominational lines, this must be understood up front as there will most certainly be secondary and tertiary doctrinal disagreements.
A further strength of this resource, as mentioned above, is that the various contributors wrote on their specific area of expertise. Also, each chapter and subsection is heavily footnoted introducing the reader to further resources for study.
One of the weaknesses is that when the chapter ends, it ends. There are no suggestions for further reading (save the footnotes) or questions to engage the material similar to the ever popular Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.
Regardless, this work is both scholarly and accessible for the layman looking to study more in depth the doctrines of the church.
While I am not systematic theologian, I do own a number of systematic theologies. Aside from J.L Dagg and James Boyce, this is arguably one of the best Southern Baptist systematics I have read. I highly recommend it to all, including my non-SBC brothers and sisters.