Saturday, July 24, 2010

Norman Geisler's Systematic Theology

Nick Norelli has posted a review of Norman Geisler's Systematic Theology (link to review). The upshot of his review is that he feels he wasted $75 on the set (retails is apparently about $165). I'm sure that Dr. Geisler especially won't like that Norelli ends up suggesting that Grudem's single volume (very hefty, but bound as a single volume) Systematic Theology is better.


The Squirrel said...

I honestly never really ever even thought of planning to put Geisler's Systematic Theology anywhere even close to any book shelf I might now own or might ever own in the future.

No, having read this review, owning Geisler's Systematic Theology is even less likely than before.


Glenn Hendrickson said...

Grudem's is seriously better. no joke.

Glenn Hendrickson

Coram Deo said...

Dr. Robert L. Reymond's "A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith" and of course, Louis Berkhof's classic "Systematic Theology" are also fine tomes.

In Him,

Christopher said...

Thanks for the heads up. I actually thought about getting Geisler for a more modern Reformed systematic text, but I think I'll keep my Grudem and A.A. Hodge.

Turretinfan said...

For a modern Reformed systematic theology, you might consider Robert Reymond's.

Ibdu said...

Squirrel, you haven't got the foggiest idea what you talking about concerning
Geisler's Systematic theology. Norelli is just closed minded, biased, consequently
his review is unreliable, worthless.
Even 'all shades of anti-dispensationalists' privately confess that Norman Geisler's Systematic
Theology is one of the best; historic, naturaly apologetic.

turretinfan said...

Ibdu: I haven't the foggiest idea what makes you think you're a better judge than Norelli.

ChaferDTS said...

I would disagree with you on Geisler ST as being one of the best. I personally consider Lewis Sperry Chafer Systematic Theology 8 in 4 vols as alot better than that of Geisler ST from within the dispensational premillennial perspective. I would not consider Geisler ST as a replacement for older dispensational systematic theology works such as Lewis Sperry Chafer Systematic Theology, Basic Theology by Dr. Charles Ryrie or Lectures In Systematic Theology by Dr. Henry Thiessen.

Ibdu said...

I haven't the foggiest idea what makes you think that I think I am a better judge than Norelli ? :)
Stop these provocative verbal hooks by which you would assasinate my person. :)

turretinfan, I just felt that your statement was sweeping, grossly dismissive of a theologian to whom
everybody - in anglo-saxon christianity - indepted, regardless whether one accepts his works or not.
My first posting was a reaction to balance out your sweeping post.
As you can see I am not a fan of 'politicaly correct' and/or 'smoot talk'. :)

I wouldn't say that Geisler's ST should replace those theologians works you listed. I agree
with you whole heartedly.

Kenny said...

I accidently stumbled on this while searching for Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology, Volume 4, which I am looking to purchase. I read the review and found it interesting. It seems that the review misses the point of Geisler’s work, and this is also noticeable in every comment as well.

There are great systematic theology volumes out there for studying Theology. I concur that Robert L. Reymond has a good work. As a pastor, I have invested in three different volumes, written by Paul Enns, Wayne Grudem, and Daniel L. Akin, and I have found them to be invaluable for teaching, preaching, and understanding the theology taught in God’s Word. For anyone interested in the study of Theology, I would recommend them in a heartbeat. Aside from the aforementioned volumes, I have also invested in Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology by purchasing the first three volumes, and I am currently buying the fourth.

Geisler’s Systematic Theology is NOT for studying Theology; it is a tool to be used for studying Apologetics. Comparing Geisler’s work to Grudem’s (or any of the other authors mentioned throughout the comments) is not an accurate comparison. It is, as the saying goes, comparing apples to oranges. If you want an apple, go buy an apple. If you want an orange, then go and buy an orange. If you want an apple and go buy an orange then you will be disappointed. For example, one of the commenters stated “I actually thought about getting Geisler for a more modern Reformed systematic text.” I do not know why anybody desiring this would consider Geisler’s Systematic Theology when it was written for Apologetics, and furthermore, Geisler is not Reformed. If that particular commenter was to purchase Geisler, then there would be disappointment. If you are seeking to engage in dialogue with Atheists, Agnostics, or any other skeptic, then Geisler’s work is a must. If you are seeking to engage in theology, then no, Geisler’s work will not help you.

And to the author of the article, I am sorry for your experience with “Steve Kinney” that you feel that you were potentially deceived. However, I do want to point out just one thing. Notice that he said (whether true or not) that he was “adjunct professor of philosophy.” He claimed to be a professor of PHILOSOPHY not an “adjunct professor of THEOLOGY.” That is probably why he recommended it. I have been in Apologetics for ten years. I love Geisler’s first three volumes. I have several friends who are in Apologetic ministries, and several of them own Geisler’s complete set, I have heard very little negative from them.

So, if you are wanting something in Theology, then go a purchase Reymond, Akin, or
Grudem. However, if you are wanting something in Apologetics, then you need to go and get Jonathan Wells, William Dembski, Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, and most definitely Norman Geisler.