Book Review: Handbook of Basic Bible Texts by John Jefferson Davis

Great Resource for Bible Students – Especially those who Teach God’s Word

John Jefferson Davis, professor of Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has provided a very practical resource for Bible Students who desire to check out what the Bible has to say on the various aspects of Systematic Theology (what the whole Bible has to say on a given topic/doctrine).

Each chapter in the book includes a major subject of the Bible followed by a brief introduction; all the relevant verses on the topic in sequential order; brief theological comments on most of the verses; and recommended resources for each subject at the end of each chapter.

Here are the Subjects Covered in the Book:

1)    Scripture – Verbal inspiration and Inerrancy.

2)    God – His existence; Divine attributes – Metaphysical & Moral; The Trinity, and Election (verses supported by both Calvinists and Arminians).

3)    Creation.

4)    Providence – Nature, World History, and Personal Circumstances.

5)    Person of Christ – Humanity and Divinity; Divine Titles; Divine Attributes or Qualities; Divine Actions and Prerogatives; etc.

6)    Man – Man’s Original State; Aspects of Human Nature (Trichotomy and Dichotomy); Man in the State of Sin (Original Sin; Personal Sin, Manifestations and Consequences of Sin.

7)    Work of Christ – Preaching, Teaching, Miracles; Obedience; Death; Resurrection; and Ascension.

8)    Salvation and the Christian Life – Calling and Regeneration; Repentance and Faith; Justification; Sanctification (Wesleyan, Reformed, Pentecostal Distinctives); Perseverance (Reformed and Wesleyan/Arminian Views).

9)    The Church – Nature of the Church; Government of the Church; Mission of the Church.

10) Sacraments – Baptism (General Texts; Believer’s Baptism; Infant Baptism); Lord’s Supper (General Texts, Lutheran, Reformed, and Zwinglian Views).

11) Individual Eschatology – Death and the Intermediate State

12) General Eschatology – The Second Coming of Christ; Millenial Views (all four major views); The General Resurrection; The Final Judgment; The Eternal State.

As a teacher, preacher, disciple maker, mentor, counselor, and life coach for Christ – I find myself coming to this book over and over again to provide just the right verse/s for my understanding and instruction on a particular topic. I like the fact that Davis allows you to formulate your doctrine based on the Biblical evidence. It is more helpful than a concordance in that theological truths are taught throughout the Bible without using theological words (e.g. “Trinity;” “pre-millennial”; etc.) I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

*John Jefferson Davis is Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he has taught since 1975. He is an ordained Presbyterian pastor.

Author: lifecoach4God

I am the Lead Pastor of Valley Baptist Church (Bay Area), born and raised in Huntington Beach, Ca., and currently living in Novato, California. I am married to my best friend of 29 years - Dana - and have five adult children; and seven grand children. I have been a Teaching Pastor for over thirty years. I was privileged to study at Multnomah University (B.S. - 1988); Talbot School of Theology (M.Div. - 1991); Westminster Theological Seminary & Northwest Graduate School (D. Min. - 2003). I founded Vertical Living Ministries in 2008 with the goal of encouraging Christian Disciples and Leaders to be more intentionally Christ-Centered in how they live by bringing glory to God in nine key areas of life: (1) Intimacy with God, (2) marriage, (3) family, (4) friendship, (5) vocationally/ministry , (6) emotional and physical health, (7) stewardship of resources, (8) discipleship, and (9) mentoring.

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