Concise Theology

By J. I. Packer

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Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket

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Concise Theology

By J. I. Packer

... Show All

A Concise Introduction to Biblical Doctrine

"Theology is for doxology and devotion—that is,
the praise of God and the practice of godliness.”
From the Preface

Theology is important for the Christian life. And though it is marked by many complex terms and doctrines, there is yet what J. I. Packer calls “the permanent essentials of Christianity.” This concise introduction to these essential doctrines distills theological truths so both scholar and layperson alike can grow to treasure the unchanging pillars of the Christian faith.

Each of the ninety-four chapters explores a different doctrine in a way that is easy to understand and rooted in historic Reformed teaching. As you learn more about the foundational teachings of the faith, you will grow in the knowledge of God and will worship him as your Creator, Redeemer, and sovereign Lord.


J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer (1926–2020) served as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He authored numerous books, including the classic bestseller Knowing God. Packer also served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

Product Details

Category: Theology
Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 304
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 16.99 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6954-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6954-8
ISBN-UPC: 9781433569548
Case Quantity: 40
Published: August 04, 2020

Table of Contents

Publisher's Foreword

Part 1: God Revealed as Creator
Chapter 1: Revelation: Scripture Is the Word of God
Chapter 2: Interpretation: Christians Can Understand the Word of God
Chapter 3: General Revelation: God’s Reality Is Known to All
Chapter 4: Guilt: The Effect of General Revelation
Chapter 5: Inward Witness: Scripture Is Authenticated by the Holy Spirit
Chapter 6: Authority: God Governs His People through Scripture
Chapter 7: Knowledge: True Knowledge of God Comes through Faith
Chapter 8: Creation: God Is the Creator
Chapter 9: Self-Disclosure: This Is My Name
Chapter 10: Self-Existence: God Has Always Been
Chapter 11: Transcendence: God’s Nature Is Spiritual
Chapter 12: Omniscience: God Sees and Knows
Chapter 13: Sovereignty: God Reigns
Chapter 14: Almightiness: God Is Omnipresent and Omnipotent
Chapter 15: Predestination: God Has a Purpose
Chapter 16: Trinity: God Is One and Three
Chapter 17: Holiness: God Is Light
Chapter 18: Goodness: God Is Love
Chapter 19: Wisdom: God’s Twofold Will Is One
Chapter 20: Mystery: God Is Surpassingly Great
Chapter 21: Providence: God Governs This World
Chapter 22: Miracles: God Shows His Presence and Power
Chapter 23: Glory: God’s Glory-Showing Requires Glory-Giving
Chapter 24: Idolatry: God Demands Total Allegiance
Chapter 25: Angels: God Employs Supernatural Agents
Chapter 26: Demons: God Has Supernatural Opponents
Chapter 27: Satan: Fallen Angels Have a Leader
Chapter 28: Humanness: God Made Human Beings in His Image
Chapter 29: Humankind: Humans Are Body and Soul, in Two Genders

Part 2: God Revealed as Redeemer
Chapter 30: The Fall: The First Human Couple Sinned
Chapter 31: Original Sin: Depravity Infects Everyone
Chapter 32: Inability: Fallen Human Beings Are Both Free and Enslaved
Chapter 33: Covenant: God Takes Sinful Humans into a Covenant of Grace
Chapter 34: Law: God Legislates, and Demands Obedience
Chapter 35: Law in Action: God’s Moral Law Has Three Purposes
Chapter 36: Conscience: God Teaches and Cleanses the Heart
Chapter 37: Worship: God Gives a Liturgical Pattern
Chapter 38: Prophets: God Sent Messengers to Declare His Will
Chapter 39: Incarnation: God Sent His Son to Save Us
Chapter 40: Two Natures: Jesus Christ Is Fully Human
Chapter 41: Virgin Birth: Jesus Christ Was Born by Miracle
Chapter 42: Teacher: Jesus Christ Proclaimed God’s Kingdom and Family
Chapter 43: Sinlessness: Jesus Christ Was Entirely Free from Sin
Chapter 44: Obedience: Jesus Christ Fulfilled His Father’s Redemptive Will
Chapter 45: Vocation: Jesus Christ’s Mission Was Revealed at His Baptism
Chapter 46: Transfiguration: How Jesus Christ’s Glory Was Revealed
Chapter 47: Resurrection: Jesus Christ Was Raised from the Dead
Chapter 48: Ascension: Jesus Christ Was Taken Up into Heaven
Chapter 49: Session: Jesus Reigns in Heaven
Chapter 50: Mediation: Jesus Christ Is the Mediator between God and Man
Chapter 51: Sacrifice: Jesus Christ Made Atonement for Sin
Chapter 52: Definite Redemption: Jesus Christ Died for God’s Elect

Part 3: God Revealed as Lord of Grace
Chapter 53: Paraclete: The Holy Spirit Ministers to Believers
Chapter 54: Salvation: Jesus Rescues His People from Sin
Chapter 55: Election: God Chooses His Own
Chapter 56: Effectual Calling: God Draws His People to Himself
Chapter 57: Illumination: The Holy Spirit Gives Spiritual Understanding
Chapter 58: Regeneration: The Christian Is Born Again
Chapter 59: Works: Good Works Are an Expression of Faith
Chapter 60: Repentance: A Christian Changes Radically
Chapter 61: Justification: Salvation Is by Grace through Faith
Chapter 62: Adoption: God Makes His People His Children
Chapter 63: Sanctification: The Christian Grows in Grace
Chapter 64: Liberty: Salvation Brings Freedom
Chapter 65: Legalism: Working for God’s Favor Forfeits It
Chapter 66: Antinomianism: We Are Not Set Free to Sin
Chapter 67: Love: Loving Is Basic to Christian Behavior
Chapter 68: Hope: Hoping Is Basic to the Christian Outlook
Chapter 69: Enterprise: A Christian Lives to Please God
Chapter 70: Prayer: Christians Practice Fellowship with God
Chapter 71: Oaths and Vows: Christians Must Be Truthful
Chapter 72: The Kingdom of God: Christians Must Manifest Kingdom Life
Chapter 73: Apostles: Jesus’s Representatives Exercised His Authority
Chapter 74: Church: God Plants His People in a New Community
Chapter 75: Word and Sacrament: How a Genuine Church Is Identified
Chapter 76: Elders: Pastors Must Care for the Church
Chapter 77: Sacraments: Christ Instituted Two Seals of God’s Covenant
Chapter 78: Baptism: This Rite Exhibits Union with Christ
Chapter 79: The Lord’s Supper: This Rite Exhibits Communion with Christ
Chapter 80: Discipline: The Church Must Uphold Christian Standards
Chapter 81: Mission: Christ Sends the Church into the World
Chapter 82: Spiritual Gifts: The Holy Spirit Equips the Church
Chapter 83: Marriage: Matrimony Is Meant to Be a Permanent Covenant Relationship
Chapter 84: The Family: The Christian Household Is a Spiritual Unit
Chapter 85: The World: Christians Are in Society to Serve and Transform It
Chapter 86: The State: Christians Must Respect Civil Government

Part 4: God Revealed as Lord of Destiny
Chapter 87: Perseverance: God Keeps His People Safe
Chapter 88: Unpardonable Sin: Only Impenitence Cannot Be Forgiven
Chapter 89: Mortality: Christians Need Not Fear Death
Chapter 90: Second Coming: Jesus Christ Will Return to the Earth in Glory
Chapter 91: General Resurrection: The Dead in Christ Will Rise in Glory
Chapter 92: Judgment Seat: God Will Judge All Mankind
Chapter 93: Hell: The Wicked Will Be Banished into Endless Misery
Chapter 94: Heaven: God Will Welcome His People into Everlasting Joy

General Index
Scripture Index


“J. I. Packer’s Concise Theology is the best simple guide to Christian doctrine that I know. Because it is systematic, precise, and saturated with Scripture, I often use this book to introduce young people and new believers to the basics of their faith.”
Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

“J. I. Packer has the gift to write theology that is simple without being superficial. Concise Theology puts the food on the bottom shelf where we can reach it, but to our delight, it is not sugar cookies but steak and potatoes for the soul.”
Joel R. Beeke, Chancellor and Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; Pastor, Heritage Reformed Congregation, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Concise Theology is poetry to Christian ears: the best words in the best order about the best news there is—the gospel of grace poured out in Jesus Christ. Packer here sets forth with lucid brevity everything Christians need to know to become biblically literate and to grow in wisdom and understanding. Doctrine and doxology here walk hand in hand. I am delighted to see this new edition, for Packer’s description of the ‘permanent essentials’ of the Christian faith remains as relevant today as when this book was first published.”
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“J. I. Packer is one of our greatest theologians and he does something remarkable in this classic compendium: he illuminates the deep things of God in lucid language that makes sense. I have had this volume at hand for nearly three decades, and I welcome this new edition.”
Timothy George, Distinguished Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“Although this book was published decades ago, its introduction to Christian theology remains focused, clear, and especially valuable for its deep immersion in the biblical record. J. I. Packer's ‘concise theology’ is, as he states forthrightly, reformational and evangelical, which means that some readers will be Bereans checking the Scriptures to see ‘if these things are so.’ All, however, should find the book valuable for illumination and understanding but even more for doxology and devotion.”
Mark Noll, Research Professor of History, Regent College; author, America’s Book: The Rise and Decline of a Bible Civilization, 1794–1911