Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 1: Revelation and God

By Joel R. Beeke, Paul M. Smalley

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Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 1: Revelation and God

By Joel R. Beeke, Paul M. Smalley

... Show All

The church needs good theology that engages the head, heart, and hands.

The first volume in a 4-volume work combines rigorous historical and theological scholarship with application and practicality—characterized by an accessible, Reformed, and experiential approach.

This volume explores the first 2 of 8 central themes of theology: revelation and God. Each of the 55 chapters exegetes, expounds, and applies key portions of Scripture that lie at the heart of each doctrine discussed, and encourages engagement and worship through study questions and suggested hymns for response. The authors also draw upon the writings of church history throughout the ages, and interact with differing points of view. The result is a comprehensive yet accessible systematic theology of the Reformed Christian faith that ministers to the whole person—head, heart, and hands.

Read Chapter 1


Joel R. Beeke

Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) has written over one hundred books. He is chancellor and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth; the board chairman of Reformation Heritage Books; the president of Inheritance Publishers; and the vice president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society.

Paul M. Smalley

Paul M. Smalley (ThM, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary) is faculty teaching assistant to Joel Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served for twelve years as a pastor in the Baptist General Conference in the midwestern United States.

Product Details

Category: Commentaries & Reference
Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 1312
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 62.49 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-5983-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-5983-9
ISBN-UPC: 9781433559839
Case Quantity: 8
Published: March 31, 2019

Table of Contents


Part 1: Prolegomena: Introduction to Theology and the Doctrine of Revelation

Analytical Outline: Prolegomena

Section A: Introduction to Theology

  1. What Is Theology? Part 1: An Academic Discipline
  2. What Is Theology? Part 2: A Spiritual Discipline
  3. Who Does Theology? Where? When?
  4. Which Theology Do We Do? Part 1: Christian, Catholic, Evangelical
  5. Which Theology Do We Do? Part 2: Reformed: Historical, Confessional, Theological, and Hermeneutical Perspectives
  6. Which Theology Do We Do? Part 3: Reformed: Polemical and Experiential Perspectives
  7. Why Do We Do Theology?
  8. How Do We Do Theology? Part 1: Spiritual Dynamics
  9. How Do We Do Theology? Part 2: Academic Methods

Section B: The Doctrine of Revelation

  1. Theological Fundamentals of Divine Revelation
  2. General Revelation, Part 1: Biblical Teaching
  3. General Revelation, Part 2: Philosophy and Science
  4. General Revelation, Part 3: Natural Theology and Theistic Arguments

Excursus: Some Historical Perspective on Natural Theology and Theistic Proofs

  1. Special Revelation: Biblical Teaching
  2. Errors Regarding Special Revelation, Part 1: Romanism and Liberalism
  3. Errors Regarding Special Revelation, Part 2: Liberalism’s Offspring
  4. The Bible as the Word of God
  5. The Properties of the Written Word, Part 1: Authority and Clarity
  6. The Properties of the Written Word, Part 2: Necessity, Unity, and Efficacy
  7. The Properties of the Written Word, Part 3: Inerrant Veracity
  8. The Properties of the Written Word, Part 4: Objections to Inerrancy
  9. The Properties of the Written Word, Part 5: Sufficiency
  10. The Cessation of Special Revelation, Part 1: Charismatic Continuationism
  11. The Cessation of Special Revelation, Part 2: Prophecy Today
  12. Applied Revelation for Practical Fruit

Part 2: Theology Proper: The Doctrine of God

Analytical Outline: Theology Proper

Section A: The Doctrine of God’s Triune Glory

  1. Introduction: The True Knowledge of God
  2. Introduction to God’s Nature and Attributes, Part 1: Biblical Teaching
  3. Introduction to God’s Nature and Attributes, Part 2: Theological Issues
  4. The Name of “the Lord” (YHWH)
  5. The Holiness of the Lord
  6. Gods That Are Not God
  7. God’s Spirituality
  8. God’s Simplicity: “The Lord Our God Is One Lord”
  9. God’s Infinity, Part 1: Incomprehensibility, Aseity, and Immensity
  10. God’s Infinity, Part 2: Eternity: Infinity with Respect to Time

Excursus: Problems of Time and Eternity

  1. God’s Immutability, Part 1: Biblical Teaching
  2. God’s Immutability, Part 2: Theological Questions
  3. God’s Knowledge, Part 1: Omniscience and Wisdom
  4. God’s Knowledge, Part 2: Foreknowledge
  5. God’s Sovereignty: An Introduction to Omnipotence
  6. God’s Moral Excellence, Part 1: Goodness and Love
  7. God’s Moral Excellence, Part 2: Truth and Righteousness
  8. God’s Moral Excellence, Part 3: Jealousy, Impassibility, and Joy
  9. God’s Moral Excellence, Part 4: Wrath and Compassion
  10. The Trinity, Part 1: Biblical Teaching
  11. The Trinity, Part 2: Historical Development
  12. The Trinity, Part 3: Theological and Practical Considerations

Section B: The Doctrine of God’s Sovereign Purpose

  1. The Decree of God: General Considerations
  2. Predestination, Part 1: Election and Reprobation
  3. Predestination, Part 2: Historical Development through Reformed Orthodoxy
  4. Predestination, Part 3: Questions and Uses
  5. God’s Providence, Part 1: Biblical Teaching
  6. God’s Providence, Part 2: Problems and Applications

Section C: The Doctrine of Angels and Demons

  1. The Holy Angels of God
  2. Satan and the Demons

General Index
Scripture Index


“Some people think Reformed theology is all about doctrine and has little to do with doxology. Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley have proved otherwise. Chapter after chapter of their Reformed Systematic Theology not only takes readers into the depths of our triune God, but also shows what these great truths have to do with the Christian life. No contemporary systematic theology will bring the reader to a greater understanding of how theology blossoms into doxology than this one.”
Matthew Barrett, Professor of Christian Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Simply Trinity and None Greater

“This book splendidly avoids turning systematic theology into something dry, dull, and merely theoretical. It declares without hesitation that the essential prerequisites for doing theology are repentance and regeneration. It is a delightful read because real-life, Christ-focused application permeates its pages.”
Jonathan F. Bayes, UK Director, Carey Outreach Ministries; Pastor, Stanton Lees Chapel, Derbyshire, England; author, Systematics for God’s Glory and The Weakness of the Law

“As is true of Beeke’s recently published work Reformed Preaching, the publication of his Reformed Systematic Theology in collaboration with his gifted assistant, Paul Smalley, is also the ripe fruit of his lifelong engagement as a preacher and as a teacher of preachers. This is not a systematic theology written by an ivory-tower theologian, but rather by a seasoned preacher for whom the doctrines he expounds have become, by the grace of God, an experiential reality.”
Bartel Elshout, Pastor, Heritage Reformed Congregation, Hull, Iowa; translator, The Christian’s Reasonable Service and The Christian’s Only Comfort in Life and Death

“Already the most prolific Reformed author of his generation, Joel Beeke (helped by his theological Barnabas, Paul Smalley) now harvests the fruit of a lifetime of study, reflection, teaching, and writing in this impressive magnum opus. Throughout the centuries, theologians have debated whether systematic theology is an intellectual or practical discipline. Reformed Systematic Theology rightly treats it as both, for the Great Theologian of the church underlined that we cannot love the Lord our God with our mind unless we also love him with heart, soul, and strength. Thus, in these pages, doctrine leads to doxology and also to further enquiry. Each locus is expounded biblically, is understood ‘together with all the saints,’ and leads to practical implications and applications, with psalms, hymns of praise, and probing questions for further reflection. This is catechesis at its best, in the great tradition of Augustine, Anselm, and Calvin, where ‘faith seeks understanding’ and leads to worship and obedience. Here is a major contribution to the education of theological students, but also a work for preachers to have close by as a constant go-to resource, and indeed for every Christian family to own and frequently consult. While today it may seem that ‘of the making of systematic theologies there is no end,’ Reformed Systematic Theology makes a distinctive, deeply engaging, and welcome contribution and deserves a place of honor. Many will be grateful to Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley for giving this immensely valuable gift to the twenty-first-century church.”
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries

“Calm theological waters that have deep exegetical currents flow wonderfully through this accessible and highly practical systematic theology. Beeke and Smalley have written a work useful to the church at large that teaches Christians what they should believe and how they should love, but they have not sacrificed academic rigor to achieve these goals.”
J. V. Fesko, Harriet Barbour Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson

“Joel Beeke has continued his decades-long service to Christ and his church by presenting us with his mature reflections on the nature of systematic theology. This text is fully reliable, well written, easily understood, and thoroughly researched. This first volume of four will undoubtedly be a blessing to the church, and I look forward to the following volumes!”
Richard C. Gamble, Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary

“Joel Beeke is a rare gift to the church, a noted Christian leader who combines the skills of a learned theologian, master teacher, noted historian, and yet also a caring pastor. Joined by Paul Smalley, this first volume of Reformed Systematic Theology is a virtual gold mine of biblical doctrine that is systematically arranged, carefully analyzed, historically scrutinized, and pastorally applied. I am not aware of another book quite like this invaluable work.”
Steven J. Lawson, President, OnePassion Ministries; Professor of Preaching, The Master’s Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries

“This account of the doctrines of revelation and of God, built on biblical exegesis, is rich in theological discussion and practical implications. It is very accessible and will be of interest to a wide readership. Beeke and Smalley are to be congratulated, and I look forward to further volumes in the future.”
Robert Letham, Senior Research Fellow, Union School of Theology

“‘Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!’ This expression of praise from Paul’s great doxology is a fitting response to reading this wonderful work of doctrine and devotion. Though the Reformed faith is often caricatured as merely intellectual, this work demonstrates that Reformed theology is also profoundly experiential, as no chapter fails to move from theology to doxology. This resource will instruct the mind and inflame the heart.”
John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; Chancellor, The Master’s University and Seminary

“Although many excellent books on systematic theology have been published in recent years, this new contribution by Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley covers the range of biblical truth in a fresh and unique way. While recognizing the importance of academic scholarship, they insist that what the church needs more than anything is ‘a theology that engages the head, heart, and hands.’ This new systematic theology will be welcomed and appreciated by theologians and laypeople alike as a treasure trove of biblical and Reformed doctrine.”
Cornelis (Neil) Pronk, Emeritus Minister, Free Reformed Church, Brantford, Ontario

“This comprehensively argued book faithfully exposes error and guides the reader in the God- honoring path to right living and eternal happiness. Few are the books in our day that fix our eye firmly on God and his truth. But here is one book that does just that. I commend it heartily as a God-honoring and life-changing volume of real biblical theology.”
Maurice Roberts, Former Editor, The Banner of Truth magazine; author, The Thought of God and The Mysteries of God

“Here is truth presented to make you think, pray, and sing. This is theology functioning as it ought to function—calling us to worship. You will not need to agree with the authors at every point to believe and to hope that this, and its sister volumes, will serve Christ’s church well in our generation and for generations to come.”
Jeremy Walker, Pastor, Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, UK; author, Life in Christ; Anchored in Grace; and A Face Like a Flint