by Michael F. Bird
Michael F. Bird is a professor at Ridley Melbourne in Australia, and this book is his attempt to write a systematic theology book for evangelicals. At the beginning of the book, Bird describes himself as an “ex-Baptist post-Presbyterian Anglican” (23), and his theological leanings are 1) a follower of Christ, 2) evangelical, and 3) Reformed (23-24). I appreciated Bird laying his cards on the table at the beginning of the book, and the book certainly seems to be consistent with the theological traditions that Bird mentioned.
I really enjoyed the layout of this book. Each major theological topic was broken down into smaller sections, making the book extremely easy to read. I also enjoyed the small pieces of humor throughout the book. Every several chapters, Bird included stories or jokes related to the theological topic to help break up the “seriousness” of the book. I thought this was unique in a theology book, and I appreciated it (even the lame ones!). The other thing I really enjoyed about this theology book was the author’s interaction with other theologians. Bird interacted with ancient and modern theologians, which was very helpful. For these reasons (among others), this theology book is a must-have for everyone interested in theology.
It should be noted that there were definitely areas of disagreement between the author and myself. This is inevitable, though, when writing a theology book. Very seldom with two Christians agree on every single area of evangelical theology. Even when I disagreed, I appreciated his explanation of his viewpoint and learned from it. I believe this book will become very popular and will benefit seminary students and Christians who are interested in theology.