I need to admit something up front: I’m a nerd. I love video games (like Zelda), I watch some science fiction (like Star Wars), and I love reading theology books (just for fun). Because I am a seminary student, I have read multiple systematic theology books in their entirety, as well as sections of many other theology books. That being said, The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns is one of the best theology books available.
The Moody Handbook of Theology is more than a systematic theology book. It is an introduction to various branches of theology. The book is divided into five sections: biblical theology, systematic theology, historical theology, dogmatic theology, and contemporary theology. Enns explains each branch of theology and presents the reader with the diversity within each branch of theology.
The book has many strengths, but I will just list a few. First, the book is well organized. If the reader is looking for a specific theological teaching, the beliefs of a specific theological system, or the views of church leaders in a specific time period, he or she can easily locate the desired information. Second, the book contains a wide range of information. As noted earlier, Enns does not limit himself to one approach to theology. Instead, he incorporates multiple approaches. This is very helpful, especially to those unfamiliar with the different approaches to theology. Finally, Enns generally does a good job of presenting both sides (or more) of an issue. At times, it is difficult to discern where Enns is on an issue, so his writing doesn’t appear overly bias.
The only criticism of the book is the lack of depth in certain areas. If the reader is looking to be introduced to an issue or given a brief overview, this books is perfect. If they are looking to dive deep, they will probably need to purchase a book dedicated to that issue or branch of theology. This being said, the book is still a must-have for theology students and those interested in learning more about theology.
*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive view.