Reformed Systematic Theology: Revelation and God (Volume 1) by Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley is a theological masterpiece that delves deep into the heart of Reformed theology. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of the foundations of Reformed Christian belief, and it is a true gift to those who desire to plumb the depths of God’s revelation.

In this first volume of their Reformed Systematic Theology series, Beeke and Smalley demonstrate their expertise in the field of Reformed theology. Their work is not just an academic endeavor but a labor of love, written with a pastoral heart that resonates with anyone seeking a robust theological framework.

The book’s structure is systematic, allowing readers to explore the core tenets of the Reformed faith methodically. Beeke and Smalley meticulously navigate through each topic, providing profound insights and biblical references along the way. One of the book’s strengths is its emphasis on the sovereignty of God and the importance of His revelation to humanity. It demonstrates how the Reformed tradition upholds the Scriptures as the ultimate source of divine revelation. Beeke and Smalley explain, “Reformed theology is grounded in the conviction that God has chosen to reveal Himself through His Word” (p. 63). This unyielding commitment to the authority of Scripture is foundational to the Reformed faith and resonates with my own convictions as a Reformed pastor.

Another one of the strengths of this book is its commitment to the authority of Scripture. The authors emphasize the foundational role of divine revelation in shaping Reformed theology. Beeke and Smalley assert, “Reformed systematic theology is rooted in the soil of divine revelation. The Bible is the supreme and final authority for our doctrine and life” (Beeke and Smalley, 16). This commitment to the primacy of Scripture is a defining characteristic of Reformed theology, and the authors continually reference Scripture to underpin their theological arguments.

The authors’ exploration of the doctrine of God is equally impressive. They delve into the attributes of God with meticulous care, offering a profound exploration of His holiness, love, and sovereignty. Beeke and Smalley maintain a delicate balance between scholarly rigor and pastoral sensitivity, making the content accessible to both theologians and lay readers.

The book’s structure is well-organized, making it accessible to both seasoned theologians and those new to Reformed theology. It covers a wide range of theological topics, from the doctrine of God and the nature of revelation to the attributes of God and the divine decrees. Each section is rich with biblical references and historical context, making it a valuable resource for theological study and reflection.

The authors also offer a clear exposition of the Reformed confessions and catechisms. This is an important aspect, especially for those within the Reformed tradition who hold to confessional standards. Beeke and Smalley frequently refer to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Heidelberg Catechism to support their theological assertions. For example, they write, “The Heidelberg Catechism, for instance, provides a helpful summary of the biblical teaching on God’s revelation” (Beeke and Smalley, 97). This approach strengthens the connection between Reformed theology and the historical confessions, ensuring that the book is firmly rooted in the tradition.

One of the book’s highlights is its extensive use of direct quotes from Reformed theologians throughout history. These quotes add depth and richness to the theological discussions. For instance, when exploring the doctrine of God’s attributes, the authors provide insights from theologians like John Calvin, John Owen, and Francis Turretin, allowing readers to engage with the theological giants of the past.

Reformed Systematic Theology: Revelation and God is not only a theological exposition but a spiritual journey. The authors consistently bring the theological truths to bear on the life of believers. They write, “The knowledge of God in theology is designed to lead to the love of God in the heart and life” (Beeke and Smalley, 251). This pastoral emphasis on the practical implications of theology is a testament to the authors’ commitment to equipping the church.

Another notable aspect of “Reformed Systematic Theology” is its practical application. The authors consistently connect doctrinal truths to the everyday life of the believer. This pastoral sensitivity reflects the Reformed tradition’s emphasis on the practical implications of theology. Beeke and Smalley remind us that sound theology should lead to transformed lives.

In conclusion, Reformed Systematic Theology: Revelation and God (Volume 1) by Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley is an essential work for anyone interested in Reformed theology. Its commitment to the authority of Scripture, engagement with historical confessions, and pastoral application make it a valuable resource for both theologians and laypeople. This book is a theological treasure that will continue to inspire and educate for generations to come.

Statement of Compliance:
I want to clarify that I received this book from Baker Academic for the purpose of an unbiased review. I have not been paid to write a positive review. My assessment is entirely based on my genuine impressions.

Title: Reformed Systematic Theology: Revelation and God (Volume 1)

Author: Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley

Publisher: Crossway