Choose Your Own Systematic Theology Adventure

February 19, 2014 — 6 Comments


In light of James Anderson’s recent book, What’s Your Worldview, I began thinking how the “Choose Your Own Adventure” genre could be applied elsewhere. He does an excellent job of using a variant of that genre to help readers diagnose their worldview. I wondered how a similar idea might be applied to studying systematic theology, and then it hit me.

What if you took books like Zondervan’s Counterpoint, and read them in such a way that it traced a journey through the terrain of systematic theology in non-linear fashion.

These books could be a good starting point, for several reasons. First, because of the stand-alone nature, these books offer a good window into various theological discussions. The subjects that most interest you can be read first. Second, they present extended expositions of opposing views, giving you the reader the opportunity to decide which position you find most convincing. Third, your overall understanding of many significant issues would be more developed by seeing the different positions available, something done to an extent in some systematic theologies, but ultimately the writer has his view and explains it the best.

The downside would be that you can’t actually get through all the various intricacies of the doctrines in a systematic theology in this fashion. But, you can get a pretty good running start, especially since right now Zondervan is running their Counterpoints series on sale for $3.99. To help organize your adventure choosing, I used the various doctrinal headings of a systematic theology and organized the different Counterpoint books into their appropriate location. I took the liberty to add in IVP’s Spectrum Multiview books as well (noted in parenthesis and not on sale). As you can see, you can cover a lot of ground choosing your own adventure through the landscape of systematic theology

Theological Method

Doctrine of The Word of God

Doctrine of God

Doctrine of Man/Creation

Doctrine of Salvation

Doctrine of The Church/Spiritual Life

Doctrine of Last Things


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I’m an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let’s connect!

6 responses to Choose Your Own Systematic Theology Adventure

  1. That’s a cool idea, and would serve as a great introduction into the various theological debates.

    As someone who works with students in the church, I want to show students that there are several sides to each debate, and that those on all sides are still Christian. Perhaps this is a way to do it. Thanks!

  2. This is great

  3. Thanks for the idea Nate.

  4. Hi Nate!

    I came across your blogpost while randomly browsing for books to buy.
    I have been considering to buy the Spectrum Multiview Series for sometime now. But, then earlier today I came across Zondervan’s take on similar issues through the Cpounterpoint series.

    If you don’t mind me asking, which series would you recommend for a person who is wanting to dive into & explore the various views presented?

    • It really just depends on the particular topic you have in mind. Some are only covered by Spectrum and some by Counterpoint, but most are covered in both. Do you have a place in mind you want to start?

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