Doctrine of God: Recommended Reading

from Nov 17, 2009 Category: Articles

Does God exist, and if so, what is He like? Has God revealed Himself, and can we know Him? The answers to these perennial questions are vitally important for every human being to understand. Since the time of creation, believers have contemplated the nature and attributes of God, not in order that they may merely know more about God, but that they may know God Himself. There are a number of good books on the doctrine of God. The following are among the best.

Theology Proper

Stephen Charnock — The Existence and Attributes of God (1682)
This classic Puritan work is a goldmine of wisdom and reflection on the attributes of God. It has been said that his chapter on the goodness of God has never been surpassed.

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Herman Bavinck — God and Creation (1906-11)
Herman Bavinck’s four volume Gereformeerde Dogmatiek is a landmark work in Reformed systematic theology. Bavinck’s work has been enormously influential. The section of his work on the doctrine of God has been available for many years in English translation. It is now also available in volume 2 of the new English translation of the Reformed Dogmatics.

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Christopher Kaiser — The Doctrine of God (1982)
This brief college level text provides a helpful historical introduction to the subject outlining the basic tenets of theology proper and tracing the history of Christian reflection about God, His existence and attributes.

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R.C. Sproul — Discovering the God Who Is (1987)
Teaching people about the character of our God is Dr. Sproul’s passion, and in this lay level book, he explains the existence and attributes of God in clear language that anyone can follow and understand.

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Gerald Bray — The Doctrine of God (1993)
A college level text that wrestles with the great questions of theology proper. Bray examines the biblical teaching as well as the way classic and contemporary theologians have understood the biblical teaching.

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John Frame — The Doctrine of God (2002)
John Frame’s work is a massive (864 page), contemporary Reformed treatment of the doctrine of God. Frame deals with God’s attributes and acts and concludes with a lengthy discussion of the Trinity.

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The Doctrine of the Trinity

Peter Toon — Our Triune God: A Biblical Portrayal of the Trinity (1996)
A helpful introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity by a conservative Anglican theologian.

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James White — The Forgotten Trinity (1998)
Another helpful introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity, this time by a conservative Reformed Baptist.

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Thomas F. Torrance — The Christian Doctrine of God (2002)
Those doing advanced level study of the subject will want to examine Torrance’s work. He is cited often in the works of other scholars, including Reformed theologians such as Robert Letham and Douglas Kelly. Torrance was heavily influenced by Barth, so readers should use discernment. This book is very helpful in many areas. Some of his other books are completely off track.

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E. Calvin Beisner — God in Three Persons (2004)
A helpful introduction to the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.

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Bruce Ware — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance (2005)
A good introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity by a Reformed Baptist.

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Robert Letham — The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology And Worship (2005)
Letham’s book is probably the best overall treatment of the doctrine of the Trinity currently available.

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History of the Doctrine

R.P.C. Hanson — The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God (1988)
This massive scholarly work traces every detail of the Arian controversy from A.D. 318 - 381. There are extensive discussions of the events and debates leading up to the councils of Nicea and Constantinople. A helpful, if difficult, book.

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Articles in this Recommended Reading series: Systematic TheologiesDoctrine of ScriptureDoctrine of GodDoctrine of the Works of GodDoctrine of Man and Sin.