The way we live is rooted in what we believe - our faith and knowledge. Theology (the study of God), or more specifically, systematic theology (the categorizing of teaching according to broad topics covered in the throughout Bible), must be done in personal faith, humility, and with the motive of magnifying God’s greatness by rightly handling the entire Bible as a whole. Daryl Aaron wrote Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day so that we can “dangle our toes in the deep ocean of the amazing things of God”.
Writing from an evangelical perspective, Daryl Aaron breaks down the main doctrines of the Christian faith by removing the scholarly lingo and illustrating them on a practical level . Each doctrine is addressed in a chapter formatted as down-to-earth questions, like: why should we believe that Jesus Christ is God, did Jesus die for everyone, and what is original sin? Each doctrine is summarized in 4-5 pages. On specific doctrines where opinions vary throughout the different denominations of Christianity (like views on baptism, the Lord’s supper, government of the church, Calvinism versus Arminianism- plus effectively describing what these terms mean), he provides the reasoning behind the beliefs along with strengths and weaknesses in Scripture. But don’t expect too much in 4-5 pages. It’s just enough information to get your feet wet.
While Daryl Aaron claims to attempt to mute his own theological convictions, he admits they bleed through in a few places, evidenced with words like “but it seems that...”. Still, he seems to do a fairly good job representing various theological views and providing the basis for belief on those that he may not hold himself. On the issue of eternal security versus the ability for one to lose their salvation, he confesses that he can’t remain silent on controversial issues that he believes contradict Scripture (p. 166). I didn’t have a problem with the infrequent assertion of his opinions, maybe because I was also in agreement – much in align with my own beliefs and with the master’s level systematic theology classes I soaked up in seminary.
This book has many potential uses – a guide to understanding the Christian faith, a refresher for a seminary grad, a devotional book, or as Bible study material for a group. I think that every believer should become familiar with the teachings of the Christian faith explored in this easy-to-read guide – and it only takes 15 minutes a day in 40 days. I believe Daryl Aaron achieves the goal of whetting our appetites for knowing God better and as the supreme and priceless treasure.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.