What if there were a short book you could refer to about Christian theology that was to the point, Biblical, answered your questions, even the weird ones about angels and predestination. Why doesn’t someone write something like this? Because it has already been written!
I was sitting in a meeting (two actually) with small group leaders and I mentioned the book Concise Theology by J. I. Packer, assuming everyone would know this book. Most people didn’t. I blame myself really, I have obviously have not done a good enough job talking it up. So let me correct myself.
Let me be crystal clear. This is a book that every Christian should own.
James Innell Packer is a great gift to the Christian community through the twentieth century. He is a prolific author most famous for Knowing God, which began life as a series of articles for Christianity Today magazine. More recently his book Rediscovering Holiness made the top of my book list last year. For more about Packer, I recommend the Alistar McGrath biography called To Know and Serve God.
Despite his extensive writing ministry, in Concise Theology he has managed to boil down key Christian ideas into readable 2-4 pages. This means 94 topics are covered in 267 pages. Of course, this means that you may not want to read the book back to back. Rather it is the book you pick up to look at and think “I wonder what X means?”. Yet despite the conciseness of the book Packer has packed in (his pun, not mine!) a huge number of Bible references for follow up.
I cannot recommend this book enough!