Daniel Allen (Strandtown church)

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

A review of the Wayne Grudem book "Christian Beliefs", originally published in the ABCI Insight magazine.

Over the next few months at GBC we are looking at the "Basics" of Christian Beliefs.  We have been recommending the book "Christian beliefs" by Wayne Grundem to accompany this series of talks on Sunday Evenings. This is a book review by a member of the Strandtown church, Daniel Allen, that will shed some light on the books content. 


If you have ever come across Wayne Grudem’s book Systematic Theology, you will know that it is a long book (1,264 pages) but also a great reference book for essential Christian doctrine. In Christian Beliefs – a significantly shorter book (190 pages) - Grudem gives a concise breakdown of Systematic Theology. He explains basic Christian doctrine in bite-size chunks that can be read (and re-read) in a few sittings.

Christian Beliefs should be recommended reading for all those engaged in discipling others i.e., all Christians! Whether you are a recent convert or a more mature Christian, this book has a lot to teach regarding the core beliefs of the faith we all hold dear. There are three ways I think Grudem achieves this in the book:

1. Grudem affirms essential and primary doctrine. Each chapter presents a question, which he proceeds to answer and explain based on what the Bible teaches. Some of what he describes may be well known to many, but it is useful to have it clarified in simple terms. Equally, he explains more difficult to understand doctrine (e.g., ‘What is Election?’) in an accessible and applicable way. As the book’s title suggests, these twenty basics are vital for all believers to know and understand. The questions at the end of each chapter make this a great book for Bible Study groups or one-to-one discipleship.

2. He uses Scripture throughout the book to show evidence for the twenty separate questions that he answers in the book. He begins in chapter one by asking, ‘What is the Bible?’ before using scriptural references throughout the book. What is particularly helpful is how he specifically quotes Scripture at various parts to get a point across as opposed to using his own words.

3. He gives the foundations of the Christian faith that help both the recent convert and mature Christian alike. He does this in a concise manner but also with much application for daily Christian living. He gives assured evidence from Scripture for primary points of doctrine eg., the Trinity, whilst also laying out various interpretations for some secondary issues eg., millennial views.

From Creation to the new Heavens and new earth, Grudem provides readers with the foundation for their faith and understanding. He explains that basic doctrine needs to be more than head knowledge; instead it must transform our hearts. In the book’s preface, Grudem summarises the impact understanding basic doctrine has on believers. He writes, ‘Christians who have a solid foundation will be mature, will not be easily led astray, will have better judgement, and will have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil
(Heb. 5:14).

Purchase this book on the GBC Bookstall at https://greenislandbaptist.com/bookstall/

This review was originally published in the ABCI Insight Magazine and reproduced with permission. Review by Daniel Allen (Standtown Baptist and former IBC Student).
For more reviews, News and articles, subscribe to the Insight magazine by contacting our Magazine secretary, Nigel McQuillan at nigel.mcquillan@greenislandbaptist.com or check out https://www.irishbaptist.org/blog/insight-magazine/