While we’re waiting for Packer’s Systematic Theology, here’s a bite-size version to bide your time.
Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs, published 20 years ago, is the book I give to budding theologians, and one which I still frequently read.
The book is divided into four main sections: 1.) God Revealed as Creator, 2.) God Revealed as Redeemer , 3.) God Revealed as Lord of Grace, and 4.) God Revealed as Lord of Destiny. There are 94 chapters, but each chapter is only 2-3 pages long. It’s simple and highly readable (without being simplistic).
In the Preface, Packer describes the book as “Reformational and evangelical, and as such, so I maintain, historic and classic mainstream.” (p. xi)
These short studies of great subjects feel to me…rather like the lightning tours of England that enterprising bus companies run for American visitors (fifteen minutes at Stonehenge, two hours in Oxford, theatre and overnight in Stratford, an hour and a half in York, an afternoon in the Lake District—phew!). Each chapter is a mere sketchy note. Yet I dare to hope that my compressed material, Packer-packed as it is, might expand in readers’ minds to lift their hearts Godward, in the way that a different form of hot air lifts balloons and their passengers skyward. We shall see.
20 years later, Packer’s premonitions have proved true. If you don’t own it, as a seminary professor of mine was fond of saying, “sell the shirt off your back and get it!”
However, if you’re looking for something more substantive, this forthcoming Systematic Theology looks stellar.