Theological Clarity and Application is an interactive curriculum of the book, Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005) written by Wayne A. Grudem and edited by Elliot Grudem. Christian Beliefs (160 pages) is a condensed version of Grudem’s book, Bible Doctrine (528 pages), and that itself is a condensed version of Grudem’s award-winning Systematic Theology (1,290 pages).
This guide is designed to equip Christians in the core beliefs of Bible doctrine in preparation for church leadership or to help new Christians to distinguish truth from error. This guide can be used to prepare elders, deacons, small group leaders, Sunday School teachers and all those who want to learn more about maturing in their Christian faith and becoming equipped to give a gentle and respectful answer to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15). An instructor in a class or small group or in a one to one environment can facilitate the questions or it can be utilized as a self-study or as a tool to equip a family in Biblical doctrine.
Theological Clarity and Application seeks to preserve the contents of Grudem’s Christian Beliefs by using questions to stimulate further understanding and application. The participants in this curriculum would benefit by first reading each chapter in Christian Beliefs before answering questions in the workbook. It is also highly recommended to have a respected study Bible and a copy of Grudem’s Systematic Theology available for reference.
Each chapter of this guide corresponds to the chapters in Christian Beliefs. At the end of each section, a prayer text and Scripture memory is included. Additionally, a reference to the corresponding chapters and supplementary readings in Grudem’s Systematic Theology are included as well as further readings by noted conservative scholars and authors who contribute to the specific topic covered in the chapter.
This material is not something that should be rushed through to complete. It is like a refrigerated locker full of meat that must be eaten slowly and systematically one meal at a time, allowing ample time to chew and digest the information and ideally to savor with others. One can complete the study in 20 weeks by covering one chapter a week or complete it in 40 weeks (approximately one school year) by covering one chapter every two weeks. The latter allows for a deeper reading of the accompanying Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.
This new version is now copyrighted by Zondervan Corporation who graciously continue to allow it to be downloaded free.
“This is a fantastic resource to theologically develop Christian leaders. Biblical, simple, practical, and helpful.”
Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church
Founder of Resurgence, Lead Visionary of Acts 29
“To provide compelling leadership for our churches, we need more than good intentions. We need strong theology. In Theological Clarity and Application Scott Thomas has provided us all with a rich resource as we grow together. I commend his work enthusiastically.”
Dr. Ray Ortlund
Immanuel Church, Nashville
“Leaders in Christ’s church today must have more than a superficial knowledge of the faith. If they are to help churches contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, they must be steeped in Scripture and deep in theological insight. Scott Thomas has provided a remarkable guide to assist leaders in their theological growth.”
Dr. Alvin L. Reid
Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry
Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“An insightful and practical training manual that helps make systematic theology accessible for men who aspire to the office of elder.”
Dr. Darrin Patrick
Vice President, Acts 29 Network
Pastor of The Journey Church St. Louis
“Paul’s first piece of advice to his hand-picked church planter Titus was to get elders in the churches in Crete. Church planters often ignore this advice to get many other important things done. This shouldn’t be. Scott Thomas has given us a valuable tool to help us develop men that “hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught” and are “able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). I look forward to using this book to develop elders to do those things.”
Editor of Christian Beliefs
Acts 29 Network Coordinator
“Scott Thomas’s guide to Grudem’s Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know, will undoubtedly stimulate discussion about these key doctrines and help drive home their importance to both new and mature Christians, church leaders and members, young and old alike. His questions are razor-sharp and don’t shy away from difficulties and mysteries provoked by these cardinal Christian beliefs.
Dr. Gregg R. Allison
Professor of Christian Theology
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
“With this resource, Scott Thomas provides a clear and helpful way to prepare believers for dealing with the difficult doctrinal environment of our day. In this simple but effective guide, the leaders and members of your church can be challenged to deepen their understanding of biblical doctrine through serious study and meaningful conversations.”
Dr. Ed Stetzer
President of LifeWay Research