The Life of Faith
An influential thinker in the evangelical world for the past half century, Peter Jensen has trained a generation of pastors and theologians for gospel ministry and Christian leadership across the globe. Now, for the first time, the essence of Dr Jensen’s theological approach has been distilled into a single volume.
Broken into 27 accessible chapters and punctuated with key concepts, discussion questions, and quotes from great cultural and theological works, this introduction to Christian doctrine is concise and engaging enough to be read in full, while being rich and deep enough to stretch even the most enquiring Christian mind. The Life of Faith is sure to become an indispensable resource for scholars, pastors, lay leaders and theological students alike.
“The chief aim of this book is to summarize what the Bible teaches (its ‘doctrine’) about the great topics it contains. Doctrine seeks to extend our knowledge of the Bible and help us to understand it fully and accurately. It is an essential method of reading and applying the Bible … My prayer for us all is that we will begin and end with the fear of the Lord that leads to wisdom.”—Peter Jensen
About the author
Peter Jensen (DPhil, Oxford University) served as Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney from 1985 to 2001, and as Anglican Archbishop of Sydney from 2001 to 2013. He was formerly the General Secretary of GAFCON, and continues to teach systematic theology at several theological colleges throughout Australia and beyond. He is the author of several books, including The Revelation of God (2002) and The Future of Jesus (2008), along with numerous articles published in journals and encyclopedias.
"The Life of Faith is an introductory systematic theology that simultaneously cuts its own swathe and sustains traditional confessional evangelical theology. The fruit of a master teacher who has spent decades serving theological students, the book does not follow the traditional loci of systematic theology, but has been shaped by the form of biblical theology developed at Moore Theological College. It is only a fraction of the length of traditional magisterial volumes (e.g. Shedd, Hodge, Bavinck, Berkhof), while being more overtly edifying. The work has the freshness of an author who in the 21st century is still engaging in evangelism: it smells of the gospel, of ‘gospelizing’, rather more than of the library, even while readers will sense the author’s allegiance to the Thirty-Nine Articles. This is an excellent book for those just starting out in serious study of theology, and for those who want a refresher."
—D. A. Carson, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL
"Students of the Bible are indebted to Dr Peter Jensen’s clear, concise and thoroughly readable introduction to Christian doctrine. After 25 years of teaching theological students, Dr Jensen is well across the nuances and challenges of explaining the Bible’s core focus and the appropriate human response, namely, a life of faith. This volume will be an asset to all who desire a deeper understanding of God and his word."
—Dr Glenn N Davies, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney
"Every generation needs its own restatement and application of the whole sweep of biblical doctrine, and in The Life of Faith we are in the hands of a master pastor–teacher. Based on a lifetime of personal discipleship and theological study, Peter Jensen has provided us with a wonderfully accessible, heartwarming exposition of the gospel of Christ—with all that flows from it in Christian experience—that is both comprehensive and panoramic. Particular strengths include its logical clarity in argument, its engagement with contemporary issues and distortions, both cultural and theological, its penetrating correctives of “our own perceptions shaped by sinful human ideas”, but above all its unapologetic commitment to the truth and unity of the Scriptures, with Christ as their focus. The glory of God shines from these pages, causing one’s spirit to lift in praise and thanksgiving. You will want to come back to it again and again!"
—David Jackman, Founding Director, Cornhill Training Course, London; Former President, The Proclamation Trust, London
"In 27 crisp and concise chapters, Peter Jensen surveys Christian doctrine, relying on the gospel as the essential source of knowledge of God, biblical theology as the pattern of his study, and personal and social application as the essential concomitant of the apprehension of theological truth. Dr Jensen offers his reader a masterful tour of the sweep of biblical doctrine with clarity, pastoral as well as theological insight, and the sense of his own warm companionship as a fellow learner at the feet of a common Master, who rules his people by his Spirit-breathed word. I warmly commend this immensely useful volume to parents teaching their older children, those involved in discipling new or mature believers, small-group Bible study leaders, and pastors thinking of offering a doctrinal sermon series or providing training to all sorts of ‘ministers of the word’ in a local church setting."
—Kanishka Raffel, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney
"Those of us familiar with Peter Jensen’s teaching of Christian doctrine at Moore College for more than a quarter of a century will rejoice that the benefit we received can now be enjoyed by everyone who reads this book. Peter has always been known to us as a deep and rich thinker, one who penetrates to the heart of theological matters, bringing to them a clarity of expression and an unswerving faithfulness to the word of God. In this volume, Peter teaches us to think out from the gospel, to test everything against the Scriptures, and to pause regularly to give thanks to the God who created us and saved us in Jesus Christ. Here is theology that warms the heart, directs the mind, and feeds the soul."
—Mark Thompson, Principal, Moore Theological College, Sydney
"'Love God with all your mind'. One of the features of Christ’s quotation of the Old Testament command 'love the Lord your God' is that he adds the words, 'with all your mind' (e.g. Mark 12:30). Peter Jensen’s introduction to theology will help you do that it. It is full of godly wisdom about God and the gospel, and is persuasive, pastoral, and practical."
—Peter Adam, Vicar Emeritus, St Jude’s Carlton, Melbourne; Former Principal, Ridley College, Melbourne
"It is with great delight that I see The Life of Faith become available for the strengthening of Christ’s people. The work of one of Australia’s foremost theological educators and theologians, these studies began life as lecture notes used to help form a generation of pastors and Christian leaders, and many of us who experienced those lectures can testify to their effectiveness. These studies, having been forged and developed over decades of actual use and now completely reworked and updated into book form, are a great resource for anyone wanting a solid foundation in the Christian faith. This book combines a concern to express biblical orthodoxy in a fresh and insightful way with a blending of a pastoral heart and warmth with wisdom and gospel clarity. The Life of Faith is well worth anyone’s time to read and digest so as to grow in their knowledge and love of God and his saving ways."
—Mark Baddeley, Senior Lecturer, Systematic Theology, Queensland Theological College, Brisbane
"Peter Jensen’s aim in this work is to summarize what the Bible teaches—in other words, to present the Bible’s doctrine. Readers will deepen their knowledge of the Bible, learning a sound way of reading it and applying it. Jensen is a master teacher. There is an admirable recognition of Scripture as a covenantal book provided by God to his people, with careful attention given to the biblical plotline. Even so, the insights of great ones of the Christian past are not neglected. Clarity of expression and acute theological insight characterize the whole project. A very fine work. I could sum it up as John Calvin meets Broughton Knox."
—Graham Cole, Emeritus Dean and Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL
"This work is the result of years of theological reflection. Informed by various sociopolitical, cultural, theological and scholarly developments in the past two centuries, it presents a strong case for Reformed theology in the 21st century. Those of us who grew up with Reformed theology in the 20th century will find this book refreshing. It serves as a reminder not only of our core beliefs, but also of what an informed and thought-through Reformed theology should look like today in order to be relevant and yet faithful to its foundational premises.
"Bishop Jensen shows, compellingly, why some of the ‘newer’ scholarly discoveries have failed to sway him from his Reformed roots. He demonstrates how he has considered these new discoveries and given them fair considerations. For example, his treatment of biblical criticism shows how he welcomes scholarly advancements without compromising his belief that the Bible is the word of God.
"Bishop Jensen presents his theology to us systematically, biblically, accessibly, and concisely. Its organization helps readers to see the contours, the width and the depth of his thought, all of which come together to form a theological framework that will bring great benefit to new learners of theology. I would highly recommend this book to those who wish to find an entry-level introduction to systematic theology."
—Khee-Vun Lin, Principal, Anglican Training Institute, Sabah, Malaysia
"This is a magnificent book. There is gold on every page. For those who benefitted from the blessing of being taught by Peter Jensen at Moore College it will be a must-have—if only to remind of privileges once enjoyed. Those who missed such riches now can play catch up. Knowledge of God is the beautiful theme—through the Scriptures, in salvation, as Lord and by faith. This is no dry textbook. Every page drives towards practical knowledge of the living God. It will fill your mind, delight your soul and, above all, enrich your relationship with God."
—William Taylor, Rector, St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London
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