"At the Heart of the Universe" by Peter Jensen

David White
Thursday, July 5th 2007
Jan/Feb 2000

"Christian doctrine has a poor name, even among Christians. It is regarded as boring, divisive and irrelevant. Such a reputation, however, is a tragedy which impoverishes the churches and hinders their witness to the world. I have written this short book to describe the essence of doctrine and to show its importance and usefulness."

With this statement, Peter Jensen sets the standard for what is to follow. How does one write a book of doctrine that will enrich the Church and her witness in the world without being boring, divisive, and irrelevant? And, of course, does he succeed?

Jensen's method is simple, yet profound. In five chapters that artfully avoid most of the language of doctrine, he derives doctrinal categories through the tracing of biblical themes as they unfold in the story of the Bible itself.

In doing so, he chooses to begin with eschatology, titling the first chapter, "Tomorrow, Jerusalem." He explains that "In this book I have chosen to reverse the [usual] order by considering 'Last Things' in the first chapter. The advantage of this procedure is that it captures the biblical sense of purpose in God and the corresponding dynamic history."

This method has striking and very appealing strengths. Among them is a very visible and organic connection between topics of doctrine as they are crystallized in the eternal plan of God. The reader is free to see not only the essential links between doctrines, but also the links between doctrine and the unveiling of God in human history.

This is a delightfully written and winsome book about the heart of the Christian faith. It is of great importance because of its clear and biblical arguments and because, if read, it will enrich the Church and her witness.

At the Heart of the Universe would be a welcome addition to the layman's library, the pastor's study, or the classroom.

Thursday, July 5th 2007

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

Picture of J. Ligon Duncan, IIIJ. Ligon Duncan, IIISenior Minister, First Presbyterian Church
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