Friday, June 24, 2016

ABCs of Christianity by Terdema Ussery

This book is a layman's systematic theology. It systematically goes through the major beliefs of Christianity in a very readable way.

Ussery begins with God, His attributes, personality, and nature, then His grace and the nature of the Trinity. Scripture references are provided for each of the statements he makes about God. He then goes on to cover Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Satan, sin, the church, baptism and communion, death and judgment, salvation and rewards, prayer, faith, the abundant life, being born again and salvation. A Glossary of over twenty pages is included at the end, giving definitions for words that may be puzzling to new Christians.

I appreciate that Ussery presents a variety of interpretations on a belief when appropriate. An example would be on the end times. Writing about the return of Christ, he outlines the three primary beliefs: postmillennialist, premillennialist, and amillennialist. He does not promote one view and only gives the beliefs about the end times that are clearly presented in Scripture.

One odd aspect in the book was in the chapter on prayer. Ussery cites The Lord's Prayer as a model for praying and says knowing the different elements is important. (97) He then goes through the first half of the prayer, phrase by phrase, and stops. I just found it odd he did not go through the prayer in its entirety. Asking for daily bread, forgiveness, and not being led into temptation, as well as the final doxology are left out.

This is a good reference book for new Christians. It is a very readable overview of Christian belief. It is well supported by Scripture references in the text. It is not a “scholarly” work in that there are no footnotes. For example, Ussery writes, “That Jesus lived has been proven by historians...” but gives no footnote. Those desiring to study topics further are on their own as there is no bibliography nor suggestions for further reading included.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Terdema Ussery is a native of Gurdon, Arkansas. He has a J.D. From South Bay College of Law and a master's in theology from Southern California School of Ministry. He has worked in real estate, education, as well as pastoring various churches. He and his wife have three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

FaithWords, 176 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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