I got this book as a birthday gift. I already had McGrath's superlative Introduction To Theology textbook. This is a primer for that bigger more expansive book.
"The Basics" takes the Apostle's Creed as its structure and works through the key areas of Christian theology. Faith, God, Creation, Jesus, Salvation, Trinity, Church and Heaven all get their own chapters and once you have read them you will be more than able to start reading some theology texts and enjoy them. It also has, typically for McGrath, a great set of reference appendices at the end that include a glossary of theological terms, the cited theologians and advice on what to do now that you realise theology is brilliant and interesting and relevant!
McGrath writes so well. I love the way he breaks things down in to very clear, easily understood chunks. He does battle with texts by the great theologians of the church so that reading the book introduces you to some of the giants and the way they have played the game. He is fair and evenly balanced without denomiantional or theological bias. It is a classic McGrath work which means its practically perfect.
It is meant to be read as a textbook, or at least preparatory reading for a course and so it won't have you turning the page with excitment. There is no harm in that however because its quiet, undramatic approach leaves you in a much better position to take it all in. If you manage to take it in you will be in a great place to start your theological education proper. Buy without hesitation!