Gordon Spykman in his superb Reformational Theology describes the eclipse of creation in theology. He writes that much of evangelical theology:
gives the impression of bypassing creation in a hasty move to take a shortcut to the cross.
Michael Bird in his evangelical theology doesn't do that. This is refreshing in an evangelical systematic theology.
What is the single most important thing in evangelicalism? Bird maintains it is the gospel - so he has written a systematic theology that reflects that emphasis. What is the goal of theology? That we would be gospelised! But this raises the question what is the gospel? Is it the redemption of creation, the escape of Christians to heaven, or what? How does Bird view the gospel? He cites with approval Al Wolters who demonstrates that "creation regained" is an underlying theme of the gospel:
The gospel envisages a comprehensive restoration of the created order so that the relational disruption between God and creation caused by the intrusion of evil can be finally resolved. ... The gospel is umbilically connected to the wider concepts of covenant and creation.
Such an approach alone would justify the purchase of this book.
Comparison with Grudem's Systematic Theology is perhaps inevitable. For me Bird's is by far the superior book.
For Grudem the focus is on what does the Bible say, for Bird it is also the engagement with contemporary theological ideas. Though this is a strength of Bird's approach it may prove to be its weakness as it may well date it.
A look at the contents shows marked differences: Bird starts with God, Grudem with the Bible. Grudem emphasises doctrine, Bird the gospel. In comparison Grudem is lame and pedestrian. This may be in part its age. Bird is a most welcome replacement for Grudem.
Other than Spykman's sadly out of print Reformational Theology I can think of no better summary of theology.