Tuesday, January 26, 2010


My reactions to this book:

1.  Very positive.  I recommend this book for every Christian seminary student.

2.  While retaining the perspective that faith is fundamentally a trust in God and a committment to a way of life, the author balances this with the view the every Christian also believes either implicitly or explicity certain ideas about his faith.  The author says "Theology is just thinking about your faith".

3.  The author's view  and explanation of the sources of theology is the clearest and most practical that I have heard from any other theologian.  While he indicates that they are not the only sources, he says that the main sources for our knowledge of God is Scripture, tradition, reason and expereience.

4.  He contends that EVERY Christian seminary student should work out his own explicitly stated theology that represents his own personal and honestly held convictions in the areas of God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, humanity, sin, church, and the future or stated in more traditional terms - theology, Christiology, Pneumatology, anthropology, soteriology,ecclesiology, and eschatology.  The author's discussion of liberalism, fundamentalism and postmodernim as the context for every student thinking through his faith and having a personal theology is clear, straightforward and helpful.

5.  The author also argues for individual groups and churches having conversations about theology and reaching explicit conclusions about their beliefs..  I think some groups would be able to do this, but it would take a very brave church to engage in doing theology together with honesty and conviction.  I would guess that some would discover that they believed things quite differently than the "official" teaching of the church to which they belong.

6.  The author has some very practical advice to church organizations.

Whether you are a "professional" theologian or Christian who likes, wants, or needs to think about his faith, I heartily recommend this book.

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