Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Exploring Christian Theology Vol 2: Creation, Fall, and Salvation

Exploring Christian Theology Vol 2: Creation, Fall, and Salvation  
Nathan D Holsteen & Michael J Svigel, Editors
Bethany House
www.bethanyhouse.com
$16.99

The editors of Exploring Christian Theology Vol 2: Creation, Fall, and Salvation are affiliated with Dallas Theological Seminary.

This book is written for mainstream Christians who want to understand the historic battles and debates that have occurred among Christian theologians. The writers are
concerned with showing the many shades and permutations of Christian theology throughout the ages. Because of this, there are clarifications which might help the reader understand if he/she has subtly veered from the right theological path.  It might also be good for atheists who want to understand what Christianity really says and not what popular theology says it is. Roman Catholics may not agree with some of the author's conclusions. Sects such as Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists might also disagree with some conclusions but all groups will probably agree on the historical facts. This book also shows the various pitfalls and wrong near-miss theologies that Christians can fall into without quite knowing it.

For some people, theology is a head game. For others, knowledge of true Christian traditiona beliefs is a matter of life and death. It is possible that many people have changed denominations because the doctrine of one denomiation -- whether true or false-- suited their itching ears or aching hearts better. Indeed, Christians who hated doctrines -- such as hell, eternal punishment, etc-- have created whole doctrines in order to have their Christianity and their own emotional peace as well.

The importance of Christian theology to daily life is first seen in the first sections where the various philosophies on the origin of the soul is presented. Many Christians have wondered, "When is the soul created?" Perhaps they lost a child to abortion or miscarriage and wanted to understand.

The editors and writers are clearly educated but they make an effort to make Christian theology accessible, although there are some chapters which might be difficult for pastors and teachers who do not have good reading comprehension skills.

The book is divided into the following sections:

The Christian Story in Four Acts
Part One: From Dust to Dust
Part Two: Wise Unto Salvation
These two parts are further divided into chapters entitled: High Altitude Survey, Passages to Master, Humanity and Sin in Retrospect, Facts to Never Forget, Dangers to Avoid, Principles to Put into Practice, Voices from the Past and Present, Shelf Space: Recommendations for your Library. These chapters are also then divided into subsections.
The book ends with a very large glossary of Christian theological terms

There are scripture memory boxes, charts of ideas, and footnotes at the end of each chapter.

In addition to their own words, the authors have also compiled quotes from famous theologians throughout the ages such as Aquinas, Wesley, Pascal, Jonathan Edwards, Whitefield, Augustine, Martin Luther, and of course Calvin among many others.  This is mostly in the section entitled Voices from the Past to the Present athough the book contains quotes throughout.

The book also speaks of salvation and shows the way of salvation throughout. Highly recommended.

This book was sent to me free of charge by Bethany Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.




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