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An Uncommon Union: Dallas Theological Seminary and American Evangelicalism Hardcover – October 24, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (October 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310237866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310237860
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. John D. Hannah (ThD, PhD) is distinguished professor of historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and research professor of theological studies. He has received numerous awards and has written several books, including The Glory of God Alone, The Kregel Pictorial Guide to Church History, and Our Legacy: A History of Christian Doctrine.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Anyone who wishes to write about Chafer needs to read this book.
Amazon Customer
For those who have sat under Dr. Hannah's teaching, his style will be instantly recognized and the painstaking research is evident.
Darren Sapp
I loved the focus of each president in the history of Dallas Theological Seminary.
Bryan Cruz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Paul Pettit on October 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After numerous doctoral dissertations and extended overviews, Dr. John D. Hannah has now produced the definitive history of the founding and growth of the famous Dallas Theological Seminary. Irenic in both tone and style, Hannah provides readers with behind-the-scenes glimpses of the school's founder and first president, Lewis Sperry Chafer, as well as the school's four subsequent presidents. In fact, the role of the presidents ends up largely defining the direction the school has taken since its 1924 birth and Hannah (Ph.D, Univ. of Texas at Dallas), an accomplished historical theologian in his own right, uses the five different presidents, and the historical eras in which they serve, to move the book's narrative forward.
Especially helpful is the work's emphasis on dispensationalism and the manner in which that particular system of hermeneutics and theology has expressed itself at Dallas Seminary. Far from being a monolithic unit of thought, Hannah shows how the subtleties and nuances of this system of literal interpretation has served the school well for more than 80 years.
This clear work accurately situates Dallas Seminary not only in its historical context (1924 - the present) but also in its religious context; the broader conservative, evangelical tradition. Further, Hannah is to be commended for his historical accuracy as highlighted by voluminous footnoting and fact-checking. He tips his hand at the outset by noting, "errors of fact, prejudice, ignorance, and judgment can be attributed to no one but myself." This hopeful tone continues throughout and helps the book from becoming overtly polemical. This reviewer looks forward to seeing additional religious-historical overviews from the pen of Dr. Hannah documenting similar evangelical institutions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By In Thy Light on August 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
John Hannah presents the story of Dallas Theological Seminary in a way that only a seasoned insider can--with critical appreciation and historical perspective. It could be said that the history of DTS is the history of dispensationalism, but Hannah resists the reduction of her identity to just one aspect, its hallmark importance notwithstanding. Hannah's choice to use the six presidents of DTS as the main storyline befits the idiosyncratic identity of the school; for, according to Hannah, DTS is neither fundamentalist, Protestant mainline, nor neo-evangelical. Rather, she is an outgrowth of the independent Bible conference movement, and she remains in a theological stance all her own.

Based on his research of personal correspondence from the school's presidents, institutional documents, board meeting minutes, and biographical materials, Hannah presents compelling evidence for his analysis. Therefore, if you are looking for an institutional history of DTS, then this well-written and well-researched work by one of the seminary's own distinguished faculty members is an indispensable resource. We can hope that more seminaries will follow Hannah's example in providing honest, frank, and open critical assessments of their own stories.

(See full review at my blog)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Darren Sapp on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Institutional histories are rarely on people's "to read" list but this work garners interest on numerous levels, such as historical theology, the seminary's role in training the pastorate, the thousands of lives DTS has touched worldwide, etc. I hope former and future students appreciate this thorough and accurate telling of Dr. Chafer's dream.

For those who have sat under Dr. Hannah's teaching, his style will be instantly recognized and the painstaking research is evident. I assumed that I would not learn very much because I had already studied much of the seminary's history, but I consistently found myself learning so much more. I knew there had been much ado regarding dispensationalism, but was not aware of the seminary's history on Lordship salvation, "Mueller" financial awareness, inerrancy, and Calvinism.

I would have liked to learn more about a few items. It's not a criticism, just a personal wish list. For example, did many students leave during WWII to serve? What was student life like over the various periods (particularly the early years) in regards to housing, family, course load, activities, etc.? What are some of the stories of alumni? We know of David Jeremiah, Jim Rayburn, and Tony Evans, but what of others? I suspect the pause here would be the fear of leaving someone out. The list could go on for hundreds of pages.

This book is a testimony to the institution, the faculty, and the supporters of Dallas Theological Seminary that have touched thousands of lives over the last 87 years with implications that will go on for eternity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't care for the 'I loved it' star rating for 5 stars but it is a worthy read particular if any connection with DTS where I earned a degree. The author gives quite good insights and honest 'criticisms' (from one who's professional life is involved) of the seminary which leads to greater insights of the whole Church. DTS and its emphasis is rooted in the 'American' story. What that means is that the seminary was born out of the 'Bible Conference Movement' which was very American. Much, as the impact America, some positive, some not, has had on the world, so DTS has had on the church.
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