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Christian Doctrine, Revised Edition Paperback – July 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; Rev Sub edition (July 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664253687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664253684
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Shirley C. Guthrie Jr. was, for many years, Professor of Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.

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Customer Reviews

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It is thought provoking and offers insight that really makes you think.
Kara Rose
I'd recommend Shirley Guthrie's book on Christian Doctrine to any lay Christian wanting to know more about the basis for their faith.
Stephen Greenwood
Guthrie's "Christian Doctrine" is an excellent introduction to Presbyterian/Reformed theology.
guydgriffith@mindspring.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By guydgriffith@mindspring.com on February 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
Guthrie's "Christian Doctrine" is an excellent introduction to Presbyterian/Reformed theology. A student of Karl Barth's, Guthrie's style, clarity, and structure enable this revised version of his Covenant Life Curriculum doctrinal offering to be appropriated by laity and clergy alike. The updated version is inclusive of theological voices that have joined the ongoing debate in the last thirty years. At the end of each chapter questions are provided to enable group study. This is a wonderful study for serious small group or Sunday school class work. A must have for any serious layperson in the Presbyterian/Reformed family.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Omelianchuk on May 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Shirley Guthrie's introduction to Christian theology was recommended to me by Professor Roger E. Olson as a primer book for a theology/doctrine small group I started at my church, and it most helpfully delivered. Guthrie's book comes from a Presbyterian tradition that cherishes the works of Calvin and the documents of Westminster divines. Though he sees himself in neo-orthodox tradition, he displays a thorough knowledge of the London and Belgic Confessions as well as the Heidelberg Catechism, and remains reverent to them as he provocatively speaks to issues of racism, economic disparity, and human life. He also is a great writer that communicates complex subjects with remarkable ease.

Guthrie's strongest chapter by far is on the Atonement, where he deals with many of the hard problems in a penal-substitution theory that normally obfuscate the fact that God is FOR us and loves us without abandoning the theory altogether. His chapters on the church, Holy Sprit, and the Trinity are also especially strong. Written in the 1960's Guthrie took on some of the hot topics of the day, which shows a sometimes prophetic voice, yet also a dated one. His view of Word Council of Churches is awkwardly optimistic, and his weakest chapters are on the subject of Predestination and Biblical studies, though he does have some helpful notes on subjects of general and special revelation.

Though some might be ascared of Guthrie's neo-orthodox moorings, I can heartily recommend this book to any evangelical who is looking for a bigger picture of Christian theology.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
If your faith background was strict and dogmatic and you left because it was so narrow minded, then this is the book to help you find your faith once more. One of the best quotes from the book is, "An honest doubter is closer to the truth than a superficial or dishonest believer." Dr. Guthrie talks about the basic Christian Beliefs and reviews the pros and cons of each area-- so that you can decide what you believe. He does not hand out "pat" answers-- nor does he give "politically correct" answers. He does give Bible references throughout for further reflection. His work is refreshing and most helpful.
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Format: Paperback
I was expected much when bought this book, a best-seller for more than thirty years and has introduced thousands of laity, students, and theologian to the tenets of the Christian faith. But after read some chapters, I am a little bit disappointed. It is ok in general, that's why I give it 3 stars, but Guthrie just too fast to move his theological topic into the contemporary issues or applications, before he dig deep enough. For example, when he discuss about Trinity, he used so many words to speak about interreligious dialogue and the gender problem, and in chapter about creation, he speak a lot about the exploitation of our natural environment. Of course it is good to write a systematic theology with an eye to today issues but this book is short enough for a systematic theology book, only about 400 pages (content proper) and must deal with so many systematic topics (19 topics) from who is a Theologian to the doctrine of eschatology, so when he emphasis one thing, he must sacrifice the other. I realize that earth polution is an important issue today but when I buy this book what I want is to understand what the bible said about creation.

Furthermore, this book is said to be written in reformed perspective, but if what you mean with reformed perpective is reformed in the line of John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge or Louis Berkhoff, you may quite disaggree with some of Guthrie position.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nindyo Sasongko on July 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I came across the book in 2002, when I was about to leave my seminary. I was studying at an conservative-evangelical seminary in East Java province. To speak frankly, my teachers never introduced me to this volume. But I found it outstanding! Shirley Guthrie, in my view, succeeds in articulating the Reformed faith for today's Christianity. I seldom find conservative systematic volumes have weighty points on the doctrine of trinity and creation in clear reasoning. With the revival of Calvin's focal points on those areas (and the connexion between the two), represented by Reformed theologians like Barth, Moltmann, Colin Gunton (the latter of which I pay my deep admiration), Guthrie strongly condensed the much more complicated discourse into the current straight-to-matter-volume.

Forgotten by many theologians, that the one-ness of God, according to Guthrie, means worshipping the one-true God whom the Scripture proclaims, and not the "-ism"s (77); thus he doesn't indermine the one-ness to philosophical speculations--God being one in his 'ontos'; henceforth he paves the way the prominence of trinitarian theologian. So interesting while discussing the Holy Spirit, he has spaces on Christian spirituality as "looking outside, this worldly and recognizing the ordinary work of the Holy Spirit." (298-302), and no doubt that this is a staunch Reformed spirituality.

I therefore have different opinion with my friend, Ongkowidjojo, though both of us are from the "same" root of Indonesian evangelicalism (yes, different schools). Guthrie IS a Reformed theologian in Calvinist wing though he has moved away from the Old Princeton school.

For readers--pastors and lay people--please don't have reservation to pick this GREAT volume. Are you seeking a compact volume to nurture your mind, enrich your spirituality and grip your faith on solid foundation? This is ONE to choose.
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