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I have taught theology at the college level for 15 years (including among my students "Captain Bloodloss," one of this book's reviewers), and have found it consistently to be the finest, most readable introduction to Christian theology on the market. Migliore has the genius to draw traditional ideas and formulations into creative interaction with contemporary concerns about ecology, justice and sexism. His central motif is the doctrine of the Trinity as the church's testimony to the self-giving, other-receiving, community-forming love that God has demonstrated to the world through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. I think he hews consistently and beautifully to this motif as his theological norm. His writing breathes new and exciting life into every doctrine he considers. I love this book.
In 'Faith Seeking Understanding'. Migliore has in this book put together one of the clearest, accessible systematic theologies available today. It is written in a crisp, concise, and engaging style which is short on technical and differently-defined terms, and long on meaning and substance. Migliore addresses all of the major issues of a Christian systematic theology -- the nature of God, the nature and mystery of the Trinity, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the authenticity of sources and norms, eschatology and the future of faith, as well as other topics. He does a very good job at briefly introducing each topic in a modern historical context, bringing up topics from the past that have impacted upon the development of theological ideas, and then presenting the diversity of current theological positions. This text is used in systematic theology courses in ecumenical seminaries -- it is particularly well suited for the task because it does not shrink from important issues of faith or morality, but does not force the reader into a particular set of beliefs. All who read this will variously agree and disagree with the author, with historical authorities, and with contemporary theologians at some point or another in the text. However, this is no mere textbook. It is a wonderful introduction to theological thought processes. Whether your theological framework is medieval catholic or liberation or process or non-denominational; whether your approach to biblical authority is literalist or free-form or skeptical; whether your faith is strong, weak, agnostic, or atheist, this book will give you things to think about. It is in no way preachy, and doesn't even pretend to try to convince. This is the point of faith seeking understanding -- one will not come to faith by simple academic exercise. But this book can help clarify whatever faith is already there.
I wanted to add my voice to the reviews listed here, as I read this book first when I was doing religious studies in college. In my senior theology class, we read two books, the first was a "systematic theology" from the traditional conservative evangelical protestant tradition of christianity (its such a same that many adjectives are required.) The second was this book. The former only rehashed all the dogmatic assertions and creedish recitations that I had heard all my life. However this book took those same topics and grently nudged me to think on them in new and reflective ways. As I began to read this book more, I found myself inspiried and strongly influence. It opened up deeper levels of understanding of the issues in Christian theology, and it inspired a lot of my later writing, and well as years of continued study and personal soul searching. I would call this book and excellent starting point. It's STYLE is the biggest plus in its favor. It is graceful, fluent and never agressive. Migliore encourages the reader to think -- but that's it. There's little in his writing that has the tone of "authoritarian" or dogmatic. That's not to say he writes likea push over. It is to say rather that his book was like a dialoge of seeking and serious reflection, rather than a monologe of some "authority" telling me the right and wrong way to think, period. Most importantly, it is very beautiful. Migliore's emphasis is on the hope that is possible, on the joy that is rightfully ours, in a life lived in fullness and vitality, with deep meaning and great sigificance.Read more ›
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What a challenging and refreshing perspective on Christianity! Somehow, Prof. Migliore is able to teach without being didactic, to describe the very essence of what the Christian faith is all about. He is bold to include such controvertial issues as liberation theology - so easily ignored in our culture of so many rich Christians. This text is both theological and pastoral - it inspires one to act with a faith that is challenged to truly rely on God - a strongly Trinitarian one.
Migliore is not afraid to gently challenge the typical evanglical view of scripture, to claim that it never CAN be scripture unelss read in community. It is only within the church of Christ can Scripture become the Word of God, proclaimed tot he world. This is such a refreshing and welcome view for believers. For anyone wanting to go deeper and to stretch their beliefs, this book will take you a long way.
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