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As the title indicates, this book is a book about the history of doctrine, from the council of Jerusalem in the NT to the seventeenth century. It is not a book on church history. You will look in vain for any material on (for example) the narrative of the seven ecumenical councils, the Crusades, or Calvin's life. Among different doctrines, it focuses on those that are important to Reformed Orthodoxy of the seventeen century. For example, while there are 140 pages on the Arminian controversy, 13 pages cover the whole discussion on medieval scholastic theology. Cunningham studies in detail the doctrine of church government, the person and work of Christ, and most of the doctrine of grace (the Five Points, doctrine of justification etc.) This work is the lecture notes of a 19th century theologian. Therefore, there is no bibliography at all. Its purpose is not to retell the development of doctrine from a neutral perspective. It is an apologia for orthodox Reformed theology based on a history of doctrinal controversies. Cunningham asseses theology not from a contextual, historical perspective. It does not matter to Cunningham what century a particular theologian is speaking from. All that matter is whether the theologian expounds scriptural teaching correctly. Owing to its uneven coverage and its methodology, Cunningham is misleading as a textbook of historical theology. However, as a defense of Reformed orthodoxy, it is hard to fine a better work than Cunningham.
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