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The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction Hardcover – December 1, 2013
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"This is an exceptional achievement-―the fruit of many years of diligent labor in the classroom and study. From Descartes to Hauerwas, and just about everyone in between, Roger Olson provides a travelogue that covers the many routes taken in the journey that is modern theology. Through learned and appealing descriptions of the landmarks along the way, Olson invites his readers to take up their own explorations of key theologians and movements. This is an engaging and readable survey, which will serve as an able guide for students of modern theology for many years to come." (David Lauber, associate professor of theology, Wheaton College)
"Having used for years and years 'Grenz and Olson' as a classroom resource, I am enthused about this rewrite which, indeed, is such a complete rewrite that it has made an already great text even better! What distinguishes this survey of contemporary theology from all others is not only Dr. Olson's insightful and balanced critique of views but also its integral narrative structure. Similar to its predecessor, this one is likely to become a standard resource for years to come." (Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, professor of theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, and docent of ecumenics, University of Helsinki)
"In this highly readable and stimulating volume, Roger Olson navigates the nuances and complexities of modern theology with the aplomb of a seasoned scholar and the sensibility of an expert guide. The result is the best narrative account of the subject available today. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a better introduction to the sweep of modern theology being written anytime soon." (John R. Franke, Yellowstone Theological Institute)
"Originally intended as a revision of 20th-Century Theology, The Journey of Modern Theology makes a unique and independent contribution to the study of modern theology. Olson has focused upon the diverse reactions to modernity. The book includes a more extensive treatment of nineteenth-century theology, and it engages in detail with contemporary postliberal, postmodern and deconstructive endeavors. The volume exhibits the passion of Olson's commitments and the clarity of his writing. Both make the volume extremely useful and helpful for beginning students. Olson is clear in his advocacy of orthodox and neoorthodox theological positions as he is in his criticism of liberal theories. He does so in a way that fosters and encourages a dialogue with diverse theological options." (Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Stillman Professor for Roman Catholic Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School)
"Olson's style is lucid, careful, and immensely readable. Whether as a story of theological history, a survey, or reference work, this book should serve far more than the intended audience as a heuristic tool for understanding and appropriating the challenges of modernity and our varying responses. For those not included in this work, Olson has set the standard by which to evaluate their theological appropriation of modernity. It is impossible not to learn from this book." (Wolfgang Vondey, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, June 2015)
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Top Customer Reviews
I also long ago read 20th Century Theology. I had read it not in a seminary classroom, but as a pastor trying to make sense of where I was theologically, especially in relationship to some of the issues raised through postmodern philosophy and the emergent church movement (before it was called that). I loved the book, and its thesis of the development of modern theologies as a dialogue and dialectic between emphases on theology's understanding of the transcendence of God and the immanence of God made sense to me. It helped me become more grounded and able to articulate where I was in the context of modern theology and postmodern philosophy. 20th Century Theology was a game changer for me.
Now, in an update on the book's 20th anniversary, Olson has, in attempting to revise the old text, written a new text with the old text as the foundation. Instead of using a theological construct to tell what has happened in 19th, 20th and 21st century theologies, he has used a historical one in The Journey of Modern Theology . Since what is happening in both books is a historical theology of sorts, both organizational systems are appropriate. Olson's new construct makes the development of theology come across as a more relational and personal story of people and ideas in a historical context. Which is all well and good. But I think it misses the sense of wrestling with God that the text it has meant to revise had.Read more ›
The book is also a great complement to the author's previous book, The Story of Christian Theology, adding additional depth to that part of the history of most interest to many of us today. So the book is most definitely a big cut above a survey--in fact, it's much more than that. If clarity, accuracy, and fairness are your highest academic values, as they are for me, Olson is the scholar for you. For me, the chapter on Horace Bushnell was worth the price of the book. This chapter and others have led me to read more of Bushnell and a few others whose contributions are either forgotten, unknown, or under appreciated. Highly recommended.
There is an underlying story to Roger's summary and is that God seems to disappear in most of the great thinkers as the confront the "acids of modernity". Roger Olson does a nice job of treating each theologian fairly. The book is lengthy but I believe worth reading.
In his two page note of required reading at the beginning, Dr. Olson says "This book's primary intended audience is not scholars of modern theology but students, pastors and interested laypeople....... The goal.... is to inform readers about the lives, careers, major ideas, legacies and possible problems of these thinkers." This lay person and lifelong student thinks that this mission has been admirably accomplished. All students of theology who love people and their ideas will get much from this volume.
They were all chosen for inclusion in this book because they made very significant contributions to Christian theology. Like today, they all worked in a time when how we ask and attempt to answer questions, and even the questions we think we should be asking, was in great ferment. In the century before the first and second world wars, many wanted, and thought they could find, sure answers to all questions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent exploration ,not only the Theology it self ,but also the motives,context and the background account which frame it raise of modern TheologyPublished 3 months ago by Lay Hendra Wijaya
IVP used to be a reliable source for orthodox theology, but that seems to have changed in recent years. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Namyriah
I recommend this book as a good historical survey of modern theology. See my blog for the full review. It's too long to post here.Published 22 months ago by Adam Smith
Although The Journey of Modern Theology began as a twentieth anniversary revision of Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Read morePublished on March 25, 2014 by Michael Kallenberg