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Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms Paperback – April 26, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Pocket Dictionary
  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (April 26, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830814493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830814497
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) earned a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973, an M.Div. from Denver Seminary in 1976 and a D.Theol. From the University of Munich (Germany) in 1978, where completed his dissertation under the supervision of Wolfhart Pannenberg.

Ordained into the gospel ministry in 1976, Grenz worked within the local church context as a youth director and assistant pastor (Northwest Baptist Church, Denver), pastor (Rowandale Baptist Church, Winnipeg), and interim pastor. In addition he preached and lectured in numerous churches, colleges, universities and seminaries in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Grenz wrote or cowrote twenty-five books, the most recent of which is Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology (2004). His other books include The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei (Westminster John Knox), Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (with John R. Franke; Westminster John Knox), The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics (IVP), A Primer on Postmodernism (Eerdmans), Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry (with Denise Muir Kjesbo; IVP), Revisioning Evangelical Theology: A Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century (IVP), and The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options (IVP). He has also coauthored several shorter reference and introductory books for IVP, including Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (with Roger E. Olson), Pocket Dictionary of Ethics (with Jay T. Smith), and Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (with David Guretzki and Cherith Fee Nordling). He contributed articles to more than two dozen other volumes, and has had published more than one hundred essays and eighty book reviews. These have appeared in journals such as Christianity Today, The Christian Century, Christian Scholar's Review, Theology Today and the Journal of Ecumenical Studies.

For twelve years (1990-2002), Grenz held the position of Pioneer McDonald Professor of Baptist Heritage, Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College and at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. After a one-year sojourn as Distinguished Professor of Theology at Baylor University and Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas (2002-2003), he returned to Carey and resumed his duties as Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology. In 2004 he assumed an additional appointment as Professor of Theological Studies at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Washington.

David Guretzki (Ph.D., McGill U.) is Professor of Theology and serves as Dean at Briercrest Seminary in Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada. His research specialities and interests include patristic and modern Trinitarian theology, the theology of Karl Barth, the filioque debate, and the theology of forgiveness and reconciliation. He is a coauthor of Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms.

Cherith Fee Nordling (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is associate professor of theology at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. She has also taught at Regent College, Vancouver, as well as Kuyper College, Cornerstone University and Calvin College and Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the author of Knowing God by Name.

Customer Reviews

I appreciate being able to copy & paste into my research papers!!
Debra Tucker
It takes a lot of common theology terms and gives them simple, concise definitions that are easy to understand.
Sydnee
Preachers and teachers in a church setting will find either of them very useful in their ministries.
Frank Bellizzi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Thomas Scarborough on April 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms is a small, slim (122 pages) book which typically devotes five or six lines each to theological terms, major theologians, and theological movements and traditions.

It need hardly be said that a book which tries to squeeze a world of theology into a mere 122 pages will have its limitations. Nonetheless, it is surprisingly comprehensive, and refreshingly clear and concise. So, for example, it covers the Council of Nicea, the theology of Karl Barth, the meaning of fundamentalism, and more than 300 topics besides.

The authors state that their purpose is simply to "provide you with a foundational, working knowledge of the concepts". In this they certainly succeed - and with language that should be within the scope of most beginners. While most of their definitions would find general acceptance, they state that they give preference to a "broadly evangelical, Protestant perspective".

The one obvious shortcoming of the book is that it would sometimes seem to be capricious in its selection of terms. For example, salvation is defined, yet mission is not. The imago Dei is defined, yet the imitatio Christi is not. Adolf von Harnack receives an entry, yet Jürgen Moltmann does not. And finally - wait for it - Protestantism is defined, yet Roman Catholicism is not!

Having said this, many of the omissions (e.g. Roman Catholicism) would come into focus with a complete reading of the book, and this does not seriously detract from the usefulness of the book as a whole.

A full theological dictionary can "cost a ton", besides being difficult for beginners to cope with. This small book provides a cheap and handy alternative, and has the endorsement of leading evangelical seminaries. For what it is worth, it is a good reference work well written.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Grant V McMillan on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have several theology dictionaries which are helpful, but none give such pithy definitions. The definitions are short and to the point, without giving a lot of parallel information. Sometimes you just need a simple definition, not one that is pages long. This book does just that. I found that, while being short, each definition does not limit the meaning of the word too much. There is a good balance between giving open definitions and ones that still mean something. A most helpful resource that I use often.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
For an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny book it sure goes a long way in helping you understand the most common (yet curious) terms that you encounter in theological books and articles. For those laymen who may feel just a little embarrassed when your friends come over and see an encyclopedia length dictionary of theological terms on the shelf next to your Bible when they know that you still get confused between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, this may be the book for you. It also has the distinct advantage of not requiring a day's wages in order to obtain it. A great value. Get it while it is still in the single digits.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Wolf on November 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
For the price and the size, this dictionary is an excellent buy for a bible college student, and for all those working as pastors, in youth ministry, discipleship educational ministries (formally called Church Education) and so forth.

At last I've been able to find a dictionary with terms like pragmatism, predestination, panenthiesm, and other such terms I cannot recall at this moment. Many people do not understand the differences between a bible dictionary and theological dictionary, so for a long time I did not know that a theology dictionary existed. My only gripe is that there are theological terms not in this book (natural evil, free will theory,etc..) and many of the terms in this book are way to concise. However I did find a expanded dictionary on theological terms at the local Christian Bookstore, but it cost over $50 and was not pocketable.

So my conclusion is. If you just need a simple dictionary that is both cheap, and does not weigh 50 pounds, then buy this dictionary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RCWilde on September 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With its 300 entries, this pocket companion addresses the most commonly used theological terms. I was hoping to find definitions for some of the more specialized terms used by some sects and denominations, but that is beyond the scope of this dictionary. However, a person looking for "the basics" would find this dictionary both useful and convenient.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Bastian on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
A decent reference if you're looking for an alphabetized listing of common theological parlance. Not so good if you're looking for one not colored by denominational agenda. IVP's Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms is exactly as the title suggests, but unfortunately its use as an educational tool is compromised by a pervasive gatekeeping mentality that is so prevalent in evangelical circles.

And then I came across this nacre of doctrinaire clumsiness:

//atheism. A system of belief that categorically asserts that there is no God. Atheism usually affirms as well that the only form of existence is the material universe and that the universe is merely the product of chance or fate.//

If this is the kind of willful distortion coming down from the top in evangelical academia, it's no wonder why interfaith discourse is so heavily deformed in this country. The trinity of authors here have of course misdefined atheism.

Very few atheists say, "God definitely does not exist." The vast majority say, "It's unlikely that gods exist, and I see no good reason to believe that they do." Just as most Christians don't sashay around claiming Amun-Ra, Hermes, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl or unicorns don't exist, neither are most atheists in the business of making the positive claim that no gods exist. It's just not something they concern themselves with, just as most people don't concern themselves with belief in unicorns or other cryptids.

As many an atheist are wont to emphasize, positive disaffirmation is a spectrum's length away from nonbelief. Most inclusively, then, atheism is simply a linguistic placeholder we use to denote the nonbelief in personal deities. Often enough, it is a conscious conclusion based on the consideration of available evidence.
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More About the Author

Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) earned a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973, an M.Div. from Denver Seminary in 1976 and a D.Theol. From the University of Munich (Germany) in 1978, where completed his dissertation under the supervision of Wolfhart Pannenberg.

Ordained into the gospel ministry in 1976, Grenz worked within the local church context as a youth director and assistant pastor (Northwest Baptist Church, Denver), pastor (Rowandale Baptist Church, Winnipeg), and interim pastor. In addition he preached and lectured in numerous churches, colleges, universities and seminaries in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Grenz wrote or cowrote twenty-five books, the most recent of which is Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology (2004). His other books include The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei (Westminster John Knox), Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (with John R. Franke; Westminster John Knox), The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics (IVP), A Primer on Postmodernism (Eerdmans), Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry (with Denise Muir Kjesbo; IVP), Revisioning Evangelical Theology: A Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century (IVP), and The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options (IVP). He has also coauthored several shorter reference and introductory books for IVP, including Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (with Roger E. Olson), Pocket Dictionary of Ethics (with Jay T. Smith), and Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (with David Guretzki and Cherith Fee Nordling). He contributed articles to more than two dozen other volumes, and has had published more than one hundred essays and eighty book reviews. These have appeared in journals such as Christianity Today, The Christian Century, Christian Scholar's Review, Theology Today and the Journal of Ecumenical Studies.

For twelve years (1990-2002), Grenz held the position of Pioneer McDonald Professor of Baptist Heritage, Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College and at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. After a one-year sojourn as Distinguished Professor of Theology at Baylor University and Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas (2002-2003), he returned to Carey and resumed his duties as Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology. In 2004 he assumed an additional appointment as Professor of Theological Studies at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Washington.

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