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Systematic Theology, Vol. 2: Doctrine Paperback – August 1, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James McClendon, Jr. was Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He passed away in October of 2000.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687110211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687110216
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ian Packer on January 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
The appearance of (yet) another systematic theology would not generally be the occasion of great excitement. The mature thought of someone of the stature of, say, a Pannenberg may well draw large attention but a pattern fairly typical of systematic theologies is likely to be followed and while there will undoubtedly be abundant insights into specific issues, there is unlikely to be the kind of large scale revisioning of systematic theology that one finds in the work of James McClendon. McClendon's projected three-volume systematic theology is now two-thirds complete with Ethics appearing in 1986, Doctrine in 1994 and Witness forthcoming but expected shortly. McClendon's systematic theology is important for a variety of reasons. Notably, it represents, aside from Robert Jenson's new Systematic Theology , the only major and substantial, truly theological project (rather than methodological or epistemological) underway among those theologians loosely associated with the label `postliberal'. More importantly, it exemplifies an approach to theology that gives priority to the ecclesial community rather than the academy: this does not mean theology `made popular' but rather theology self-consciously rooted in the practices of the Christian community.
The most conspicuous evidence of this is the way that McClendon chose to begin his systematic theology: with ethics (Vol 1)! The usual presentation of systematic theology assumes an order presumed to be the only logical and proper way: that is beginning with `prolegomena', followed by `doctrine', then `ethics'. `Prolegomena' discusses questions of method and so forth, largely in terms of current philosophy and usually in terms of philosophical `grounding' or justification for the following theological project.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Richard M. Wright on October 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I must disagree with my friend and classmate Rob Stovall in his review above. When I was forced to slog through this volume for Theology I and II at the Baptist Seminary in Richmond I with many others hated it--the style and presentation are indeed dense and difficult. But with time I have seen some of the originality and brilliance lurking here--insofar as a reader can figure out what McClendon is saying! His emphasis on the picture language of Scripture is an invaluable alternative to "fundamentalist" attempts to distill the Bible into discrete and entirely consistent propositions. It is this effort to stick to the real "plain sense" of Scripture, rather than parrot traditionalist (non-)readings thereof, which one appreciates most, even if McClendon does not adequately explain what may be some of his most brilliant and original contributions regarding doctrine as practice, eschatology and the beginning of our understanding of creation, and "ordinances" as "effective practices"--quasi-sacremental(?) understandings of baptism, communion, and preaching.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
McClendon's 'Doctrine' is an unconventional presentation of Christian teaching that defies easy categorisation and summary. The author arranges his material the opposite way of most systematic theologies: beginning with eschatology and ending with methodological considerations. His work has the strength of including a lot concentrated biblical exegesis and theological history, which does, I think, greatly determine the way that he formulates his theology. However, his presentation is often dense and inaccessable, couched in a narrative scheme that is never made entirely clear to the uninitiated. This means that his exact thoughts on a certain issue are often hard to pin down. Also the 'baptist vision' that he seeks to present is highly questionable; I have never seen anything like it in either the theology or practice of the Baptist churches that I have been a part of. I think this 'vision' is more of a reification than something that actually exists the real world. Nevertheless, his work does possess fresh insights and new ways of thinking about some timeless doctrinal issues in the contemporary world.
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By notdenise on September 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was brand new, thanks!
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15 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
McClendon's theology is a classic example of a textbook that is written for a traditional audience by one who, charitably speaking, is less than traditional. McClendon is forced to use traditional categories while filling them with ideas for which they were never designed. For example, McClendon purposefully organizes this text into three distinct sections, avowedly borrowing a Trinitarian concept. This leaves the reader amazed to find that McClendon is not at all trinitarian in his theology; he is a Modalist (cf. chapter seven: "The Identity of God"). This sort of theological shell-game makes for difficult reading as McClendon awkwardly attempts to mask his idiosyncratic (for a baptist) theology behind Orthodox categories. As a student at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, I struggled through this ponderous tome; it did not repay my effort.R
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