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A Theology for the Church Hardcover – July 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel L. Akin is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Arlington and has authored or edited many books and Bible commentaries including Ten Who Changed the World and the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary volumes on Mark and 1, 2, 3 John.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 992 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080542640X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805426403
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A Theology for the Church is a unique book. It's a systematic theology by multiple authors, written on an academic level but with the goal of impacting the church as a whole. It is written by Southern Baptists but is applicable to all thinking Christians. The contributors disagree on some points, although they are united by their "passion for a revival of theological knowledge and understanding in the church."

The goal of the book is to present to the church a guide to the major headings of theology that will help pastors and laypeople both to learn sound doctrine and to see the importance, the relevance, of that doctrine. Toward that end, each chapter asks four questions about the doctrine at hand:

1. What does the Bible say?
2. What has the church believed?
3. How does it all fit together?
4. What is the significance of the doctrine for the church today?

This is a great approach, integrating exegesis, history, systematic theology, and application. This last section was especially great in most of the chapters I read. It's true that the study of theology involves the danger of divorcing the knowledge of God from "real life," but it's also true that the true knowledge of God, the ground of all reality, is invaluable in living in the real world.The application sections are dead-on in showing how our theology, good or bad, shapes our behavior, whether we admit it or not.

Because this book was written by a variety of authors and covers a vast amount of material, it's inevitable that everyone will disagree at some point. That was the case for me, although at most points I thought the treatments were fair even when I disagreed with the author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Theology for the Church is a scholarly systematic theology text book with a decided conservative and evangelical orientation. The book is edited by the President of a Southern Baptist seminary which should be a big clue as to the book's theological composition. However, it is an excellent book with chapters by some of the finest theologians in America. The book's major challenge is its huge size (over 900 pages) which makes it a difficult read. A Theology for the Church provides a wealth of rewarding theological insights for those willing to work through its voluminous size.
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Format: Hardcover
A Theology for the Church editied by Daniel L. Akin is one of the best if not the best Baptist Theology book in print. It is clear in its presentation of the different views within the evangelical context but is bold enough to take a stand on a view.
This is for the serious student of theology.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superb contribution to the realm of systematic theology. It is one of the primary textbooks for theology courses at Southeastern Baptist seminary. The work is conservative and reflects Baptist doctrine. I have personally benefited from this text and commend it to all of those willing to "do the work." My only critic is the level of writing may not be applicable to the entire church, but caters toward the theologically trained. I find Wayne Grudem's work a better book to introduce systematic theology to the church.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The one star is not for the book, but for the kindle version of the book. The kindle version does not contain real page numbers which makes it useless to me as a textbook at Southeastern Seminary as I need to read specific pages each week and the professor does not give the headings. Just wanted to let you know not to get the kindle version for seminary class unless they update the page numbers. Had to return the kindle version and buy the read book which cost an extra $12 and some points on my first quiz because I did not read all of the right sections.
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Format: Hardcover
Systematic theologies are invaluable resources for the church. They are as varied as the authors who write them and some are more beneficial than others. The preponderance of systematic theologies are written by individuals within a denominational/theological tradition. While there are many books on specific topics written by various contributors, this is not the case with systematic theologies. So it is unique and a bit refreshing when a systematic theology does comes along that breaks the individual author mold.

One of these few contributions is A Theology for the Church, Revised Edition edited by Daniel L. Akin. First published in 2007, the revised edition has new chapters on theological method from a missional perspective by Bruce Ashford and Keith Whitfield and a theology of creation, providence, and Sabbath by Chad Owen Brad which engages current research in science and philosophy. Additionally, the chapters on special revelation by David Dockery and human nature by John Hammett have been updated.

Outline

A Theology for the Church follows the standard outline of systematic theology starting with the doctrine of revelation and concluding with the doctrine of the end times. Each chapter approaches these doctrines through a fourfold pattern: (1) What does the Bible say? (2) What has the church believed? (3) How does it all fit together? and (4) How does this doctrine impact the church today?

In addressing What does the Bible Say? the authors approach their work by walking through the unfolding of Scripture (Genesis to Revelation) and so so in a variety of ways. Some chapters (natural revelation and person of Christ) walk through specific passages of Scripture to answer this question.
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