- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (February 7, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0631160795
- ISBN-13: 978-0631160793
- Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 165 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,861,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Christian Theology 1st Edition
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"Christian Theology: An Introduction is a work of prodigious learning and notable clarity. Alister McGrath here combines a mastery of the history of doctrine with his gift of communication to produce the finest university textbook available in this field". Professor Gabriel Fackre, Andover Newton Theological School, USA
"There is much to admire in Dr McGrath's skill as a pedagogue. The range of issues he deals with is marvellously broad, and he says a great many things which are important, beautiful, true and worth knowing." Church Times
"McGrath has surpassed even himself in his latest work, Christian Theology: An Introduction."
"His assumption that the reader has little theological expertise and reads only English, makes the book extremely valuable to beginners in theology."
"Beginners in theology will want this book, I do not say on their shelf, but rather, in their hands; and yet advanced theologians will not regret digesting the material presented as well."
"His purpose is not to pre-scribe but to de-scribe Christian Theology." Trinity Journal
"This is a wonderfully clear presentation of major questions on each of the topics discussed. The author is a skilful teacher who knows how to explain what is at issue in the different debates and disagreements without overwhelming the reader with unnecessary detail." ACT Digest
"'Introduction' is perhaps too modest a word for a book which gives a basic introduction to almost every aspect of the history and theology of Christianity. It is clearly written, fairly argued, and very reasonably priced. McGrath has set a standard that will not be broken for a very long time." Theology
"This is an admirable textbook which will soon grace many shelves." Expository Times
"This book is an extraordinary achievement, a tour de force by McGrath which will establish his reputation as one of Britain's most important theologians. It will also introduce thousands of students to theology as a discipline with a rich heritage, clear sense of its own methods and norms, and an elusive yet articulate understanding of Christian language about God. For all of these reasons, Alister McGrath is to be congratulated." Reviews in Religion and Theology
"This book provides a long-awaited introduction to every aspect of Christian theology. Drawing on ten years experience of teaching Christian theology worldwide, Dr McGrath provides the most user-friendly textbook on the subject currently available." Regent Authors
"One can easily predict that it will be widely used as a textbook, for he lets the Church and its classic traditions speak for themselves, rather that expostulating on his own arguments and opinions. His own constructive work takes the form of addressing, in light of Scripture and tradition, some of the burning issues in the Church today. the happy result is that the shape of the quesions is contemporary, while the substance of the answers is deeply traditional." First Things
"This is a bold, pioneering and progressive approach which deserves to succeed, and only writers of McGrath's stature can make a fine a job of it as here. The readability and reliability alone of the work should guarantee it a place in every theological library where it should remind all teachers of Christian doctrine that the subject is absorbing, mainly accessible, and certainly indispensible." SBET.
From the Back Cover
This book provides a long-awaited introduction to every aspect of Christian theology. Drawing on ten years' experience of teaching Christian theology worldwide, Dr McGrath provides the most user-friendly textbook on the subject currently available. Every section of the book has been classroom-tested in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.
The book contains three major sections: Landmarks, a full exposition of the historical development of Christian theology from the patristic period to the present day. This provides full accounts of key movements, debates, and writers of importance to classic and contemporary theology, including material relating to postmodernism, postliberalism, and evangelicalism; Sources and Methods, a detailed account of issues such as the nature of theological language, the nature of theological sources (such as Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience), and the manner in which they have been used throughout Christian history; Christian Theology, a detailed analysis of the main themes of Christian theology. Although the discussion is fully up to date, full weight is given to the debates of the patristic, medieval, and Reformation periods.
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Of course, this book is as comprehensive as a 536-page book can be, and that is pretty darn comprehensive; the book has large pages and small text. McGrath often refers to things he had talked about earlier in the book (the specific in-text citations were helpful here). He effectively pulls the most important components of each view he summarizes so that later he can develop them further when considering a different discipline of Christian theology. For example, in the chapter 17, “Christianity and World Religions,” he brings together Karl Barth’s views on the person of Christ (chapter 11) and his views on salvation (chapter 13) to demonstrate how they are all interconnected in Barth’s worldview.
McGrath is as objective as anyone can ever expect a theologian to be on a topic like Christian theology. He is honest with every position he summarizes, providing its best arguments and its strengths and weaknesses. On most issues, it is nearly impossible to discern exactly on what side McGrath stands. Perhaps such an eminent Oxford University scholar should be expected to be able to so carefully discuss ideas he has studied his entire life. Being the fifth edition, this book has also probably faced enough scrutiny to fine-tune it into this unbiased textbook.
Probably in hopes of being objective, McGrath omits first-person pronouns. This results in many passive sentence constructions and thus, sometimes, wordiness. Although this wordiness annoyed me, it usually was unnoticeably because the content was interesting. McGrath is, nevertheless, a great writer and explains everything in plain language, and this book is easy to understand for a beginner in theology.
This book read like a book on history more than anything else, although this is due mostly to the nature of Christian theology. Such a discipline can only consist largely of looking back at what theologians have written in the past and revising their ideas to accommodate the ways society has since developed. I highly recommend this book to any student of theology or world religions.
theologies (including Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, as well as many of the Protestant ones). Second, it is simple to understand. I don't go to England any more, but I wish I might sometime meet Alister McGrath, the author.