- Hardcover: 578 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; Three Volumes in One edition (August 19, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310209153
- ISBN-13: 978-0310209157
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.7 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,097,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Integrative Theology Hardcover – August 6, 1996
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Integrative Theology is one of the most biblically reliable and faithful presentations of Christian theology from an evangelical perspective. It formulates each Christian doctrine on the basis of thorough biblical expositions and historical investigations. Its integrative methodology is very sound and its emphasis on applicational dimensions of each Christian doctrine makes it an absolutely unique contribution to evangelical systematic theology. -- Sung Wook Chung, , Associate Professor of Theology
From the Back Cover
This study is a new and distinctive approach to theology. It integrates the historical, biblical, systematic, apologetic, and practical fields. Integrative theology involves six steps: 1. Defining a distinct problem or subject for inquiry 2. Learning alternative approaches to the topic 3. Articulating a coherent summary of Old and New Testament teaching 4. Formulating a cohesive doctrine and relating it to other biblical doctrines and other knowledge 5. Defending the doctrine 6. Applying the doctrine as a driving force for Christian life and ministry. The complete three-book set now has been brought together in one volume to address the following topics: Book One: Knowing Ultimate Reality: The Living God - Book Two: Our Primary Need: Christ's Atoning Provisions - Book Three: Spirit-Given Life: God's People Present and Future
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Top customer reviews
The title "integrative" means that L&D tackle theological issues from all angles. While most systematic theologies just start with a topic and then look up Scriptures that relate to the topic, L&D have five steps that they "integrate" in order to expose presuppositions, defend the truth in an increasingly pluralistic society, and offer applications of the doctrine to life and ministry. They first expose presuppositions by examining a given doctrine's history (Historical), work through the Biblical writers step-by-step from Genesis to Revelation (Theology of the Pentateuch, Theology of John, etc) and formulate their emphases (Biblical), look at the Bible as a whole (Systematic), defend the uniqueness of the Christian message (Apologetic), and offer practical applications based on revealed truth (Practical).
The advantages of this unique approach are numerous. First, L&D get readers to admit their own presuppositions. By doing this, the reader is better able to arrive at the truth of a given doctrine while not being held back by hidden assumptions. Second, the errors of proof-texting that are so common in systematic theology are reduced because they consider each issue in the context of the biblical writers - i.e., they don't read Paul into Moses, or James into Paul, or Matthew into Luke. Finally, they are able to offer a reasoned defense of the Christian faith because they've evaluated competing viewpoints. Students who take in their approach will be well equipped to reason from the Scriptures (Acts 17:2) with a world that needs Christ.
This is at its core an introductory textbook into doctrine and theology. Moreover, due to the authors' chosen distinctive approach, the work tends to be highly repetitive, repeating the same historical elements from one article to the next. While often informative, it has the net result of becoming tedious and dry to read when taken in any large grouping of pages.
Though predominantly written from an apparently reformed and evangelical orthodoxy there are interesting deviations. For example, Lewis and Demarest propose that the earth was populated with pre-Adamic apes for vast eons; ostensibly their goal is to reconcile contemporary geologic findings with historic Christianity. Such an approach raises more questions than they are willing to address in their writings (e.g. Did Adam and Eve already expect to die even before the tree incident since their own parents had died before them? When did death actually enter the world?).
There is much to appreciate in their work, particularly their generous application of varied historical understandings behind traditional doctrinal issues and their apologetics-based method in testing theological theories. On the other hand, there are much deeper and more concise Systematic Theologies which are not in the tedious form of a textbook such as Geisler's, Wayne Grudem's, and Swindoll & Zuck's; all of which I would choose as more useful reference materials over this omnibus effort.