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The Living God: Systemic Theology: Volume One (Systematic Theology)

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0060663636
ISBN-10: 0060663634
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A prominent scholar sets forth in plain, uncomplicated language the essence of two millennia of Christian thinking on the existence and nature of God, how Jesus reveals God, and what this means for the faithful today.

About the Author

Thomas C. Oden is the Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University and the author of more than twenty widely read books, including Pastoral Theology, Agenda for Theology, and Kerygma and Counseling. He is also the general editor of the pioneering series The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.

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Product Details

  • Series: Systematic Theology (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (August 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060663634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060663636
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Bennett VINE VOICE on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Oden, a professor at Drew University, used to be a die-hard modernist, by his own admission. Upon reading the church fathers (such as Hilary, Basil, Jerome, Athanasius, etc) he actually was drawn toward traditional Christianity. It is not surprising that this book (about God's nature and actions) is very traditional, and relies on the Church Fathers', including the reformers, ideas. By using the Bible, as interpreted by the Fathers and the reformers, well reasoned and enduring theology is presented. However this book is very detailed and is very comprehensive, which as another reviewer pointed out, may seem boring to some. However to others it is a great summary of the Christian faith. Here Oden looks at: God's nature, God's character, his name, his works, his Triunity, etc. I highly recommend this book. It is probably the best sytematic theology on the market.
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Oden gives us an extremely detailed systematic theology. For the non-reader, or average Christian there may be too much information to swallow. However for those of us who love to dig deeper into our beliefs, this is one of the best systematic theologys out there. In this volume (volume 1) Oden looks at the basic notions of God presented in the Christian tradition. Such topics include whether God is Triune, God's character, etc. Oden (in his 2nd volume) talks about his 'pyramid of sources' which basically means which sources he considers valuable. They are listed here from most important (to his organization process) to least: the Bible, Ante and Nicene Fathers, Medieval authors, Reformers, and modern theologians. He does not have a problem with reformers, and he quotes from them liberally too, he just has studied a lot of church history, not just reformation beliefs. He also only quotes church fathers when they represent commonly held ideas. I.e. he quotes Augustine and Origen, but not when their views were extreme and rejected by most of the church. As far as I can tell Oden is very traditional, and he leans toward a Wesleyan view of free-will. Overall this book is VERY detailed and it is obvious Oden has done his research.
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Format: Paperback
Yes, this book is a bit head-y. It is, after all a book on systematic theology. For those of us interested in such things this treatment (along with vols. 2 & 3) present a comprehensive and scholarly study of the theologies of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Oden's perspective is more Wesleyan than Calvinist. All readers, from Wesleyans to Calvinists can benefit from the sound Biblical study presented in these works.
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Oden states that the history of the church is the history of exegesis. By looking back down the hollowed corridor of history to the faith that was delivered up through past generations, who sometimes willingly died as martyrs to protect and pass down the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we rediscover the historical and intellectual roots of the Christian faith. Oden's view is that the wisdom of Christian thought has lain dormant and neglected by the contemporary church for far too long.
Oden desires to present the reader with the faith that Vincent of Lerins reflected when he penned, "quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est": "that which has been believed in every place, in every time, by everyone." By this, he means those statements of faith that have been claimed by the majority of Christians throughout time. Oden evidences a firm sense of the importance of reconciling historic doctrinal teaching within the ecclesiastical fundamentals of theology while presenting it in a way that will fascinate evangelicals as they row down the river of historical theology from its headwaters in the New Testament towards modernity. Faithful to this purpose, Oden tries to make no new theological contribution, seeks no new way to contemplate the Lord, no new method of expressing or articulating the Christian faith. Instead he calls upon with great frequency (over 15,000 times throughout the three volumes) to exegetes of Christian history which, as a group of thinkers, he refers to as classical Christianity, or ancient ecumenical orthodoxy. His goal is to warm Protestants to the richness of centuries of Christian intellectual achievement which led to the Reformation.
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Format: Paperback
Oden's book is an edifying and clear-headed antidote to many of the sentimental and historically misinformed theological debates of today. Difficult reading, but well worth the effort, for it puts you in touch with what the great and enduring Christian teachers have thought about God.
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By A Customer on August 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
A wonderful systematic theology. Very,very detailed. Oden doesn't start with the reformation as true christian living. The sources he is using are like a pyramid. First the scriptures, then apostolic fathers and so on. By this principle ancient and traditional sources are more used than modern authors or theologies.
A must for christians of all (!) churches. Buy all 3 volumes!
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By Sue on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book at the recommendation of the late Charles Colson. Thomas C. Oden is a professor at Drew University and carries the credentials it takes to tackle a top notch Systematic Theology work. The book is detailed and written for a more advanced student. To me the book offers a full explanation of our God. Volume one details God's nature, character, name, works, and much much more. If you are interested in Apologetics then "The Living God" is a must read.
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