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An Uncommon Union: Dallas Theological Seminary and American Evangelicalism Hardcover – October 24, 2009
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From the Back Cover
Dallas Theological Seminary is often viewed as a bastion of conservative evangelicalism, marked by an unswerving devotion to theological positions of fundamentalism, biblical inerrancy, and dispensational premillennialism.An Uncommon Union, the first book-length history of Dallas Theological Seminary, written by a graduate and veteran faculty member of DTS, provides a necessary corrective to such a simplistic assessment. Using the tenures of the school's five presidents as the backbone for his narrative, John D. Hannah reveals the tensions that DTS has experienced in its eighty-plus years of existence.Each successive president of DTS brought his own unique style and perceptions to the school, even as he dealt with the changing religious and cultural milieu that swirled around it. Hannah argues that, rather than being a monolithic institution, Dallas Theological Seminary is a unique blend of differing heritages and of opposing traditions, a place that defies easy categorization.A keenly insightful and thoughtful work, An Uncommon Union illuminates the path charted by the leaders of a prominent American seminary in a rapidly changing world. All readers interested in the history and future of evangelicalism, regardless of their theological persuasion, will benefit from this book.
About the Author
Dr. John D. Hannah (ThD, PhD) is distinguished professor of historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and research professor of theological studies. He has received numerous awards and has written several books, including The Glory of God Alone, The Kregel Pictorial Guide to Church History, and Our Legacy: A History of Christian Doctrine.
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For those who have sat under Dr. Hannah's teaching, his style will be instantly recognized and the painstaking research is evident. I assumed that I would not learn very much because I had already studied much of the seminary's history, but I consistently found myself learning so much more. I knew there had been much ado regarding dispensationalism, but was not aware of the seminary's history on Lordship salvation, "Mueller" financial awareness, inerrancy, and Calvinism.
I would have liked to learn more about a few items. It's not a criticism, just a personal wish list. For example, did many students leave during WWII to serve? What was student life like over the various periods (particularly the early years) in regards to housing, family, course load, activities, etc.? What are some of the stories of alumni? We know of David Jeremiah, Jim Rayburn, and Tony Evans, but what of others? I suspect the pause here would be the fear of leaving someone out. The list could go on for hundreds of pages.
This book is a testimony to the institution, the faculty, and the supporters of Dallas Theological Seminary that have touched thousands of lives over the last 87 years with implications that will go on for eternity.
Based on his research of personal correspondence from the school's presidents, institutional documents, board meeting minutes, and biographical materials, Hannah presents compelling evidence for his analysis. Therefore, if you are looking for an institutional history of DTS, then this well-written and well-researched work by one of the seminary's own distinguished faculty members is an indispensable resource. We can hope that more seminaries will follow Hannah's example in providing honest, frank, and open critical assessments of their own stories.
(See full review at my blog)
Most recent customer reviews
I am a classmate of John Hannah's at Philadelphia College of Bible (we graduated together) and a former student at DTS.Read more