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4.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0631225285
Manufacturer : Blackwell Publishers|
Release data : 01 February, 2001
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Good overview of standard theological themes
This book is one of the most handy theological surveys one will encounter in Christian academia. McGrath's book is good because it gives one a pretty comprehensive outline of major theological themes in a pretty straightforward manner. The book is not large but the information contained in it is pretty dense. The best thing about this book is that it is useful in various settings: seminary classrooms, lay theology seminars in churches, at home, and in the pastor's library. One will find this book fair and balanced because it does not really tow to a particular party line. If one is looking for a theology book that will try to be argumentative, then one will be disappointed. On the other hand, if one is looking for a book that just provides the information, this book is for you.
Excellent Introduction to Christian Theology
Alister Mcgrath's introduction to Christian Theology is a broad, even-handed overview of Christian thought. The most appealing aspect of this text is that it is devoid of sectarian bias and the desire to "tell its readers what to believe," as Mcgrath writes in the preface. Mcgrath's inform and enlighten approach, letting the reader make his/her own conclusions, stands in stark contrast to the majority of theological texts available, which are more concerned with the preach and convert method.
For those who desire to understand the foundational underpinnings upon which Christianity is built, without a denominational slant or overly fundamentalist tone, this book is highly recommended. The books approach and content warrant 5 stars; however, as another reviewer pointed out, there are several proofreading/typographical errors that cry out for correction.
Alister McGrath has written an excellent, helpful volume in this introduction text to Christian Systematic Theology. Here's a quick partial listing of what the book includes and how it's structured:
Part 1: Landmarks: Periods, Themes, and Personalities of Christian Theology
-includes chapters on The Middle Ages, Refomation, Modern Period, et. al.
Part 2: Sources and Methods
-includes chapters on Preliminaries, Sources of Theology, Knowledge of God (Natural and Revealed), Philosophy and Theology, et. al.
Part 3: Christian Theology
-includes chapters on the Doctrine of God, Doctrine of the Trinity, Doctrine of the Person of Christ, the Doctrine of Salvation in Christ, Christianity and World Religions, et. al.
Overall, the book is an excellent starting point for coming to an understanding of Christian theology. McGrath is suprisingly unbiased in his overviews of all the topics in the book: only on occasion is it possible to see his own opinions peeking out through the wealth of information provided.
McGrath's book is fair because it has such a huge breadth to it: it would be hard to claim that any one group or believe in particular has been short sighted.
In addition, because of the book's highly structured layout, this serves as an excellent reference book for nearly any area of theology for at least a basic overview. Furthermore, each chapter ends with a secion for "Further Reading" in which McGrath provides a listing of other works on the individual topics presented in each chapter.