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Essentials of Christian Theology

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Presenting two dialoguing essays on nine foremost theological questions, William Placher— the recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s 2002 Award for Excellence in Teaching—has provided an unparalleled introductory reader in theology. Himself giving an excellent discussion of the history and current state of each doctrinal issue, he allows the essays to explore and Presenting two dialoguing essays on nine foremost theological questions, William Placher— the recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s 2002 Award for Excellence in Teaching—has provided an unparalleled introductory reader in theology. Himself giving an excellent discussion of the history and current state of each doctrinal issue, he allows the essays to explore and raise questions about their key elements—and the contemporary issues confronting them.


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Presenting two dialoguing essays on nine foremost theological questions, William Placher— the recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s 2002 Award for Excellence in Teaching—has provided an unparalleled introductory reader in theology. Himself giving an excellent discussion of the history and current state of each doctrinal issue, he allows the essays to explore and Presenting two dialoguing essays on nine foremost theological questions, William Placher— the recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s 2002 Award for Excellence in Teaching—has provided an unparalleled introductory reader in theology. Himself giving an excellent discussion of the history and current state of each doctrinal issue, he allows the essays to explore and raise questions about their key elements—and the contemporary issues confronting them.

30 review for Essentials of Christian Theology

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tung

    I found the title a bit misleading as I expected the book to be another systematic theology primer. Instead, this book is designed more to challenge classical thinking about theology. The book is organized into chapters that cover the major themes one would find in a systematic theology textbook – revelation, creation, soteriology, eschatology, etc – but rather than cover the various beliefs around each topic, each chapter very quickly summarizes the major lines of thought, and then includes two I found the title a bit misleading as I expected the book to be another systematic theology primer. Instead, this book is designed more to challenge classical thinking about theology. The book is organized into chapters that cover the major themes one would find in a systematic theology textbook – revelation, creation, soteriology, eschatology, etc – but rather than cover the various beliefs around each topic, each chapter very quickly summarizes the major lines of thought, and then includes two essays written by contemporary theologians that further discuss each topic from various perspectives. For example, in a chapter on ecclesiology, the book summarized the marks of a church and the sacraments of the church in just 6 pages. Then one theologian discussed the historical development of the institution of the church before weighing in on his belief of how the contemporary church should operate. The second theologian (a liberal theologian) discussed the need for the church to be inclusive. An interesting read that won’t give you great depth on any one doctrinal position, but will provide good fodder for seminary discussions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shane Moore

    Are you looking for an accessible and concise overview of the major theological debates raging between professionally spiritual Christians today? Look elsewhere! To a layman this book is an obscure and often unreadable mishmash of the worst collegiate-style pretension. If you are a seminarian who enjoys the self-important and jargonistic writing of lazy theologians, you might find the topics of the book tired and repetitive. If a couple of very ambitious editors with big scissors were let loose Are you looking for an accessible and concise overview of the major theological debates raging between professionally spiritual Christians today? Look elsewhere! To a layman this book is an obscure and often unreadable mishmash of the worst collegiate-style pretension. If you are a seminarian who enjoys the self-important and jargonistic writing of lazy theologians, you might find the topics of the book tired and repetitive. If a couple of very ambitious editors with big scissors were let loose on this volume, they might extract something worthwhile out of it. The editor's commitment to preserving the words of the opinionated blowhards who contributed to the book was a terrible weakness. As it is, the introductory sections preceding the selected essays are by far the best part of the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    A good basic theology book, but it is limited. Full of good and interesting basic theological topics written by people who have different views on the topics than the norm. What bothered me was the way the book was edited together doesn't lend itself to much continuity between the ideas presented. You get a collage of ideas but not a sense that they are linked together. A good basic theology book, but it is limited. Full of good and interesting basic theological topics written by people who have different views on the topics than the norm. What bothered me was the way the book was edited together doesn't lend itself to much continuity between the ideas presented. You get a collage of ideas but not a sense that they are linked together.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Placher's introductions to each chapter are exemplary teaching texts, laying out the history and stakes of each doctrinal locus crisply and helpfully. The voices that follow are much more of a mixed bag in every respect. I can't wholly recommend the book as a standalone textbook, but if the introductions were excerpted they'd make a very good short one. Placher's introductions to each chapter are exemplary teaching texts, laying out the history and stakes of each doctrinal locus crisply and helpfully. The voices that follow are much more of a mixed bag in every respect. I can't wholly recommend the book as a standalone textbook, but if the introductions were excerpted they'd make a very good short one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    11/16/12.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    Not as satisfactory an introduction text to theology as I was hoping. Too oddly specific and niche in theology to function well as "essentials." Not as satisfactory an introduction text to theology as I was hoping. Too oddly specific and niche in theology to function well as "essentials."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A helpful compendium of essays on the faith. I didn't agree with all of them, but all made me think hard about what I do believe! A helpful compendium of essays on the faith. I didn't agree with all of them, but all made me think hard about what I do believe!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  9. 5 out of 5

    Blaine

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cabe

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rolly

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brekke

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Arbuckle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Reyes

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan Mayes

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

  20. 5 out of 5

    j.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Randy Greene

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rev.dulce

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joel

  24. 4 out of 5

    raymond

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andy Petter

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cayla Pruett

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Franklin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Davia Ostertag

  29. 4 out of 5

    Astripp

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kim

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