Friday, August 23, 2013

Review of HISTORICAL THEOLOGY by Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath has a significant way of taking theological topics, which could easily be dry and unengaging, and make them leap off the page. His way with words makes him one of the best writers to go to in the areas of theology and the relationship between science and faith. In HISTORICAL THEOLOGY, McGrath brings his writing skill to the area of the development of theological thought throughout Christian history.

McGrath begins with an overview of the different ways to approach theology with emphasis on the importance of historical theology. While theology comes from a study of what the Bible teaches, some of the foundational doctrines within Christianity weren't spelled out explicitly in the pages of the Bible. Concepts such as the trinity were wrestled with by various theologians for the first couple hundred years of Christian history before the orthodox doctrine we know today was officially landed on.

McGrath's book traces the key theological developments of Christian history. He covers four periods: the Patristic period, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the pre- and post-reformation periods, and the modern period from 1750 to today. He discusses the key theologians of each of these periods and the theological developments that took place. An especially helpful part of the book is the case studies at the end of each section.

HISTORICAL THEOLOGY is a great book for seminary students or any just interested in theology. McGrath covers a lot of material in a relatively short book, and he keeps it interesting throughout.

Review copy provided by Wiley-Blackwell

Photo Credit: Wiley-Blackwell

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