Theology isn’t simple. It’s not just a matter of reflecting on our own experiences or gathering anecdotal evidence. We must struggle with applicable biblical passages, all with their own histories and interpretation. Then we must reconcile doctrines with each other. We need to cope with and incorporate discoveries in science and insights of psychology. When we trace the history through the patristic, medieval, protestant, and modern eras, we can see what has led to diverse views traditions, and denominations. We can also see what we still hold in common and what unites us as Christians. Dr. Holsteen and Dr. Svigel show us how to do this in their book Exploring Christian Theology: Volume Two.
I have not read volume one, but this volume stands alone as it examines the Christian doctrines of creation, the fall, and salvation without favoring or pushing toward any particular denomination viewpoint. First, they portray a “high-altitude” survey, then zoom in to the applicable passages in the Bible, and then they take a stroll through history beginning in 100 A.D. for the doctrine’s development. My favorite parts, though, were the “dangers to avoid” and the “principles to practice” with each doctrine.
The authors are masters at being able to develop and explain the doctrines in ways that unite rather than divide Christians and to embrace our different ways of understanding. From the “facts to never forget” sections, they clearly hold an orthodox and evangelical perspective in line with where their professions as professors at Dallas Theological Seminary.
While the back cover proclaims in bold print that the top that this book is “foundations of theology in everyday language”, some previous knowledge of Christian history and its major players will enhance understanding. I would highly recommend this book for seminary and Bible students, pastors, and others who are in ministry.