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Contours of Christian Theology (8 vols.)
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Overview

Contours of Christian Theology is a series of concise introductory texts focused on the main themes of Christian theology. The authors introduce perennial questions and time-tested solutions while moving forward to explore contemporary issues and rework evangelical formulations of the faith.

Series editor Gerald Bray is joined by a select group of respected teachers and theologians, each committed to bringing students, pastors and interested readers up to date on the many ongoing discussions in theology.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Introduces and explores perennial questions and time-tested solutions in light of contemporary issues and evangelical faith
  • Engages classical and contemporary theology
  • Focuses on the main themes of Christian theology

Praise for the Print Edition

This series has been around for over a decade now and has established itself as providing learned yet accessible treatments of key topics in systematic theology. The authors are not only fine theological thinkers, they are also passionate churchmen with a love for God’s people and a desire to see the church grow in her knowledge of grace. Each volume blends exegesis, theological synthesis and judicious dialogue with the history of theology to provide an excellent treatment of the chosen topic. Highly recommended for thoughtful Christians who want to deepen their knowledge of Christian theology.

—Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary

Read everything in the IVP Contours of Theology series. Pure gold.

—Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, MI

Product Details

  • Title: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Editor: Gerald L. Bray
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Volumes: 8
  • Pages: 2,345
  • Resource Type: Systematic Theologies
  • Topic: Systematic Theology

Individual Titles

The Church

  • Author: Edmund P. Clowney
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 336

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

At a time in which the very word church sounds a tone of dull irrelevance, the doctrine of the church has suffered the studied neglect of many Christian leaders. The persistent demands to market, manage and grow the church and to meet the felt needs of churched and unchurched all threaten to quench theological reflection on the abiding nature and mission of the church. But few activities bear greater promise as a starting point for renewing and reshaping the Christian church than the work of theology.

In this book Edmund Clowney takes up that task, addressing along the way a variety of contemporary concerns: worship, mission, church and culture, church and state, church order and discipline, the ministry of women, baptism and the Lord's Supper, tongues and prophecy, signs and wonders. He draws on decades of thinking and teaching about the church as well as from his committed leadership and ministry within the church. Biblical, historical, systematic and Reformed, The Church is a timely and provocative reflection on the life, order and purpose of the household of God.

Edmund P. Clowney (1917–2005) was professor emeritus of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where he served for over 30 years, 16 of those as president. He authored several books, including The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament.

The Doctrine of God

  • Author: Gerald L. Bray
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 281

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

What is theology? What is the nature of God? How should we think about the relationships among the persons of the Trinity? In a carefully reasoned style Gerald Bray distills the essence of these questions and introduces readers to a theological understanding of the personal, trinitarian existence of God.

Engaging classical and contemporary theology along the way, Bray also leads us into conversation with the Eastern Orthodox tradition, where he finds valuable insights sadly neglected by evangelical theology.

Here is a substantial introduction to the nature and subject of God, and a compelling call for evangelicals to renew their commitment to the solid foundation of a truly trinitarian theology.

Dr. Gerald Bray is Research Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL, and Distinguished Professor of Theology at Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

He was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, where he did his undergraduate work at McGill University. He completed his doctoral studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and went on to study theology in Cambridge. In 1978 he was ordained in the Church of England and served a parish in London for two years before going on to teach at Oak Hill College in London. He has been at Beeson since 1993.

Dr. Bray is the editor of the Anglican journal Churchman and has published a number of books, including the award-winning Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present (InterVarsity Press, 1996), Yours Is the Kingdom: A Systematic Theology of the Lord’s Prayer(InterVarsity Press, 2007), God Is Love (Crossway, 2012), and his most recent work, God Has Spoken: A History of Christian Theology (Crossway, 2014).

Dr. Bray speaks several languages fluently. He has lived in Germany, Greece, and Russia, and he has taught in several European countries and Australia. He can often be found in one of the archives of the Church of England, researching parts of its history, on which he has also published a number of important works. He is also an avid swimmer and cyclist.

The Doctrine of Humanity

  • Author: Charles Sherlock
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 303

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

At the end of the twentieth century the forces of race, gender, ethnicity, culture, social status, life-style and sexual preference threaten to disassemble any notion of universal “human nature” or “human condition.” In light of this historical moment, the Christian doctrine of human nature is ripe for rethinking and reformulation.

Charles Sherlock sees this theological task as demanding a “double focus.” To reflect on the subject of human nature, he says, is like “moving around the different areas of an ellipse with two focal points”: humans as made in the image of God and the particular realities of human existence. Both must be brought into sharper, more detailed focus in our quest to understand human nature.

The result of Sherlock’s “double focus” is The Doctrine of Humanity. Sherlock notably engages the communal dimension of humanity in its social, creational and cultural aspects before examining the human person as individual, as male and female, and as whole being. He offers a timely and engaging look at what it means to be human on the continuum between our creation in the divine image and our recreation in the image of Christ.

Charles Sherlock, an Australian theologian, is executive officer of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools, executive officer for the Board of Ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo and regional coordinator (Oceania) for the Anglican Communion’s “Bible in the Life of the Church” project. He has also written The God Who Fights: The War Tradition in Holy Scripture.

The Holy Spirit

  • Author: Sinclair B. Ferguson
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 288

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Holy Spirit, once forgotten, has been “rediscovered” in the twentieth century—or has he? Sinclair Ferguson believes we should rephrase this common assertion: “While his work has been recognized, the Spirit himself remains to many Christians an anonymous, faceless aspect of the divine being.” In order to redress this balance, Ferguson seeks to recover the who of the Spirit fully as much as the what and how.

Ferguson’s study is rooted and driven by the scriptural story of the Spirit in creation and redemption. Throughout he shows himself fully at home in the church's historical theology of the Spirit and conversant with the wide variety of contemporary Christians who have explored the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Foundational issues are surveyed and clarified. Hard questions are explored and answered. Clarity and insight radiate from every page. Here is the mature reflection of a Reformed theologian who will summon respect and charity from those who disagree.

Sinclair Ferguson (born 1948) is a Scottish theologian known in Reformed Christian circles for his teaching, writing, and editorial work. He received his PhD from the University of Aberdeen and was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1971 to 2005, when he transferred to the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He has served as an editor with the Banner of Truth Trust and worked as a minister at St George’s-Tron Church, Glasgow.

The Person of Christ

  • Author: Donald Macleod
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 303

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Throughout the history of the church the doctrine of the person of Christ has been a centerpiece of theological reflection. In The Person of Christ Donald Macleod rearticulates this multifaceted doctrine. He begins with the New Testament and recent attempts to understand its Christology. Macleod then turns his attention to Christ in the history of Christian theology, examining the principal issues extending from Arianism in the fourth century to kenotic Christology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to the current debate over the uniqueness of Christ.

The Person of Christ is a valuable point of entrance and a biblical assessment of the full panorama of issues that have shaped orthodox confessions of Christ through the centuries. The pathway of Christian revelation and tradition is clearly charted, with hazards new and old carefully marked.

Donald Macleod (MA, University of Glasgow; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary), now retired, served as professor and chair of systematic theology at the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh and also as the school’s principal. He pastored Kilmallie Free Church for six years and also served at Patrick Highland Free Church, a bilingual congregation in Glasgow, Scotland. He is well known as a previous editor of The Monthly Record of the Free Church and as a columnist in the West Highland Free Press and The Observer newspaper.

The Providence of God

  • Author: Paul Helm
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 246

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this concise and accessible introduction, Paul Helm outlines for students and interested readers the doctrine of divine providence. Unlike many doctrinal treatments, his approach is not historically oriented. Instead Helm focuses on the underlying metaphysical and moral aspects of God’s providence, paying particular attention to the ideas of divine control, providence and evil, and the role of prayer in relationship to providence.

Paul Helm is a teaching fellow in theology and philosophy at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. From 1993 to 2000 he taught as professor of the history and philosophy of religion at King’s College, University of London. He has published numerous books and articles, including Eternal God: A Study of God Without Time, Belief Politics and Faith and Understanding.

The Revelation of God

  • Author: Peter Jensen
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 304

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In modern times the Christian faith’s claim to possess a unique revelation of God has faced numerous challenges.

A central issue has been the role of the Bible. While some have continued to defend the view that the Bible, inspired by God, is God’s self-revelation in a direct way, others, have argued that God’s self-revelation is to be found primarily in divine action or in the person of Jesus Christ, rather than in the Scriptures as such.

In a fresh approach, Peter Jensen argues that it is better to follow the biblical categories of the knowledge of God and the gospel than to start from “revelation” as an abstract concept.

First, Jensen focuses on revelation, whether special or general, from the viewpoint of the knowledge of God through the gospel. Next, he examines the nature and authority of Scripture and our approach to reading it. Finally, he turns to the revelatory work of the Holy Spirit through illumination.

The result is a creative and compelling exposition of the evangelical understanding of revelation for the contemporary scene.

Peter Jensen is archbishop of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia. He was formerly principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney.

The Work of Christ

  • Author: Robert Letham
  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 284

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In The Work of Christ Robert Letham shapes his discussion around the threefold office of Christ as prophet, priest and king. Within this framework he explores the issues of Christ and the Word of God, the nature and theories of the atonement, and the cosmic and corporate dimensions of the mediatorial kingship of Christ. At crucial points the viewpoints of significant Christian thinkers, from the church fathers to contemporary theologians and biblical scholars, are introduced and brought into the conversation.

Lucidly written and clearly presented, this is a soundly orthodox and engaging presentation of what Christ has done. It is a welcome starting point for students of theology.

Robert Letham (PhD, University of Aberdeen), formerly senior minister of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, Delaware, teaches at Wales Evangelical School of Theology and continues as visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, and adjunct professor of systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is the author of a number of books, including The Work of Christ, The Lord’s Supper and The Holy Trinity, and Through Western Eyes.

About the Editor

Dr. Gerald Bray is Research Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL, and Distinguished Professor of Theology at Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

He was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, where he did his undergraduate work at McGill University. He completed his doctoral studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and went on to study theology in Cambridge. In 1978 he was ordained in the Church of England and served a parish in London for two years before going on to teach at Oak Hill College in London. He has been at Beeson since 1993.

Dr. Bray is the editor of the Anglican journal Churchman and has published a number of books, including the award-winning Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present (InterVarsity Press, 1996), Yours Is the Kingdom: A Systematic Theology of the Lord’s Prayer(InterVarsity Press, 2007), God Is Love (Crossway, 2012), and his most recent work, God Has Spoken: A History of Christian Theology (Crossway, 2014).

Dr. Bray speaks several languages fluently. He has lived in Germany, Greece, and Russia, and he has taught in several European countries and Australia. He can often be found in one of the archives of the Church of England, researching parts of its history, on which he has also published a number of important works. He is also an avid swimmer and cyclist.