Here is a concise and informative guide to the history of Christian theology. This condensation of Roger Olson’s widely acclaimed The Story of Christian Theology surveys the events, teachings, and challenges to the Christian faith down through the ages. In five acts, we are ushered from the second to the twenty-first century, following all the twists and turns, wrinkles, and rivalries that lay along that wonderful and humble way of Christian faith, seeking understanding, articulation, and explanation. Crafted for students, pastors, and other busy people, this pocket history of theology provides a clear and informed guide to the central tenets of Christian faith and the internal threats and external challenges it has faced and continues to confront even today.
“Theology is the church’s reflection on the salvation brought by Christ and on the gospel of that salvation proclaimed and explained by the first-century apostles.” (Page 9)
“While all mention God’s mercy in response to true repentance and occasionally express the necessity of God’s grace through the cross of Christ, the apostolic fathers seem more concerned with promoting Christian virtue and obedience by instilling fear of judgment for moral failure.” (Pages 14–15)
“When they died, however, Christianity entered a new era for which it was not entirely prepared. It would no longer be possible to settle doctrinal disputes by turning to an apostle. The next generation was compelled to reflect on Jesus’ and the apostles’ teachings on their own, and thus theology began.” (Page 9)
“Arminius did not deny the doctrine of election, but he insisted that it be understood as divine foreknowledge of what individuals would freely do with the liberty given them.” (Page 83)
“Gnosticism appealed to and fostered spiritual elitism, secrecy and division within the budding Christian church.” (Pages 10–11)