A Christian's understanding of God is crucial to how he or she views everything else. In The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction, Veli-Matti Karkkainen surveys what the church has traditionally thought about God. He also examines what the church today, both in North America and around the world, thinks about God and shows how the insights of Christians from various cultures can enrich an understanding of God. Karkkainen's book will reward pastors and laypeople with a much fuller understanding of who God is and how we can enter a deeper relationship with him.
While introducing readers to the relevant biblical and historical developments of the classic theistic tradition, the primary focus of the work is its introduction to major contemporary theological movements and the writings of representative theologians. Karkkainen begins with the doctrine of God in the Old and New Testaments, then moves through patristic and medieval understandings of God and into the views of Luther and Calvin. Next he examines the doctrine of God in the thought of Barth, Tillich, Rahner, Kung, Pannenberg, and other European theologians. The heart of the book is an extensive discussion of the doctrine of God in modern movements such as process theology, ecological theology, African and Caribbean theology, Asian theology, and Latin American theology. This comprehensive textbook will serve courses in the doctrine of God, systematic theology, and contextual theology.
The power of this book is the careful, even presentation of a wide range of non-Western Christian theologians. They pose challenges and offer creative alternatives from diverse worldviews. This is a reader-friendly book with helpful subject and scriptural indexes.
—A. L. Kolp, Choice
Karkkainen meets a felt need of many theology students--to be given an introduction in global perspective to great themes like this one: the doctrine of God. The book reveals what theologians around the world are saying about this primary and all-important subject and will stimulate readers to imagine God in more relevant and transforming ways.
—Clark Pinnock, professor emeritus of systematic theology, McMaster Divinity College
Veli-Matti Karkkainen is associate professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and also holds teaching posts at the University of Helsinki and Iso Kirja College in Finland.