Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction (Hardcover) By: Michael F. Bird
Biblical scholar Michael F. Bird contends that the center, unity, and boundary of the evangelical faith is the evangel, that is, the gospel, as opposed to a particular doctrine like justification by faith or inerrancy. The evangel is the unifying thread in evangelical theology and the theological hermeneutic through which the various loci of theology need to be understood.
Using the gospel as the foundation, this text presents an authentically evangelical theology, as opposed to an ordinary systematic theology written by an evangelical theologian. The gospel holds together doctrine, experience, mission, and practice. Some systematic theologies lean so heavily toward a discussion of historical theologians that the Bible is barely mentioned while others so ignore the historical development of the Christian faith that the theology is only a collection of proof texts. Bird attempts to bridge the gap and avoid each extreme as he pulls together the canonical and the creedal.
According to the author, theology is the act of making the gospel shape one's thinking, praying, teaching, and every other aspect of life. Evangelical Theology features tables, sidebars, and questions for discussion. The end of every part includes a "What to Take Home" section that gives students a run-down on what they need to know. And since reading theology can often be dry and cerebral, the author applies his unique sense of humor in occasional "Comic Belief" sections so that students may enjoy their learning experience through some theological humor added for good measure.
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