Top positive review
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Excellent Introduction to Christian Doctrine
on 2 January 2013
It has always been one of my passions to discuss and communicate theology with clarity and simplicity while avoiding being simplistic. This difficult balancing act is more than achieved by Michael Lloyd in this book.
In some 400-odd pages, Lloyd provides an excellent, sensible overview of evangelical theology, dealing with such central subjects as creation, the fall, providence, incarnation, atonement, resurrection, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the End Times, and the Church.
What I was impressed by was that Lloyd manages, as well as giving a general overview, to make some very interesting arguments that I haven't come across elsewhere in my theological reading.
His chapter on the Fall was the most interesting for me in the book. Here Lloyd tackles some huge issues and tries to explain how the Fall means far more than simply that we are all sinners. It also means that the world is not exactly as how God would have it. For Lloyd this is the basis for dealing with such matters as the problem of evil and why there is so much suffering in the world from both natural disasters and moral evils.
Lloyd also touches on an idea that the fall of Satan occurred prior to the fall of humanity and accounts for death in creation among animal species even before man was created and fell. This allows him to affirm that death is as the result of sin while affirming animal death prior to humanity's fall. Thus he presents a kind of "Gap Theory" for creation.
It is not surprising that this book comes from Alpha course producers. It is an evangelical theology book designed to be read by the modern, thoughtful, 21st century Christian and would be eminently suitable for new Christians who have maybe been through an Alpha or Christianity Explored course and who wants to explore the faith in greater depth.