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Mere Theology: Christian faith and the discipleship of the mind [Kindle Edition]

Alister McGrath
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Alister McGrath explores how the great tradition of Christian theological reflection can enrich our faith and deepen our engagement with the concerns and debates of the world around us. Part 1 of this exhilarating volume looks at the purpose, place and relevance of Christian theology. Part 2 deals with the relation of the natural sciences and faith: here the core arguments of recent atheist writers are critically examined, including their demand for a ‘New Enlightenment’. In short, Mere Theology addresses matters of real importance for Christian life and thought. It will prove both encouraging and stimulating to all those concerned with developing a ‘discipleship of the mind’.

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Product Description

About the Author

Alister McGrath is Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture at King's College London and a prolific author. His recent books for SPCK include Heresy and, with Joanna Collicutt McGrath, the international bestseller, The Dawkins Delusion?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 341 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0281062099
  • Publisher: SPCK (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #360,616 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars accessible, well written, truly excellent 17 Jan. 2011
By M Wood
This is a very accessible book, by one of the countries finest apologists and theologians. It takes the reader through why theology is important and how you can apply it. It then walks through some arguments that have been aimed at religion by the 'new atheists' and explores the flaws in their logic and evidence base. In doing so, he also explains how one should incorporate Science into one's Christian Woldview.

I really enjoyed this book, even though i've been a Committed Christian for nearly 30 years, and have studied Theology at Uni, i learnt a lot from this book. I thought they way he approached believing in God and the Bible and Science was the best explanation i have heard on this perennial problem.

Definitely one of Prof McGrath's better books, if not his best yet.
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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps McGrath's best book yet. 15 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is one of the best books to date by acclaimed author Alister McGrath. Having read numerous books by McGrath, this is perhaps the one I'd recommend the most.

The first section of the book basically starts by assessing what theology is, what its tradition is, what it is meant to do and what it means for the discipleship of mind - i.e. self transformation. To illustrate this McGrath uses the analogy of George Herbert's Elixir.

Next he looks at Martin Luther and C.S Lewis, and explains that whilst theology is highly intellectual and does have explanatory power it also requires practical application through ethics, actions etc. or it becomes purely speculative. To show how this works he first looks at tragic loss and then at how we view the world. The final chapter of Part 1 looks at how reasonable theology is and how it's meant to affect the disciple's mind.

The second section looks at the presuppositions we use when looking at the empirical world, including the natural sciences. He starts this section off by explaining why the sciences are NOT at war with religion and illustrates how this could not be so. He also, once again, discredits Dawkins highly dubious claim about 'memes'. He then shows how science and religion are NOT at war by considering both Darwinism and Evolution. To illustrate his claims he considers both the works of Charles Darwin and St Augustine, and then contrasts their respective works.

The next chapter is on the failed presupposition, often prompted by the likes of Christopher Hitchens, that 'religion poisons everything'. He looks at why certain things are accredited to religion when they are in fact not religious!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb introduction! 13 Nov. 2010
Firstly this book in an introduction to Theology. It answers questions like 'should I study Theology?', 'Why is Theology important?'. It doesn't answer questions like 'how can I study Theology?'. That said it's an excellent book. The writing style is relaxed and accessible and you can tell that Alister McGrath is passionate about the subject, and its application in real life (as opposed to the classroom).

I loved reading it and would happily buy this for anyone interested in Theology (my copy is covered in notes and highlighted sections).

This quote sums the book up perfectly:

"Theology is at its best and its most authentic when it is put into practice in ministry, mission and worship"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-intellectual woffle 22 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started this book with the hope that the author, as promised, would explain his conversion to Christianity in a clear and detailed manner. Unfortunately, amidst much woffle sprinkled with a generous load of intellectual-sounding big words, He simply said 'I read this book and it convinced me it was all true' , and then continued the verbose woffle about how wonderful and true his religion was, based on his belief - a somewhat circular, or rather spiral argument, with each increasingly overblown point built on the foundation of the previous one, Unfortunately the basic foundation of his whole argument seems to be 'I believe it (though, as already stated, there is no real explanation as to why) and I'm clever and can use big words, so it must be true'

Very disappointing as it did not deliver on what it claimed to explain and prove. As someone interested in theology, though from a sceptical standpoint, this book simply served to reinforce the scepticism rather than give me any genuinely wished-for encouragement to move towards a greater acceptance of this belief system
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Mere Theology is basically two books, back to back.

The first one makes a case for the importance of theology and theological study (perhaps something of a given, considering that the reader has purchased a book on the subject), and is, in my opinion, very basic, simple and foundational. It was all good, but very basic.

The second book is a response and rebuttal to New Atheism, which is especially strong and well written in regards to its responses to Hitchens and Dawkins. The responses to the philosophical problems of New Atheism are excellent, and the responses to Dawkins were, in my opinion, the best part of the book. This second part of 'Mere Theology' is much more complex and in-depth than the first half, and at times can be a little difficult to follow, but is nevertheless the more satisfying and enjoyable part of the book.

All in all, a good read, only gave four stars because of the inconsistency of the flow between the two halves of the book, and because the first half was perhaps a little dull in places.
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