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Comment: Zondervan, 2011, 778 pages, hardback, paper-covered -pictorial boards, a fine copy, no jacket issued. [9780310230137] (140616).P.
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Historical Theology Hardcover – 30 Apr 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (30 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310230136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310230137
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 5.7 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 785,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Most historical theology texts follow Christian beliefs chronologically, discussing notable doctrinal developments for all areas of theology according to their historical appearance. And while this may be good history, it can make for confusing theology, with the classic theological loci scattered throughout various time periods, movements, and controversies. In Historical Theology, Gregg Allison offers students the opportunity to study the historical development of theology according to a topical-chronological arrangement, setting out the history of Christian doctrine one theological element at a time. Such an approach allows readers to concentrate on one tenet of Christianity and its formulation in the early church, through the Middle Ages, Reformation, and post-Reformation era, and into the modern period. The text includes a generous mix of primary source material as well, citing the words of Cyprian, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth, and others. Allison references the most accessible editions of these notable theologians' work so that readers can continue their study of historical theology through Christian history's most important contributors. Historical Theology is a superb resource for those familiar with Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology or interested in understanding the development of Christian theology.

About the Author

Gregg Allison (PhD) is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky where he teaches systematic theology. Previously he served on Cru staff at the University of Notre Dame and overseas in Italy and the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. He is a pastor of Sojourn Community Church, and is the theological strategist for Sojourn Network, a church planting network of about thirty churches. He is the author of Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine; Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church; and Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book for those who are new to this topic, it is easy to understand and the language is not as complex as some theological texts on the market. I would recommend it to those who are starting out in theology.
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Format: Hardcover
A great companion volume to Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology book. Gives a solid grounding to how the current thinking on theology has developed in the Protestant world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Companion to Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology 18 April 2011
By Dr. David P. Craig - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Gregg R. Allison has made a very useful and practical contribution to the study of historical theology - especially for those familiar with Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology." Gregg writes clearly and cogently for those of us who desire to go deeper into the historical foundations, development, and significance of each major doctrine of the Bible.

Allison gives us eight solid reasons for studying Historical Theology:

1) "helping [those who study it to] distinguish orthodoxy from heresy."
2) "it provides sound biblical interpretations and theological formulations."
3) "it presents stellar examples of faith, love, courage, hope, obedience, and mercy."
4) "to protect against the individualism that is rampant today among Christians."
5) "it not only helps the church understand the historical development of its beliefs, but enables it to express those beliefs in contemporary form."
6) "it encourages the church to focus on the essentials, that is, to major on those areas that have been emphasized repeatedly throughout the history of the church."
7) "it gives the church hope by providing assurance that Jesus is fulfilling his promise to his people."
8) "finally, as beneficiaries of the heritage of doctrinal development sovereignly overseen by Jesus Christ, the church of today is privileged to enjoy a sense of belonging to the church of the past."

This book is simply a marvelous plethora of useful information on the development of theology gathered in one place, synthesized masterfully by Allison for those who want to know how theology has come to us by the greatest theological minds in history. The author follows the same outline of Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology," (also available from Zondervan), and thus it makes this resource an excellent companion of Grudem's outstanding work. I highly recommend both of these resources to be used together for anyone who desires to know what we believe and how the greatest God-centered theologians of history have developed the sound theology needed to transform lives and culture today in the 21st century.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Greg Allison's Historical Theology 19 May 2011
By Mark Houvenagle - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Allison has made a great contribution to the Evangelical community. I have been studying the theological history of Creation. It has been difficult to find resources. My main sources have been Answers in Genesis' Dr. Terry Mortenson and Dr. Jason Lisle. (Dr Mortenson's work, that I've seen, has been mostly with the history of Evolution. Astrophysicist Lisle points out that evolution is irrational as a world view. Piecemeal I have collected serveral books and DVD's that have been helpful.) Greg Allison, though, has included the material I have found through AIG and has gone further back in history; studying the creation theology of Anselm, Augustine, Calvin, and others. If I could have only one resource on creation history I would want this book.

While I've talked only of the chapter on Creation, Allison's book is a wide and deep history of systematic theology. In the early 1980's I attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and took Elementary Greek from a 33 year old Dr. Grudem. Greg Allison was the top student in that class. I had written Greg Allison's phone number in my Elementary Greek Grammer so I could call him for help. Thanks for helping Greg, then and now.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most needed and accessible work! 4 May 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I will preface my review by saying that I agree with David P. Craig's review above. Dr. Allison has written an accessible and weighty work that details the theological advancement of major doctrines of the Christian church through much of their historical development. The primary goal of the the volume is to provide an overview that dovetails with Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and Allison includes a table that details how his work dovetails with Grudem's. More than an addition to Grudem, however, the level of scholarship including the documentation from original source material, presents the reader with a wealth of critical source material references to back up the conclusions made within the work. A student can begin with Allison's book and conclude with a detailed study of original source documents that will shed light on our faith as once delivered to the saints and handed down through the faith and work of dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ to a generation not yet born.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. David Steele - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I waited for Gregg Allison's, Historical Theology for over a year. After carefully devouring over 700 pages, Allison's work does not disappoint.

Historical Theology is patterned after Wayne Grudem's, Systematic Theology and follows a topical-chronological framework that makes studying historical theology a real delight. For those familiar with historical theology, a discipline that is often presented in a dull and dreary manner, Allison's work is a gift that will be utilized and appreciated by many Bible students and pastors.

Historical Theology is arranged in seven sections:

Part 1: The Doctrine of the Word of God

Part 2: The Doctrine of God

Part 3: The Doctrine of Humanity

Part 4: The Doctrines of Christ and the Holy Spirit

Part 5: The Doctrine of the Application of Redemption

Part 6: The Doctrine of the Church

Part 7: The Doctrine of the Future

Each section follows a predictable pattern that moves readers through the respective doctrinal developments that begin with the early church and proceed to the middle ages, the Reformation, and the modern period.

The author presents historical developments in a fair and gracious manner. He alerts readers to matters that pertain to heretical proclivities as well as orthodox dogma.

Historical Theology will no doubt serve as the standard textbook in Bible College and Seminaries for many years to come.

5 stars
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable but incomplete 18 Jan. 2012
By K. Feucht - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology text is deficit of any historical context. This is a serious deficit to an otherwise excellent systematic theology textbook, and Allison attempts to provide in this text what Grudem left out. Each chapter is arranged topically following the chapters in Grudem. This creates a textbook of historical theology that has strengths but also serious weaknesses. Oftentimes, a theological discussion demands the environment of multiple topics, such as the Christological controversies of the 2-4th centuries which cannot be discussed void of the trinitarian controversies. This leaves a text that is only half complete. Allison's text would not be good for a neophyte in historical theology, as he would loose the entire nature of many controversies. For this reason, JND Kelly's text for early church theological developments, or Schaff's History do a far better job of giving the reader a flavor as to the content of the historical debates. Allison's text would work better if designed as an advanced text, but this would mean a very large section for each of the topics covered, accompanied by a large amount of repetition. Many areas are woefully incomplete, such as a very poor discussion of subordinationism, the iconoclastic controversy, and the rise of covenant theology, just to name a few. The text has strengths in that it is easily readable, and could act as a jumping off point for further reading. As a primary historical theology text, others do better when they stick to a chronological discussion rather than a topical agenda.
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