on 4 August 1999
Here is a book that should be found in the library of every evangelical theologian, theology student, and pastor today. Without question, this is one of the most thorough and complete one-volume dictionaries of theology presently available--all of this from an evangelical perspective!! The international cast of contributors (predominantly from North America, Australia, and the UK), under the editorial supervision of Dr. Elwell of Wheaton College, have assembled a remarkable wealth of information. The theologically-inquisitive will find within this volume a fairly substantial summary of almost any theological issue that one might wish to investigate (and several that one might never even think to investigate). Multitudinous articles, appearing in alphabetical order, provide summaries of events, movements, issues and concepts, personalities, terminology, etc. that have in some way contributed to the shape of Christian theology. Even the "insignificant" things are included. In addition, the brief bibliographies that appear at the end of each article provide the reader with some idea of where to turn for further inquiry. One of the greatest strengths of this volume is that, while decidedly evangelical in perspective, its content is not narrowly dogmatic in orientation. Its contributors reflect a diversity of theological persuasions and convictions. However, in this day in which "globalization" has become a very real and important influence on the scope of evangelical theology, one criticism of this text is that it is largely Western in its orientation. There are few contributors from non-Western nations. While this is not a surprising feature in a book published in 1984, a time when the theological voices of evangelicals in Africa, Asia, and Latin America had yet to be heard as valid and equal, a revision of this text would certainly be strengthened if it were to be more balanced in its cultural orientation. Perhaps this dictionary's greatest attribute is the roster of renowned contemporary scholars who are numbered among its contributors. There are few places where men such as Donald Bloesch, Colin Brown, Geoffrey Bromiley, F.F. Bruce, D. A. Carson, Millard Erickson, Carl F.H. Henry, George Ladd, Mark Noll, J.I. Packer, Charles Ryrie, and Peter Toon gather together to provide theological instruction. Between the hard-back covers of this dictionary is found one such place. The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology--A Uniuqie Experience, A Monumental Work!
on 22 July 2012
The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (second edition), is a balanced work by many scholars and includes articles of such contemporary relevance that it is
in its revised format sure to be a winner.
The christian views on aging are highlighted. Something which is very topical in the 21st century where the family cohesion of the 1950's and 60's has gone.
'Celibacy',which is current in the Roman Catholic Church among clergy is discussed and compared with the Protestant Reformed view.
An entry on 'Messianic Judaism', a late 20th century phenomenon which recognises Jesus as the Messiah is explained amid divers views on the appropriate type of hebrew worship to be observed.
Other standarised entries are to give two examples:'New Heaven and New Earth'and the 'Theology of Paul'. But we are on fallow ground with 'Psychology and Christianity', an in depth article which is supplemented by
a 'Psychology of Religion'that underpins the former.
This dictionary is also not afraid to tackle sensitive issues such as overt
'Racism' and the social consequences, morally and spiritually that even now are at the heart of the Christian Church, with continuing tension.
What 'Revelation' in ''general'' and ''special'' senses entail is explained
in a twofold article, and this nicely tones in with 'Righteousness' as an abiding principle. Locked in to this theorem is 'Salvation' in the biblical sense which is a deliverance from Sin;and we are treated to a contrast between the O.T. and the N.T. viewpoints.
Circumstances permitting, 'Social Ethics' is another common boundary which examines the fitness of things in a macro context that spans Polotics, Racism and Crime apropos their interaction or lack of it.
The Dictionary with 1312 pages is broad in scope, having over 200 new articles;axing more than 100 entries from the First edition (1980's) which are deemed to be irrelevant. This tome does carefully explore Systematic Theology with its presupposed adjuncts,historical and philosophical as well as Ethics in its broadert sense. It is a very good companion to the 'Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology' also edited by Walter Elwell.
In closing I would say that to go into finer detail would be to exceed the remit of this selective review, which is to give a flavour of the work which is the finest of its kind and well worth the purchase price.
on 12 October 2009
the previous review appears to have been written by the publisher, but this IS a very good book. Lots of detail. Articles are generally of the right length, and written in excellent english.
Articles are occasionally over-sympathetic to the topic, but that's a price worth paying to get an inside view of each topic.