Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Review: Exploring Christian Theology Vol. 2 N. Holsteen M. Svigel

Theology.  I can cause the most courageous among us to run for the door.  It has the potential to be a real dry and difficult read.  Minor differences in key doctrines have cause major strife throughout Church history.  It was with these thoughts in mind, that I cautiously approached this latest read.

This book is the second volume of three.  It covers the doctrines of Creation, The Fall, and Salvation.  These are three important aspects of Christian theology, and so a sound exposition of them is an essential matter to growth in the faith.  

I was instantly struck by the remarkable readability of this book.  While they do use theological terms, they instantly explain them in laymen's terms.  The book has an open language to it.  The door is open just far enough, to let in varying points within the broader outline of orthodox beliefs.  I come from a fundamentalist background.  I am used to questions of differences in some doctrines of being between right and wrong, as opposed to being minor disagreements within the large house of orthodoxy.  I truly appreciated the way the authors were able to cast differences in such a constructive tone.  

Another great feature of this title is returning Christian focus back to those things that we hold in common.  Although we may differ in our opinion of how God's grace is bestowed upon us, we still hold jointly that it is the overflowing grace of God that makes us right with our Creator.  As a layperson, within the house of Orthodoxy there are some points of disagreement, that may wait until we stand before God.  If we are going to be the salt and light, that we are called to be, then we need to stop erecting fences between those who believe most of the same things we do.  We must major on the majors and minor on the minors.  I think the Moravian Church may say it best when they say; "In essential, unity; In non-essentials, liberty; In all things, Love".  

This is an excellent book for the layperson who desires to understand a little greater the doctrines of the Church.  It has a beautiful history of each of the doctrines through Church history to the present.  It is written in a simple and straight-forward manner, and would be an easy read for even the novice theologian.  It would also be a great tool for the layperson that would like a bigger picture of the varying ideas and thoughts that make up greater Orthodoxy.  I would definately recommend it to others.  In fact, I believe I will be purchasing the other two volumes to see what the Authors have discussed in those books.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this title through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program, in order to offer this review.

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