In The Great Theologians: A Brief Guide Gerald McDermott examines the life and teaching of the great theologians while also spelling out their relevance for today. If you have wanted to learn about the great theologians, but found the task overwhelming, this book is written for you. McDermott teaches us about eleven pivotal theologians from the Patristic era to the Modern period; about their thought, their place in history and perhaps most importantly he gives a detailed explanation of why they continue to be relevant today.
Theologians considered include, Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Schleiermacher, Newman, Barth, von Balthasar. Study questions accompany each chapter, and makes this book a perfect tool for introducing the great theologians to church small groups/classes in an accessible way. The book will also make an oustanding supplementary text book for introductory and/or survey courses in Theology or Doctrine.
Who are the church's great theologians? What was special about their teaching? What can we learn from them today? Gerald McDermott has written this book for those who want a solid introduction that is challenging, but not overwhelming. Provocative but satisfying. And not too long. McDermott not only informs us about eleven pivotal theologians from Origen to von Balthasar, but helps us sort out what is of continuing value today. With study questions at the end of each chapter, this book is perfect for small groups to go through together. As you do, you'll explore your shared theological history and uncover more about what and why you believe. Here's your chance to think with "the greats" about God.
Gerald R. McDermott (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is professor of religion and philosophy at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He is also a Teaching Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church. His other books include , , , , , , , and
"For many the 'great theologians' seem intimidating. Yet McDermott offers reliable guidance to the uninitiated, making their thought accessible to readers who have never cracked open Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica or John Calvin's Institutes. His presentation of eleven theologians' lives, loves, careers, books, insights, quirks and bloopers is engaging and--dare one say it?-- entertaining. This slender volume offers a draft of pure water for the theological soul, and will leave its readers thirsting for more."
"This handy volume offers an excellent introduction to some of the leading theologians in the history of the church--a wonderful guide to what the theologians call the 'Great Tradition.' If you have been looking for something to help you understand the thought of these titans, search no further. McDermott's book is what you need."
"First-rate scholar Gerald McDermott employs effective prose without becoming prosaic and so provides us a wonderfully catholic and evangelical book that gives Christian theology its proper place in renewal for the health of the church."
"In this excellent guide McDermott introduces outsiders to some of the heroes of his theological tribe. His writing is clear and lively, his selection ecumenical, his assessments judicious. Every Christian is a theologian, called to speak to and about God, and The Great Theologians will make many Christians better theologians by sharing the wisdom the Spirit has disclosed to these notable theologians."
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