As an introduction to Christian systematic theology, The Understanding of Christian Faith treats all the main theological topics-from God to last things-seeking to explicate critically the understanding of them implicit in Christian faith itself in terms at once appropriate to Jesus Christ and credible to human existence.
Its criteria, accordingly, are the ultimate criteria of on the one hand, specifically Christian experience of Jesus as expressed by the apostolic witness, and on the other hand, generically human experience of existence as expressed by a sound philosophy. And, as befits an introduction, it employs these same criteria to clarify the process of actually doing Christian systematic theology. Thus it begins by explaining both what such a theology has to do and how it is to do it, and ends by considering what it means to do theology as a Christian calling, particularly as a professional theologian.
All who seek clarity about what Christian faith means and why it is worthy of belief will discover here a cherished companion. Accessibly written and theologically complete, this book excels as an introduction to systematic theology and requires no knowledge of Ogden's distinguished previous work, even while readers familiar with his achievement will find their appreciation of his critical insight extended. Ogden is unsurpassed as a Christian theologian for our time, and this book can be read again and again, always with deeper reward.
-Franklin I. Gamwell
University of Chicago
For those who have long awaited a summary of Schubert Ogden's systematic Christian theology, this small handbook fits the bill. In every respect, the work provides a model of and a model for constructing an adequate and fitting theology for our time. By covering all the basic questions or topics of classical Christian theology, with proper revisions as needed, one has a basis for seeing what needs to be done and how to do it. Its content rings semantically meaningful and true and existentially significant for human existence. As with all his works, his theology is constructed with maximum candor.
-William L. Power
University of Georgia
Written with the author's characteristic clarity, integrity, and directness, this constructive brief interpretation of the Christian witness of faith will aid its readerslay, professional, and in-betweenin understanding and pursuing their own theological vocation. By providing a systematic context in which to situate the major contributions made in his previous published works, this book will also assist in the ongoing reception of Ogden's theology by new generations of scholars.
-Charles M. Wood
Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
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