Engaging Theology: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Introduction
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Engaging Theology: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Introduction  -     By: Ben C. Blackwell, R.L. Hatchett

Engaging Theology: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Introduction

Zondervan / 2019 / Hardcover

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Stock No: WW092766

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Product Description

Blackwell and Hatchett's introductory textbook studies standard systematic theology topics from the larger perspective of daily life and practice. After giving students historical context by relating the story of each essential doctrine's creation, they highlight distinctive elements, point out what makes it relevant to the church, and encourage personal spiritual formation with practical application.

Product Information

Title: Engaging Theology: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Introduction
By: Ben C. Blackwell, R.L. Hatchett
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 297
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2019
Dimensions: 9.10 X 7.40 (inches)
Weight: 1 pound 7 ounces
ISBN: 0310092760
ISBN-13: 9780310092766
Stock No: WW092766

Publisher's Description

Theology today is faced with increasing amounts of religious and theological pluralism. What is distinctive about Christian theology? Why do these ideas matter? And the biggest question of all: Who cares? Key aspects of orthodox theology are seen as speculative and irrelevant to "authentic" Christianity and to personal spirituality. While not succumbing to the pragmatism of the age, this book shows that key elements of Christian theology ground an integrated worldview and are essential for spiritual formation.

Engaging Theology is an introductory theology textbook that grounds a treatment of standard systematic topics in the wider context of life and practice and shows the relevance of each doctrine to the church. The book treats the essential doctrines of Christian orthodoxy by following the pattern of story, doctrinal exposition, theological relevance, and spiritual relevance:

  • Story: Each chapter begins with a brief and engaging account of the historical situation out of which the doctrine arose or where it played an essential role in the development of the church, showing students that orthodox theology matters and introducing them to most of the key theologians in the history of the church.
  • Doctrinal Exposition: The heart of the chapter is exposition of key elements of the doctrine, highlighting core and debated elements while clarifying heterodox perspectives. Integrated with the narrative account this section also models the contextualized nature of theology. Each chapter includes biblical, historical, and contemporary views on the issue and notes key figures in the debates and their influence.
  • Theological Relevance: While theological relevance is clear throughout each chapter, this section highlights relevance to the modern setting and concerns, including interaction with heterodox and non-Christian faiths. It identifies current theological problems besetting the church and shows how a proper understanding and integration of orthodox theology addresses these problems. It also points to other problems the church is facing for interesting discussion starters.
  • Spiritual Relevance: Since orthodox theology has a direct influence on one's own spiritual formation and practice, each chapter concludes with practical encouragements and discussions about how each doctrine can be integrated in one's personal and corporate life.

Engaging Theology is ideal for students and everyday people living in a post Christian era to help them seriously engage with the Christian faith.

Author Bio

Ben C. Blackwell (PhD, University of Durham) is associate professor of early Christianity at Houston Baptist University. He has authored a number of essays and articles related to Historical Theology and the New Testament, including Christosis: Engaging Pauline Soteriology with His Patristic Interpreters. He is currently working on new monograph: Participating in the Righteousness of God: Justification in Pauline Theology. He also served as a co-editor for several volumes: Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination; Reading Romans in Context: Paul and Second Temple Judaism; and Reading Mark in Context: Jesus and Second Temple Judaism.

Editorial Reviews

“Ben Blackwell and Randy Hatchett have put together an eminently readable introduction to Christian theology for students. It contains a good balance of Bible, church history, and theological description, is ever mindful of contemporary application, and explains strange topics with simplicity and clarity. A valuable resource for anyone beginning theological studies.” -- Rev. Dr. Michael F. Bird, academic dean and lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

“This is the theology textbook that I wish I had been reading during my undergraduate and seminary theological education. It engages the Bible but is not simply the homogenized biblical- theological approach that I encountered. This work understands hermeneutics and presents theological method, yet it is practical. It points to the boundaries of orthodoxy and to questions that may be open. It understands that theology develops through history (and without quoting J. H. Newman). It opens the student up to dialogue with a variety of Christian perspectives and with other major religions, yet there is a firm core commitment. It is clearly Protestant, even Evangelical, but it is open to Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other perspectives as well. I heartily recommend its use as a teaching text or as a work to learn how to present Christian theology clearly and how to dialogue without slipping into a relativistic approach.” -- Rev. Peter H. Davids, New Testament editor, Word Biblical Commentary

“Professors Blackwell and Hatchett have provided us with a thoughtful volume to introduce students to many of the wide-ranging topics, themes, and issues in the field of systematic the- ology. In these pages, readers will find helpful biographical portraits of significant Christian thinkers, interaction with various religious traditions, and insightful applications focused on spiritual formation and the life of the church. Though some readers will ponder the inclusion or exclusion of some topics or some of the authors’ conclusions, they will nevertheless be encouraged and helped by the authors’ commitments to Trinitarian orthodoxy, to the importance of key aspects of the Christian tradition, and to genuine theological engagement.” -- David S. Dockery, chancellor and professor of Christianity and culture, Trinity International University

“Engaging Theology is an excellent resource for the classroom. Blackwell and Hatchett ably summarize the fundamentals of the Christian faith, demonstrating the biblical warrant, historical development, dogmatic location, and cultural implications each of the major doctrines. While readers will inevitably quibble with certain modes of argument or specific theological conclusions, the authors’ judicious approach, ecumenical awareness, and charitable spirit are just as important for the classroom as the clarity of their doctrinal summaries.” -- Matthew Y. Emerson, Dickinson Associate Professor of Religion, Oklahoma Baptist University

“Engaging Theology brings together Christian history, biography, spirituality, and the development of doctrine in a narrative at once coherent and comprehensive. It is inviting, accessible, irenic. I welcome this new book and recommend it highly!” -- Timothy George, research professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series

“Introductory theology textbooks are a dime a dozen. What separates Engaging Theology from the rest of the pack is that it is genuinely engaging in multiple ways: it engages the reader with lively prose and common-sense language, engages the Christian tradition in faithful and informed ways, engages the contemporary world beyond theology, and engages practice as it speaks into ministry, vocation, and praxis. Theology is on the move, and Blackwell and Hatchet realize this and help readers navigate the terrain in responsible and informative ways. This is the sort of introductory text students are now looking for and need.” -- Myk Habets, head of school of theology, Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand, and professor of theology

“The Christian pilgrimage involves pursuing knowledge of Christian theology---either intentionally or unintentionally. R. L. Hatchett and Ben Blackwell in Engaging Theology have provided a rich reading resource for beginning that part of the journey, either in the university or in a local church. Engaging Theology is an excellent primer for communities that need a theology book that is Trinitarian in structure; comprehensive, ecumenical, and nondogmatic in spirit; emphasizes the narrative nature of theological development; and interacts with the broader church and other religious traditions.” -- Berten A. Waggoner, former national director of Vineyard USA

“With historical breadth, doctrinal clarity, and pastoral acumen, Blackwell and Hatchett invite students into the study of Christian theology with a text that is comprehensive without being daunting. Written with the student in mind, their book provides a confessional and welcoming approach to the study of theology. This is a book for those who love Jesus but might be skeptical as to why we need clarity about who God is and what God has done.” -- Myles Werntz, associate professor of Christian ethics and practical theology, T. B. Maston Chair of Christian Ethics, Logsdon School of Theology

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