Exploring Christian Theology: Revelation, Scripture, and the Triune God  -     Edited By: Nathan D. Holsteen, Michael J. Svigel
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Exploring Christian Theology: Revelation, Scripture, and the Triune God

Bethany House / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

Two trusted Dallas Theological Seminary professors provide just what the beginning theological student wants. Key evangelical doctrines are introduced; relevant Bible passages highlighted; a brief history offered; distortions and heresies pointed out; and a glossary and reading lists for further study provided.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764211307
ISBN-13: 9780764211300
Series: Exploring Christian Theology

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Publisher's Description

The Foundations of Theology in Everyday Language

Dallas Seminary professors Nathan Holsteen and Michael Svigel are passionate about the key doctrines of Christianity. They want readers to know why they're important and why they matter. This volume includes two parts:
· How Firm a Foundation: Revelation, Scripture, and Truth
· God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
The authors explore these important topics in a concise and highly readable style that makes sense--whether you're a student of the Bible, a pastor, or someone who simply wants to know God better.

For each topic you'll find
· An introduction, overview, and review of the key points
· Several applicable Bible texts, including verses to memorize
· A quick-paced history of the doctrine
· Distortions to be aware of and avoid
· Reading lists for further study
· A glossary of theological terms

"Exploring Christian Theology is a wonderful doctrinal primer that teaches theology in a way that will engage you and cause you to reflect. . . . A great way to get acquainted with key biblical theological themes."
--Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor, Dallas Theological Seminary

Author Bio

Nathan D. Holsteen, ThM, PhD, is Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, where he teaches all areas of systematic theology. Trained as an engineer, he is awed by systems of theology that exhibit internal coherence.

Michael J. Svigel, ThM, PhD, is the Department Chair and an Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has written numerous Bible study guides, articles, and papers, and is the author of RetroChristianity. Learn more at www.retrochristianity.com.

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  1. Maricopa, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    WORTHWHILE READING
    December 8, 2014
    Pastor Jim
    Maricopa, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is not your normal Theology book. It is more of a primer. A primer is a small book providing an introductory book on a subject; a short informative piece of writing. This is a reader friendly and easily understandable work. It is ideal for a beginning student or a layman who wants to gain a basic understanding of Christian Theology. It would be an ideal teaching text, or guide for personal Bible study. This volume centers upon three subjects: Revelation, Scripture, and the Triune God. It presents these truths in a concise relevant matter that is completely evangelical. The essence of Christian history is brief, but gives one a good sense of the history of the doctrine.

    The book is divided into sections that are the same in each heading. This includes a survey of the subject; passages to master; the subject in retrospect giving the history of the subject; facts of the subject; dangers to avoid in the subject; principles to put into practice; quotes from past voices; and recommendations for your library on the subject. There are four features of this book I like. First, in addition to the subjects are a number of charts that are helpful. Second, are the practical aspects of the book, including helpful principles, and the suggestions for your library. I especially like that the suggestion are given descriptions and a general rating (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). Third, it has a glossary of terms that will help clear up terms that one might not clearly understand. Fourth, scattered throughout are memory verses on the subject.

    Overall, I highly recommend this primer. It is an enjoyable, practical, and helpful book that should be on the self of every Pastor and Bible student. It is designed to help you to go deeper into the subject. It is a solid, understandable, faithful work. It will not disappoint you.

    (I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Bethany House in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review.)
  2. Lexington, SC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Solid Study of Theology
    November 26, 2014
    The Seeking Disciple
    Lexington, SC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book is a solid work. The authors are both graduates from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and so I expected there to be a solid evangelical emphasis with a dispensational leaning. This was not so (at least in the areas of theology they covered). In this book, the authors cover the doctrines of revelation (how God has revealed Himself), Scripture (the inerrant and infallible Word of God given to us by inspiration of the Spirit), and the Triune God. While I was going into this book thinking that the book would be written on a simple level (too simple were my thoughts going in), the book was actually very well done and the language, while not deeply theological for those who are just studying theology, was solid enough for even seminary level students to enjoy.

    The authors do a good job at exploring two main ares in this book. First the authors explore what the Bible says about a given subject. For example, the authors first show what God has said in His Word about His own revelation. Then the authors explore what Church history and others have to say about the subject at hand. I appreciated the biblical background being the heart for the disciple of Christ. The Bible is how we can speak for God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and the Bible is faithful to reveal the truths we need for the Christian life. One cannot begin theology or anything else in life without a solid foundation from the Word of God (Psalm 119:142).

    The chapters are full of knowledge. I appreciated the Scripture memory sections in each chapter that highlighted various passages of Scripture on the subject. A disciple of Christ would do well to memorize these passages (John 8:31-32). The authors also include charts throughout the book. The charts often take complex issues and help the reader to see them clearly. For example, the authors show the erroneous views of Christ by taking the major views of Christ throughout Church history and place them in a chart for one to read. This makes it easy to see how various leaders have erred about Christ in the history of the Church.

    Overall I am looking forward to reading the next editions to this work. While this book is not a deep systematic theology text, it is very good for the average disciple who just wants to know more about the faith. I do recommend this book.

    This review is based on a free copy of the book that was given to this reviewed from Bethany House Publishers.
  3. West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Really Helpful
    November 22, 2014
    Jimmy Reagan
    West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Are you intimidated by the ten-pound systematic theology volumes out there? Do you still want some real depth and genuine help? You should check out the first volume, then, of the projected three-volume series Exploring Christian Theology, edited by Nathan Holsteen and Michael Svigel, with this first volume written by the editors along with Douglas Blount and Glenn Krieder.

    For some reason, I opened this volume with low expectations. I read those ten-pounders sometimes and enjoy it. Then in the first few pages I read language that I felt was trying too hard to engage modern readers. As I kept reading, however, I was own over. This volume is a treat.

    The editors claim their perspective here differs from other mini-theologies in that strives to present a broad consensus, not a condensed systematic model of one evangelical teacher or Protestant tradition. To my mind, they succeeded. They may not have written from one narrow angle, but they stayed safely within the confines of conservative, Bible-believing parameters. Can you tell I liked it?

    The first part covers Revelation, Scripture, and Truth. Their explanation of inspiration and inerrancy was choice. I might squabble over a detail here or there, but they provoked thought and explained the touchiest issues of our day well.

    The next section on the Triune God was simply superb. The section on the kenosis of Christ and the debates of the Early Church on Christology was one of the best I have ever read. It rivals the ten-pound volumes!

    Each section ends with quotes from all time periods of Christianity on the subject. You could see, for example, that full inspiration of Scripture has been the historic position. Newer positions are clearly deviations.

    Get this book. Better yet, read it carefully. I highly recommend it.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Exploring Christian Theology Volume One
    November 19, 2014
    GD 2
    *I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purposes of writing this review.

    Exploring Christian Theology Volume One, Nathan D. Holsteen and Michael J. Svigel General Editors, is an accessible text for evangelical Christians who want to learn about their faith and its theological underpinnings. This particular volume addresses revelation, scripture, and the triune God.

    Part One, "How Firm a Foundation: Revelation, Scripture, and Truth" is about why we believe that scripture is inspired by God, and why what books are considered canonical. One of the features I found interesting in this section is text from the Muratorian Canon Fragment, in which a number of New Testament books are listed as canonical at the time of the early church. The theology of this section is very conservative, but this is no surprise given its authorship - by scholars from Dallas Theological Seminary - and its admitted affiliation with the greater evangelical community.

    Part Two, "God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" is a primer on the orthodox theology of the Trinity. It cites the scriptural basis for the belief in the Trinity, the various early church councils that established and clarified this doctrine, and it gives an overview of the heresies that have sprung up surrounding this unique belief.

    Each part is organized in the same fashion: High Altitude Survey, a retrospective about how each doctrine has been shaped over time, Facts to Never Forget, Dangers to Avoid, Principles to Put Into Practice, Voices From the Past and Present (quotations from prominent theologians about the topic at hand) and Shelf Space, and annotated bibliography listing texts to support the doctrine discussed.

    I feel that its accessibility and uniform lay out make it a good read for a Christian without a bible school or divinity school background who wants to know more about evangelical doctrine and theology.
  5. Tecumseh, OK
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Exploring Christian Theology: Revelation, Scripture, the Triune God
    November 19, 2014
    David Shaw
    Tecumseh, OK
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is the second volume in a trilogy of books that give us a mini-theology of major doctrines of the church. The intent of the authors is to equip Bible teachers with a brief teaching on important doctrines that will enhance the readers study and their teaching. A goal that they have succeeded in.

    The format of this volume is like the others in series with the following sections: High-Altitude Survey; Passages to Master; Retrospective; Facts to Never Forget; Dangers to Avoid; Principles to Put Into Practice; Voices From the Past; Shelf Space; Recommendations for Your Library.

    The section I like the best is the retrospective (historical) sections. This section gives us information on how the topic has been taught and developed throughout church history (patristic-medieval-protestant-modern). This is vital in understanding how doctrine was developed and passed down to modern times.

    A closely related section is one that gives us what theologians long ago believed about a point of doctrine and how that point has carried itself to the modern era. I love that the faith we believe today is the same that has been believed since the time of the early church.

    This volume has many charts and tables that aid in understanding the topic being discussed. One that was very interesting was the chart on the history of the major apocryphal books. It clearly shows how those books have been debated, even among those groups that believe we should have them in our Bible.

    My complaint is the same as with the other volume I reviewed and that is the many pop culture references used at the beginning of most sections. I dont have an issue with using references that the reader will understand but there are so many that it is distracting. Occasional use of them is fine but at some point they get in the way.

    But that is my only complaint. I will turn to this volume often when studying about these topics.

    Disclaimer: I received this book from Bethany House for this review, whether positive or negative, on my site.
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