An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology: Faith Seeking Understanding
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An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology: Faith Seeking Understanding  -     By: Stephen T. Davis, Eric T. Yang

An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology: Faith Seeking Understanding

Zondervan Academic / 2020 / Paperback

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Product Information

Title: An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology: Faith Seeking Understanding
By: Stephen T. Davis, Eric T. Yang
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Zondervan Academic
Publication Date: 2020
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
Weight: 10 ounces
ISBN: 0310104084
ISBN-13: 9780310104087
Stock No: WW0104087

Publisher's Description

An accessible introduction to Christian philosophical theology

Philosophical or analytic theology seeks to employ philosophical tools while studying topics in Christian theology and examining the logical consistency or intelligibility of some of the key doctrines of the Christian faith. In this accessible primer, An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology, authors Stephen T. Davis and Eric T. Yang first explain the scope, relevance, and value of philosophical theology and then applies its conceptual tools to examine each of the core Christian doctrines:

  • Revelation and Scripture
  • The Trinity
  • The Incarnation
  • Redemption and the atonement,
  • Resurrection and life after death

The final chapter briefly addresses some additional theological issues including petitionary prayer, eschatology, and original sin.

Designed for beginning students and non-specialists this guide provides the ideal entry point for not only understanding what philosophical theology is but also for how it can provide valuable insights for how we think about the core doctrines of the Christian faith.

Author Bio

Stephen T. Davis (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is Russell K. Pitzer professor of philosophy at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of many articles and books, including After We Die and Disputed Issues

Eric Yang is an assistant professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University. He has published several articles and book chapters in philosophical theology, in particular on the Trinity, Incarnation, atonement, resurrection, and heaven.

Editorial Reviews

'Thinking deeply and clearly about God is imperative for all Christians. The task of theology brings biblical, historical, and systematic resources to bear on the fundamental questions of Christianity. Davis and Yang ensure that the philosophical remains in the theologian's toolbox. This text offers a winsome and accessible foray into philosophically sophisticated discussions of core Christian doctrines. It is grounded in traditional discussions of these issues but focuses on state-of-the-art engagements with contemporary philosophical treatments. This text will be a helpful accompaniment for students, pastors, and scholars as they think through central topics of Christian theology.' -- JAMES M. ARCADI, assistant professor of biblical and systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

'I've been waiting for a book like this for a long time. Although others have written on the relationship between philosophy and theology, none do so with such clarity and accessibility, making this an excellent tool for anyone seeking to understand how philosophy can be a resource for theological reflection. Tackling a range of difficult theological issues, Yang and Davis somehow manage to model both critical acumen and charitable engagement, consistently helping the reader appreciate the complexity of the conversation without overwhelming detail or unnecessarily technical jargon. If you've ever wondered what Athens has to do with Jerusalem, this would be a great place to start.' -- MARC CORTEZ, professor of theology, Wheaton College

'The practice of Christian philosophical theology--the application of philosophy to the challenging questions raised by Christian doctrines--is almost as old as the church. Yet only in the last half century has it emerged as a distinctive scholarly discipline. While a truly impressive amount of work has been produced in recent decades, few good resources are available to orient students and non-specialists to this important and exciting field. This fine volume helps fill that lacuna. Stephen T. Davis and Eric T. Yang have written an accessible and admirably even-handed survey of the state of the art in Christian philosophical theology. It is not only a reliable introduction covering a wide range of topics but also an enthusiastic invitation to join the ongoing conversation and participate in the perennial task of 'faith seeking understanding.'' -- JAMES N. ANDERSON, Carl W. McMurray Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte

'Here, two exacting philosophers, with extensive ministry experience, take up long-standing questions about important Christian beliefs. Shaking off what the academy expects of 'professional philosophers,' Davis and Yang steer a course within the coordinates of Scripture and the historic Christian faith. Christianity cannot be taken seriously without deep reflection on the meaning of its central doctrines and the evidential support they enjoy. The authors, therefore, explore key questions that cluster around issues of ultimate concern, for believers and nonbelievers alike. And they do so with that unusual balance of intellectual rigor, readability, and pastoral care.' -- R. DOUGLAS GEIVETT, professor of philosophy, Talbot Department of Philosophy, Biola University

'In an accessible and engaging text for those new to contemporary Christian philosophical theology in the analytic tradition, Davis and Yang illustrate how philosophical tools and concepts can faithfully serve the Christian faith seeking understanding project alongside of--and not in tension with--biblical, systematic, and historical theologians. They capably guide the reader through the terrain of analytic Christian philosophical theology, both the well-worn paths as well as new vistas on the cutting edge of contemporary discussion in the areas of Scripture, Trinity, incarnation, atonement, and personal eschatology (bodily resurrection and the final state). Davis and Yang are to be commended for carrying out their task in a spirit of faithful stewardship to the church and a humble dependence on Scripture and the wider consensual Christian tradition. It is a sorely needed book that fills a sizable gap in the literature and will serve seminary and divinity students well. Rightly ordered thinking about God and all things in relation to God takes a great deal of human grit and divine grace; Davis and Yang have provided students an excellent place to begin.' -- ROSS D. INMAN, associate professor of philosophy, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, editor of Philosophia Christi.

'Though philosophical theology has a rich and historic pedigree, comparatively few Christians today are acquainted with its insights and contributions to understanding difficult theological topics. Davis and Yang thoughtfully and capably introduce newcomers to philosophical theology by showing how to ask and explore answers to philosophical questions about core Christian beliefs. Seminary and undergraduate students, as well as church leaders, will find in these pages accessible but nevertheless penetrating discussions that take seriously the claims of Scripture and are well informed by contemporary scholarship. I highly recommend An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology as a wonderful primer on philosophical theology.' -- R. KEITH LOFTIN, associate professor of philosophy and humanities, Scarborough College

'Davis and Yang have produced an admirably concise and clear introduction to the fascinating field of contemporary philosophical theology. Students will appreciate the book's simplicity and find themselves captivated by some of the creative ways philosophical theologians address perennial questions about such topics as the Trinity, deity of Christ, resurrection, heaven and hell. Davis and Yang have also managed to produce a reliable introduction useful to biblical scholars and systematic theologians who sense there is a great deal to learn from the renaissance of Christian philosophy but may find the literature daunting. On debated issues, Davis and Yang state their preferences but also suggest ways in which students and professors inclined toward other positions may defend and develop them. An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology is a model of intellectual charity, a virtue too often in short supply.' -- CARL MOSSER, New Testament scholar and theologian

'This book is a beginner-friendly--but not dumbed-down--exploration into the main topics of Christian philosophical theology. The authors represent the current state of the debates faithfully and in a manner that both engages the reader and invites the reader to further reflection. I recommend this book both to the beginner and to the scholar who wants a fair and broad representation of the discussions in Christian philosophical theology.' -- TIM PAWL, professor of philosophy, University of St. Thomas

'In an anti-intellectual and sound-bite age, serious thinking on key Christian doctrines is needed. Stephen Davis and Eric Yang's An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology is the book I've been waiting for! Accessibly written, historically informed, and conversant with the contemporary discussion, Davis and Yang's book powerfully demonstrates the coherence, intelligibility, and beauty of key Christian doctrines. You will be challenged intellectually and nourished spiritually. I highly recommend this book to theology and philosophy students--indeed, to any Christian seeking to better understand the deep truths of the Christian faith.' -- PAUL M. GOULD, associate professor of philosophy of religion and director of the MA in Philosophy of Religion Program, Palm Beach Atlantic University

'This wonderful book by Eric T. Yang and Stephen T. Davis offers a contemporary introduction to philosophical theology, and it ably demonstrates the relevance and importance of philosophy for theology. It addresses questions that are not only significant and complicated but also quite common, and it does so with sparkling clarity, deep insight, and overall winsomeness. It will be a blessing not only to students and scholars but also to pastors and preachers. I recommend it highly, and I plan to return to it often.' -- THOMAS MCCALL, professor of theology and scholar in residence, Asbury University

'An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology is a thorough, biblical, and interesting guide for thinking philosophically about key theological issues. This book is ideal for pastors, students, and thoughtful Christians who want to go deeper in their understanding of theological issues as diverse as the nature of Scripture, the Trinity, and the afterlife. You don't have to have a background in philosophy or theology to appreciate this text because Davis and Yang explain key concepts along the way. But even if you do, you will nevertheless find many helpful insights and clarifications along the way. This is a superb text that I am honored to endorse.' -- SEAN MCDOWELL, associate professor of Christian apologetics, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

'An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology is as delightful as it is important. While first-rate philosophers, Davis and Yang have managed to write this crucial book with creativity, clarity, and a readable, engaging style. Their book is accessible to a general reader without being simplistic or watered down. Perhaps more important is the range of topics they cover. They are just the right ones for a book like this. Let's be honest. There is a crying need among Christians to learn how to think carefully and deeply about their faith. Where does one go to learn how to do this? Look no further. Because it combines accessibility with deep, careful reflection, I envision An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology becoming the go-to book to meet this need.' -- J. P. MORELAND, distinguished professor of philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Scientism and Secularism

'One question I always had in church about Christian doctrine was, 'But why do we believe that?' What I found was that the church was lacking in training on the philosophical understanding of the basic doctrines being taught. Davis and Yang present a uniquely powerful introduction to this much-needed field of Christian education in a truly accessible and fair manner. This book fills a glaring gap in discipleship, and yet it does so with a humble approach that makes learning enjoyable. I not only recommend this work for university or seminary students but also highly recommend it as a study in the local church.' -- MARY JO SHARP, assistant professor of apologetics, Houston Baptist University

'A theology that lacks conceptual clarity will fail in its task of providing guidance to ecclesial praxis. An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology is set to be a popular resource for anyone interested in probing the philosophical agility of Christian doctrine. While the faith of Christians remains mysterious since it adores a transcendent God who became man, it seeks an understanding that respects reason and logic. Davis and Yang are knowledgeable yet patient guides to those who have taken up this quest.' -- ADONIS VIDU, professor of theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

'Davis and Yang have produced an introduction to the field of philosophical theology that is remarkably informative as well as concise and to the point. Each chapter provides a focused analysis of the issues at stake and the major options that are on the table. This is the ideal text to initiate students into this vitally important and existentially engaging conversation.' -- JERRY L. WALLS, professor of philosophy and scholar in residence, Houston Baptist University

'This excellent introduction to philosophical theology combines philosophical sophistication with accessibility to non-philosophers. Written in a lively, personable style, it will be a welcome addition to the education of ministers, church leaders, and any Christian interested in the philosophical issues arising from their faith.' -- LINDA ZAGZEBSKI, George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Kingfisher College Chair of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, University of Oklahoma

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