This is a book of great wisdom and passion. It is deeply learned, well written, and carefully researched. Most of all, it is a prophetic call to professional teachers of theology to renew the tradition of teaching doctrine for the formation of virtue and for the knowledge of God.
This book develops the thesis that classical Christian theology seeks to help believers flourish by knowing and loving God. Ellen Charry argues this premise by example, offering a close reading of a number of classical texts, from the New Testament era to the Reformation, including works of Paul, Augustine, Athanasius, Basil of Caesarea, Anselm, and Calvin. She points out the pastoral and moral aims that shape the teachings of these theologians on a wide range of topics, including the Trinity; human beings as created in the image of God; the incorporation of Jews and Gentiles into the body of Christ in baptism; the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ; and the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Charry explains that the very logic of their arguments is shaped by the author's concern for the goodness and happiness that should result from living into the doctrines. She further shows that although the spiritual and pastoral purposes of these writings are many and complex, they are invariably concerned to foster what modern people can, without difficulty, recognize as human dignity--what she calls "excellence"--in action, affection, and self-appraisal.
"A significant contribution to both academic and pastoral theology, and might go a long way toward healing the breach between the two."--Bruce D. Marshall, St. Olaf College
"By the Renewing of Your Minds
is an illuminating and challenging treatise, especially for those whose vocation is teaching Christian doctrine."--Presbyterion
"This ground-breaking volume...is the first to deal at length with the pastoral function of doctrine....Charry has had the daring and imagination to propose a long-range research program which has the possibility of radically redirecting now sterile but still deeply entrenched habits of thinking about doctrine.... Charry's book will prompt much-needed further mining of the doctrinal tradition for its pastoral riches."--Christian Century
"Long has doctrinal theology suffered under the suspicion of being utterly irrelevant, even inimical to the life and witness of the church and to the lives of Christian people. Charry has put that old caricature to rest in this remarkable and compelling book...This is a book of great wisdom and passion. It is deeply learned, well written, and carefully researched. Most of all, it is a prophetic call to professional teachers of theology to renew the tradition of teaching doctrine for the formation of virtue and for the knowledge of God."--nterpretation
"[Charry] is earnest about her efforts to promote grassroots theological formation. She has a heart for helping everyday people to come to know and love the Lord....A timely and powerful book."--Christianity Today