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9781405131520

Understanding Christian Doctrine

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781405131520

  • ISBN10:

    1405131527

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-12-10
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Summary

Understanding Christian Doctrine is a wonderfully accessible and lively introduction to the central beliefs of Christianity. Each chapter introduces and explores a key area of doctrine - such as God, the Trinity, the Church, life after death - skillfully taking readers through the main approaches to each topic. Unlike other textbooks, however, Understanding Christian Doctrine, then goes on to encourage and show readers how to take a position on these theological issues.The book is sensitive to areas of contemporary concern, tackling questions that newcomers find particularly perplexing about the Christian worldview, and discussing topics such as religion and science, and religious pluralism. To help readers understand this rich area, the book contains timelines, vignettes of major figures, a glossary, and self-study questions.

Author Biography

Ian S. Markham is the Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary. He is also a Visiting Professor at Leeds Metropolitan University. Awards include the Robertson Fellow 2006, Teape Lecturer in India 2004, Claggett Fellow attached to Washington National Cathedral in 2000, and Frank Woods Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne in 1997. He is the author and editor of twelve books, including A World Religions Reader, 2nd edition (Blackwell, 2000) and Do Morals Matter (Blackwell, 2006).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Clarifying the Vantage Pointp. 2
Finding a Way Inp. 5
The Social Dimensionp. 6
Why Bother with the Christian Worldview?p. 9
The Next Stagep. 19
The Theistic Claimp. 23
Natural Theologyp. 25
Arguments for the Existence of Godp. 29
The Design Argumentp. 35
Contemporary Physicsp. 37
Additional Argumentsp. 39
Conclusionp. 44
The Nature of Godp. 48
Alternative Approaches to Christian Doctrinep. 49
The Concept of God in the Hebrew Biblep. 58
The Classical Account of Godp. 59
The Process Challengep. 62
Between the Two Viewsp. 66
The Trinityp. 70
Sourcesp. 72
Biblical Roots of the Doctrine of the Trinityp. 74
Development of the Doctrine of the Trinityp. 75
Three Dangers in Interpreting the Trinityp. 78
Modern Accounts of the Trinityp. 79
Standing Backp. 82
Conclusionp. 85
The Problem of Evil and Sufferingp. 88
The Reason Why Suffering and Evil Are a Problemp. 89
The Inadequacy of the Traditional Responsesp. 91
Ivan's Question and Critiquep. 95
Doctrine as the Christian Responsep. 97
Creation and the Significance of Humanityp. 102
The Scientific Narrativep. 103
The Biblical Narrativep. 104
Reconciling Different Narrativesp. 109
The Fallp. 113
Standing Backp. 116
God Incarnatep. 120
Reasons for the Doctrine of the Incarnationp. 121
New Testament Witnessp. 123
Sorting It Out in the Early Churchp. 126
Making Sense of the Incarnation Todayp. 129
Dying to Sin, Living to Redemptionp. 133
Biblical Roots of Atonementp. 134
Different Theoriesp. 135
Christ as Sacrificep. 135
Christ Who Pays the Debtp. 137
Christ as Victorp. 138
Christ as Moral Examplep. 141
Problems with Atonementp. 143
Moral Authority and Forgivenessp. 144
Conclusionp. 147
The Holy Spirit and the Churchp. 150
Biblical Roots of the Doctrine of the Holy Spiritp. 152
The Development of the Holy Spirit in the Early Churchp. 153
The Work of the Holy Spirit Within the Churchp. 155
The Work of the Holy Spirit Outside the Churchp. 156
Ecclesiologyp. 158
Biblical Images of the Churchp. 159
Marks of the Churchp. 160
Conclusionp. 164
Sacraments and the Life of Virtuep. 167
Definition of Sacramentsp. 168
The Classical Roman Catholic Understandingp. 168
Reformation and Protestant Viewsp. 171
Standing Backp. 174
Religious Diversity: What is God up to?p. 179
Other Religions as a Problemp. 181
The Pluralist Hypothesisp. 182
Exclusivismp. 186
Inclusivismp. 188
Critical of the Categoriesp. 190
Moving the Debate Forwardp. 192
Conclusionp. 193
Hope Beyond the Gravep. 196
Accounts of Life After Death in the Different Religionsp. 197
The Christian Traditionp. 198
A Redeemed Creationp. 203
Conclusionp. 206
The End of the Agep. 208
The Scientific Accountp. 209
The Fundamentalist Accountp. 210
Standing Backp. 213
Participating in the Conversationp. 222
Participating in the Traditionp. 225
Internet Resourcesp. 227
Indexp. 228
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