I was very excited to receive a copy of the book Historical Theology by Dr. Gregg Allison PhD, Professor or Christian Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, for a number of reasons. One, it is a companion guide to the classic book on Systematic Theology by Dr. Wayne Grudem who is a Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary. Dr. Grudem’s book, Systematic Theology, is one of the most respected, recognized and used books by students and Christians on Systematic Theology in print today…and I happen to have a copy as part of my library and refer to it when I need to. Dr, Allison’s book will I’m certain will be the book of choice for students and Christians wanting to know the history behind the acceptance of the doctrines that are held dear by the church today.
Another reason I was excited about receiving the book is because it is a very comprehensive and thorough study of the history of the doctrines that evangelical Christians embrace. This book very effectively details the how and why we as Christians hold dear the doctrines that we do. The book provides a comprehensive historical look at 7 major areas of doctrine after an introduction as to why it is important for us as believers to know the history of the doctrines we believe and teach in the church. The doctrines he writes about in his book are The Doctrine of the Word of God, The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of Humanity, Of Christ and the Holy Spirit, of the Application of Redemption, of the Church, and of the Future.
With each area of doctrine that Dr. Allison covers in his book he shares a Statement of Belief that details what the church “has historically believed” about the particular doctrine. He then goes on to provide a detailed and appropriately documented history about the particular doctrine from the time of the early church, to the Middle Ages, to the Reformation and Post-Reformation, and then finally to a period of time he refers to as “The Modern Period” which brings us to what is believed about the doctrine in the present church era. He concludes his book with a “Glossary of Major Church Leaders, Writings and Movements,” so his reader will have some understanding of who or what he is referring to when he documents what he is writing about concerning one of the 7 areas of doctrine that he addresses in his book.
In his book Historical Theology Dr. Allison cites numerous writings from a variety of people and faith-based doctrinal positions. He refers to a number of individuals and writings for historical documentation from theologians/writers such as Athanasius, Irenaeus of Lyons, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Jacob Arminius, John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Rene Descartes, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Karl Barth, Rudolph Bultmann, and many others. Some of the creeds and church documents he refers to are The Council of Nicea, The Councils’ of Constantinople, The Apostle’s Creed, the Athanasian Creed, The Augsburg Confession, Canons (of the Synod) of Dort, The Council of Trent, The Heidelberg Catechism, The Westminster Confession of Faith, The Vatican Councils’ I & II, The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, and others. He also refers to the First through Third “Great Awakening” events in American church history.
If you are interested in studying and learning more about Historical Theology, then the book Historical Theology by Dr. Gregg Allison is in my opinion by far the best book available on the subject. Read, learn and enjoy! I did and I know I will yet even more as I continue to use the book for my personal Bible study in the future.
For more information about the book, Historical Theology by Gregg R. Allison, visit the Zondervan Publishing Group Company website.
I have received a complementary copy of Historical Theology from Zondervan Publishing for reviewing it.
To order a copy of the book click on the link below Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine