Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Exploring Christian Theology, Volume 3
I know that most theology books can bore the average reader. Terms and phrases, ideologies and stances, and to make matters worse, use of Latin. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good Latin phrase but not entire sentences or paragraphs.
However, in their book Holsteen and Svigel have done something quite remarkable: they made theology understandable and enjoyable.
The first section deals with how various denominations came to be and the teachings of those denominations. The book gives a brief history starting with the early church, moving through the medieval times, and then to the present. It sets a good foundation for the reasons for differences of Biblical interpretation and how those differences formulated the various church denominations we know today.
What is exceptionally done is that the authors make no claim as to who was/is right and who was/is not. The facts are presented fairly and honestly which allows the reader to get an understanding of Christendom and its growth. I found myself seeing connections that make a lot of sense and appreciating the discomfort that the church has gone through during her development.
The second half is on the end times or eschatology. This is where the book does a masterful job. It explains different viewpoints and how those viewpoints came to be. Again, no prejudices are stated and the reader is allowed to see the teachings as they are.
A very condensed, but well developed book.