Friday, July 31, 2015

Exploring Christian Theology - Vol. II (Creation, Fall, and Salvation)

Nathan D. Holsteen & Michael J. Svigel
General Editors
Bethany House Publishers

I hope you won't be intimidated by the title of this book because you don't have to be a Bible scholar to enjoy it. Holsteen & Svigel have done a good job in making sure it is simple and easy to understand, even for laypersons (and I am one). I knew I was going to love reading the book as soon as I opened it to the Contents pages. Yes, I can get excited just reading a table of contents.

One benefit I received from reading Exploring Christian Theology was that it provoked me to search further and study more. There are two parts to the book with extensive lists of other books recommended for further study at the end of each part. The recommended books are rated beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The rating at least helps so you won't spend your money on something too difficult or not suited to you. But, there's always the library to explore. The bibliographies are good too, as well as a nice glossary of terms for readers not familiar with Christian doctrines. (See also Vol. 1 & Vol. 3) 

You will also read about the different views on various Christian doctrines. There are major themes summarized, charts and graphs (which I love), scripture verses to memorize, and practical applications. But there is so much more.  In the chapter titled "Facts To Never Forget" there are six given.  All six are important, but I want to share a couple sentences from Fact #2-All humans are created in God's image and have inherent dignity:
".....all people have inherent dignity and worth as image-bearing creatures of God. No matter what gender, no matter what age, no matter what race, no matter what economic level--every human being is singularly significant. And no other worldview can genuinely affirm human equality."  It's shameful to admit, but that fact is often the most forgotten by many Christians.

I've studied and taught Bible studies for over 45 years and I still learned a wealth of information from this book that was new to me. We never stop learning. So, go ahead. Don't be afraid to indulge in Exploring Christian Theolgy-Volume Two. It's now on my shelf for everyday use and I hope it'll soon be on yours!

* I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a public review.