Monday, January 9, 2017
As one studying theology in the twenty-first century, we are blessed with two millenia of giants on whose shoulders we stand on. As such it is crucial for us to consider the arguments made by those who came before us. There are endless ways to go about this daunting task. One of the best ways to begin a study of historical theology is to consider volumes which give us the highlights. A new resource provides us with such a resource edited by Robert Lay and is entitled Readings in Historical Theology: Primary Sources of the Christian Faith.
As is common among volumes like this, Lay offers the reader a number of important selections throughout church history. What is unique about this work is that Lay begins, not with the Patristics, but with the Old Testament. The first sections include ancient creeds and confessions beginning with Genesis 1:26-28. This approach reminds the reader of the role Scripture plays in shaping theology in general and historical theology in particular. It also makes the point that the Bible is a confessional and historical faith. It not only tells us who God is but shows us what he has done in history.
From there, the editor walks the reader through church history with brief introductions throughout focusing on the key readings of theologians. No doubt we would recommend many of the writers and their writings like Augustine's "The City of God" and Martin Luther's "Ninety-Five Theses."
Even more, this volume comes with a CD that includes a pdf document of more readings numbering over one thousand pages.
Overall, this is a great resource for those wanting to dive into historical theology and read the primary resources.
This book was given to me courtesy of Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review.