Evangelical Theology is a systematic theology written from the perspective of a biblical scholar. Michael F. Bird contends that the center, unity, and boundary of the evangelical faith is the evangel (= gospel), as opposed to things like justification by faith or inerrancy. The evangel is the unifying thread in evangelical theology and the theological hermeneutic through which the various loci of theology need to be understood.
Using the gospel as a theological leitmotif—an approach to Christian doctrine that begins with the gospel and sees each loci through the lens of the gospel—this text presents an authentically evangelical theology, as opposed to an ordinary systematic theology written by an evangelical theologian.
According to the author, theology is the drama of gospelizing—performing and living out the gospel in the theatre of Christian life. The text features tables, sidebars, and questions for discussion. The end of every part includes a “What to Take Home” section that gives students a run-down on what they need to know. And since reading theology can often be dry and cerebral, the author applies his unique sense of humor in occasional “Comic Belief” sections so that students may enjoy their learning experience through some theological humor added for good measure.
Table of Contents
- Preface: “Without the Gospel” (John Calvin)
- Introduction: Why an Evangelical Theology?
- Part 1: Prolegomena: Beginning to Talk about God
- Part 2: The God of the Gospel: The Triune God
- Part 3: The Gospel of the Kingdom: The Now and the Not Yet
- Part 4: The Gospel of God's Son: The Lord Jesus Christ
- Part 5: The Gospel of Salvation
- Part 6: The Promise and Power of the Gospel: The Holy Spirit
- Part 7: The Gospel and Humanity
- Part 8: The Community of the Gospelized
- Epilogue: Urgent Tasks for Evangelical Theology in the 21st Century
- Select Bibliography
- Scripture and Apocrypha Index
It is rare for a biblical scholar to produce a systematic theology of the breadth and depth of this book. Warm-hearted yet with a critical and engaging style throughout, Michael F. Bird presents a theology that is robustly biblical, doxological, and woven through the breadth of the evangelical ecclesial traditions. Providing fresh interaction with concepts from the wider theological world while persistently mining the biblical text, this theology takes no short cuts in offering an evangelical theology that has everything to do with the gospel. – Jason S. Sexton, Research Associate, USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture, Los Angeles
Taking its bearings in the gospel story of Jesus, Michael Bird’s Evangelical Theology is unique among the current crop of one-volume systematic theologies. Bringing the sensibilities of an exegete and biblical theologian to the task of systematics, Bird pursues a drama of redemption approach: doing theology through telling the story. While championing the expositional realities of the biblical text, Bird also keeps a keen eye toward the creedal inheritance of the church and the contributions of the theological tradition. Broadly Reformed and self-consciously evangelical, Bird’s accessible and conversational style will be sure to win him a wide reading among students, pastors and teachers. – Michael D. Williams, Professor of Systematic Theology, Covenant Theological Seminary
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