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What Parts of Michael Bird's "Evangelical Theology" Will Surprise Readers?

Categories Theology

Evangelical_theology
On Tuesday Zondervan Academic released the highly anticipated systematic theology book Evangelical Theology, by New Testament biblical scholar Michael Bird.

As we mentioned on Wednesday Bird's contribution is a real canonical, credal tour de force, combining the acumen and depth of a biblical scholar and systematic theologian with the care and sensitivity of a pastor. If you were expecting your run-of-the-mill systematic theology textbook cut from the cloth of evangelicalism, expect again.

One of the things that's surprising about this theology volume is that it has been crafted from the perspective of a biblical scholar with the guiding conviction that the center, boundaries, and "interpretive glue" of the evangelical faith is the evangel, the gospel—as opposed to doctrines like justification by faith or inerrancy. This conviction sets a pattern for several more surprises peppered throughout.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the book is how it begins. Rather than starting off with a lengthy prolegomena trying to prove there is a God or discussing different types of philosophies that compete with the Christian worldview, Bird begins by defining the gospel itself.

As Bird explains, "For me in an evangelical theology, the first thing you do is define the gospel." So straight away Bird immerses readers into the gospel in order to help you relate all of the important topics of Christian belief to this guiding conviction.

Another surprising turn is where Bird places the doctrine of Scripture. Watch the video below to hear Bird explain where and why he places this doctrine where he does. And then purchase your own copy to experience a surprising, refreshing take on theology from the perspective of the evangel.

Can't see the video? Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuNK6pVrClw

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