Putting Historical Theology to the Test
It's one thing to look through a book like you would browse through it in a bookstore, it's another thing altogether to put that book to the test as a tool for serious research.
Last week I spent most of Friday and Saturday working on a paper about John Calvin’s theology of baptism. I had the expected resources of course, a couple editions of the Institutes, a handful of other books by Calvin like The Secret Providence of God, and a floor covered in piles of other volumes.
Along with these I was able to turn to Gregg Allison’s Historical Theology.
It is not released yet, so I was not able to quote him directly. Yet I have to say that the depth of the information Dr. Allison has presented here, the many helpful references to primary sources, and the easy to use format added quite a bit to my project.
Whether I was examining election, Augustine’s ideas about original sin, the medieval view on infant baptism, or Calvin’s confrontation with the Anabaptists, this book ended up being one of the first places I turned.
As it states in the subtitle this is an introduction and serious research will require additional resources. That said, it’s quite a comprehensive introduction, and an ideal starting point for directing further study.
Professors, seminary students, pastors, and anyone else interested in the history of Christian doctrine will not want to miss Historical Theology once it is released.
Mason with Zondervan Academic
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