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.
About the Author
Michael F. Bird is Academic Dean and lecturer in theology at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God, Evangelical Theology, Romans (Story of God Bible Commentary Series), The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus, and editor of The Apostle Paul: Four Views. He also runs a popular theological studies blog called “Euangelion” and can be followed on twitter @mbird12.
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
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
Part 1.1 - What Is Theology?
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Part 1.2 - What Do You Have to Say before You Say Anything?
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Part 1.3 - What Is the Gospel?
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Part 1.4 - The Necessity and Goal of Theology
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Part 1.5 - Is Theology Possible?
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- Part 1.6 - Sources for Theology
Part 1.7 - Toward a Gospel-Driven Theological Method
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Part 2.1 - God and the Gospel
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- Part 2.2 - Getting an Affinity for the Trinity
Part 2.3 - What Is God Like?
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Part 2.4 - The God Who Creates
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Part 2.5 - The God Who Reveals Himself
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Part 2.6 - God’s Purpose and Plan
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- Part 3.1 - Gospel and Kingdom
Part 3.2 - Apocalypse Now ... and Not Yet!
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Part 3.3 - The Return of Jesus Christ
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Part 3.4 - Millennium and Tribulation
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Part 3.5 - The Final Judgment
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Part 3.6 - The Intermediate State: What Happens When You Die?
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Part 3.7 - The Final State: Heaven, Hell, and New Creation
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Part 4.1 - The Gospel of God’s Son
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Part 4.2 - Christological Method
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Part 4.3 - The Life of Jesus
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Part 4.4 - The Death of Jesus
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Part 4.5 - The Resurrection of Jesus
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Part 4.6 - The Ascension and Session of Jesus
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Part 4.7 - The Story of Jesus and the Identity of God
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Part 5.1 - Saved by the Gospel
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Part 5.2 - Redemptive History: The Plan for the Gospel
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Part 5.3 - Order of Salvation: The Logical Working of the Gospel
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Part 5.4 - Images of Salvation: The Result of the Gospel
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Part 5.5 - Scope and Security: How Wide and How Certain a Salvation?P
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Part 6.1 - God’s Spirit: The Breath of the Gospel
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Part 6.2 - Person of the Holy Spirit
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Part 6.3 - Work of the Holy Spirit
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Part 7.1 - Sons and Daughters of the King
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Part 7.2 - Image of God
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Part 7.3 - What Is Humanity? The Human Constitution
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Part 7.4 - What Is the Problem with Humanity?
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Part 7.5 - The Odyssey of Theodicy
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- Part 8.1 - The Evangelical Church
Part 8.2 - Biblical Images of the Church
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Part 8.3 - The Shape of the Church
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Part 8.4 - The Marks of the Church
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Part 8.5 - Governance of the Church
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- Part 8.6 - Emblems of the Gospel: Baptism and Lord’s Supper
The Evangelical Theology course, featuring Michael F. Bird, starts with the understanding that the center, unity, and boundary of evangelical faith is the gospel. This course thus presents authentically evangelical theology as the drama of gospelizing—performing and living out the gospel in the theatre of Christian life.