Christians disagree on doctrine, politics, church government, certain moral questions—just about everything under the sun, it can seem. Yet a unity remains, centered around a core outlook on God and the world that is common to all believers.
Or at least, such an outlook should unite Christians of all theological and church backgrounds. However, alternate visions of reality often infect and corrupt Christians’ thinking.
In The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson outlines the basic perspective on the world that all Christians, regardless of the place and time in which they are born, have historically held. This underlying metaphysic accords with all orthodox theologies, whether Calvinist or Arminian, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant, but it separates Christianity from other religious and secular perspectives. It is, quite simply, the essential requirement of a Christian view of the world.
Bold and incisive, The Essentials of Christian Thought will prompt thoughtful readers and students to more consciously appropriate the core of their faith, guarding against ideas that subtly but necessarily invite compromise.
Just as war is too serious to be left to generals, so philosophy is too important to be left to philosophers. At least philosophy in the hands of a theologian like Roger Olson is too important to be left to philosophers. Though my understanding of philosophy is not the same as Olson’s, I learned much from his stimulating account. – Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Emeritus Professor of Divinity and Law, Duke University
Olson offers his readers a timely and powerful defense of a distinctively Christian metaphysics and teases out its implications for theology, apologetics, and cultural dialogue. It is a rich and rewarding read and will do much to reassure its readers of the intellectual credentials of the Christian faith. – Alister E. McGrath, Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, University of Oxford
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