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Doctrine / Theology Archives ~ Aletheia Baptist Ministries Skip to main content

Readings in Christian Theology, Vol. 3

Readings in Christian Theology, Vol. 3

by Rick Shrader

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It was in 1994 when I read two and one half of this three-volume set, edited by Millard Erickson. Now in 2020 I picked up the third volume and finished it. This third volume has three parts to it: New Life in individual experience, in collective expression, and in future extension. It was the third part I hadn’t read. This is basically a collection of articles on eschatology. I especially enjoyed J.O. Buswell on the question of eschatology, Wm. Shedd on the intermediate state, E.Y. Mullins on last things, C.S Lewis on heaven, and John Walvoord on dispensational premillennialism. I didn’t enjoy Harry Emerson Fosdick on changing categories. The three volume set is worth reading, but try to do it in fewer than 30 years.

 

Christian Theology in Plain Language

Christian Theology in Plain Language

by Rick Shrader

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I have always enjoyed reading Bruce Shelley.  He was the long-time professor of church history at Denver Seminary and we lived in Denver near the seminary for a long time.  This book (1985) is written more for the layman than for the theologian or even the pastor.  Whereas I enjoyed his sequel, Church History in Plain Language (written 10 years later), I didn’t enjoy this as much.  Shelley is a Baptist but I felt he hedged on a few important doctrines.  He didn’t clearly subscribe to an early earth view of creation much less to 24 hour creative days; he didn’t give any definite view of eschatology, not even a millennium; and he suggested a pre-regeneration view of regeneration.  On salvation and theology proper this is solid and on historical things and anecdotes he is great, but I was disappointed in these few views on important theological issues.

 

The First Fundamental: GOD

The First Fundamental: GOD

by Rick Shrader

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I’ve always enjoyed Robert Lightner’s books.  I bought this 1973 edition in the FaithBaptist Bible College bookstore on the markdown shelf.  The bonus is that this book is personally signed by Lightner and adressed to George Houghton, and also has Dr. George’s signature in it.  I tried not to mark it up too much.  How refreshing to read again a straightforward book on God.  His existence, attributes, work in salvation, and the Scriptures.  Always a worthwile read.

 

Theologies of the 21st Century

Theologies of the 21st Century

by Rick Shrader

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This is an update (2014) on Smith’s earlier edition, A Handbook on Contemporary Theology, published in 1992.  These are helpful summaries of various contemporary theological movements and trends.  The new version repeats some of the earlier ones with updated material, yet has new additions such as a history of theology from the Enlightenment, theologies of the future, black theology, queer theology, open theism, destiny of the unevangelized, prosperity theology, postmodern, postliberal, and postconservative theologies, and African and Asian theologies.  Twenty two years has created a lot of religious confusion in the world!  I have two takeaways from the new version (besides much good information and perspective). Smith is more negative toward fundamentalism than he was in the first volume, a disappointment to me.  But a positive thing to learn from the new volume is that the syncretization of world religions with Christianity does not produce better Christianity nor any Christianity at all.  When that is tried, the additions to Christianity and the subtractions from Christianity leave a Christianity that cannot save at all.  The book is expensive but there will soon be deals and used editions that will be worth your while to buy.

 

The Chronological life of Christ, Vol. 2

The Chronological life of Christ, Vol. 2

by Rick Shrader

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I read this book on Kindle for an online class.  The two volumes were first printed in 1996 and 1997.  Volume 2 takes the reader through the passion week of Christ unto His ascension.  It reads like a harmony of the gospels with a few paragraphs of comments after each section.  It is basically sound, from a rather Reformed perspective, and soft on eschatology.  It is good for interesting facts about the life of Christ and for a conservative point of view on chronological things.

 

Easter Enigma

Easter Enigma

by Rick Shrader

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This is a 1992 book on the chronological problems that revolve around the resurrection of Jesus.  The supposed descrepencies in the gospel accounts have caused many to doubt the veracity of the gospels.  Wenham concludes that these can be reconciled in a good manner which retains the integrity of the four gospels.  Wenham will include his own views on some people and things which are possible but not definite.  For example, he believes that Mary Magdalene was the same person as Mary the sister of Martha, and also is the same sinful woman who washed Jesus feet with her hair in Luke 7.  He admits that this cannot be proved but helps reconcile some of the story details.  I’m not at all convinced but it doesn’t detract from the profitability of this book.  Wenham’s reconciling of the resurrection appearances is very helpful.

 

A Short Life of Christ

A Short Life of Christ

by Rick Shrader

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Everett F. Harrison wrote this book in 1968 and it was published by Eerdmans.

Harrison’s purpose for writing is to give an overall picture of Christ’s life but not dwell too much on the details.  Harrison seems to be conservative in his basic positions on Christ i.e., His deity, atonement, and bodily resurrection and ascension.  I think Harrison’s style of writing is very readable and I enjoy it but perhaps that’s because it is similar to many authors of his era.  I would recommend this book for a good but brief overall look at the life of Christ.

 

Barnhouse

Barnhouse

by Rick Shrader

“Don’t forget, doctrine never impresses the unregenerate world.  Those who do not know Christ couldn’t care less if you and I cross our theological t’s and dot our existential i’s properly.”

Donald Grey Barnhouse, Thessalonians, an Expositional Commentary, p. 50.

 

J.M. Frost

J.M. Frost

by Rick Shrader

“Our people are as stout as the stoutest in holding fast and true the great doctrine of election with its coordinate doctrines, and yet are nothing behind the most earnest in emphasizing the freedom of the will, and in proclaiming the gospel as the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”

J.M. Frost, Baptist Why and Why Not, p. 17.

 

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

by Rick Shrader

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Mal Couch is a good dispensational pretribulational premillennialist.  We usually find him writing on prophetic subjects.  In this study of the Holy Spirit he takes the reader through the Old and New Testaments book by book reviewing the various teachings on the Holy Spirit in each book and each age.  The more controversial views would be that Couch places the fulfillment of the New Covanent squarely in the age of Grace, the baptism of Romans 6 is completely spiritual, and water baptism may be of many methods (p. 74).