“If we do not examine and learn from the past we have learned nothing.” This is the line of thinking that we as a people must have when it comes to history, be it ecclesiastical, national, familial, or cultural. History is important and when we look at why our forefathers wrote, experiences and rebelled against, we see why out world looks like it does today. When one studies ecclesiastical history this is even more true.
In Westminster John Knox Press’s new book Readings in the History of Christian Theology (Vol. 2) Revised Edition edited by William C. Placher and Derek R. Nelson the history of the Church is examined though the lense of the written works of prominent scholars and thinkers from the reformation to the present.
This one volume examines just shy of 100 important theological works from scholars, pastors and teachers from a plethora of theological traditions, including both liberal and conservative orthodox and radical, catholic and protestant. When all of these collected works are examined as a unit they represent a time capsule of the past 500 years. When examined as individual works these documents represent a particular branch of Christianity in it’s proper cultural context.
Unfortunately due to the massive size of many of these works, for spatial concerns, each work is edited and much of the discourses are gone. This is a premise problem with the book. An short volume of original sources must be long if it contains all of the work. While the editors did a commendable job at editing the sources, I would caution those who might think that a work contained in this volume is the full text rather and a highly abridged version, abet done with impeccable precision and intent.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Westminster John Knox Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
Readings in the History of Christian Theology (Vol. 2) Revised Edition
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Publishing
Page Count: 224 Pages
Publishers Website: http://wjkbooks.com