mostraligabue
» » Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy: Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians

ePub Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy: Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians download

by Bradley G. Green

ePub Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy: Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians download
Author:
Bradley G. Green
ISBN13:
978-0830838868
ISBN:
0830838864
Language:
Publisher:
IVP Academic (November 5, 2010)
Category:
Subcategory:
Churches & Church Leadership
ePub file:
1359 kb
Fb2 file:
1300 kb
Other formats:
txt mbr lit rtf
Rating:
4.9
Votes:
258

Bradley G. Green (PhD, Theology, Baylor University) is associate professor of Christian studies at Union University.

Bradley G. His varied background includes serving as Latin instructor and Sunday school teacher, and he has written a number of articles for various publications including Churchman, Touchstone Magazine, Chronicles Magazine and The International Journal of Systematic Theology. This is another important book in the study of the early church fathers, as it examines eight key theologians in the Christian tradition who have shaped what we believe today. The theologians included in this volume are the following (with the author in parenthesis)

Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy book.

Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy book.

The purpose of this volume is threefold: to introduce a selection of key early and medieval theologians, to strengthen the faith of evangelical Christians by helping them to understand the riches of the church's theological reflection.

The purpose of this volume is threefold: to introduce a selection of key early and medieval theologians, to strengthen the faith of evangelical Christians by helping them to understand the riches of the church's theological reflection, and to help them learn how to think theologically"-From publisher description. No current Talk conversations about this book.

Whether you have studied academic theology or not, if you have an interest in Christian thought, or theology, it is likely the case that along the way you have stumbled along a thinker or writer to whom you have been attracted. But as I worked through De Trinitate I found myself swimming in completely different waters from my contemporary mileau. It was difficult initially to follow Augustine’s train of thought, to understand perhaps why he was arguing the way he was, and to foresee where he might be headed with his argument.

In Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy, Bradley G. Green compiles a collection of essays introducing students to theologians from the Patristic and Medieval eras

In Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy, Bradley G. Green compiles a collection of essays introducing students to theologians from the Patristic and Medieval eras.

Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy. Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians

Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy. Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians. The purpose of this volume is threefold: to introduce a selection of key early and medieval theologians, to strengthen the faith of evangelical Christians by helping them to understand the riches of the church's theological reflection, and to help them learn how to think theologically.

Each entry contains a short biography introducing the theologian, an introduction to specific writings, and a theological analysis. To take an example, Brad Green’s chapter is a good introduction to Augustine’s thought.

This is a book on Christian theology, not a comparative religions text, but it does cover the main branches of Christianity, looking at modern theology based upon personality, geography, and theological approach. The first section examines the lives and work of some of the most significant theological voices to dominate the century, most of whom were European (no surprise, given the dominance of the European voices in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as well).

IrenaeusTertullianOrigenAthanasiusThe CappadociansAugustineAnselmAquinas The best of evangelical theology has always paid attention to the key thinkers, issues and doctrinal developments in the history of the church. What God has done in the past is key to understanding who we are and how we are to live. The purpose of this volume is threefold: to introduce a selection of key early and medieval theologians, to strengthen the faith of evangelical Christians by helping them to understand the riches of the church's theological reflection, and to help them learn how to think theologically. These essays offer insightful analysis of and commentary on eight key theologians, from Irenaeus to Aquinas, along with critical assessment of how evangelicals should view and appropriate the insights of these thinkers. The intention of the contributors is to, as Augustine says, cultivate minds "fired by the grace of our creator and savior" so that we might think well and rightly about our good and great God and live in his light.
  • In a compendium of Christian theologians, editor Bradley G. Green compiles accounts of ten (Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, The Three Cappadocians, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas) early and medievel doctors of the Christian church which secured Christian orthodoxy for generations to come. While orthodoxy was not always present, the contributors are able to show a clearer line of connection between the ancient writers and thinkers by writing short theo-biographical essays and laying in a chronological method. While there is no end to the making of books on these theologians, by having shorter essays, next to each other and in one (con)dense volume, modern Christians can easily spot the building blocks to modern orthodoxy.

    This book works as a teaching tool for Church history as well as an introduction to how to do theology - something that the editor notes he learned from reading Augustine. Far too often, many modern Christians are disconnected with their past, namely the theologians who have shaped and built the ancient theological framework of the Church. Simply put, not every theological stance seen as orthodox today came suddenly from the Apostles. Most developed in one way or another over time. So do the methods of theologizing (not Anslem and Thomas Aquinas), but we often simply study the now well-developed theology as if it has always been. What each essayist does is to remind us that with each theologian, he was building only upon those who came before, but also putting himself into the mix. For example, Shelton notes that Irenaeus spoke of God personally, and not about God as those pre-dated the Bishop of Lyons while Augustine, according to Green, continuously rehashed his life while working through his theological treatises while Athanasius made use of Ignatius of Antioch.

    Each essay on the life of a theologian begins with a brief biographical sketch but is mainly focused on the theological centers of the saint's writing. For example, Green's essay on Augustine is sectioned off into areas such as `The Theology and theologizing of Augustine', `Augustine the recipient of grace' and such, but with each of these main sections broken down further into smaller focuses such as `God the cause of evil?' which falls under the subsection of Man under the formerly mentioned larger area. In `God the cause of evil?' Green attempts to correct a long held view that Augustine viewed God as the ultimate cause of evil, which is of no small disconcerting effort to modern senses. The essayist answers the question not by merely explaining Augustine, or making excuses for him as many are apt to do for the tougher theologians such as Tertullian and Calvin, but by letting Augustine defend himself against such tradition. Each essay is well cited, filled to the brim with actual quotations, and bookended with the essayist's evaluation of the theologian or some form of appropriation for the modern reader. Essentially, the questions are asked as to who the theologian was, what did they bring to the Church, and more importantly, why do they still continue to matter today. Along with this is included, for each theologian, and well stocked bibilography.

    What may be lacking, or perhaps an unwelcomed addition, is a pure Protestant viewpoint. For example, with Irenaeus, the essaying seems to go out of his way to defend the Protestant viewpoint about papal authority and observance of Mary although I am sure he would readily admit that Rome and the East appropriate the theologian in much the same way that Protestants do, both to their own ends. Further, his study and treatment of Irenaeus' view of the Godhead seems to be overly optimistic to the Trinitarian doctrine while Carl Beckwith`s treatment of Marcellus of Ancyra is rather one sided, forcing Marcellus deeper into heresy, the pit from which modern scholarship is pulling him from. While the effect of bringing various essayists to bare is that different styles and biases appear, the only consistent bias is that certain doctrines are to remain almost undeveloped from the start, all the while acknowledging that they were developed and to tread upon ancient prejudices. If we accept the principle of doctrinal progression, then it would be useful to acknowledge it for most to all of the doctrines and ask the question, which is glossed over in this book, to what end can we say that any of them are now fully developed?

    Many Christians today simply do not have an understanding of how, or who, developed doctrine. Not only are the people necessary to know, but so too the circumstances in which these doctrines developed and beyond that as well, how radically different Christianity may have turned out had heresies become orthodox. Books such as this one work towards that end with the goal of educating the Christian to know more about his or her faith and in some way contribute themselves to the progression of the Christian Church. We may each have our favorite theologians, but to see them almost in a ladder form, helps to place them in the context of both the history and the future. We know upon whom they rested so that we know upon whom we rest.

  • Intervarsity Press is doing a wonderful work for Christians with their commitment to bringing the writings of the ancients to us. Among these is an introduction to some early and medieval theologians that is called "Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy".
    This book covers the life, thought, writings, and theology of Inenaeu, Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, The Cappadocians, Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas.
    The contributors are honest about the ones of whom they write. They show their great contributions to Christian theology, and they also show their errors. What I appreciated was that they seemed to deal fairly with some who have not been fairly dealt with. I am speaking specifically of Tertullian and Origen. Though not without their failures, these two are certainly rehabilitated through an examination of their lives and writings. Thankfully, we can find that they were not as bad as many of us have been told.
    In a time when the church is adrift theologically and many evangelicals fear the ancients, this book is a welcome help to those who are serious about Christian doctrine from an ancient perspective.
    This review copy provided freely by IVP with no expectation or demand of a positive review.

  • Evangelicals have been blessed with the recent increase of studies on the early church fathers. For example, Michael Haykin's "Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church" and Bryan Litfin's "Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction" both come to mind as recent good introductions. This is another important book in the study of the early church fathers, as it examines eight key theologians in the Christian tradition who have shaped what we believe today. The theologians included in this volume are the following (with the author in parenthesis):

    Irenaeus (W. Brian Shelton)
    Tertullian (Gerald Bray)
    Origen (Bryan Litfin)
    Athanasius (Carl Beckwith)
    The Cappadocians (Robert Letham)
    Augustine (Bradley G. Green)
    Anselm (David Hogg)
    Aquinas (Mark W. Elliott)

    Each entry contains a short biography introducing the theologian, an introduction to specific writings, and a theological analysis. The individual sections close with a bibliography for further research.

    To take an example, Brad Green's chapter is a good introduction to Augustine's thought. Covering almost 60 pages (pp. 235-292), Green provides a glimpse into key aspects of Augustine's life and theology. After surveying Augustine's life, Green examines some of the major points of his thought: God, Creation, Providence, Man, Grace and Salvation, Incarnation and Redemption, Church and Sacraments, Bible and Knowledge, and Civil Authority. In each case, although Green cannot go into detail, he does go to the important sections of quotes in Augustine's writings (such as the Confessions for aspects of salvation and City of God for issues related to Civil Authority). What I found helpful about the chapter is that it gives you the ability to see where something is in Augustine's massive writings, and go there for yourself. That is the benefit of an introductory volume like this, and each chapter does something along these lines.