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"An ideal historical theology, or even an introduction to it," says Geoffrey Bromiley, "lies beyond the limits of human possibility." And, indeed, he does not intend this volume to be an all-inclusive theological study about everybody and everything. Rather, "this work is composed for beginners, for inquirers, for those who know nothing or very little of the history of theology, but who want to know something, or something more." The approach here is theological rather than strictly historical. Among the implications of this approach are an acknowledgement that God has really spoken to the church, a genuine and specific Christian commitment on the part of the historical theologian, the belief that historical theology is a discipline of the church, and the view that historical theology serves the mission and ministry of the church. Bromiley maintains that the student learns theology best by reading the words and thoughts of theologians, not by reading their biographies. Thus, in selecting those theologians included in this volume, he has considered not only their representativeness in the total flow of historical theology, but also the availability of their work in English. Likewise, his bibliographies concentrate on primary sources. "From Ignatius to Antioch to Thieliecke of Hamburg, Bromiley has selected the dominant contributors to Christian thought and evaluated their work. The selection is discriminating; the summaries are thorough; the analyses are perceptive. Nowhere else between two covers will we find a better chart of continual struggle to express the apostolic faith in terms credible to each generation. Pastors, laypersons, Bible teachers, college students - all will profit from a trek through the nineteen centuries of church theology with Geoffrey Bromiley as a guide. - David Allan Hubbard Fuller Theological Seminary "A useful study tool; it not only directs the reader to primary source materials but also raises pointed questions along the way." - Carl F. H. Henry Geoffrey W. Bromiley is professor emeritus of Church History and Historical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is best known as the translator of numerous theological books, including the 9-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.
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