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The Pattern Of Sound Doctrine: Systematic Theology At The Westminster Seminaries: Essays in Honor of Robert B. Strimple [Paperback]

By David Vandrunen (A01)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   311
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.96" Width: 6.4" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 7, 2004
Publisher   P & R Publishing
ISBN  0875527175  
EAN  9780875527178  


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Item Description...
Overview
The Westminster seminaries have played a crucial role in the development of systematic theology for the past three-quarters of a century. This volume, in four parts, examines the contributions of Westminster theologians from the early days up to present-day discussions. The history of systematics, its relationship to other disciplines at the seminaries, issues of particular importance, and the impact of Westminster theology on the broader life of the church should interest students, pastors, and scholars. These essays are offered in the hope that they will contribute to the defense and progress of Reformed theology in Reformed churches in this new century

Publishers Description
Essays by Frame, Gaffin, Godfrey, Horton, and nine others contributing to the defense and progress of Reformed theology in Reformed churches in this new century.

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David VanDrunen is Robert B. Strimple associate professor of systematic theology and Christian ethics, Westminster Seminary California, Escondido, California.

David VanDrunen was born in 1971.

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Honoring Dr.Strimple ...and the Westminster Seminaries.  Mar 3, 2007
Dr Strimple has served the Church he loves well and deserves the honor accorded him in the publication of this volume. Like most festschrifts, however, the essays that make up this book are not all of equal value. That said, I do agree with a previous reviewer in recognizing the strength of David VanDrunen's contribution, "A System of Theology? The Centrality of Covenant for Westminster Systematics." Other strong contributions include essays by John Frame, Dennis Johnson and R. Scott Clark, et.al.

Rather than taking time to review this work chapter by chapter, let me chart a much shorter course and simply point out the basic contents of this collection and who it is that is most likely to enjoy interacting with this material.

First, and following a short tribute to Dr. Robert Strimple, are thirteen essays by various faculty associated with the Westminster Seminaries. The opening couple of essays are of a historical nature and are helpful in so far as they introduce the reader to the key shapers of Westminster theology (the Hodges, Warfield, and then John Murray) but also to issues of theological method and the divergence between Old Princeton and Westminster. The next set of essays put the discipline of systematic theology in conversation with other theological disciplines, namely biblical theology, apologetics and practical theology. For what it's worth, this was the section I enjoyed most and thought to be the strongest section of the entire collection. Part three offers essays on the doctrine of justification, on the well-meant offer of the gospel, on language, and on the centrality of covenant. Here are issues of particular significance to the Westminster Seminaries and an opportunity to see specifically Westminster formulations of important areas of reformed thought. The essays that make up the fourth and final section of this work are said to 'reflect upon the relationship of Westminster and its theology with the broader life of the church.' I guess this section achieves this, but I am sad to say that none of the essays in this final section (perhaps with the exception of John Muether's), are as substantial or even as focussed as are those of the other sections.

As for who is most likely to enjoy this material, I'd say this collection of essays will be cordially received by three groups of readers. First, those who studied under or who know Dr. Strimple. Second, those who have studied at or who have been nourished by the Westminster Seminaries. (Part of the charm of this book has to do with the amount of internal "chatter" that one detects between contributors. Certainly anyone who has spent time studying at one or more of the Westminster campuses is likely to enjoy the instances of faculty, past and present, from east and west campuses, commenting upon one another's positions and conclusions, etc.) The third audience most likely to appreciate this work are those who are interested in questions of theological method, particularly, the achieving of a balanced relationship between systematic theology and biblical theology.

Overall this is unlikely to become an influential and widely utilized volume. In so far as the bulk of the essays are quite worthwhile and do alert reformed and evangelical-minded theologians to the contributions of the Westminster Seminaries and the gifted faculty who have taught and still do teach at these schools, this is a shame.
 
Nuggets of truth  Jun 8, 2006
While almost all of the essays in this book are excellent, I would like to draw your attention to one essay in particular, namely that written by David VanDrunen. It is an essay that describes an actual architechtonic system of theology based on the one governing concept of "Covenant". Imagine what fruit such a system of doctrine might bear! There are many who find discrepancies between systematic theology and biblical theology. However, if a system of theology can be built upon the foundation of covenant, the disagreements necessarily must disappear, assuming that biblical theology is also understood to be governed by covenant. Covenant theology is the Bible's system. Such an understanding of theology certainly represents a step forward for the reformed church at large. I commend this book as being worth every penny if only for this one essay, and I call on Dr. VanDrunen to seriously consider writing a Systematic Theology. The Church would be much richer for it.
 

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