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Review: 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith

Gregg R. Allison's 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology (Baker Books, 2018) is a systematic theology accessible to students and laypersons alike. In this single-volume work, Allison outlines 50 key doctrines, from creation to Christ to church, giving major affirmations, biblical support, major errors, and ways to live the doctrine. Allison also provides a breakout box of controversial questions surrounding the doctrine, which may work effectively in a classroom discussion setting.

Each doctrine is only devoted around four to six pages, but Allison packs each chapter with sound, ecumenical teaching, subscribing to a catholic and orthodox way rather than holding to a denominational dogma. Each chapter begins with a summary, main themes, and key verses, allowing easy reference, and the chapters end with a teaching outline for students to study and teachers to utilize for the main structure of each chapter.

Allison's new text is a welcome addition to introducing theology. Rather than using a bulky systematic theology textbook, Allison focuses on addressing key topics and how the can be applied to the Christian life. While there may be some doctrinal issues of dissent (i.e. He holds a somewhat flawed view on the doctrine of worship), the overall spirit of this book is designed to engage new students into the world of theological thought. This book is ideal for students in university or church settings. It would make for a fantastic text in a Sunday school or catechism class on basic Christian doctrine. While it is a thick book, its readability and relevance go beyond what most theology textbooks provide for introductory studies.

(My thanks is given to Baker for providing a complimentary review copy in exchange for an honest review.)

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