Skip to main content

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.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Trinity Without Hierarchy

Some recent evangelical trends have insisted that the Son is subordinate to the Father. It is in response to such complementarian theologians that the contributors to Trinity Without Hierarchy: Reclaiming Nicene Orthodoxy in Evangelical Theology (Kregel Academic, 2019) write. Edited by Mike Bird and Scott Harrower, sixteen respected theologians from around the world have come together to rescue the doctrine of the Trinity and reclaim the Nicene position, that all persons of the Trinity are co-eternal and co-equal.

The first essays introduce the doctrine of the Trinity from a New Testament standpoint, followed by a set of essays that trace Nicene Trinitarianism through church history, from Athanasius to the Reformers to Pannenberg. Although written with varying levels of difficulty—from introductory surveys to advanced theological treatments—each essay is short and digestible. The implications of the doctrine of the Trinity meet the challenges of modern evangelicalism, particularly su…

Review: Practicing the Preaching Life

Most preachers burn out. So claims celebrated homiletician and preaching professor David Ward. Ward contends that, while preaching is a life-giving activity, most practices of it lead to exhaustion and life waste. In his new book, Practicing the Preaching Life (Abingdon, 2019), Ward sets out to paint a practical theology of preaching that spiritually forms preachers and brings renewal, not only to preachers, but to their listeners as well.

Ward, as a student in the New Homiletic, draws heavily on Augustine and Aristotle, who view preaching as a means to embed virtues within the preacher. He begins by establishing a correct theology of preaching: what makes good preaching "good"? What are the offices of the preacher? From there, he moves toward practical applications, including weekly sermon preparation routines and sermon forms. Ward's approach to preaching practice, however, diverges from traditional books that either offer homiletical theory with little application, o…

Review: The Significance of Singleness

In this much-needed book, theologian Christian Hitchcock develops a vision for singleness and the church. Recent evangelical tendencies, argues Hitchcock, view singleness as a problem rather than an asset, a curse rather than a blessing. Drawing from her own experiences as a single Christian woman, Hitchcock skillfully combines personal reflection, historical evidence, and biblical-theological support to claim that single persons are themselves a theologically significant group.

Hitchcock begins by tackling the problem of singleness head-on. She describes the perception of the “problem of singleness,” from pop culture to the Marriage Mandate Movement. In her view, American evangelicalism views marriage as the most desired social institution, under which nothing can compare. Most of her examples come from her experience as a student and professor at small Christian colleges, which have a notorious tendency to inflate issues of marriage. Hitchcock then turns to three figures from churc…