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Review: Introducing Evangelical Theology

Respected evangelical scholar Daniel J. Treier has distilled his celebrated Evangelical Dictionary of Theology into a systematic theology textbook: Introducing Evangelical Theology (Baker Academic, 2019). Designed for intermediate to advanced theology students, Treier systematically treats evangelical approaches to Christian doctrine through a trinitarian framework. In Part 1, "Knowing the Triune God," Treier discusses the ways in which we know God through creeds, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer. Part 2 examines the role of the Father in providence, creation, and theological anthropology. Part 3 moves to the person and work of the Son in reconciliation and salvation. Finally, Part 4 discusses how the Holy Spirit breathes life into the Christian life, Scripture, the church, and the new creation.

This book is specially geared toward evangelical thinkers; Treier, following Bebbington's famous quadrilateral, sees evangelicals as a particular Christian movement focused on the Cross of Christ and the impetus to spread this good news. Each chapter discusses particular issues and debates in evangelical theology; for instance, the chapter on theological anthropology discusses current debates surrounding gender roles in the church, sexuality, and race. Treier writes generously, clearly, and objectively and allows full exposure to such matters. Given the deep treatment of various perspectives, however, each viewpoint is limited to only a few sentences. While the book may have been more valuable for its evangelical audience by expanding its discussion of evangelical debates, one recognizes that it would have made the read that more cumbersome!

The author writes at a high level, assuming a working knowledge of basic theological terms. It would be a very fitting text for a second-level theology class. One weakness of the book is that key terms are not bolded but denoted with an asterisk. This prevented the ability to easily identify terms on the page. A comprehensive glossary in the back was very useful (but could have benefited from page references). Overall, Introducing Evangelical Theology succeeds in its task of presenting Christian doctrine through the unique lens of evangelicalism. Evangelical and non-evangelical students alike will benefit from exposure to this theological framework.

(A complimentary review copy was given in exchange for an honest review.)


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