Engaging Theology


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About the Author

Ben C. Blackwell (PhD, University of Durham) is associate professor of early Christianity at Houston Baptist University. He has authored a number of essays and articles related to Historical Theology and the New Testament, including Christosis: Engaging Pauline Soteriology with His Patristic Interpreters. He is currently working on new monograph: Participating in the Righteousness of God: Justification in Pauline Theology. He also served as a co-editor for several volumes: Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination; Reading Romans in Context: Paul and Second Temple Judaism; and Reading Mark in Context: Jesus and Second Temple Judaism.


"Ben Blackwell and Randy Hatchett have put together an eminently readable introduction to Christian theology for students. It contains a good balance of Bible, church history, and theological description, is ever mindful of contemporary application, and explains strange topics with simplicity and clarity. A valuable resource for anyone beginning theological studies." * Rev. Dr. Michael F. Bird, academic dean and lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia *
"This is the theology textbook that I wish I had been reading during my undergraduate and seminary theological education. It engages the Bible but is not simply the homogenized biblical- theological approach that I encountered. This work understands hermeneutics and presents theological method, yet it is practical. It points to the boundaries of orthodoxy and to questions that may be open. It understands that theology develops through history (and without quoting J. H. Newman). It opens the student up to dialogue with a variety of Christian perspectives and with other major religions, yet there is a firm core commitment. It is clearly Protestant, even Evangelical, but it is open to Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other perspectives as well. I heartily recommend its use as a teaching text or as a work to learn how to present Christian theology clearly and how to dialogue without slipping into a relativistic approach." * Rev. Peter H. Davids, New Testament editor, Word Biblical Commentary *
"Professors Blackwell and Hatchett have provided us with a thoughtful volume to introduce students to many of the wide-ranging topics, themes, and issues in the field of systematic the- ology. In these pages, readers will find helpful biographical portraits of significant Christian thinkers, interaction with various religious traditions, and insightful applications focused on spiritual formation and the life of the church. Though some readers will ponder the inclusion or exclusion of some topics or some of the authors' conclusions, they will nevertheless be encouraged and helped by the authors' commitments to Trinitarian orthodoxy, to the importance of key aspects of the Christian tradition, and to genuine theological engagement." * David S. Dockery, chancellor and professor of Christianity and culture, Trinity International University *
"Engaging Theology is an excellent resource for the classroom. Blackwell and Hatchett ably summarize the fundamentals of the Christian faith, demonstrating the biblical warrant, historical development, dogmatic location, and cultural implications each of the major doctrines. While readers will inevitably quibble with certain modes of argument or specific theological conclusions, the authors' judicious approach, ecumenical awareness, and charitable spirit are just as important for the classroom as the clarity of their doctrinal summaries." * Matthew Y. Emerson, Dickinson Associate Professor of Religion, Oklahoma Baptist University *
"Engaging Theology brings together Christian history, biography, spirituality, and the development of doctrine in a narrative at once coherent and comprehensive. It is inviting, accessible, irenic. I welcome this new book and recommend it highly!" * Timothy George, research professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series *
"Introductory theology textbooks are a dime a dozen. What separates Engaging Theology from the rest of the pack is that it is genuinely engaging in multiple ways: it engages the reader with lively prose and common-sense language, engages the Christian tradition in faithful and informed ways, engages the contemporary world beyond theology, and engages practice as it speaks into ministry, vocation, and praxis. Theology is on the move, and Blackwell and Hatchet realize this and help readers navigate the terrain in responsible and informative ways. This is the sort of introductory text students are now looking for and need." * Myk Habets, head of school of theology, Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand, and professor of theology *
"The Christian pilgrimage involves pursuing knowledge of Christian theology---either intentionally or unintentionally. R. L. Hatchett and Ben Blackwell in Engaging Theology have provided a rich reading resource for beginning that part of the journey, either in the university or in a local church. Engaging Theology is an excellent primer for communities that need a theology book that is Trinitarian in structure; comprehensive, ecumenical, and nondogmatic in spirit; emphasizes the narrative nature of theological development; and interacts with the broader church and other religious traditions." * Berten A. Waggoner, former national director of Vineyard USA *
"With historical breadth, doctrinal clarity, and pastoral acumen, Blackwell and Hatchett invite students into the study of Christian theology with a text that is comprehensive without being daunting. Written with the student in mind, their book provides a confessional and welcoming approach to the study of theology. This is a book for those who love Jesus but might be skeptical as to why we need clarity about who God is and what God has done." * Myles Werntz, associate professor of Christian ethics and practical theology, T. B. Maston Chair of Christian Ethics, Logsdon School of Theology *

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