Free «Theology: Book Review» UK Essay Paper
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“Theology” is a frequently heard word, but it is often misinterpreted, which leads to a wrong vision of Christian beliefs and a Christian way of living. Consequently, the book “Created for Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living” by Grenz and Smith is an introduction to theology that underlines the parallel between beliefs and everyday life, and reveals the peculiarities of Christian faith. This book is the unity of the current cultural examples and theological concepts that simplify the process of understanding theology from the perspective of the nonprofessional. The main tasks of the aforementioned book are to explore and teach the message of Scripture, observe the heritage of the historical faith and church, and use theological engagement and contemporary thought to penetrate into various cultures. Consequently, the book “Created for Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living” proves that theology helps people learn about God and His purpose, teach Christian truths, and affirm an orthodox doctrine.
Theology Is a Way to Affirm an Orthodox Doctrine
According to Grenz and Smith, theology helps to understand what doctrine is right and what is wrong. Theology helps to explore the variety of beliefs systems, affirm the correct doctrine, instruct believers in regard to Christian doctrine, and summarize the Bible teaching about God and his purpose. The authors’ arguments are persuasive and objective since they apply a complex approach to the explanation of theology and its importance for understanding the Christian doctrine. Thus, the authors communicate their goal by relying upon Triune God and the doctrines of Eschatology, Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, Christology, and anthropology. Such a complex approach to understanding theology and affirming an orthodox doctrine proves that most theology professors destroy learners’ faith and reinforce their flawed perception. Not without a reason, Grenz and Smith see rationalism in the division of theology in biblical, historical, and practical categories, which are necessary for analyzing all aspects of the study of the church and the Bible. Thus, the strength of this book is that it is easy for comprehension and available for the community, as the authors do not overload it with the excessive information, focusing only on the major aspects of theology and its contribution to a Christian doctrine.
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Affirmation of an orthodox doctrine is done through the studies of cultural perceptions, anthropology, Christology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology. It means that Grenz and Smith see theology as the unity of learning about the consummation of God’s programs for creation, the church, Jesus and salvation, God, and humankind. The cultural perception of theology is controversial as atheism is a widespread and influential force that encourages believers to accept its vision of faith. Thus, Grenz and Smith lead their readers through the moral, teleological, cosmological, and ontological ways to prove the existence of God. Consequently, their cultural vision of an orthodox doctrine involves aesthetic and anthropological perspectives and argues that only the unity with Christ allows the individuals to see the sense and meaning of theology. However, despite the fact that the authors try to explain how theology affirms an orthodox doctrine, the structure of this book is somehow vague as the chosen titles do not express the main points related to theology — instead, they are connected to the biblical essence.
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Theology Is a Way to Affirm an Orthodox Doctrine
Grenz and Smith see rationalism in anthropology as a proof that an orthodox doctrine is as objective as anthropology and can explain the reasons for humans’ constant search for identity, the true essence of being, and their dependence on God. Anthropology connects humans with other human beings, explores the ways the community is created through, and regards how this community can be broken under the influence of the failure of humans’ sins. According to Grenz and Smith, theology affirms an orthodox doctrine because it presupposes the connection with God, satisfies people’s intellectual curiosity, and provides direction for Christian way of living. Thus, Christology is the study that fulfills this objective as it proves the theological assertion that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. As divine, Jesus provides the perfect teachings that are based on the truth and the fulfillment of his words, as well as his sinless essence. As a human, Christology explains how Jesus gives people a new life.
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Theology affirms an orthodox doctrine because it is closely connected to faith, while faith is based on such aspects as human intellect, will, and emotions. As for theology, it also raises the questions related to human role in God’s program, God’s intentions for creation, and the nature of the God. Moreover, the answers to these questions depend on the level of human faith. Consequently, Pneumatology becomes a relevant aspect here as it explains the notions of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit that connects people with God, mentioning how to receive the salvation of Christ.
Theology Is a Way to Teach Christian Truths
According to Grenz and Smith, theology is a way to teach Christian truths as its main resources are the culture and everything it entails, the theological heritage of the church, and the biblical message. Consequently, people should be engaged with the theological task as it is presupposed by the Bible and is regarded as the way of revealing Christian truths. Furthermore, it is essential to absorb the theological heritage of the church as it provides answers to many questions. Finally, the authors insist that teaching Christian truths should take place in the contemporary culture as it is a way to understand the relation of Christian truths to the cultural values. Thus, the study on Ecclesiology is a way to encourage the church and the people of God to see rationalism in worshipping and glorifying God. Not without a reason, the authors believe that Christian truths are available to those who become a member of church, as the relationship with it implies a visible connection with Christ.
Theology is a way to teach Christian truths because it focuses its attention on the concept of community that is essential for revealing the essence of Christianity, as God’s reason for creation is community. Furthermore, theology underlines the necessity of knowing the God of the Bible in the contemporary world. It does not try to impose a Christian doctrine — instead, it provides humans with the possibility to imagine the God they know, see themselves as God’s creatures, and admit their sins and failures, which are the restraining forces that damage the understanding of Christian truths. Thus, Eschatology is helpful here as it reminds that Christians are future-oriented people of God who should think about the life after the death, the reality of heaven and hell, and eternal life. However, the problem of this book is that it has an outline format — therefore, it is obvious that the authors try to explain how to teach Christian truths, but it is difficult to find the chapter that would answer this question to a full extent.
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Theology Is a Way to Learn about God and His Purpose
Grenz and Smith see many challenges in proclaiming any certain facts about God and his purpose — they rely on theology as a way that can explain whether God exists and how to respond to the increasing trend of atheism. Furthermore, the thinkers also rely on ontological, cosmological, teleological, and moral proofs of God’s existence in order to argue that learning about God and his purpose is essential. Grenz and Smith are convinced that true theology sees the solutions to both mindful and practical challenges — therefore, it is able to defend the faith, to encourage people to learn about God, and to provide training to those who are full of doubts reinforced by atheism. Moreover, theology explains how to live like a Christian in the community created by God and implement Christian beliefs with Christian way of living. Furthermore, a teleological aspect is a leading one in forming comprehension of God and his purpose. A teleological aspect demonstrates the existence of God by using the sense and human experiences as those that are created and reinforced by God.
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In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the book “Created for Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living” is a valuable contribution to a Christian doctrine, which is comprehensible for the community as it proves that theology helps people learn about God and His purpose, teaches them Christian truths, and affirms an orthodox doctrine. The strength of this book is that it is based on a complex approach to Christianity and faith through the usage of Eschatology, Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, Christology, theology, and anthropology for its explanation. This book is rational because it underlines the parallel between the different perspectives of theology, Bible, and church.
The weakness of this book is that it fails to demonstrate well-organized and clear titles that could attract the readers’ attention and allow them to understand authors’ intentions fully.
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