The Christian Faith: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine
October 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
The order of the book follows the central themes of the Nicene
Creed, the manifesto of the Christian faith. Beginning with
consideration of creation and providence, it moves on to the person
and work of Christ, and then to the human appropriation of belief
and eschatology. A concluding chapter brings together, in a
treatment of the Trinity, a discussion of the divine attributes and
the doctrine of God that has been revealed in the process of the
No other book offers such a comprehensive, systematic and accessible overview of the Christian faith. It will prove invaluable to students of introductory theology, as well as anyone interested in the fundamental claims of Christianity.
Part I: Foundations: 'Maker of Heaven and Earth':.
1. Establishing: The Doctrine of Creation.
The Mediation of Creation.
The Meaning of the Doctrine of Creation.
Creator and Creation.
The Historical Context: Modern.
The Historical Context: Ancient.
The content of the Doctrine of Providence.
3. Man and Woman.
Matter and Spirit.
The Blessings of Finitude.
Scripture and Theology.
Conclusion to Part I: God the Father.
Part II: 'His only Son, our Lord':.
4. 'Suffered under Pontius Pilate': A Theology of Salvation.
The Concept of Sin.
Creation and Salvation.
The People of the Promise.
The Achievement of Salvation.
5. The Identity of Jesus Christ.
To Set the Scene.
The Framework of Christology.
The Problem of Dogma.
6. 'And was Made Man': The Incarnation and Humanity of Christ.
The 'Becoming' of God the Son.
Death and the Kingdom.
God the Son.
Part III: The Perfecting Cause: 'And in the Holy Spirit':.
7. Christian Community and Human Society.
Some Lessons of Christian History.
The Words of Proclamation and of Scripture.
The Elect Community.
Church and the Social Order.
8. The Shape of Christian Life.
Justification: Living by Faith Alone.
Sanctification: Living in the Realm of the Holy.
9. The Last Enemy.
10. The Triune God of Christian Confession.
'Economic' and 'Immanent' Trinities.
The Difference the Trinity Makes.
Index of Biblical References.
- Condensation of a lifetime's thought and study about the Christian faith.
- Follows the pattern of Schleiermacher's nineteenth-century work, Dogmatics.
"Here is a dogmatics in outline from a contemporary master of
the discipline. Trinitarian in shape, biblical in its vision of the
Christian gospel, catholic in scope, this is a lively, engaging and
provocative exposition of Christian teaching which will delight
learners and teachers alike.' John Webster, University of
"The Christian Faith is not only a catechetical resource,
ideal for the classroom, but it is also his "dogmatics in outline",
a tentative plan for his long awaited magnum opus. I commend this
book to every teacher, and every student." Reviews in Religion
"This is a deeply impressive summation of prolonged work in
doctrinal (systematic) theology." Times Literary
"Colin Gunton...here summarizes a lifetime of theological
reflection in an introductory survey of Christian beliefs...The
virtues are significant: a command of the history of theology that
enables Gunton to draw as needed on the insights of the early
church, the Reformers, and Barth in particular; writing that is
always clear and often elegant; and common sense that avoids fads
and extremes." The IRT Bulletin
"...provides a systematic and accessible overview" Journal of
"Laypersons, students, pastors, and theologians alike will find
this volume an expansive, insightful, and inspiring guide to the
deep themes of Christian faith, remarkably integrated into a
coherent and winsome theological vision." The Princeton Seminary
"Gunton pulls together an elegant and powerful systematic account of the Christian faith which is dominated at both a macro and micro level by the Trinity and a rich feast it is too." Richard Briggs, St John's College, Durham