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The Christian Faith: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine

ISBN: 978-0-631-21181-5
212 pages
October 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
The Christian Faith: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine (0631211810) cover image
This book offers a comprehensive and lively look at the Christian faith by internationally-respected theologian, Colin Gunton. Distilling a lifetime's experience of teaching and thought, this is a book for those who wish to understand the meaning and relevance of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

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 book's argument.

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.

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Preface.

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.

2. Providence.

The Historical Context: Modern.

The Historical Context: Ancient.

Biblical Considerations.

The content of the Doctrine of Providence.

3. Man and Woman.

Matter and Spirit.

Personal Being.

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.

Priesthood Realised.

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.

Baptism.

Sanctification: Living in the Realm of the Holy.

Resurrection.

9. The Last Enemy.

Death.

Judgement.

Redemption.

Conclusion:.

10. The Triune God of Christian Confession.

Experience Redeemed.

'Economic' and 'Immanent' Trinities.

The Difference the Trinity Makes.

General Index.

Index of Biblical References.

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Colin E. Gunton is Professor of Christian Doctrine at King's College, London. He is the author of twelve books, and the editor of six others, including The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine (1997). He is also Associate Minister of the United Reformed Church at Brentwood in Essex.
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  • Condensation of a lifetime's thought and study about the Christian faith.

  • Follows the pattern of Schleiermacher's nineteenth-century work, Dogmatics.
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"Colin Gunton's fine exposition of the central Christian doctrines follows a traditional trinitarian and credal sequence. It provides an orientation which is Scriptural and classical yet also positioned within modern debate. The fruit of many years teaching and writing, this text promises to be widely used and appreciated by students of theology today" David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh

"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 Oxford

"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 and Theology

"This is a deeply impressive summation of prolonged work in doctrinal (systematic) theology." Times Literary Supplement

"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 Contemporary Religion

"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 Bulletin


"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

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