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Understanding Christian Doctrine, 2nd Edition

Understanding Christian Doctrine, 2nd Edition

Ian S. Markham

ISBN: 978-1-118-96474-3 March 2017 240 Pages




The comprehensive and engaging introduction to contemporary Christianity, revised and updated

The second edition of Understanding Christian Doctrine presents a completely updated and revised edition that builds on the most popular features of the first edition to offer a lively overview to the central beliefs of Christianity. Ian S Markham, a noted authority of Christianity, discusses the great thinkers of the Christian tradition and puts them in conversation with contemporary progressive theologies in a book that goes from Augustine, Aquinas, and Luther to Liberationist, Feminist, and Queer theologies. Designed to be a basic primer, the text is written in a manner that assumes the reader has no prior knowledge of theology or Christian doctrine. 

The book is designed to present the basic options in all the key areas of Christianity as well as information on how to make complex theological decisions. The author tackles all the key questions from creation to eschatology. Furthermore, Markham makes his own distinctive contribution: he argues that theodicy (traditionally seen as a major difficulty with belief) is actually a theme that links many aspects of Christian doctrine. The revised second edition includes a wealth of new information, including:

  • A lively and comprehensive introduction to Christianity that assumes no prior knowledge of the faith
  • An overview to the great thinkers of Christian tradition that puts them in conversation with progressive liberationist theologies
  • Suggestions that help even the most skeptical to learn to understand and possibly embrace theological assertions
  • Breakout boxes that explain the significance of the text’s various philosophical ideas and positions

The text is ideal for anyone interested in learning about the foundations of Christianity as well as new ideas about the faith. Christianity is presented in a manner that embraces the richness of the tradition and affirms the central claims of the historical creeds, while engaging with liberationist challenges to the tradition. 

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Preface to the Second Edition ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 Finding a Way In 5

2 The Theistic Claim 23

3 The Nature of God 49

4 The Trinity 73

5 The Problem of Evil and Suffering 89

6 Creation and the Significance of Humanity 103

7 God Incarnate 119

8 Dying to Sin, Living to Redemption 135

9 The Holy Spirit and the Church 149

10 Sacraments and the Life of Virtue 167

11 Religious Diversity: What is God Up To? 179

12 Hope Beyond the Grave 195

13 The End of the Age 205

14 Participating in the Conversation 217

Index 223