Historical Theology for the Church is a new book from B&H Academic that treats the entire 2000 year history of Christianity with a focus on doctrinal development through major figures, events, and written works. By steering this work “for the church” this textbook shows the development of doctrine in history through congregations as well as provide a resource for contemporary congregations. The following is an excerpt from one of the contributing authors’ chapters.
Nathan A. Finn serves provost/dean of the university faculty and professor of Christian studies and history at North Greenville University
Today’s theology is tomorrow’s historical theology. Should the Lord tarry his return, the insights of contemporary theologians will shape the future of what is sometimes called the “Great Tradition” or the “Christian intellectual tradition”—the best of Christian theological and ethical reflection from the second century to the present day.1 Our prayer is that we will be found faithful as theologians, and that Historical Theology for the Church will be a means the Lord uses to contribute to equip pastors, theologians, and other ministry leaders “to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all” (Jude 3). To that end, we want to close this book by offering a few final thoughts about the ministerial value of historical theology.
- First, historical theology should inform the devotional lives of believers and the liturgical lives of churches.
- Second, historical theology should inform the preaching of the Word.
- Third, historical theology should inform systematic theology.
- Finally, historical theology should inform ongoing debates about faith
Historical theology is no mere academic discipline but is a gift to the body of Christ. May we receive this gift from the Lord, from whom every good and perfect gift comes (Jas 1:17). And may we use this gift for his glory, for the health of his church, and for the sake of those who do not yet worship him.
Historical Theology for the Church
Jason G. Duesing & Nathan A. Finn, editors
B&H Academic, 2021