In A History of Christian Theology 2nd Edition, Derek R, Nelson and the late William C. Placher, present more than 3000 years of theological thought in 275 pages. The book is not primarily about ideas or doctrine, but the historical background which shaped the lives of those who formed much of the Christian faith, going back as far as the Old Testament. The authors rarely inserted themselves, allowing luminaries such as Luther, Calvin, and Augustine to speak in their own words. This book is a whirlwind tour of those who have impacted the world of Christian theological thought.
A History of Christian Theology was an interesting undertaking for someone who isn’t as familiar with Church History as much as she would like. The preface was sometimes needlessly wordy, seemed to have liberal undertones, and a bit esoteric, but reading it was necessary in understanding the structure and themes of the book. However, once the book begins, it tells an interesting and effective story of the men and women who have impacted much of Church History. It was a pleasant surprise to see John Calvin and Martin Luther treated fairly, and Augustine given his due. The last forty pages or so was a challenge, as a lot of information was condensed. The book would have been stronger had it gone into more detail of the last 150 years. Perhaps the reader was tired. All in all, A History of Christian Theology was interesting and informative. I give it three out of five stars.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.