Christian Theology: An...
Alister E. McGrath
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Christian Theology: An Introduction

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  755 ratings  ·  34 reviews
This is a completely revised and updated edition of one of the leading introductions to Christian theology. Assuming no previous knowledge, it introduces readers to the main ideas and key debates, as well as to the leading thinkers who have influenced Christian thinking over the last two thousand years.
Provides an excellent introduction to the basics of Christian theology...more
Hardcover, Third Edition, 648 pages
Published January 16th 1991 by Wiley-Blackwell
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Aug 12, 2012 Paul marked it as sf-anthologies-to-finish  ·  review of another edition
The Early Church fathers got into some logical cul-de-sacs such as :

1. Only God can save.
2. Jesus Christ saves.
3. Therefore Jesus Christ is God.

That was fair enough, but what about :

1. Jesus Christ was crucified.
2. Jesus Christ is God.
3. therefore God was crucified.


1. Jesus Christ suffered and died
2. Jesus Christ is God
3. Therefore God suffered and died.

These are a little more troublesome.

Actually, whilst I do have this book, and quite a handsome book it is too, and I did start it, I really d...more
Jun 07, 2012 Dyer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone confused about Christian theological concepts
One of the most highly recommended introductions. It's not an easy read, but it's great at fleshing out the ideas of Christian thoughts from 100ad to contemporary theology. It helps to make complex ideas which shouldn't be complex into understandable concepts. I found that if I tried to read more than a few pages at a time Christian concepts of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus began to become fuzzy. Therefore I suggest dipping in when you have a very alert mind and read only one section or chapter...more
Jacob Aitken
McGrath, Alister. Christian Theology: An Introduction. 3rd Edition.

If one is used to reading Evangelical systematic theologies, then one will find McGrath’s approach to be strange. McGrath does not follow the format of normal systematicians. While he does address the various loci of systematic theology, that is not the point of the book. McGrath’s underlying point is in showing the various loci, how were they developed in the history of the Church? He maintains (indirectly, to the degree that he...more
Benjamin Thompson
This is by far the best systematic theology book I have read to date. What makes McGrath's work here unique and impressive is the way he puts theology under a historical and philosophical lense simultaneously. He allows you to see clearly how various ideas came to be devoloped and why others were rejected in the church. He accurately and without much bias describes the perspectives of Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic theologies. He also gave me a great introduction into the ideas of great 19th...more
G Walker
This edition promised more than it delivered. The earlier (3rd) edition was actually better in my opinion. The new formating and "additional' material was not worth the monies put out for this edition. Overall the third edition would have gotten a 3 star rating. But even that would have been generous -- it too suffers from sloppy generalizations.
This edition suffers from superficial engagements of Orthodoxy and other theological developments that McGrath seems to have hastily thrown together in...more
This was my A Level Christian Theology textbook. But I also enjoyed reading it for personal benefit. Definitely a good introduction. Perhaps as a preparation for other systematic theology texts, such as that of Grudem.
Jeff Elliott
McGrath does a credible job of introduction to most of the major topics of Christian theology. It does however, at many points feel as if he is skimming. Unfortunately that was what was required in a work like this. He includes many significant quotes from many respectable sources and provides a good overview of differing opinions and allow the reader to decide what they believe.
There is also a companion reader that goes along with the text. I only read the assigned sections out of it as well; m...more
Amy Hughes
Out of the systematic theologies I have read that I think are student friendly this is one of the best. It has a lot of the historical grounding that is sadly missing from others I have read, but the catch 22 is that there is no way to do justice to the breadth of the Christian theological tradition in a book meant to be an introduction. They will always fall short. Because supplementation is necessary, especially that of primary sources, I look for a book that will be a good resource to begin t...more
Jeffrey Backlin
More of an historical overview than a scripture by scripture detailing of theology. Very helpful discussion on important people to read from various points of view.
John Baw
A very decent introduction to Christian theology. A good read without it being t0o bookish or dry.
This book teaches you almost everything you need to know about historical theology, covering almost every aspects in the study of Christian theology. All chapters are characterized by immense academic learning, erudation & analysis;presented in readable language. The author is careful enough of stating his on opinion regarding a particular theological issue, which for me a fair approach. This is the ideal available handbook for seminary or a trustworthy reference for making a cathecism manua...more
Fr. Matthew
On the Reformation: "The Reformation movement was complex and heterogeneous, and its agenda went far beyond the reform of the doctrine of the church. It addressed fundamental social, political, and economic issues, to complext to be discussed in any detail in this volume. The agenda of the Reformation varied from one country to another, with the theological issues which played major roles in one country (for example, Germany) often having relatively little impact elsewhere (for example, in Engla...more
This book is not for reading it is more for study and it took me a couple of months to go through both books. This also should be purchased with the Reader. This book has no spelling errors and has interesting study in theology. It is complemented with Systematic Theology besides Christian Theology. There is no real cross reference to the Reader written (noted to find the page of the people), so one has to find it themselves. Searching using the names or Topic still makes it easy to reference ac...more
Brian Hauglid
I used this book in my graduate level Christian Theology class. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good survey of Christian theology from the earliest period up to the present. My students loved it. McGrath is very readable and does extremely well offering the critical thinker different points of view on all the major theological discussions. We also used his Reader which includes numerous writings from the theologians throughout history. These books are treasures.
Melvin Gaines
McGrath does a very good job of covering most of the territory of the history of Christian Theology. It is not complete in scope, but sufficiently thorough for an overview. His writing style made the text easier to read than most textbooks covering this subject. While some may have a little difficulty with the flow of material based upon historical markers, it receives high marks for capturing the pros and cons of positions taken throughout church history.
Quinn Steffen
Read only the historical theology section of this book (first hundred pages or so). He does great job of setting the historical context that Christian theology grew up and out of. He also gave philosophy its just due in-regards to its importance as the handmaiden of Theology; a lot of western theological concepts borrowed at least in part from the framework of western philosophy. Great book; I will update when or if I read other sections
Rachael Eliz
Great academic book, my only fault would be the fact that some topics come up a few times in different places, but then with a subject like theology I suppose that is to be expected! The index is really useful though, so no real problems using this book. Great referencing, with lots of outside sources used to give a wider breadth. Great study book, one I'd recommend for any Theology University student.
So, I'm going to be honest with myself and admit that I'm done reading this book now. I really enjoyed the first four chapters, but then I bogged down because it got technical and really, textbooks are easier to keep reading when there are things like grades and test involved. Also, I've now misplaced the book and haven't seen it in over two months.
Daniel Wright
What to say about this? It's effectively the standard introduction to its subject for undergraduates, and fairly readable in spite of this. It uses a historical-theology axis for organising subject matter, and is fairly comprehensive, if woefully inadequate on eschatology.
Apr 03, 2007 Wallace rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
If I were stuck on an island and got to choose three books this would be one of them. A great read for all interested in theology and historical theology. Everyone should have this on their bookshelf. It is suitable for both a high school and Ph.D. student. Get it today!
Joseph Sverker
This book is certainly compulsary reading for anyone wanting to get a grasp of Christian Theology. It has a very helpful structure and is really geared towards students. A wide arrange of topics is discusses and the main theologians are included.
Bob Jackson
This is my first general theology book and I enjoyed it. It covered a lot of ground and I think it was good. It seem as if they were trying very hard to be fair and not beat a single drum. I was pleased.
Dean P.
Great introductory academic-level text for the topic. Make sure you find the latest edition when you read it, because some of the older editions are not expanded as much as recent ones.
I've read a lot of this book though not all. It is a high quality introductory book which is well laid out, readable and used worldwide.
Aug 30, 2010 Al is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Seems an excellent summary so far and well written for the non-specialist.

I could imagine this text being the basis for a study group....
David Menzies
A great and seemingly impartial overview of the theology and history of Christianity. Enjoyed it thoroughly!
This book has the basic information for those who want to start studying theology at a higher level.
Deb Amend
Am currently reading and re-reading. Very useful book, and I like his writing style.
Mark Kuberski
Very good book, McGrath does a wonderful job of discussing all aspects of Christianity
Great Theology book...especially on the historical recap of Christian Theology
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Alister E. McGrath is a biochemist and Christian theologian born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and currently enjoys the Title of Distinction “Professor of Historical Theology” granted by the University of Oxford. He is the author of several books on theology and history, including In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How it Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture and The Twi...more
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