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Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology
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Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  560 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Evangelical thinkers have thrust differing and sometimes nontraditional views on the doctrine of God, the composition of the human person, and the nature of hell into the spotlight. This book offers a service to the church by examining the various positions taken by evangelical scholars on eighteen seminal issues.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Baker Academic
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Paul Dubuc
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
In spite of all the criticism it has received, I think this book does a good job of presenting the various evangelical positions on the issues it covers. It's a great starting point for anyone wishing to explore or develop their own views on these issues in light of the differing positions taken by other evangelical Christians. Some have criticized the authors for bias toward their own views. But that's to be expected from a book like this. No one is completely unbiased. The intent of the author ...more
Robert Justice
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In theological circles, it is very hard to find a textbook that really treats controversial topics with equal respect for all sides. When a textbook discusses the Calvinism-Arminianism debate, for instance, the author usually takes up a great amount of space to defend one side over another.
But not here!
In this incredible source, Boyd and Eddy devote each chapter to a different controversial subject in theology- the fate of the unrepentant, the age of the earth, the nature of Hell and the future
Ryan Dufoe
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This is a great read to help yourself gain a better understanding of practical and abstract faith issues, but it's an even better reference book as issues come up. If you're for seeing a difficult faith conversation over a very important but non-essential issue, pick up a copy of this and gain insight into the fundamentals of each side.
Charity U
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. This book contrasts a variety of views on multiple contested points of theology.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Across the Spectrum is a interesting survey of different evangelical perspectives on a select number of topics. Instead of selecting the essay that is most agreeable or familiar the book encourages less certainty. The book serves as a foundation toward a more complex and mature approach towards theology.

Boyd presents the best possible version of the argument for each side on a theological issue along with supporting evidence, criticisms and responses to the criticisms. By presenting each argumen
Jay Vellacott
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Pretty disappointed by this book. Cool concept. The problem is that the authors don't often hold the views that they argue for. Considering the circumstances, it's pretty impressive how well they actually do. However, no one can be an expert in the 44 different views of 17 different topics. As a result, the authors make some fairly weak arguments for many sides. I've read the main popular arguments for a lot of these views from experts and they do a much better job. For example, on the inerrancy ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Fantastic book that helps one discover where they are on the spectrum of evangelical theology as well as gain respect for views they disagree with. Boyd and Eddy write each view extremely well leading the reader to really think, pray, study and wrestle through their own convictions. I loved the real life examples of how the theological issues come into play as well as the irenic style of writing. A truly amazing book. I just wish I could find something similar when it came to different views on ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book and a challenge read for me. The format is interesting - it takes 17 topics in Christianity and presents different theological views. In each chapter, the views are argued and supported with Scripture, supporting arguments are explained and opposing arguments are addressed. It was interesting to read through the essays and decide which arguments I aligned with.
Rob Steinbach
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This is a very helpful book for those who want to understand various arguments for the different positions that Evangelicals take on things like baptism, election, hell, etc. It's readable, short, fair, and it's all in one book!
Rick Mattson
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Handy, helpful summaries of competing views of biblical/theological issues such as creationism, atonement theory, predestination/free will, baptism, women's roles in the church, etc.
Curtis Reid
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, re-read
Great intro to a lot of theological arguments and stances. vEry helpful for gaining a greater understanding to what theology is.
Brett Marko
This is a well written book and was easy to read. My problem is not so much with the presentation as the authors did a very good job of giving the perspectives of all the main positions for each issue it looks at.

My problem with this book is that these issues that Christians (and in this book a particular focus on evangelical Protestants) debate are for the most part true non-issues when it comes down to the core of Christianity. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying these aren't issues. But in tr
Ryan Rindels
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful resource for any Christian interesting in controversial Theological issues. It covers topics such as: Calvinism vs. Arminianism, various Eschatological positions on the millenium, the eternal duration of hell vs. annihilationism and women in ministry. It gives a fair presentation of both sides and cites scriptural support for each. Whatever your position on all the topics, you will understand the opposing side's rationale -- either to strengthen your own, sympathize with the other... ...more
Mark Zellner
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book takes a full, honest, unbiased look at several key theological issues dividing the church today. These range from the purpose of baptism, to the nature of hell, to the security of the believer. Every position is presented in an essay written by a scholar who holds to that particular view. The benefit to this is that the reader is exposed to a spectrum of beliefs expounded on by multiple individuals, giving a fairer view than would be obtained if the entire book were the work of a singl ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Overall a great and easy read. It really accomplishes what it sets out to do, provide an overview of various perspectives on theological issues. It has a good breadth but not a lot of depth, but it does list references and recommendations for further reading. I will say that at times the lack of depth was frustrating, because I felt on a few issues the arguments presented were a little shallow and not well-rounded or articulated. However, even though I wouldn't reread (hence only a 4), I think I ...more
Cassandra Elgersma
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book reads a bit like a textbook which I think is the intention to a degree. Still, very understandable and a nice way to learn about the various schools of thought on many issues throughout the christian faith that are sometimes oversimplified or marginalized when taught by someone with a predefined opinion that they're persuading you to agree with. I enjoyed the objectivity.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Writing from different positions on theological matters is tough, especially if you're not on board with a certain point of view. But this was quite fair, and each author did well in articulating many diverse leanings per chapter. As far as introductions go, it is probably one of the best you'll find.
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Carefully and clearly written, this is a helpful assessment of key theological debates within evangelicalism. Every once in awhile, Lutherans get a nod, but oftentimes I would read the 2 or 3 options in a given category and not be satisfied with any stance.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
I just finished reading some reviews of this book on Amazon.
Perhaps the the most strident reviews are from those most blinded to the truth.
Little bits of truth are surely present in most views. But Isms are lenses that distort the Knowledge of God.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the only book I know of that you can get a fair and balanced look at each side of all of the major controversies in Christianity. From the Calvinist/Arminian debate, to the hell debate, to the atonement debate you get a clear presentation of each side.
A good cursory text on the basis of evangelical thought. Probably too bifurcated and not generous enough with "liberal" evangelicals. I found it enjoyable and helpful though. Good for people who are longing for a survey of evangelical debated theology.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book helps you to truly think about what you believe and why you believe it but also opens your eyes to the variety of Christian thoughts. A very insightful book that puts your faith to the test while still defending it.
Apr 28, 2009 marked it as to-read
It's a well written Evangelical Theology book. =] very good examples given.
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, theology
AMAZING book for anyone interested in evangelical theology. Easy to read and understand, and incredibly accurate!
Chris Bloom
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For an assigned book, this was surprisingly enjoyable. I like debate-style books in which authors present opposing viewpoints, and this one deals with a very broad range of issues. Recommended.

Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great way to see balanced perspectives of various Christian doctrines.
Sean McGowan
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was pretty balanced. Gave pretty good overviews of different stances on biblical issues.
Kyle P
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and balanced take on many of the issues that have arisen in evangelical Christianity.
Ken Smith
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book for comparing theology's and interesting read.
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Gregory A. Boyd is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and founder and president of ReKnew. He was a professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) for sixteen years where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor.

Greg is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA), Yale Divinity School (M.Div), and Princeton Theological Seminary (PhD). Gre

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“teaching is not for a teacher simply to persuade students of his or her own perspective. Rather, the goal is to broaden students’ minds by helping them empathetically understand a variety of perspectives while training them to think critically for themselves.” 1 likes
“Genesis 1 is not exceptional. Though it may strike modern historically minded people as odd, biblical authors frequently emphasized thematic unity over historical exactitude. For example, it is a well-known fact that some Gospel authors grouped Jesus’ sayings and deeds by theme rather than by the order in which they occurred historically. As a result, the order of events in the Gospels differs considerably, just as the order of events in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 differs significantly. This would be of concern only if the authors intended to provide an exact account of how things happened historically. If their concern was more thematic, as we suggest, then the contradictions are inconsequential. Supporting” 1 likes
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