Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 144:576 (Oct 1987)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Evangelical Theology: A Survey and Review. By Robert P. Lightner. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986. 303 pp. $15.95.

The constant need for review of and disciplined thinking about the doctrines of the Christian faith is apparent to all involved in communicating biblical truth. The latest book by theologian Robert P. Lightner (professor of systematic theology, Dallas Seminary) fills this crucial need for theological study. He notes in the introduction that it is not intended as a complete treatment of systematic theology, but rather as both an introductory survey of Christian doctrine and also a review for seminary students, pastors, and other Christian workers. The major divisions of systematic theology are dealt with in a distinctive manner in nine chapters. In each chapter the author gives a concise historical summary of the development of the doctrine treated, a good ‘summary of the topic, and ample biblical documentation. Next he points out major areas of difference among evangelicals on each of the theological topics. In this reviewer’s opinion no other treatment of theology in the present era does exactly what Lightner accomplishes in this comparison and analysis of theological differences. He states his own position cogently and deals with all the major viewpoints carefully. His work is always done evenhandedly, with an irenic spirit and remarkable comprehensiveness.

His words in analyzing different vantage points on the work of the Holy Spirit, for example, sound this high call to integrity: “The different viewpoints will probably never be reconciled; but we could agree to disagree, and even as we go our separate ways in separate corporate fellowships, we could treat each other as fellow members of the family of God rather than archenemies. Surely the Spirit of God is grieved by the way children of God whom He has joined together in one body often think about and act toward each other” (p. 126). Each chapter also has

research questions for discussion, useful for classes and study groups, plus suggestions for further reading. A key correction should be made in an early printing of the book: on page 28 in the first line of the last paragraph the word “inerrant” should be changed to “errant.”

Frederic R. Howe

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? By Gary Habermas and Anthony Flew. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987. 190 pp. $14.95.

The first two parts of this book, entitled “The Formal Debate” and “The Continuing Debate,” are followed by part three: “The Response to the Debate,” by Wolfhart Pannenberg, Charles Hartshorne, and J. I. Packer. This is an excellent book on histori...

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