Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
SBTJ 17:2 (Summer 2013) p. 84
Mapping Modern Theology: A Thematic and Historical Introduction. Edited by Kelly M. Kapic and Bruce L. McCormack. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012, 421 pp., $34.99 paper.
This is a unique book and one that has been needed for a long time. It is a survey of recent theology, which for this book is generally the last two hundred years. In the introduction McCormack states that modern theology began in Germany with its development of scientific models of understanding just about everything, though the rise of modern theology was precipitated by the development of critical philosophy primarily by Hume and Kant (3). Hume’s critique of natural religion and Kant’s delimitation of knowledge to the realm of phenomenological appearances set the stage for Schleiermacher and a host of others who would alter the game in theology and introduce a variety of versions of liberalism, mediating theology, neoorthodoxy, postliberalism, postconservatism, postmodernism, and so forth. There are a number of books published in the last fifty years that chronicle this development, including books by Stan Grenz and Roger Olson, Alasdair Heron, and Hendrickus Berkhof, and a veritable library of volumes that examine individual figures or specific movements. What has not appeared, till now, is a thematic approach that looks at individual doctrines from the standard loci of systematic theology and surveys that development in somewhat brief overviews from an evangelical perspective. That is what makes this volume valuable.
A complete review would have to be a review article, but I do wish to summarize the outline of a few of the chapters and then to cite a few important points in the work. In the “Introduction” the author makes the point that the new approach to theology made its first inroads at the doctrine of creation (7). That is certainly understandable since the new understanding of science that grew out of the Enlightenment challenged many traditional claims of Christian theology.
SBTJ 17:2 (Summer 2013) p. 85
In chapter two, Fred Sanders takes up the doctrine of the Trinity. Taking up first the point to the Trinity and history, he surveys the manner in which Hegel, Moltmann, Pannenberg, and Jenson have provided new lenses through which to understand the relationship of the Trinity to finite reality. He then has a section on the Trinity and experience, examining such thinkers as Schleiermacher, LaCugna, and Rahner. Then under the heading of the Trinity and retrieval, examining Barth as a renewed trinitarian theologian over against his detractors, such as Tillich. This essay really is a historical and theological treat.
Katherine Sonderegger penned chapter five, which deals with creation. She does a fine job of ...
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