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Learning Theology With the Church Fathers

Learning Theology With the Church Fathers

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Published by Jason Locke
Book review of Learning Theology with the Church Fathers
Book review of Learning Theology with the Church Fathers

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Published by: Jason Locke on Feb 20, 2011
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05/11/2013

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITYBOOK REVIEW
 LEARNING THEOLOGY WITH THE CHURCH FATHERS 
SUBMITTED TO DR. KEVIN KINGIN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPLETION OF CHHI520 B-05,BYJASON LOCKELEESBURG, INSEPTEMBER 26, 2010
 
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Introduction
Dr. Christopher A. Hall, first Chancellor of Eastern University, and world renownedscholar/teacher has had a long career of both ministry and academic teaching. He has served inthe pastorate oversees, France for five years, and British Columbia, Canada for two years. He haswritten many articles and many books. Three such books deal with the early church fathers. Theyare
 Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, Learning Theology with the Church Fathers,and Praying with the Church Fathers.
It is the second book that this review will concentrateupon. In this book Dr. Hall takes the reader upon a journey to discover once again what a realstudy in theology is all about. This review will show that this book is not only a historicalaccount of the early struggles of the church¶s theological issues, but it is practical for the churchtoday. It is the hope that once one reads this review they will want to read
 Learning Theologywith the Church Fathers,
and really enter the journey to pursue after the doctrines that make upthe church today.
S
ummary
In the opening chapter, Hall outlines the key doctrines that he is going to discuss namelythe key theological loci that surrounded the Church Fathers¶ thinking; namely, the question of authority, the Trinity, the incarnation, Christ¶s work, question of humanity, question of thechurch, and the question of the future (18). Hall outlines his chapters around these issues bylooking at some of the controversies that rocked the early church. In chapter two Hall takes onthe Arian controversy and the question of just who was Jesus. He outlines the arguments of Ariusthat thought that Jesus was a created being and those of Athanasius that believed Jesus was theson of God not created but coexistent. Chapter three covers the topic of the Trinity. Hall
 
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discusses the dilemma of describing the Trinity from the perspective of Gregory of Nazianzus.Who believed the Trinity explanations to be lacking in either direction one goes because of thefact that humans are finite and therefore lack the mind to comprehend the Trinity (59). Hall thenturns to a sermon of Augustine that was preached on Jesus¶ baptism in which there was amanifestation of the Trinity in the person Jesus (Son), voice of God (Father), and the descendingdove (Holy Spirit). In chapter four the Christological controversy continues as the incarnation isdiscussed. At issue here, is how Jesus can be both divine and human. Hall discusses thedifferences between Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, and Nestorius in his over confidence of his position on the unity of Christ (86). Chapter five Hall departs somewhat from the normalcomparing of two viewpoints to looking at four views concerning the Holy Spirit. Chapter sixcovers the human condition and how this world comes to be in its current state. In this chapter,Hall spends time dissecting the Pelagius controversy and Augustine¶s response. In chaptersseven and eight God¶s providence is explored not only his control of human history, but whether he has a loving plan for the history of humanity. In chapter nine Hall focuses upon theimportance of not adding to the scriptures in his dealings between Ireneus and the Gnostics Halldeals with the concept of church and what it means to be part of the church in chapter ten.Chapter eleven deals with the all important question what happens after one dies. It is probablyobvious by now but this book explores many of the dimensions¶ of systematic theology and howthe church fathers dealt with the newly formed church and her teachings. In the next section, afew of the areas that Hall covers will be looked at closer to see how they are important to thechurch today.
 

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