Roger E. Olson, professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas, is here to remind us that there is more to Evangelicalism than a Calvinist interpretation of theology. Olson is known for his even-handed treatment of theological issues, earning the respect of even those whose convictions differ from his. Regardless of whether you claim the title of Arminian or Calvinist—or perhaps neither or something else—you will want to read Olson’s take on some of the most important theological issues in history.
In his introduction, Olson states that he writes this book for “two kinds of people: (1) those who do not know Arminian theology but want to, and (2) those who think they know about Arminianism but really don’t.” There’s something to be gained in Olson’s work by everyone, regardless of one’s stance on this classic debate.
This work sets forth classical Arminian theology and addresses the myriad misunderstandings and misrepresentations of it through the ages. Olson argues that classical Arminian theology shares deep roots with Reformation theology, even though it maintains important differences from Calvinism.
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If your historical theology classes in seminary were like mine, you spent a good deal of time with the Early Church, the Middle Ages, and the Reformation, but modern theology got short shrift. Fortunately, Roger Olson is here to bring us up to date to the reality that theology never grows stagnant, but constantly keeps moving forward.
In this major revision and expansion of the classic 20th Century Theology (1992), co-authored with Stanley J. Grenz, Roger Olson widens the scope to include a fuller account of modernity, more material on the nineteenth century and an engagement with postmodernity.
The Journey of Modern Theology
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Roger Olson has never been accused of writing “yet another dry theology.” After spending years teaching Christian history and theology using other people’s textbooks, Olson decided that none of them were completely satisfactory and decided to write one himself. This volume is the result of that labor.
Writing with non-specialists in mind, Olson has masterfully sketched out the contours of the Great Tradition of the Christian faith with simplicity while avoiding oversimplification. This work thematically traces the contours of Christian belief down through the ages, revealing a pattern of both unity and diversity.
The Mosaic of Christian Belief
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As diverse as Christian history and theology might seem at first glance, there are common threads that run through it. And when told correctly, these threads make for riveting storytelling. But history and theology are rarely presented as such, which explains why at times it can be difficult to see how one idea directly connects to another.
Roger Olson believes that the history of Christian theology should be told as a story, one replete with thick plots, exciting twists, interesting people, and fascinating ideas. His overview of historical theology covers the story from the cultists and apostolic fathers of the second century up to the twentieth century. Through it all Olson traces a common thread: a concern for salvation – God’s redemptive activity in forgiving and transforming sinful human beings.
The Story of Christian Theology
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These four titles from Roger Olson can be purchased individually or as a bundle.