Good book to get

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Facilitating Paradox mentions his current inspiration in Justo Gonzalez's The Story of Christianity (vol. 1). (Hear that Jim?)

I know "the Gonzalez" (as we always called it) is a classic textbook, and that it serves a particular function, but for my money and shelf space, I'm more partial to Linwood Urban's A Short History of Christian Thought — "short" meaning compact, not cursory.

It isn't the lightest of reading, but nearly every page has a topic that would stand alone, say, for a study group, and so it would be worth having for any serious lay student of Christian theology. Or, put another way, "If I could have only one book on the subject ..."

It isn't cleap new (lists at $31.95 for paperback) but it can be had for less than $4 if you get it used at places like Half.com.

One Reply to “Good book to get”

  1. I don’t find Gonzales either particularly offensive or illuminating. I’d have to say his primary merits are: (a) sufficient and (b) brief.

    I’d recommend that a good companion book (used in my class) is Placher’s History of Christian Theology, which addresses intellectual history, not institutional history. And it is supplemented by the (somewhat) useful Readings in the History of Christian Theology (in 2 volumes, I believe), which consists of selections of primary readings.

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