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Classic Christianity

A Systematic Theology

by Thomas Oden

For the first time, Thomas Oden’s Sys­tem­at­ic The­ol­o­gy clas­sic series (indi­vid­u­al­ly titled The Liv­ing GodThe Word of Life, and Life in the Spir­it) is avail­able in one com­plete vol­ume. A renowned the­olo­gian, Oden pro­vides a con­sen­sus view of the Chris­t­ian faith, delv­ing deeply into ancient Chris­t­ian tra­di­tion and bring­ing to the con­tem­po­rary church the best wis­dom from its past. In this mag­is­te­r­i­al work, Oden tack­les the cen­tral ques­tions of Chris­t­ian belief and the nature of the trinity.

Writ­ten for cler­gy, Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tors, reli­gious schol­ars, and lay read­ers alike, Clas­sic Chris­tian­i­typro­vides the best syn­the­sis of the whole his­to­ry of Chris­t­ian thought. Part one explores the most intrigu­ing ques­tions of the study of God — Does God exist? Does Jesus reveal God? Is God per­son­al, com­pas­sion­ate, free? — and presents answers that reflect the broad con­sen­sus culled from the breadth of the church’s teach­ers. It is root­ed deeply and delib­er­ate­ly in scrip­ture but con­fronts the con­tem­po­rary mind with the vital­i­ty of the Chris­t­ian tra­di­tion. Part two address­es the per­plex­ing Chris­to­log­i­cal issues of whether God became flesh, whether God became Christ, and whether Christ is the source of sal­va­tion. Oden details the core beliefs con­cern­ing Jesus Christ that have been hand­ed down for the last two hun­dred decades, name­ly, who he was, what he did, and what that means for us today. Part three exam­ines how the work of God in cre­ation and redemp­tion is being brought to con­sum­ma­tion by the Holy Spir­it in per­sons, through com­mu­ni­ties, and in the full­ness of human des­tiny. Oden’s mag­is­te­r­i­al study not only treats the tra­di­tion­al ele­ments of sys­tem­at­i­cal the­ol­o­gy but also high­lights the foun­da­tion­al exegetes through­out his­to­ry. Cov­er­ing the ecu­meni­cal coun­cils and ear­ly syn­ods; the great teach­ers of the East­ern church tra­di­tion, includ­ing Athana­sius and John Chrysos­tom; and the promi­nent West­ern fig­ures such as Augus­tine, Ambrose, Thomas Aquinas, Mar­tin Luther, and John Calvin, this book offers the read­er the fullest under­stand­ing of the Chris­t­ian faith available.


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