Invitation to Theology: A Guide to Study, Conversation & Practice

Front Cover
InterVarsity Press, Jan 26, 2001 - Religion - 278 pages
Are you intimidated by theology? Confused? Bored? Michael Jinkins knows it doesn't have to be that way. "Theology is our critical and prayerful reflection on the totality of life," he writes. "We all do theology on a regular basis, whether or not we are conscious of the fact." In Invitation to Theology Jinkins offers a knowledgeable, helpful and caring guide to walk you through the basics of the Christian faith. Following the pattern of the ancient summary of the Christian faith, the Apostles' Creed, Jinkins highlights the key doctrines of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, humanity, church, salvation and resurrection. He cuts a clear path through theological terms, traditions and debates. And in the spirit of C. S. Lewis, he invites you to consider some of the most profound reflections--from the distant past to the present day--on Christian belief. Throughout this fascinating journey, the main road is always kept in view: "The meaning and shape of our life together as a community of persons is grounded in the inner life of God, the Trinity, and has been revealed to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ." If you are eager to think about your faith, to examine what and why you believe and to reflect on how such faith can be lived out in our world, Invitation to Theology is the book for you.
 

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Contents

Foreword
11
Introduction
15
The Theme of Our Course
19
Christology and Chronology
22
A Subversive Theology
24
Acknowledgments
26
Whats the Use of Theology?
29
The Trap of Measurability
32
Toward a More Inclusive Framework
148
Homework Assignments
152
Our Humanity in Light of Jesus Christ
154
Imagination Enough to See What Is There
157
The Specificity of Jesus Christ
161
The Image of God
169
The Comprehensive Claim
173
A Tree Named Adam
176

The Trap of Utility
36
The Value of Theology
38
Homework Assignments
39
Methods in the Madness
42
Theology as an Act of Faith
45
Theology as Science
49
Some Methods in the Madness
51
Applying the Who Question
54
Homework Assignments
57
I Believe in God
60
The Truth Will Set You Free
61
Theological Omelets and the Strange Brew of Authority
66
Homework Assignments
74
I Believe in God the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven Earth
77
Father God?
78
Almighty God?
83
Creator God?
86
Homework Assignments
91
I Believe in Jesus Christ His Only Son Our Lord
94
Faith in Jesus Christ
95
The Quest for the Historical Jesus
99
The Content of the Kerygma
102
The Christological Controversies
106
What Does It All Mean?
117
The Lordship of Jesus Christ
118
Homework Assignments
122
Conceived by the Holy Spirit Born of the Virgin Mary Suffered Dead Buried
124
Martin Luther Meets Jesus
125
The SelfEmptying God
131
The Lord of Lost Causes
136
Homework Assignments
181
The Holy Spirit
183
Learning Ourselves Through the Holy Spirit
184
A Wind a Fire a Power Divine
193
The Spiritual Humanity of Jesus Christ
196
The Lord Is the Spirit
197
The Giving God
203
Homework Assignments
206
The Holy Catholic Church
210
The Community Created by the Holy Spirit
212
Blessed to Be a Blessing
216
Members of One Body
217
The Myth of Solitary Religion
220
The Myth of Voluntary Religion
222
The Specificity of the Church
225
The Church and the Kingdom of God
230
Homework Assignments
232
The Forgiveness of Sins
235
The Verbum visibile of Forgiveness
238
The Ethics of Perichoresis
242
Homework Assignment
247
The Resurrection of the Body the Life Everlasting
248
The Resurrection of the Body
252
The First Fruit of Resurrection
254
Peregrini et hospites super terrain
256
Amen
258
Bibliography
261
Index of Names
271
Index of Subjects
274
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About the author (2001)

Michael Jinkins is President and Professor of Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Previously he served as Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Pastoral Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, after having served as pastor of several congregations. His books include Called to be Human (Eerdmans); Letters to New Pastors (Eerdmans); Invitation to Psalms (Abingdon); Christianity, Tolerance and Pluralism (Routledge Press); The Church Faces Death: Ecclesiology in a Postmodern Context (Oxford University Press) and In the House of the Lord: Inhabiting the Psalms of Lament (Liturgical Press).

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