A Theology of Word and Spirit: Authority  Method in Theology, By Donald G. Bloesch

A Theology of Word & Spirit

Authority Method in Theology

Christian Foundations


by Donald G. Bloesch

A Theology of Word & Spirit
  • Length: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: August 01, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2751
  • ISBN: 9780830827510

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Recipient of a Christianity Today Critics Choice Award

In the inaugural volume of his seven-volume systematic theology, Christian Foundations, Donald Bloesch surveys his method. His approach is conversant with up-to-the-minute theological concerns but also vitally grounded in the Reformation emphasis on biblical revelation illumined by the Holy Spirit.

In A Theology of Word Spirit Bloesch draws out the contemporary implications of the biblically founded theology of Augustine, Luther, Calvin and Barth. He also offers fresh and faithful discussions of relativism, the present church conflict over biblical authority, fideism and rationalism, feminine-gender language for God, narrative theology, and the hermeneutical problem.

Harvesting the fruit of a lifetime of devoted scholarship and passionate dialogue, Bloesch offers his assessments and reflections at a time of extraordinary change and challenge. In A Theology of Word Spirit he points the way toward a confessional theology for the 21st century.

"Donald Bloesch's theology comes out of a believing heart, a lucid mind, and a teacher's penchant for clarity and communication. This is edifying as well as instructive reading. Few books on systematic theology at their end leave the reader hungering for more. This is an exception."

Ray S. Anderson, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Christian Foundations promises to be the evangelical summa of the twentieth century. Bloesch demonstrates once more a clarity, forthrightness, relevance and breadth of vision which will commend his series to a wide readership."

I. John Hesselink, Western Theological Seminary



1. Introduction
Reclaiming Dogma
Toward the Recovery of Biblical, Evangelical Theology

2. The Theological Malaise
The Slide into Relativism
A New Church Conflict?

3. Faith and Philosophy
Faith and Reason
Theology and Philosophy
Faith and Metaphysics
Faith and Religion
Faith and Ethics
Beyond Fideism and Rationalism
Appendix A: Kierkegaard

4. Theological Language
The Enigma of Faith-Language
Dialectic and Paradox
The Divine Names
Resymbolizing God
Words and Images
Appendix B: On Meaning

5. Toward the Renewal of Theology
Theology Defined
Dogma and Doctrine
Dimensions of a Renewed Theology
The Two Sides of Theology
The Challenge Today
A Venture in Obedience
Appendix C: Gospel and Kerygma
Appendix D: Orthodoxy

6. Natural Theology
Karl Barth and His Adversaries
The New Catholicism
General Revelation
Natural Morality
A Theology of Creation
Natural Theology Today
Appendix E: Thomas F. Torrance

7. Rethinking Theological Authority
Loci of Authority
Absolute and Relative Norms
The Paradoxical Nature of Theological Authority
The Ground of Certainty
Mystery and Meaning
Appendix F: The Wesleyan Quadrilateral

8. The Communication of the Gospel
Revelation and Communication
Questionable Methods
A Biblical Alternative
A Reappraisal of Apologetics
Religious Imperialism Versus Evangelism

9. Theology at the Crossroads
Four Options
Theology of Restoration
Theology of Accomodation
Theology of Correlation
Theology of Confrontation
Points of Conflict
Toward a New Kind of Confessional Theology
Discordant Voices

Index of Names
Index of Subjects
Index of Scripture


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Donald G. Bloesch

Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010) earned his PhD from the University of Chicago and was professor of theology emeritus at Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He did postdoctoral work at the universities of Oxford, Tübingen, and Basel. He wrote numerous books, including Faith and Its Counterfeits, Evangelical Theology in Transition, Theological Notebook: Volume 3, Essentials of Evangelical Theology, The Future of Evangelical Christianity, The Struggle of Prayer, Spirituality Old & New, Freedom for Obedience, and the seven-volume Christian Foundations series. He also served for a time as president of the Midwest Division of the American Theological Society.