The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity and Diversity, By Roger E. Olson

The Mosaic of Christian Belief

Twenty Centuries of Unity and Diversity

Second Edition

by Roger E. Olson

The Mosaic of Christian Belief
  • Length: 399 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: April 01, 2016
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5125
  • ISBN: 9780830851256

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In The Mosaic of Christian Belief Roger E. Olson thematically traces the contours of Christian belief down through the ages, revealing a pattern of both unity and diversity. He finds a consensus of teaching that is both unitive and able to incorporate a faithful diversity when not forced into the molds of false either-or alternatives.

The mosaic that emerges from Olson's work, now updated throughout and with a new chapter on the Holy Spirit, displays a mediating evangelical theology that is irenic in spirit and tone. Olson, writing with nonspecialists in mind, has masterfully sketched out the contours of the Great Tradition of the Christian faith with simplicity while avoiding oversimplification.

"What evangelicals have needed, and what [Olson] has provided, is a basic, relatively comprehensive, nontechnical, nonspeculative one-volume introduction to the Christian faith. The book offers a mediating and Arminian perspective within the broad evangelical tradition that underlines both shared beliefs and real diversity. At a time of extreme opinion, it is a godsend."

Clark Pinnock, author of Flame of Love

"This book helps us to appreciate all the diverse theological colors that make up the mosaic called 'the Christian faith' while showing us where and why certain beliefs don't fit the pattern."

Dennis Okholm, Azusa Pacific University

"The book is written in language that should be accessible to undergraduate students and serious-minded church members and will, hopefully, help to stem the tide of theological ignorance that threatens the health of the church."

Terrance Tiessen, Providence Theological Seminary

"Anyone seeking help in maintaining a commitment to the truth of the gospel while also embracing genuine Christian diversity will find no better guide than this book."

Jonathan Wilson, Regent College

"This book serves as an excellent thematic introduction to what Christians have historically believed."

Andrew K. Gabriel, The Pneuma Review, October 24, 2016


Introduction: The Need for a "Both-And" Theology
1. Christian Belief: Unity and Diversity
2. Sources and Norms of Christian Belief: One and Many
3. Divine Revelation: Universal and Particular
4. Christian Scripture: Divine Word and Human Words
5. God: Great and Good
6. God: Three and One
7. Creation: Good and Fallen
8. Providence: Limited and Detailed
9. Humanity: Essentially Good and Existentially Estranged
10. Jesus Christ: God and Man
11. The Holy Spirit: Person and Power
12. Salvation: Objective and Subjective
13. Salvation: Gift and Task
14. The Church: Visible and Invisible
15. Life Beyond Death: Continuity and Discontinuity
16. The Kingdom of God: Already and Not Yet
Name Index
Subject Index


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Roger E. Olson

Roger E. Olson (PhD, Rice University) is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author of The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform, The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity, and The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology. He is also coauthor of 20th-Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age and Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (both with Stanley J. Grenz), and of The Trinity (with Christopher A. Hall).