Sunday, December 28, 2014

Exploring Christian Theology {a Bethany House review}

So I've been wanting to do something systematic with my teens, something that goes over the basic aspects of Christian living and theology.  You know, something like confirmation.  And I'm not finding anything (that doesn't cost a fortune) that seems to fit that bill.

Then I had the chance to review Exploring Christian Theology: Volume 1 by Nathan D. Holsteen and Michael J. Svigel.  Both men are Associate Professors of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, and their approach is fairly non-denominational.

I think this is my answer.

This series will include three volumes, and I plan to get more.

While this might not quite be my ideal confirmation program, it does cover the doctrines and a lot of issues that are very important.

Each book is split into two parts, so there will be six parts in total.  Each part includes:
  • High Altitude Survey, a big-picture overview of the topic
  • Passages to Master, a list of key Bible verses on the topic, along with commentary on why they are important
  • An "in Retrospect" section, that goes over the topic through history (Patristic Period, Medieval Period, Protestant Period, Modern Period)
  • Facts to Never Forget, a section with key points to remember
  • Dangers to Avoid, or some heretical types of thinking on the topic
  • Principles to Put Into Practice, or a 'how to actually apply this to your life' section
  • Voices from the Past and Present, that talks about what others have written on the topic in various periods (listed above)
  • Shelf Space, which recommends titles for additional reading
Volume 1 focuses on "Revelation, Scripture, and Truth" in part one, and "God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" in part two.

We're still working through how to make this work as a family study.  One thing that is happening is that we are working on memorizing the suggested passages.  Beyond that, we are working at reading through the material and talking about it.

Disclosure:  Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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