The Christian Theology Reader

By Allister McGrath, ed.
Cambridge, Mass : Blackwell (1995). xxiv + 422 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Dennis Swanson
7.2 (Fall 1996) : 280-280

This work, designed as a companion volume to the author's Christian Theology: An Introduction (Blackwell, 1994), provides supplementary readings for that work. McGrath has selected excerpts from the writings of theologians from the Ante-Nicene era to the modern day and used them to illuminate various aspects of the discussions in his Theology.

He has sought to "make available a series of 280 seminal texts of Christian theology, drawn from 161 different sources, arranged on a broadly thematic basis, to allow its users to engage directly with the intellectual richness of the Christian tradition" (xvii). The arrangement 280 The Master's Seminary Journal of the work is clear, with the selections numerically coded (with full bibliographic information) to correspond to the various sections of the Theology. McGrath has included brief but helpful biographic entries for each author cited, as well as a glossary of terms and subject index.

Though designed to supplement the author's Theology, this work serves well as a stand-alone theological anthology. The strength of the selections lies in the Reformation and Pre-Reformation citations that particularly highlight some of the often neglected medieval. Unfortunately, readers are likely to be disappointed in the selections from the modern era, especially those from the last 150 years. The latter represent only scantily conservative theologians of this period, but give prominence to those of the liberal, neo-orthodox, and feminist branches of theology.

Those criticisms aside, this work accomplishes its purpose quite well and will be a valuable resource tool.