Life of Christian Doctrine
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 286
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
The lives of Christian churches are shaped by doctrinal theology. That is, they are shaped by practices in which ideas about God and God’s ways with the world are developed, discussed and deployed. This book explores those practices, and asks why they matter for communities seeking to follow Jesus. Taking the example of the Church of England, this book highlights the embodied, affective and located reality of all doctrinal practices – and the biases and exclusions that mar them. It argues that doctrinal theology can in principle help the church know God better, even though doctrinal theologians do not know God better than their fellow believers. It claims that it can help the church to hear in Scripture challenges to its life, including to its doctrinal theology. It suggests that doctrinal disagreement is inevitable, but that a better quality of doctrinal disagreement is possible. And, finally, it argues that, by encouraging attention to voices that have previously been ignored, doctrinal theology can foster the ongoing discovery of God’s surprising work.
This work will undoubtedly shape discussions about the nature and purpose of doctrinal theology for years to come. * Studies in Christian Ethics * The strength of the book is in its willingness to consider the irregular and inarticulate aspects of Christian life as enmeshed with doctrinal theology ... [T]he book sets a new standard for wrestling with the nature of doctrinal theology and comes highly recommended. * International Journal of Systematic Theology * This is the most inspiring and convincing account of Christian doctrine that I know. It is profoundly scriptural, historically perceptive, sensitive to a wide variety of voices, does justice to ordinary believing and living, finds wisdom in disagreement and has some very pointed yet constructive messages for the Church of England. Above all, it challenges and encourages Christians to deepen their lives as followers of Jesus Christ, open to the inspiration and surprises of the Holy Spirit. * David F. Ford, University of Cambridge, UK * In this highly original, beautifully written and deeply personal book, Mike Higton describes the ways in which the Church of England does theology from many different angles. Combining wit and humour with scholarship and passion, he shows that theology is no mere academic pastime but a crucial ministry of the church. This book will cheer all those who struggle to teach and learn theology in today's church. * Mark D. Chapman, University of Oxford, UK * This admirable book not only models a fresh approach to doctrinal theology but gives it sensitive theoretical articulation. It is unflinchingly attentive to the unwieldy contours of day-to-day church life, finding doctrine's place squarely within and not above that life. Higton takes no shortcuts, especially in the face of the church's sin, displaying the willingness to be interrupted and challenged about which he so eloquently writes. * Susannah Ticciati, King's College London, UK * This compelling account of the distinctive contribution of doctrinal theology to Christian communities and institutions is theologically deep, rigorously argued, attentive to the complexities of history and grounded in the realities of church life. Eschewing false nostalgia and grandiose schemes for what theology could or should be, Higton enables his readers to think through what theology is. This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about how and why Christian theology is done. * Rachel Muers, University of Leeds, UK * From time to time, a book appears that has the potential to be transformative. This is that book. Mike Higton's project is both a model of contextual theology and a fascinating exercise in doctrinal theology. Every page sparkles with originality, insight and wisdom. Written in a prose that is elegant, Higton's book will be a field-defining text for decades to come. * Ian S. Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary, USA *