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A Passion for Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism (Theology) [Paperback]

By Alister McGrath (Author)
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Item description for A Passion for Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism (Theology) by Alister McGrath...

IVP Print On Demand Title Is the future of evangelical theology in jeopardy? Leading evangelical scholar McGrath says it's actually making a strong comeback in academic circles. His fresh and exciting evidence shows you the solid intellectual foundations of evangelicalism, how it interacts with other schools of thought, and its promising future. Must reading for pastors, students, and church leaders.

Publishers Description
Originally published in 1996 as hardcover, A Passion for Truth was voted one of Christianity Today's 1997 Books of the Year Decades ago, evangelicalism was given up for dead in the academy. But since World War II, evangelical intellectualism has made a surprising comeback. Esteem has been regained especially in such disciplines as history and philosophy. Now evangelical theologians are making their bid for academic respectability. A Passion for Truth, written by one of evangelicalism's outstanding theologians, seeks to show that the movement has in its heritage excellent resources to engage the scholarly debates of the day. McGrath first sets forth the constructive ground on which evangelicalism stands, then shows how this revivified school of thought might respond to such important theological and cultural realities as postmodernism, religious pluralism and postliberalism. His book is fresh and exciting evidence that evangelicalism is coming of age.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IVP Academic
Pages   287
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.05" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   0.96 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1999
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
Edition  Peint on Demand  
ISBN  0830815910  
ISBN13  9780830815913  

Availability  88 units.
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More About Alister McGrath

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ALISTER McGRATH is a professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University and Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He is author of numerous books, including In the Beginning, The Reenchantment of Nature, and The Journey; a consulting editor of Christianity Today; and the general editor of The NIV Thematic Study Bible. He lives in Oxford, England.

Alister McGrath has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Crossway Classic Commentaries
  2. Crossway Classic Commentaries
  3. Lifeguide(r) Bible Studies

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Fundamentalism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Contemporary Theologies

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Passion for Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism (Theology)?

Good book, but....  Jan 5, 2007
A thoroughly enjoyable text. I could hardly put it down. It can renew the confidence of weary Christian students who struggle to find an identity outside the suffocating boundaries of liberal theology. The merits of the book are many:
1) Reads well; 2) It addresses a number of important issues; 3) Very well researched; the footnotes supplied me with new reference material (is he the Evangelical Hans Kung?).The only reservation that I have is that I don't think that the author has extensively presented the intellectual foundations of evangelicalism; rather, he has successfully refuted or stood up against liberalism, postmodernism and pluralism. He has not sufficiently documented the reasons for being an evangelical at an intellectual or academic plane, though he has given plenty of reasons for NOT being a liberal a postmodernist or a pluralist (in decreasing number of arguments for each category).

To the point   Aug 13, 2005
In the last decade or so McGrath has emerged as one of the leading voices for promoting the strengths of evangelicalism. On the whole, he has addressed pluralism head on and has attempted to show how evangelicalism matches up with and even refutes pluralism. The preceding sentence essentially sums up the purpose of the book under review. McGrath seeks to demonstrate the intellectual consistency of evangelicalism with the hope of instilling confidence in evangelicals in the `marketplace' of the academy. On the whole he achieves his goal.

His book is really in two parts, the first being a demonstration of how the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the authority of scripture are the bedrocks of Christianity. Arguing without apology, he articulates why evangelicals believe what they do, and that within this system, they can do so logically and reasonably. The first part of his book sets the stage for the second part, namely an encounter with three contemporary approaches concerning our understanding of the world. He discusses postliberalism, postmodernism, and pluralism. For each system , McGrath provides helpful historical trends and emphases, as well as how, in his mind, all three are flawed. He is not as harsh on postliberalism as the other two, because they have been critical, if not disdainful, of Christianity's particular message.

McGrath is in touch with the issues that contribute to understanding the subject at hand. He is widely read, in the sense of incorporating many authors and scholars. He argues logically but, as with any hot topic, you will probably agree or disagree with him, depending on where you begin. He is mostly critical of the three approaches mentioned above, which include a look at the demise of modernity. At times he comes across as harsh, as when he lumps pluralists, together with Nazis and Stalinists (page 239). But his point is clearly taken: previous and present ideologies have not sorted things out. And yet McGrath is quick to indict evangelicalism for its tendency toward imperialism, as well as its capitulation to the principles of modernity.

If you are looking for an introduction to the history and reasons behind the movements mentioned above, then McGrath is a good place to begin. Be forewarned that he argues from an evangelical position. If you are in this camp, then this book will alert you to the fact that evangelicals need not refrain from entering the battle that is waging in the world today. If you are not on McGrath's side the book should at least inform you of the arguments that are important from many different perspectives.
An Evangelical Lutheran Weighs In  Jan 27, 2001
McGrath is very good at what he does, representing a wide segment of Evangelicalism at an intellectual level. Here in this book, McGrath is trying to show that popular evangelicalism has sound theology (but needs more) coherence and contact with academic theology.

This sits well with us, his showing both the elitism and the benefits derived from academic theologians. However, his plug that a vacuum exists between an intellectual theology that will hold water and yet at the same time is able to survive among the ordinary believers is even more pertinent.

We in Lutheran circles need to heed this advice as well. What is meaningful coming from academic theologians needs to be unloaded so that the person in the pew can digest it. Filters and translators need to be there for this purpose.

A Promising Approach for Evangelical Theology  May 1, 2000
This book is a must read for everyone involved in the wide field of evangelical theology. The first reason for this: McGrath takes serious the development of theology and modern thinking as a whole. Consequently he actively faces the questions given in our modern postmodernist and pluralist society from moderate evangelical point of view. Therefore the book lacks the strong apologetic tone of a lot of its evangelical counterparts.Otherwise, McGrath does not shy away from declaring the liberal theology that governs a wide area ofthe academic thinking as outdated and of not much use for today's questions. Interestingly enough he views the so-called postliberal school of theology as the natural ally of evangelicalism. This is of course miles away from any fundamentalist approach of old. The second reason: It grounds theology in a clear commitment in the person of Jesus Christ and the Bible as Holy Scripture. But while this is a clear witness in itself, the reader would wish the critical questions more intensely be tackled. The reader might feel, that McGrath is right in almost all that he says in this part, but may still wonder how these two foundations may be held in dialogue with the critical findings of much of Old and New Testament research. Nevertheless I find McGrath's book as one of the best cases for evangelical theology I've ever read. It seems to me, that he's looking in that direction, towards which evangelical theology is to go if it wants to remain.
A good book -- or a risky book -- it depends.  Dec 6, 1999
In the introduction Alister McGrath concisely states his purpose in writing this book. "This study therefore aims to explore the coherence of evangelicalism by bringing out the inner consistency of the evangelical approach and demonstrating the internal contradictions and vulnerabilities of its contemporary rivals." In the remaining five chapters he proceeds to do just that. The first two chapters are devoted to discussing what he considers to be the primary unique cornerstones of evangelicalism: the belief in the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, and a particular and high view of the authority of Scripture. While looking at the uniqueness of Christ he meshes into the discussion modernity's influence on the thinking of the age. He concludes by pointing out the significance of Christ (and evangelicalism's view of Him) in this present context. While looking at the authority of Scripture he examines several alternative approaches to authority, namely, the finding of authority in either culture, experience, reason, or tradition. He concludes that "the evangelical appeal to the authority of Scripture is coherent and informed." In the next three chapters he discusses postliberalism (chapter 3), postmodernism (chapter 4), and religious pluralism (chapter 5). In each case he explains the interaction between the particular "ism" and evangelicalism, and he shows the internal weaknesses of the "ism." In the midst of the discussion, of course, the internal coherence of evangelicalism becomes evident as it is compared to ways of thinking which are fraught with internal problems. My overall reaction to the book is one of satisfaction with McGrath's analysis and his conclusions. Yes, evangelicalism is internally coherent. Yes, evangelicalism's positions hold up against the "isms" of the age. And yes, the "isms" of the age are fraught with internal problems. But as positive as I am with the book overall, I found myself unsatisfied with some of McGrath's statements. I was reminded of my own reaction to Noll's "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind." During both McGrath and Noll's disassembling of the thinking of the Old Princeton arguments (and any others which are viewed as being linked with the thinking of the Renaissance) we were given no clear replacement. I felt as if I was being told that my automobile was not really functional and that I ought to get rid of it. But, I was never told clearly how I am now supposed to get around town. McGrath leaves me stranded on the roadside especially when he criticizes recent evangelicalism's use of logic. He accuses Carl Henry of raising logical consistency and non-contradiction to the place where they sit in judgement over revelation. McGrath says, "Evangelicals, of all people, cannot allow revelation to be imprisioned within the flawed limits of human reason." He seems to criticize interpretations which, "reduce the meaning of Scripture to 'a grammatically and logically sound propositional statement.'" But what are we to have in its place - an ungrammatical and illogical gurgle? A good book -- undoubtedly disconcerting to those who are banking on the tenants of liberalism and postmodernism, and likewise seen as encouraging by those who consider themselves evangelicals. A good book, if it is viewed as a starting point for discussions. A risky book, however, if it is viewed as containing all the answers.

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