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Disciples and Theology: Understanding the Faith of a People in Covenant [Paperback]

By Stephen V. Sprinkle (Author)
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Item description for Disciples and Theology: Understanding the Faith of a People in Covenant by Stephen V. Sprinkle...

Some scholars in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) would say that the very title of this book is a contradiction in terms. But though the denomination has consciously avoided formal creeds, Disciples throughout their history have formulated their thought in distinctive theological ways. Stephen V. Sprinkle traces the changing currents of Disciples theology from Alexander Campbell through the seminal contributions of such prominent voices as W.E. Garrison and Edward Scribner Ames and on the dynamic ferment of the present day. The final chapter offers a contructive proposal for ongoing theological reflection that identifies current trends and focuses on the theme of a people in covenant.

Publishers Description
Although the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has consciously avoided formal creeds, Disciples have through their history formulated their thought in distinctive theological ways.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Chalice Press
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 6" Height: 0.47"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 1999
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  0827206240  
ISBN13  9780827206243  

Availability  97 units.
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More About Stephen V. Sprinkle

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stephen V. Sprinkle is tenured as an Associate Professor of Practical Theology, and has held the office of Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry since 1994 at Brite Divinity School, located on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. A native of North Carolina, he is an ordained minister of the Alliance of Baptists. He is the first open and out member of the Brite Divinity School Faculty, and the first gay scholar to be tenured in its 94 year history. Dr. Sprinkle is the author of several articles and chapters in books, and of two books, Disciples and Theology (1997) and Ordination (2004), both published by Chalice Press.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Disciples and Theology: Understanding the Faith of a People in Covenant?

A development of history  Jul 25, 2007
This book was read because of the enjoyment of reading "Disciples and the Bible" by Boring. Boring's books was a insightful commentary of the hermetical develop within the restoration stream of theology. "Disciples and Theology" was written with the idea of tracing the development of theology within the Stone-Campbell movement. I did not read the entire book, but just the first three chapters. After the first three chapters the book rows down the "Disciples of Christ" movement and leaves the churches of Christ thought completely. The first few chapters were interesting because of the Campbell thought and the developments of the first and second generation disciples. The book was interesting but not completely thought provoking. Most of the material was already known.
A developing theology...  Aug 19, 2004
As the text itself states, to put together the denomination of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the subject of theology is somewhat contradictory and out-of-place. Disciples have traditionally avoided the subject of theology in systematic forms as it comes too close to the idea of doctrines, dogmas and creeds that must be adhered to, quite antithetical to the 'no creed but Christ' idea of Disciples formation, and problematic to the overall ideal of Christian unity.

However, as the Disciples have matured over time into a denomination with a strong identity, the ministers, educators and laypersons in the church have found need of explaining and clarifying their own beliefs. Author Stephen Sprinkle identifies four primary periods in the development of a general Disciples theological framework -- the Campbellite/foundation period, from 1804 - 1866; the Milliganite synthesis, from 1867-1899; the Liberal synthesis, from 1900 - 1957; and finally, the current period, from 1958 to the present, which Sprinkle describes as the Ecumenical synthesis.

From the very beginning, the term 'theology' was avoided by the founders, but the actual practice and development of theological thought was not. This was because 'theology' at the time represented grand systems of doctrines and creeds, often attached to the very denominations the early Disciples meant to distinguish themselves from in their identity. Still, the early Disciples, as with every succeeding generation, have had ideas of Christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, soteriology and the other classic divisions within systematic theology. That these ideas tends to be less rigourous than other contemporary systems does not negate their value; indeed, Disciples would argue exactly the opposite, in the quest for congregational freedom and greater Christian unity.

Historians and theologians will find Sprinkle's early chapters of interest, but general readers and ministers will probably want to concentrate on the final chapters, which look at the Ecumenical synthesis and the future of theological development in the Disciples context. The Disciples practically embody the ecumenical ideal in the twentieth century -- this has in turn been of great importance in developing Disciples ideas. Sprinkle looks at key persons (Garrison, Robinson, Blakemore, and Osborn), as well as the current situation that involves persons such as Clark Williamson and Larry Bouchard, writing in ways to strengthen the ideas of covenant and community. Sprinkle also highlights the newest expressions of theology, including those that take race, gender, and social context into consideration as foundation or interpretation issues.

Sprinkle's book is a good introductory survey, accessible to laypersons, seminary and college students, as well as useful for ministers and scholars as a guide. The bibliography is useful - I might have included a few more texts that were not included, but as a beginning bibliography, it provides a useful starting point.

Important Theological History for Disciples of Christ  Jul 29, 2000
Steve Sprinkle, educated at Atlantic Christian, Yale, and Duke, on the faculty at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, has authored a wonderful book about the theology of the Disciples of Christ. I read it for a doctoral level independent study on "Disciples' Ethos" at Lexington Theological Seminary and found it to be a great narration of Disciples' theology from a historical perspective. Don't be put off by the fact that I read it for school. It is well written and quite easy to read. I would recommend it for any Disciple or anyone who wants to travel through Disciples' history to gain a better understanding of this denomination and its way of thinking theologically

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