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A History of Christian Doctrine [Paperback]

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Item description for A History of Christian Doctrine by William Greenough Thaye Shedd...

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: proves that though a process of development can be accounted for out of the latent potentiality at the base, the latter can be accounted for, only by recurring to the creative power of God. The expansion of a vegetable seed, even if earned on through all the cycles upon cycles of the geological system, never transmutes it into the egg of animal life; and this only verifies the self-evident proposition, that nothing can come forth, that has never been put in. 4. Development discriminated from Improvement. Of equal importance is it, to discriminate the idea of a Development from that of an Improvement. The abstract definition of history merely describes it as an evolution, or movement from some germinal point, but does not determine whether the movement be upward, or downward; from good to better, or from bad to worse. This depends upon the nature of the potential base from which the expanding process issues. Within the sphere of material nature, the germ, being a pure creation of God, can exhibit only a healthy and normal development. But within the sphere of free-will, the original foundation, laid in creation, for a legitimate growth and progress, may be displaced, and a secondary one laid by the abuse of freedom. This has occurred in the apostacy of a part of the angelic host, and of the entire human race. By this revolutionary act, the first potential basis of human history, which provided for a purer progress, and a grander evolution than man can now conceive of, was displaced by a second basis, which likewise provided for a false development, and an awful history, if not supernaturally hindered, all along through the same endless duration. It must, however, be carefully observed, that the secondary foundation did not issue out of the primary one, by the method of deve...

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Pages   934
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.84" Width: 5.72" Height: 2"
Weight:   2.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 11, 1998
Publisher   Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1579101852  
ISBN13  9781579101855  

Availability  0 units.

More About William Greenough Thaye Shedd

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Shedd was both a Congregational and, later, a Presbyterian pastor. He taught at Auburn, Andover and Union Seminary.

William Greenough Thaye Shedd was born in 1820 and died in 1894.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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A monumental work of doctrinal history  Aug 25, 2003
William G. T. Shedd starts his monumental work by pointing out that one of the strongest defenses of Christian doctrine is found through examining how various theological concepts have come about and changed over time. This history is the story of how our understanding of God, ourselves, and the relationship between God and us has grown.

The first volume is divided into several sections. The first is the influence of philosophical systems on Christian doctrine. This examination includes the effect of the teachings of individuals such as Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero as well as the teachings of particular schools and movements like the Mystics, Scholastics, and Reformers.

The second section is the history of apologies. This is the history of the Christian reply to objections raised by skeptics throughout the ages. The Christian church first faced attacks from Judaism and paganism in the form of Ebionites, Gnostics and Pagans. It had to deal with the problems of the relationship between faith and science and examination of Biblical and ecclesiastical miracles. Apologetics is always an interesting area to deal with as we examine the various objections to the Gospel raised by different groups in different periods of time. The text includes the apologetics of individuals like Anselm, Aquinas, Bernard, Hume, and Kant as well as movements like deism and rationalism.

The third section is the history of theology and Christology. This is the one that I found to be the most interesting. First he covers the arguments for the evidence of the existence of God and examines the thoughts of people like Tertullian, and Anselm. Of course any section on the existence of God would not be complete without an examination of the ontological argument, which he covers well.
One of the most divisive problems of the early church was the concept of the Trinity and Christology. How do you resolve the idea of a God who is God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit while still believing in only one God? How do you resolve Christ's relationship with God? Was he fully human? Was he fully divine? Was he two persons in one body or one person that had divine and human natures? As the church wrestled with this many different ideas arose and gained converts. Mr. Shedd does an excellent job of examining these different schools of thought and how they differed from mainstream thought. Although such issues were predominantly put to rest with the Council of Nicene, they still affect the church today.

The first section in the second volume is the history of anthropology. The first part of this section discusses theories on the origin of the soul. This was a great concern for early Christians and still evokes some debate today. Were all souls pre-existing and placed into human bodies? Are souls created out of nothing when a new person is born? Are the soul and body both propagated (tranducianism)? The section continues into the doctrinal history of sin, free will, whether infants that die do so in a sinful state, and regeneration. Even today the debate continues over whether newborn children inherit evil or whether they inherit guilt.

The second section of this volume is the history of soteriology. How has the Christian doctrine of atonement developed into the way we believe today? Perhaps no other doctrine is more critical to the Christian than that of vicarious substitution, or the substitution of Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins. What is the role, if any, of penance?

The third section is the history of eschatology. One of the hottest topics seems to always be studying the end times according to the Bible. William Shedd covers all the most common concerns from Millenarianism, to the Second Advent, to resurrection, Purgatory, and the final state of Christians and non-Christians after the resurrection.

The fourth and final section is the history of symbols. This section includes an examination of the various creeds and other statements of faith through Christian history. Included are the following creeds and confessions as well as many others: The Apostles' Creed, Athanasian Creed, Lutheran Confessions, Reformed Confessions, Papal Confessions, Confessions of the Greek Church, Arminian Confessions, and Socinian Confessions.

This two volume set is an excellent work for those who want to examine the history of Christian doctrine over the ages and is a highly recommended purchase for all serious students.


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