Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Academic Politics?


A new systematic theology has been released: A Theology for the Church. The general editor is the President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Daniel Akin. After taking hermeneutics with Dr. Akin, I can tell you, he is one smart guy. I like him, too, because he's a bit fiesty. He's not scared to let you know what he thinks and I dig it.


However, last week when I was helping a friend get her books at the bookstore, I noticed that every theology class I saw was using his book. Before, Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology" was the primary book. After having thumbed through "A Theology for the Church", I'm left wondering: What does this book accomplish that J. Millard Erickson and Wayne Grudem haven't already accomplished? What's new? And is it just politics at school vs. academic interests that have caused the switch from Grudem's to this book?


Something I worry about for myself is that I won't have original ideas. I would rather go my whole life unpublished than to crank out article after article and book after book of rehashed ideas. I remember reading Mark Goodacre's The Case Against Q and thinking, "I will never come up with something this brilliant. This is amazing." I realize this is the second time I've mentioned this book, but it's amazing! Go read it! Stop wasting your time here!

4 comments:

Mike said...

even if he isn't original, my guess is that he's a step up from Grudem...depending on whether he holds to the eternal subordination of the Son like Grudem does - a questionable doctrine indeed...

voxstefani said...

Questionable to say the least! I agree that many books out there are a definite step up from Grudem. To be a step up from Erickson, though, is a far taller order!

I don't understand the rush to write "systematic theologies," myself: from my reading of them (which has been far more extensive than I'd like to admit, being a NT person), it seems very few of them make real contributions. But I can certainly see the value in a "systematic theology" that is not innovative but rather traditional, thoroughly articulating the comprehensive views of a particular ecclesial community. Such a book can go a long way to alert its readers to the systemic strengths and weaknesses of their own thinking, which they likely have never seen set forth as a comprehensive system before.

Josh McManaway said...

Grudem believes in an economic subordination. It's not full-blown subordination. Grudem affirms that, "[t]he Son and Holy Spirit are equal in deity to God the Father, but they are subordinate in their roles." (Systematic Theology p. 249)

Kevin Scott said...

Oops. Obviously you are already familiar with Grudem's ST.