Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
The Theology in Community series is edited by Christopher W. Morgan, professor of theology and dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University, and Robert A. Peterson, professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary. Crossway publishes this excellent series.
The editors’ desire for this series is spelled out in the preface.
As the series name, Theology in Community, indicates, theology in community aims to promote clear thinking on and godly responses to historic and contemporary theological issues. The series examines issues central to the Christian faith, including traditional topics such as sin, the atonement, the church, and heaven, but also some which are more focused or contemporary, such as suffering and the goodness of God, the glory of God, the deity of Christ, and the kingdom of God. The series strives not only to follow a sound theological method but also to display it.
Chapters addressing the Old and New Testaments on the book’s subject form the heart of each volume. Subsequent chapters synthesize the biblical teaching and link it to historical, philosophical, systematic, and pastoral concerns. Far from being mere collections of essays, the volumes are carefully crafted so that the voices of the various experts combine to proclaim a unified message.
Again, as the name suggests, theology in community also seeks to demonstrate that theology should be done in teams. The teachings of the Bible were forged in real-life situations by leaders in God’s covenant communities. The biblical teachings addressed concerns of real people who needed the truth to guide their lives. Theology was formulated by the church and for the church. This series seeks to recapture that biblical reality. The volumes are written by scholars, from a variety of denominational backgrounds and life experiences with academic credentials and significant expertise across the spectrum of theological disciplines, who collaborate with each other. They write from a high view of Scripture with robust evangelical conviction and in a gracious manner. They are not detached academics but are personally involved in ministry, serving as teachers, pastors, and missionaries. The contributors to these volumes stand in continuity with the historic church, care about the global church, share life together with other believers in local churches, and aim to write for the good of the church to strengthen its leaders, particularly pastors, teachers, missionaries, lay leaders, students, and professors.
Peterson and Morgan have focused on key contemporary theological topics and compiled an excellent team of scholars and churchmen to address these subjects from various perspectives – biblical (Old and New Testaments), theological, historical, philosophical and pastoral. The result is an incredible resource that will serve the church well.
Six volumes have been published in this series, the most recent this past fall. I include all the titles below, along with the contents of the books. You will notice, as well, that with The Kingdom of God and Fallen I have included interviews regarding the books.
Suffering and the Goodness of God (2008).
The Glory of God (2010).
The Deity of Christ (2011).
Fallen: A Theology of Sin (2013). Editors and Author interviews.
The longer I have been in ministry, the longer I have served in the role of pastor-theologian, the more convinced I have become of the necessity of the community for the doing of theology. This does not mean the community determines theology. Rather, the community grounded on and centered in the Scriptures seeks to understand the God-ordained meaning of the God-inspired text of Scripture with the goal of living that truth in that community. This is one reason of many that I like this series.
I commend these excellent works for your study.