Augustine_Sandro_Botticelli_ds.JPGConfession: I wanted someone to write this book so bad. Not so much for myself but for my students. For 15 years I have wanted a book for college students, by and large upper level students, or for pastors or for seminary students that sketches the big ideas of the major theologians of influence in the Church.

Gerald McDermott, in The Great Theologians: A Brief Guide
, does just that. Here is the problem: a church history book touches on theologians but often doesn’t stop long enough to give you a fulsome sketch of the theologian; a systematic theology quotes and cites and disagrees with theologians but doesn’t sketch the ideas. And reading each theologian … well, it takes a long, long time.
Pastor, if you are in need of a refresher, this is a good place to start. 
So, what we need is an introduction to the major theologians, and Gerry McDermott gives it to us. He’s a careful scholar; a solid theologian (OK, he’s Reformed but I won’t hold that against him), and an exceptional teacher. He writes so his stuff can be used. Clearly organized … a teaching kind of book. Good bibliographies too.
Who gets sketched? Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Schleiermacher, Newman, Barth and von Balthasar.
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