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A Short History of Christian Thought

Revised and Expanded Edition

Linwood Urban

Publication Date - May 1995

ISBN: 9780195093483

480 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


What do Christians believe and why do they believe it? What are the historical roots of modern Christian doctrines, and what logical connections link them together? This concise introduction to Christian thought provides thorough yet succinct answers to these and other important questions, incorporating expanded discussions of the sacraments, the Church and the ministry, recent ecumenical movements and trends, and women's ordination. Avoiding a strict chronological approach, the author traces the development of each great issue that formed Christian theology. Questions of doctrine such as the Trinity and the Incarnation are dealt with in full. Also addressed are the important issues in natural theology such as the existence of God, miracles, freedom of the will, and the problem of evil. The text shows which issues in Christian thought constitute the "common denominators" of Christian belief, and traces the roots of Christian doctrine to their sources, explaining why certain doctrines are logically essential to Christianity and were thus adopted. By analyzing the significant issues in Christian thinking from their early formulations to contemporary re-examination, A Short History of Christian Thought demonstrates that classical Christian doctrines are reasonable articulations of basic convictions and that Christian thought is relevant to the full range of human experience.

Previous Publication Date(s)

February 1986


"Linwood Urban has written an excellent book which could be an excellent text for a more advanced undergraduate course. Urban writes with disarming clarity; he has taken the jargon of the theological vernacular and has put it into words we can both understand and use."--Ray McManaman, Lewis University

"Quite well done! It is clear and precise."--Timothy McCarthy, St. Mary's College

"A strong volume! Its creativity lies in combining historical and systematic frameworks for understanding the tradition. In addition, it not only tells the story but explains what lies behind the various developments in a style accessible to students."--Ellen Charry, Southern Methodist University

"Excellent! Brief but thorough treatment of a range of still critical and problematic issues. A valuable resource for students of Christian thought."--Michael Lukens, St. Norbert College

"Quite well done!"--Philip Rolnick, Greensboro College

Table of Contents

    1. Scriptural Sources
    2. The Mystery of the Trinity
    3. The Mystery of the Incarnation
    4. The Atonement
    5. The Fall and Original Sin
    6. The Age of Natural Theology
    7. Authority and Revelation
    8. Discovering the Foundations
    9. The Sacraments (new)
    10. The Church and Ministry (new)
    Epilogue (revised)