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 The Series: Current Status and Structure                                 


    The Series in Order of Publication



After our Likeness:
The Church as the Image of the Trinity
Miroslav Volf, 1998

In After Our Likeness, the inaugural volume in the Sacra Doctrina series, Miroslav Volf explores the relationship between persons and community in Christian theology. The focus is the community of grace, the Christian church. The point of departure is the thought of the first Baptist, John Smyth, and the notion of church as “gathered community” that he shared with Radical Reformers.

Volf seeks to counter the tendencies toward individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and to suggest a viable understanding of the church in which both person and community are given their proper due. In the process he engages in a sustained and critical ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic and Orthodox ecclesiologies of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and the metropolitan John Zizioulas. The result is a brilliant ecumenical study that spells out a vision of the church as an image of the triune God.


The Depth of the Riches:
A Trinitarian Theology of Religious Ends

S. Mark Heim, 2000

A constructive new proposal for Christian dialogue with other faiths.

Religious pluralism is today the most challenging issue facing traditional Christianity. This constructive work by a leading voice on the subjects of religious pluralism and interfaith relations probes the Christian understanding of God and salvation and offers a new perspective on religious pluralism that affirms unique salvation in Christ while also recognizing the religious ends of other faiths.

The questions explored here are both difficult and enlightening. What is the distinctive nature of salvation? Is there a place in Christian theology for recognizing other religious ends in addition to salvation? In pursuit of meaningful answers, S. Mark Heim uses the classical doctrine of the Trinity to develop a theology that allows Christians to respect the possibility that alternative relations with God exist in other religions.


Living and Active:
Scripture in the Economy of Salvation
Telford Work, 2001
foreword by Richard B. Hays

For all of the Bible's popularity both in the church and in Western culture, confusion reigns about what the Bible is, its relationship to God, its relationship to its human authors and readers, and its proper use. Living and Active answers these fundamental questions by looking anew at scripture from the perspective of Christian doctrine.

Rather than treating the Bible as a sourcebook for theology, Telford Work uses systematic theology to build a compelling new doctrine of scripture: the doctrine of God establishes the Bible's triune character and purpose; the doctrine of salvation explains the mission of scripture in ancient Israel, in the career of Jesus, and in the life of his followers; the doctrine of the church relates the Bible's qualities to those of its reading communities, describes the relation of scripture and tradition, and appreciates the Bible's role in worship and in personal salvation. Drawing in this way on the full resources of Christian dogmatics allows us to see the Bible at work accomplishing God's purposes in the world.

Throughout the book Work incorporates insights from the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Anabaptist, and evangelical traditions in order to produce a truly ecumenical doctrine of scripture. He also interacts with patristic theology and practice, historical-critical methods of interpretation, and postmodern thought, refusing to draw lines between biblical studies, ethics, history, philosophy, and theology. As a result, Living and Active is now the most comprehensive, balanced, and relevant statement of Scripture available. It clearly portrays the Bible as integral to the economy of salvation and the life of the church, it offers solutions to the current crisis of biblical authority and practice, and it prescribes fruitful ways to preach, teach, and live scripture in today's world.


Creation Set Free:
The Spirit as Liberator of Nature
Sigurd Bergmann, 2005
Foreword by Jürgen Moltmann

In view of the earth's ongoing destruction, ecology is no longer a marginal issue. In Creation Set Free Sigurd Bergmann creatively rethinks the discipline of theology in light of this environmental crisis. Throughout the book he is concerned to see the earth not just as a stage for the human drama of salvation but also as a player undergoing redemption.

After summarizing previous forays into ecological theology, Bergmann opens up an extraordinary dialogue between these initiatives and church father Gregory of Nazianzus. Through such neglected topics as suffering and the Spirit, the author brings to light Gregory's thought on the liberation of creation. Finally, Bergmann connects ecological issues and patristic tradition with contemporary liberation theology.

An astonishingly wide-ranging study, Creation Set Free should interest all those concerned with the history of theology and the future of the earth.


Person, Grace and God
Philip A. Rolnick, 2007

Person, Grace, and God is a theological investigation of the concept of the person. Philip Rolnick believes that "person" represents our highest understanding of our lives with regard to each other, the world, and God. Some understanding of "person" underlies virtually every significant Christian doctrine and points to what is most at stake in it.

Rolnick highlights the centrality of "person" for Christian thought by tracing its development from pre-Christian anticipations through the early church councils to Augustine, Boethius, Richard of St. Victor, and Aquinas. Examining contemporary challenges to the concept of the person from evolutionary biology and postmodern thought, Rolnick shows the impressive accomplishment of neo-Darwinian research and then shows ways to interpret the biological data that are consonant with Jesus' love commands.


In the Days of Caesar:
Pentecostalism and Political Theology
Amos Yong,

In the Days of Caesar is a constructive political theology formulated in sustained dialogue with the Pentecostal and charismatic renewal. Amos Yong argues that the many tongues, practices, and gifts of renewal Christianity offer up new resources for thinking about how the Christian community can engage and transform the social, political, and economic structures of the world. Yong corrects stereotypes of Pentecostalism, both political and theological; provokes Pentecostals to reflect theologically on politics from out of the depths of their own tradition; and puts forth a creative proposal for a Pentecostal theology of politics.

Along the way Yong demonstrates that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit has significant implications for Church faith and practice today.

Being Promised:
Theology, Gift, and Practice
Greg Walter,

Promise, along with gift, is among the predominant metaphors in the Western Christian tradition for describing God's gracious actions. Being Promised argues that promise is itself a kind of double gift -- one when the promise is given, one when it is fulfilled -- and analyzes the power, time, and place of God's promise.

Gregory Walter offers a theologically rich analysis of promise, anthropological and phenomenological reflection on gift exchange, and a critical appreciation of other theological appropriations of gift to support his argument. Walter clarifies the phenomenon of promise as gift and shows its theological, hermeneutical, and ethical significance.  He then applies these to an understanding of the Eucharist.


    Current Status and Structure of Sacra Doctrina

In conversation with our publisher and most excellent editor, Jon Pott [editor-in-chief & senior Vice-President at Eerdmans], our Fellowship is going to be making some changes in our book series Sacra Doctrina.  In the past this was an open-ended series.  Now the series will be complete in ten volumes.  The complete set will touch upon the central, common themes of classic Christian doctrine (loci communes).  Each book does not cover everything: the point of these top-flight monographs is to dig deep, not go wide.  They bringing a scholarly, creative and engaging vision to bear upon an important and focused question within the broader locus.

            Here are the past volumes arranged in this new way, with future volumes listed by topic.

Locus              Author, Title

God/Trinity     [assigned]

Creation          Sigurd Bergmann, Creation Set Free: The Spirit as Liberator of Nature.

Human being   Philip Rolnick, Person, Grace and God.

Christ              [assigned]

Holy Spirit      Amos Yong, In the Days of Caesar: Pentecostalism and Political Theology

Salvation         Mark Heim, The Depth of the Riches: A Trinitarian Theology of Religious Ends.

Church            Miroslav Volf, After our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity.

Divine Promise
& Eucharist    Greg Walter, Being Promised: Theology, Gift, and Practices

Scripture          Telford Work, Living and Active: Scripture in the Economy of Salvation.

Ethics              {Integrated into several volumes of the series}.

Sacraments      [assigned]

Eschatology    [hope-full assignment]