Michael F. Bird’s Evangelical Theology is a readable yet scholarly examination of the theology that has defines the church. His thesis is that good theology will have its “content, structure, and substance singularly determined by the” Gospel. Rather than being a Reformed, Baptist, or Wesleyan commentary, the author has attempted “to construct a theology of the gospel for people who identify themselves as gospel people, namely, the evangelical churches.”
The text is grounded in scripture yet attempts to avoid some of the theological pitfalls that have tended to divide the church. For example, given that “sanctification” has multiple meanings within the church, Bird has chosen to focus on the “transformation” of believers. He does not avoid discussing “sanctification”, providing a discussion of its multiple uses within the church, he prefers the term “transformation” to “encompass the aspects of regeneration (the impartation of spiritual life), sanctification (positional and effectual holiness) and the stages of glorification (conformity to the pattern of Christ).”
Though not included in the pre-release copy of the book provided to me, the finished book is scheduled to include a Scripture Index, a Subject Index, and an Author Index. Because these tools are not available, this review cannot speak to their effectiveness in the final version of the book.
The book is accessible to the student, the scholar, and the knowledgeable layperson. Used along side a good Bible translation, the book will provide a solid foundation in the theology of the Evangelical Church. I will hope to add a copy of this work to my library when it is released later this year.
This review is based on a free electronic copy of this book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.