This year’s survey of theological books covers two basic areas: theology proper and philosophical theology.

In theology proper, a good deal of effort was expended looking at the foundations of systematics. Reevaluation is taking place and one needs to start at the beginning, asking where we begin, why we begin there, and where we go next. Although considerable work is being done here, evangelicals are not playing a prominent role.

Two specific areas that received special attention are the Holy Spirit and the doctrine of Scripture. This is not surprising, given today’s situation. The lingering charismatic revival is forcing everyone to rethink who the Holy Spirit is and what his role in church and individual life should be. Most of the books are constructive rather than polemical, and it appears that great good continues to come from this often neglected aspect of theology. The doctrine of Scripture is also being examined. If the foundation is shaken apart, the whole structure is in danger of collapse, so it is appropriate that this fundamental point be analyzed. Evangelicals are contributing significantly here.

Philosophical theology is making something of a comeback. An inordinate stress on practicality is slowly giving way to the realization that we must know what is practical and why. This raises all sorts of questions, especially regarding the relation of theology to other aspects of life. A large number of books were written dealing with social ethics (to be surveyed in the fall book issue), and, broadly, apologetics—that is, the proclamation and defense of Christianity in the world. Here again evangelicals are doing significant work.

Significant Books

Four books were selected as “most significant” for evangelicals from ...

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