The confession the church makes to the world sits oddly in the contemporary cultural complex. Intellectual fashions in the marketplace of ideas have moved beyond an accommodation of biblical-theological categories. Philosophy is unsure of its status in an amorphous postmodernism, and theology threatens to degenerate into intellectual experimentation. They have become mutually suspicious and hesitant of conversation. But a heavy fault lies with the church's own confessional status. For what is it the church has to say to the world? Has it preserved confessional continuity with the Reformation theology that rediscovered its biblical foundations and liberated it from intellectual and confessional shackles? Has the church surrendered the possibility of relevance by having lost its own historic identity? And is it necessary to conclude, as a result, that contemporary culture is no longer penetrable by any word from the old wells of divine disclosure?
In this brief but challenging book, Douglas Vickers brings the Christian confession to the forefront of consideration and reestablishes a theology grounded in historic verities sustained by the scriptural declarations. In straightforward and accessible terms, Being and Belief addresses the meaning of biblical truth for Christian understanding and Christian life.
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Douglas Vickers (PhD, University of London) is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts. Among his recent titles in theology are Discovering the Christian Mind: Reason and Belief in Christian Confession (2011) and The Cross: Its Meaning and Message in a Postmodern World (2010).
"Douglas Vickers has set forth in Being and Belief the beauty and wonder, as well as the depth and breadth, of the richness of the Christian confession. He has displayed the glories of God's nature and the wonder of his salvation. . . . Those who espouse the gospel of Jesus Christ have nothing to be ashamed of when standing before the antagonist of the gospel. We have a message of truth to proclaim, one of practical relevance for the Christian, and an effective apologetic before the world. . . . In Being and Belief, this expression of 'the faith that was once delivered to the saints' will enable you, if you are a Christian, to be better 'prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you' (1 Peter 3:15). I commend it to you." — Lars Larson, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Leominster, Massachusetts