Baylor University professor of theology Roger Olson succeeds in providing "a very basic, relatively comprehensive, nontechnical, nonspeculative one-volume introduction to Christian belief." Anyone who is looking for a defense of his or her own particular theological tradition or narrow slice of Christian thinking will be dissatisfied with Olson's "mediating theological perspective." But those who are looking for an even-handed, highly accessible, thoughtful survey of the main contours of Christian belief will be well-served. Olson seeks to avoid the pitfalls of oversimplification and speculation in his offering of an evangelical and irenic presentation of "the Great Tradition of Christian teaching and belief." He proposes a "both-and" approach to theology that respects the common bond between Christians of various denominations and traditions, while at the same time respecting their differences. He underscores this theme of unity and diversity with his image of a mosaic that "melds multiformity and rich diversity of colors with harmony and complexity into a pattern that conveys a unified image without sacrificing variety."
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Issue: "Good News: The Gospel for Christians" May/June 2003 Vol. 12 No. 3 Page number(s): 49-50
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