October Book ‘O the Month

After taking a month off of this Book ‘O the Month deal due to a general semester slow-down, I’m happy to present to you October’s entry: Bernard Lohse’s, A Short History of Christian Doctrine: From the First Century to the Present. This is quite simply my go-to text for basic history of doctrine needs. Lohse has published two equally valuable books on Luther that have also been translated into English (see here and here), but in this volume he deals with such topics as the formation and function of dogma, the canon, the creeds, the Trinity, the sacraments, christology, soteriology (from a couple different angles), and more. There are also “chronological tables” of important dates in the development of the various doctrinal topics. These are a very handy quick reference. It truly is an excellent work and I like it so much that I will likely be listing it as recommended reading on all my syllabi in the Christian tradition.

I leave you with the following quote from his discussion of christological development. I've always liked it:

Bernard Lohse, A Short History of Christian Doctrine: From the First Century to the Present, 95.
If the christological controversy of the fifth century is viewed from a purely political point of view it is apparent that victory belonged neither to the Patriarch of Constantinople nor to the Patriarch of Alexandria but to the eastern emperors, who knew how to subject the church to their authority. As a result, however, the national passions of Egypt and Syria were enflamed. Both defended themselves against a creed which had been forced upon them by the emperor, and tried to free themselves from Byzantine overlordship.



Derek Maris said…
Thanks for pointing out this book Travis! While I must confess that I haven't read it myself, from working at the bookstore I can tell you that it is useful text for the professors here at Luther.

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