Exploring Christian Doctrine: A Guide to What Christians Believe, By Tony Lane

Exploring Christian Doctrine

A Guide to What Christians Believe

Exploring Topics in Christianity Series

by Tony Lane

Exploring Christian Doctrine
  • Length: 308 pages
  • Dimensions: 7 × 10 in
  • Published: February 06, 2014
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2546
  • ISBN: 9780830825462

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  • Preaching's Preacher's Guide to the Best Bible Reference for 2014 (Theology)

This reliable and highly readable textbook provides comprehensive coverage of core Christian beliefs. Based on the author's introductory Christian doctrine course, the book rests firmly on biblical foundations while providing a balanced discussion of areas where evangelicals disagree. The text includes essay topics and further reading suggestions.

"This is a simply outstanding introduction to doctrine. The product of decades of classroom experience, it is rooted in the Bible, answers a barrage of questions and objections, and is enlivened by cartoons and humor. If you think doctrine is dull and boring, think again."

Robert Letham,  Wales Evangelical School of Theology

"The book's structure is appetizingly laid out in a series of initial questions, positions taken, objections raised, errors to avoid and Lane's own succinct answers--all framed by creedal and confessional bounds and set within the context of worship."

Kevin J. Vanhoozer,  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Tony Lane's survey of Christian belief is accessible and engaging. Alive to historical debates and to contemporary challenges, his focus nonetheless remains on offering a clear and thorough account of the essential points of Christian doctrine from a broadly evangelical perspective. Anyone wanting to understand what Christians believe and why will find this an extremely helpful guide."

Steve Holmes, University of St Andrews, Scotland

"Engaging in style, evangelical in spirit, ecumenical in atmosphere and eclectic in its use of resources, Exploring Christian Doctrine will delight students looking for a textbook that is clear and informative, never overbearing but always challenging."

Sinclair B. Ferguson, Redeemer Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas

"Tony Lane is a masterful teacher. He has a knack for writing epigrammatic sentences that instantly clarify an issue. He has a gift for accurately apt illustrations. Just when things might be getting a little dull, he throws in a joke or even a cartoon. Ideal for anyone who wants to understand the basics."

Richard Bauckham, University of St Andrews, Scotland

"What does the church believe? What does the church's faith have to do with prayer, worship and life in the everyday world? Why don't all churches believe the same thing? Tony Lane addresses these basic questions and more. Students, especially, will find this a welcome guide."

Joel B. Green, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Exploring Christian Doctrine has the feel of a live lecture, interspersed with the give and take of classroom discussion and inquiry. . . . Lane's volume will be appreciated for its broad evangelical approach, discussion of contemporary doctrinal challenges to historic orthodoxy, and careful use of Scripture to explain and validate Christian belief. For readers interested in an introductory text to Christian doctrine, Lane's work is admirably suitable."

James M. Garretson, Banner of Truth, August-September 2014

"A good textbook for a comparative religion or intro to Christianity course."

Marvin Olasky, World Magazine, November 1, 2014

"Tony Lane's survey of Christian doctrine was a pleasure to read. The book seems to be ideal for introducing theology to teenagers and adults in both the church and the academy, as well as teaching international readers who are studying theology in English as a second language."

Adam Harwood, Journal for Baptist Theology and Mission, Spring 2017, 14(1)



1. Knowing God
2. Bible
3. Speaking about God

4. Creation of the Universe
5. Spirit World
6. Humanity

Sin and Evil
7. Sin
8. Fall and Original Sin
9. Providence
10. Evil and Suffering (Theodicy)

Redemption: God and his Work
11. Law and Old Testament
12. Work of Christ
13. Person of Christ (Christology)
14. Uniqueness of Christ
15. Holy Spirit
16. Trinity
17. God

Redemption: Personal
18. Christian Initiation
19. Baptism
20. Justification and Assurance
21. Sanctification
22. Perseverance and Reward

Redemption: Corporate
23. Grace and Election
24. Church 1 (Ecclesiology)
25. Church 2
26. Holy Communion

Future Glory (Eschatology)
27. End Times
28. Hell
29. Future Hope

Questions to Answer
Copyright acknowledgments
Index of biblical references
Index of names and subjects


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Tony Lane (DD, University of Oxford) is professor of historical theology at the London School of Theology. He is the author of A Concise History of Christian Thought and Justification by Faith in Catholic-Protestant Dialogue. A world-class Calvin scholar, he abridged the Institutes into a popular student edition and also edited the translation of Calvin's Bondage and Liberation of the Will.