College and seminary students rarely have a voice in theological discussions. True, there are many books written for them. Introductions to the Bible, surveys of church history, anthologies of theological classics, overviews of Christian doctrine, and dictionaries of the various theological sub-disciplines abound. But it is one thing for professional theologians to answer the questions they think their students ought to be asking, and quite another thing for them to listen and respond to the questions their students are actually asking.
This book does the latter. It contains a selection of email correspondence, which the author exchanged with his undergraduate theology students between the years 1997 and 2005 on matters pertaining to Christian faith and ethics. Most of the exchanges were triggered by questions that occurred to the students while they were taking one of the author's undergraduate courses in theology, ethics, or church history. But the letters themselves are anything but academic exercises. They are intensely personal and reveal what is going on in the depths of the student soul.
An exciting adventure of the human spirit as well as a stimulating challenge to the critical intellect is waiting for students and professors of theology or those on a lifelong study of Christianity.
Stalking the Cat: An Introduction to the Craft of Theology
Chapter 1: "Now That I Am an Adult . . ."
Subject: Hurt and frustration with the church
Subject: Is life really a "test"?
Subject: Do we "progress" toward God?
Subject: Leaving my home church
Subject: No longer content with Sunday school answers
Chapter 2: Reading Scripture with New Eyes
Subject: The Bible and Christian doctrine
Subject: Faith: personal or communal?
Subject: Does the Bible have errors?
Chapter 3: Who Do We Say that Christ Is?
Subject: Is Christianity the "cult of Jesus"?
Subject: Christ, the "fully human one"
Subject: Why did Jesus have to die?
Subject: Condescending Christians
Chapter 4: Free Choice, Moral Responsibility, and Divine Sovereignty
Subject: Divine Election
Subject: Free will
Subject: Can the saved lose their salvation?
Subject: God?s justice eclipsed by his love
Subject: Is there an upper limit to "perfection"?
Chapter 5: Faith and Fossils
Subject: Noah and Dinosaurs
Subject: Concerning Adam and Eve
Subject: Does the theory of evolution contradict the Bible?
Chapter 6: Keeping the Faith in a Postmodern World
Subject: Postmodernism in the Church
Subject: Drowning in Relativism
Subject: Relativism and the loss of faith
Chapter 7: Encountering God in Worship
Subject: The arts in worship
Subject: Sacramental grace
Subject: The presence of Christ in communion
Chapter 8: Faith in Practice
Subject: Natural law
Subject: "Bigger" and "smaller" sins
Subject: Faith and weath
Subject: Ministry to individuals vs. social witness
Chapter 9: Gender and Sexuality on a Christian Campus
Subject: Women in the Church
Subject: Premarital sex
Subject: Late bloomer
Chapter 10: The "Problem" of Human Suffering
Subject: "Why did God let my baby die?"
Subject: Ministering to a suffering youth
Subject: Questions about healing
Chapter 11: The Gospel and Religious Pluralism
Subject: Catholics vs. Christians
Subject: Can non-Christians be saved?
Subject: Is Christianity the only way to God?