I've Been Wondering: Conversations with Young Theologians, By Richard B. Steele

I've Been Wondering

Conversations with Young Theologians

by Richard B. Steele

I've Been Wondering
  • Length: 232 pages
  • Published: January 03, 2007
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 5681
  • ISBN: 9780830856817

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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.


Preface xi
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: Scrambled
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: Predestination
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
Subject: Sacraments

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: Masturbation
Subject: Premarital sex
Subject: Lust
Subject: Late bloomer
Subject: Homosexuality

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?


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Richard B. Steele

Richard B. Steele is Professor of Moral and Historical Theology and Associate Dean of the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA where he currently resides. He is the author of "Gracious Affection" and "True Virtue" According to Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley and the editor of "Heart Religion" in the Methodist Tradition and Related Movements. His articles have appeared in numerous theological magazines and reviews.