Who Needs Theology?: An Invitation to the Study of God, By Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson

Who Needs Theology?

An Invitation to the Study of God

by Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson

Who Needs Theology?
  • Length: 150 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: August 19, 1996
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 1878
  • ISBN: 9780830818785

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To many Christians theology is something alien, overly intellectual and wholly unappealing. Even seminary students are known to balk at the prospect of a course on theology. Yet theology—most simply, the knowledge of God—is essential to the life and health of the church.

In this short introduction, Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson, two theologians who care deeply about the witness of ordinary Christians and the ministry of the church, show what theology is, what tools theology uses, why every believer (advanced degrees or not) is a theologian, and how the theological enterprise can be productive and satisfying. Their clear, easily understood book is ideal for students, church study groups, and individual Christians who want to strengthen understanding, belief and commitment by coming to know God more fully.

Easily acceptable to the lay-people within the church, while at the same time retaining enough critical thought and depth that seminary students and pastors would still appreciate the work that has gone into this book.

Nathan W. Bingham, Calvinist (cal.vini.st), May 4, 2009


1. Everyone Is a Theologian
2. Not All Theologies Are Equal
3. Defining Theology
4. Defending Theology
5. Theology's Tasks Traditions
6. The Theologian's Tools
7. Constructing Theology in Context
8. Bringing Theology into Life
9. An Invitation to Engage in Theology



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Stanley J. Grenz

Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) earned a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973, an MDiv from Denver Seminary in 1976 and a DTheol from the University of Munich (Germany) in 1978, where he completed his dissertation under the supervision of Wolfhart Pannenberg.

Ordained into the gospel ministry in 1976, Grenz worked within the local church context as a youth director and assistant pastor (Northwest Baptist Church, Denver), pastor (Rowandale Baptist Church, Winnipeg), and interim pastor. In addition he preached and lectured in numerous churches, colleges, universities and seminaries in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.

Grenz wrote or cowrote twenty-five books, the most recent of which is Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology (2004). His other books include The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei, Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (with John R. Franke), The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics, A Primer on Postmodernism, Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry (with Denise Muir Kjesbo), Revisioning Evangelical Theology: A Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century, and The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options. He has also coauthored several shorter reference and introductory books for IVP, including Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (with Roger E. Olson), Pocket Dictionary of Ethics (with Jay T. Smith), and Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (with David Guretzki and Cherith Fee Nordling). He contributed articles to more than two dozen other volumes, and has had published more than one hundred essays and eighty book reviews. These have appeared in journals such as Christianity Today, The Christian Century, Christian Scholar's Review, Theology Today, and the Journal of Ecumenical Studies.

For twelve years (1990-2002), Grenz held the position of Pioneer McDonald Professor of Baptist Heritage, Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College and at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. After a one-year sojourn as Distinguished Professor of Theology at Baylor University and Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas (2002-2003), he returned to Carey and resumed his duties as Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology. In 2004 he assumed an additional appointment as Professor of Theological Studies at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Washington.

Visit Stan Grenz's website for more information.

Roger E. Olson

Roger E. Olson (PhD, Rice University) is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author of The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform, The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity, and The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology. He is also coauthor of 20th-Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age and Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (both with Stanley J. Grenz), and of The Trinity (with Christopher A. Hall).