Christian Theology: An Introduction (6th edition)

A set of free video presentations introducing each chapter of this world-leading textbook. The videos offer you five hours of introduction to this textbook, ensuring you get the most out of using it. Each video, typically between 15-20 minutes long, introduces each chapter, telling you what to look out for, and helping you get into the book. Click on the description to access the video in question on YouTube.

Presentation #1: This presentation introduces the book as a whole, telling you how it came to be written, and helping you to understand its basic structure and approach.

Presentation #2: This presentation considers the patristic period, also known as the ‘early church’. It identifies some of the main debates, achievements, and theologians of this important period.

Presentation #3: This third presentation focusses on the second chapter of the textbook, which considers the Middle Ages and Renaissance, an important and very fertile period in Christian theology. It identifies some of the main debates, achievements, and theologians of this important period.

Presentation #4: This deals with the third chapter of the textbook, which considers the great Age of Reformation, widely seen as a landmark in Christian theology. It identifies some of the main debates, achievements, and theologians of this important period.

Presentation #5: This presentation considers the fourth chapter of the textbook, which considers the modern period, dating from about 1750 to the present days. The assumptions and debates of this period have had a major impact on Christian theology. This chapter identifies some of the main debates, achievements, and theologians of this important period.

Presentation #6: This sixth presentation introduces the second part of the textbook, which deals with sources and methods of Christian theology. It looks at chapter 5, which explores the development of theology as a discipline, and how its various elements hold together. It considers a number of definitions of theology, and reflect on how these help us develop our own approaches.

Presentation #7: This presentation looks at chapter 6, which explores the main sources of Christian theology – the Bible, tradition, and reason. This is a helpful survey of how theology develops and validates its ideas, and explores important theological questions such as how the Old and New Testaments relate to each other.

Presentation #8: This presentation looks at chapter 7, which explores the concept of revelation. What does it mean to speak of divine revelation? And how might this relate to the idea of a natural knowledge of God? Some theologians have argued that God is to be known through the beauty of the world; others have argued that the intricate ordering of the creation discloses something of God; others have argued that nothing can be known of God through nature.

Presentation #9: This presentation considers the eighth chapter of the textbook, which explores the relation of theology and philosophy. In addition to introducing the notion of philosophy as the handmaid of theology, this chapter considers proofs for the existence of God, and questions relating to the nature of theological language.

Presentation #10: This presentation focusses on the ninth chapter of the textbook, which deals with the Christian doctrine of God. The Christian creeds speak of God as Father, almighty, and as creator. So what does all of this mean? This presentation does not include discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity, which is considered in detail in presentation 14.

Presentation #11: This presentation looks at the tenth chapter of the textbook, which deals with the identity and significance of Jesus Christ – an area of theology usually known as ‘Christology’. It considers the great debates of the patristic period over the nature of the incarnation, as well as the detailed discussion of this issue in the modern period.

Presentation #12: The twelfth in a series of nineteen presentations in which Alister McGrath walks you through his market-leading textbook Christian Theology: An Introduction. This deals with the eleventh chapter of the textbook, which explores the Christian understanding of salvation – an area of theology usually known as ‘soteriology’. It focusses on two classic questions. In what way can the death of Christ be considered to be the basis of salvation? And how is this salvation to be understood?

Presentation #13: The thirteenth in a series of nineteen presentations in which Alister McGrath walks you through his market-leading textbook Christian Theology: An Introduction. This presentation focusses on the twelfth chapter of the textbook, which deals with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, often known as ‘pneumatology.’ The chapter offers an historical overview of the crystallizing Christian understanding of the person and work of the Spirit, and its distinct role in the life of the church and the individual Christian.

Presentation #14: This presentation focusses on the thirteenth chapter of the textbook, which deals with the doctrine of the Trinity. This distinctively Christian idea has enjoyed a major resurgence in the last hundred years. This chapter explores the reasons why this way of thinking about God emerged, and how best to make sense of it, including engagement with six significant approaches to the doctrine which many find helpful.

Presentation #15: This presentation focusses on the fourteenth chapter of the textbook, which deals with the Christian understandings of human nature and divine grace, including their complex interplay. The chapter explores the emergence of Christian understandings of sin and grace, as well as the way in which these interconnect. Particular attention is paid to the Pelagian controversy, which clarified these questions.

Presentation #16: This sixteenth presentation focusses Christian understandings of the nature of the church. Particular attention is paid to the Donatist controversy, which clarified these questions. The debate about the nature of the church resurged during the sixteenth century, when Protestant reformers developed theories of the church focussing on their theological – but not necessarily institutional – continuity with the apostolic period.

Presentation 17: This presentation focuses on the sixteenth chapter of the textbook, which deals with the Christian understandings of the nature of the sacraments. Debate has centred on how to define sacraments, what names should be used to refer to them, and the conditions under which they achieve their spiritual goals. Particular attention is paid to the Donatist controversy, which raised the question of whether sacraments work because of the moral purity of church leaders, or because of the grace of Christ. The sixteenth century saw new debates open up, when Protestant reformers recognized only two sacraments, and found it difficult to achieve any consensus on how the sacraments functioned.

Presentation 18: This presentation focusses on the seventeenth chapter of the textbook, which deals with Christian understandings of other religions. This chapter considers how Christian theology accommodated the existence of rival religious traditions, and looks at three modern approaches to this question.

Presentation 19: This final presentation focuses on the eighteenth and final chapter of the textbook, which deals with the Christian hope. This chapter on Christian eschatology explores the development of Christian understandings of the ‘last things’ from the New Testament to the present day, including detailed engagement with some significant theological voices. This presentation also includes some final thoughts on what reader of the textbook might do next.