Essentials of Evangelical Theology

Volume Two: Life, Ministry, & Hope

© 1979  Donald G. Bloesch

HarperCollins, New York, NY All Rights Reserved


1. Evangelicalism. 2. Theology, Doctrinal. 3. Bloesch, Donald G. — 1928-2010 — v. 2. — Essentials of evangelical theology  
LC Class: BR1640 .B54 vol. 2 BT75.2 ~~ Dewey: 230.8 B652 ~~ OCLC: 954755477 ~~ LCCN: 78003140 ~~ 315p.

Essentials of Evangelical Theology Volume 2 is presently held by 122 libraries including Indiana University (Bloomington) and the San Antonio Public Library

Table of Contents

Preface ... xi

I. Introduction ... 1

Notes ... 5

II. The New Birth ... 6

The Meaning of Regeneration ... 6

The New Birth and Experience ... 10

Baptism by Water and the Spirit ... 11

Continual Conversion ... 15

Erroneous Interpretations ... 19

Notes ... 27

III. Scriptural Holiness ... 31

The Call to Holiness ... 31

Justification and Sanctification ... 41


IV. The Cruciality of Preaching ... 71

Preaching as a Means of Grace ... 71

Preaching the Whole Counsel of God ... 83

Reformed Worship ... 87

Biblical versus Cultural Preaching   92

Notes ... 98

V. The Priesthood of All Believers ... 104

Priesthood in the Bible ... 104

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit ... 107

Historical Development ... 110

The Ministry of the Word and Sacraments ... 118

Toward a Catholic Balance ... 123

Notes ... 128

VI. Two Kingdoms ... 131

The Biblical Testimony ... 131

Development in Catholic Thought ... 135

Reformation and Post-Reformation Perspectives ... 138

Modern Discussion ... 142

A Theological Reappraisal ... 147

Notes ... 151

VII. ... The Church's Spiritual Mission ... 155

The New Testament Perspective ... 156

Witness of the Church Tradition ... 158

Reinterpreting the Church Tradition ... 164

Evangelism and Social Concern ... 167

Notes ... 171

VIII. The Personal Return of Christ ... 174

Current Issues in Eschatology ... 174

The Second Advent ... 179

The Resurrection of the Dead ... 183

The Millennium ... 189

Notes ... 204

IX. Heaven and Hell ... 211

Promise and Warning ... 211

The Historical Controversy ... 214

Universalism and Particularism in Karl Barth ... 220

The Twofold Outcome ... 224

Notes ... 230

X. How Distinctive is Evangelicalism? ... 235

Confusion in Terminology ... 235

Supreme Authority of the Word of God ... 239

The Transcendent God ... 242

The Radical Pervasiveness of Sin ... 244

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ ... 247

The Free Gift of Salvation ... 250

Inward Religion ... 257

Notes ... 260

XI. Toward the Recovery of Biblical Faith ... 265

The Outlook for Evangelicalism ... 265

The Need to Reappraise Biblical Authority ... 269

The Need to Rediscover Evangelical Distinctives ... 275

The Need to Recover Catholic Substance ... 278

Toward a Catholic Evangelicalism ... 283

Notes ... 290

Scripture Index (not included here) ... 299

Name Index (not included here) ... 304

Subject Index (not included here) ... 311

From the Jacket of the Book

This volume completes one of the finest and newest American Christian systematic theologies. Essentials of Evangelical Theology blends illuminating scholarship with balanced judgment, while remaining rooted in the classical tradition of reformation theology and informed by biblical spirituality. It focuses and clarifies the distinctive aspects of Evangelicalism as it lays the foundations for productive dialogue with others in the Christian tradition.

Donald G. Bloesch is Professor of Systematic Theology at Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa. He is the author or editor of seventeen books, including the recently published Struggle of Prayer. Dr. Bloesch received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has done postdoctoral work at the Universities of Oxford, Tubingen, and Basel. He has served as President of the Midwest Division of the American Theological Society.

In praise of Essentials of Evangelical Theology, Volume 2:

"A major American systematic theology ... presents evangelical convictions in the light of a comprehensive awareness of historical and contemporary theology." — Sojourners

"Extensive and comprehensive." — Eternity


While the first volume of Essentials of Evangelical Theology concerned the themes of God, authority, and salvation, this second volume focuses on life, ministry, and hope. At the same time in the discussion of evangelical distinctives and strategy in the last two chapters, I shall recapitulate and amplify some points that have been made earlier.

   It is my intention in these volumes to reconceive evangelicalism so that it can become an effective force for renewal in the church. Too often in the past evangelicalism has been divisive and has drained needed energy and resources from the established churches. It would nevertheless be unfair to blame all these schisms on evangelicalism, since a protest had to be registered against the drift into a latitudinarianism and modernism that sundered the church from its biblical and historical roots. Moreover, reformers and prophets of an evangelical stripe were not tolerated in many denominations, and the dissidents had to withdraw if they were to maintain their integrity. In this task of reinterpretation I wish, by all means, to avoid a nebulous evangelicalism where the lines between true biblical faith and liberalism are blurred; instead, I seek an evangelicalism that is historically informed and theologically profound.

   In a time when Christianity is being translated into social and psychotherapeutic commitment, evangelicalism, with its emphasis on the fundamentals of biblical ... 

I. Introduction

The need for evangelicalism left.

II. The New Birth

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16        


   Of the various m

III. Spiritual Holiness

For dominion belongs

In a time of religious

IV. The Cruciality of Preaching

Every word of God proves true .... Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Proverbs 30:5-6        

Its Divine Authority

   Evangelical t

V. The Priesthood of All Believers

Sin lurks deep

The Grandeur and Misery of Mankind

   The Bible .

VI. Two Kingdoms

For to us a child      

The Struggle With Liberalism

   Evangelical theology

VII. The Church's Spiritual Mission

For our sake

The Biblical Understanding

   Evangelical theology contends .

VIII. The Personal Return of Christ

No one can come

The Gift of Grace in Biblical Perspective

   The Scriptures are

IX. Heaven and Hell

And he believed

The Meaning of Faith

   The Scriptures make

X. How Distinctive Is Evangelicalism?

And he believed

The Meaning of Faith

   The Scriptures make

XI. Toward the Recovery of Biblical Faith

The Outlook for Evangelicalism

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