As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grows in influence and visibility throughout the world, interfaith conversations will no doubt increase. Unfortunately, too few Latter-day Saints have sufficient knowledge of traditional Christian theology to carry on any but the most superficial of conversations with adherents of other faiths. Roger E. Olson’s new book, The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform can serve as a reliable resource for closing this knowledge gap.
The Story of Christian Theology is a very reader-friendly book. While the author, a professor of theology at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, sees his book as a “refresher course” for Christian clergy, his audience is primarily the “untutored Christian layperson or student.” The author hopes to contribute to Christian discipleship by increasing theological understanding. To this end, Olson writes in a clear and engaging style. He recounts the history of Christian theology in story form, presenting over eighteen centuries of christian thinkers who had in their theologizing (as they saw it) nothing less than humanity’s eternal salvation at stake.