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What Ecclesial & Theological Background Does Michael Bird Bring to "Evangelical Theology"?
One of the things I appreciate about Michael Bird's new Evangelical Theology is that from the beginning he is honest and transparent about his own ecclesiastical and theological starting point; he puts his cards on the table.
In his introductory chapter, he reveals his own denominational background as Baptist, Reformed, Presbyterian, and Anglican. "Strange as it sounds," Bird writes, "I would describe myself as an ex-Baptist post-Presbyterian Anglican." (23)
As for his theological leanings Bird says, "first and foremost I am a follower of Jesus; second I consider myself an evangelical; and third, I identify with the Reformed tradition. As a self-identified Reformed type, I thereby gravitate toward the Calvinistic scheme of theology." It's this latter facet that he explores in our video today.
In the video below Bird says that people will be naturally interested in his theological position if they are going to pick up and read his new book. So he authentically shares some of his theological background and perspective in writing Evangelical Theology, particularly what he means by Calvinism.
But though he is honest and passionate about his Reformed theological leanings, he makes it clear that he is also trying to dialogue with a wide number of traditions. "My Reformed heritage is the vein that I tap into to answer the questions," Bird says, "but I'm also aware there are other voices to be heard."
As an Arminian that's part of the Evangelical Covenant Church, I appreciate Bird laying his cards on the table, while also transcending them in order to give all traditions a fair say. And reading through his contribution, it is clear he succeeds in holding to his Reformed convictions without letting the book become a Reformed-only book.
Enjoy the video and be sure to enter our contest for a chance to win one of 25 copies of his book! (Contest ends tonight, 10/31/13 at midnight.)
-Jeremy Bouma, ThM (@bouma)
Can't see the video? Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuNK6pVrClw
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