Doctrine: Systematic Theology, Volume II

McClendon, James William, Jr. Doctrine: Systematic Theology, Volume II. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1994.

Following on Ethics: Systematic Theology, Volume I, McClendon addresses the question: What must the church teach? Shaped by a Baptist perspective, the book helps to locate the proper place for the heritage of Radical Reform. The essential theme of McClendon's work is regular practice: "there are no Christian doctrines apart from the practice of doctrine." Part I explores the basileia tou theou- -the rule of God as the end toward which everything tends. Part II examines the question "who or what is the God we are meant to trust, serve, and worship?" in terms of three issues: What right has Jesus Christ to absolute Lordship? How can monotheists tell the Jesus story as their own? How Christ-like are disciples' lives to be? Part III explores the life of the "gathering community" in the realm of God's rule in terms of assembly, signs or sacraments of salvation, the Holy Spirit and mission, ecstasy and intimacy. McClendon looks especially at the relationship between Christianity and Judaism in light of a local-church ecclesiology that shares the Baptist vision. The book concludes with an essay on authority that draws on 2 Cor. 13:14: "The authorities that under God we know are the love of God enjoyed, the grace of Christ written, the fellowship of the Spirit gathered. These remain proximate, imperfect, and for the time being."