A Grammar of Christian Faith is a two-volume set that aims to confront the widespread disarray in the language and practices of Christian faith today. As a 'grammar,' it explains how Christian faith provides special ways of speaking and acting that make sense of human life by giving it meaning, practicality, and hope. It advances the thesis that learning how to speak Christian language in worship and life is crucial to learning how to be a Christian. Rather than supposing that Christian language and theology need continual updating in order to be relevant to the world, Jones urges the church to recover anew how Christian concepts and understanding are intended to form Christian life in all its rich depths. Construing theology as confessional theology in the context of the church, Jones understands the church as that liberative and redemptive community called into being by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to witness in word and deed the triune God for the benefit of the world. The full range of doctrinal themes that are deemed essential to the witness of the church are explored, including clear explanations of why they are essential and how they are to be understood. In pursuit of a truthful and beneficial witness of the church, the work centers on a trinitarian understanding of God, in which God freely and lovingly interacts with the world as Creator, Reconciler, and Redeemer. The work throughout affirms the belief that the gracious triune God is the Ultimate Companion who will redeem all creation.
Joe R. Jones is professor emeritus of theology and ethics at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Author of a number of articles on Christian and Jewish theologies, he holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma and Yale University.
Part 1 Volume I Part 2 Chapter 1: The Context and Task of Christian Theology Chapter 3 Language, Grammar, and Understanding Chapter 4 On Clarifying the Concepts of Pragmatics and Practice Chapter 5 Some Basic Theses about Language Chapter 6 Proposals for the Meaning of 'Theology' Chapter 7 A Theological Definition of the Church Chapter 8 The Church's Witness as Summoned to Accountability Chapter 9 The Task of Systematic Theology Chapter 10 Systematic Theology, Dogmatics, and Apologetics Chapter 11 The Dialectic between Church and World Chapter 12 Some Diagnostic Points about the Situation of the North American Church and the World Today Part 13 Chapter 2: Revelation and the Knowledge of God Chapter 14 Biblical Notes Chapter 15 Notes from Traditions Chapter 16 Interlude: Some Diagnostic Notes about Knowings Chapter 17 Epistemology and Confessional Theology Chapter 18 The Grammar of God's Self-Revelation in Jesus Christ Chapter 19 God's Self-Revelation, the Bible, and Human Discourses and Practices Chapter 20 The Grammar of Faith as Knowledge of God Chapter 21 Knowledge of God Apart from God's Special Self-Revelations Chapter 22 Jesus Christ and Continuing Revelation in the Church Chapter 23 Further Notes on the Christian Grammar of 'Truth' Part 24 Chapter 3: Sources and Norms of Theology as Dialectical Confession and Profession Chapter 25 Theology and the Presiding Model of the Gospel Chapter 26 The Basic Sources of Theology Chapter 27 The Bible as the Church's Holy Scripture Chapter 28 Church Traditions Chapter 29 Grammar and the Development of Doctrine Chapter 30 Theology as the Discourse of Dialectical Confession and Profession Part 31 Chapter 4: The Triune God Chapter 32 Language About God Chapter 33 Patriarchy and 'Father' Language Chapter 34 Some Notes from Church History Chapter 35 Puzzles in the Contemporary Discussions of Trinity Chapter 36 The Grammar of God's Self-Identifications Chapter 37 The Grammar of God's Unity, Multiplicity, Relationality, and Complexity Chapter 38 The Grammar of God as the Triune One Who Loves in Freedom Chapter 39 The Grammar of God's Essence and God's Actuality Chapter 40 The Grammar of the Immanent Trinity Chapter 41 The Grammar of God's Essential Attributes Chapter 42 The Grammar of God's Self-Determined Relational Attributes Chapter 43 The Grammar of God's Transcendence and Immanence Part 44 Chapter 5: God the Creator: Creation, Providence, and Evil Chapter 45 Orientation to the Doctrine Chapter 46 Biblical Notes Chapter 47 Basic Elements of the Grammar of God the Creator Chapter 48 The Grammar of the Providence of God Chapter 49 Further Issues in the Grammar of God's Action in Relation to the World Chapter 50 The Grammar of Evil and Theodicy Chapter 51 Creation Pragmatics Part 52 Chapter 6: Human Being as Created and Sinful Chapter 53 Human Being as Creaturely Being Chapter 54 Human Being as Personal Being Chapter 55 Human Being as Spiritual Being Chapter 56 Jesus the True Human Being Chapter 57 Preliminary Observations on Human Sin Chapter 58 Knowledge of Sin in Jesus Christ Chapter 59 The Origin of Sin Chapter 60 Exploring Multiple Shapes and Faces of Sin Chapter 61 The Consequences of Sin and Jesus Christ Part 62 Volume II Part 63 Chapter 7: The Person of Jesus Christ Chapter 64 Orientation to Christology Chapter 65 Some Problems of Faith and History Chapter 66 A Theological/Historical Schematic Narrative of the Actual Jesus Chapter 67 The Grammar of Christological Titles in the New Testament Chapter 68 Notes from Church History Chapter 69 The Grammar of the Identity of the Human Jesus as the Incarnate God Chapter 70 The Grammar of Jesus' Identity as the Messianic Bearer of the Spirit Chapter 71 Some Further Questions Part 72 Chapter 8: The Work of Jesus Christ Chapter 73 Some Elements of the New Testament Witness Chapter 74 Atonement Issues and the Salvific Work of Jesus Chapter 75 The Grammar of Jesus the Prophet Chapter 76 The Grammar of Jesus the Priest Chapter 77 The Grammar of Jesus the Victor Chapter 78 The Grammar of Jesus' Work and Human Salvation Chapter 79 Narrative and the Rationale of God's Salvific Work Part 80 Chapter 9: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Chapter 81 The Trinitarian Context of the Doctrine Chapter 82 The Witness of Scripture Chapter 83 Notes from Tradition Chapter 84 A Constructive Grammar of the Holy Spirit Chapter 85 A Schematic Grammar of Salvation Part 86 Chapter 10: The Christian Life Chapter 87 The Grammar of Just Deserts and Justification by Grace Chapter 88 The Grammar of Faith and the Christian Life Chapter 89 The Grammar of Christian Freedom Chapter 90 The Grammar of Sanctification Chapter 91 The Grammar of Discipleship Chapter 92 The Grammar of the Works and Passions of Agapic Love Chapter 93 The Grammar of Christian Vocation Chapter 94 Summary Part 95 Chapter 11: The Doctrine of Church Chapter 96 Images of the Church in the New Testament Chapter 97 Notes from Church History Chapter 98 Basic Ecclesial Grammar Chapter 99 The Ecclesial Grammar of the Practices of the Body of Christ Chapter 100 The Nurturing Practices of the Body of Christ Chapter 101 The Outreach Practices of the Body of Christ Chapter 102 The Administrative Practices of the Body of Christ Chapter 103 The Ecclesial Grammar of Unity, Diversity, and Boundaries Chapter 104 The Dialectic between Church and World Part 105 Chapter 12: Proclamation, Sacraments, and Prayer Chapter 106 The Grammar of Proclamation Chapter 107 The Grammar of 'Sacrament' Chapter 108 The Grammar of Baptism Chapter 109 The Grammar of the Lord's Supper Chapter 110 The Grammar of Prayer Part 111 Chapter 13: Christian Hope and Eschatology Chapter 112 The Grammar of Hope as a General Human Phenomenon Chapter 113 The Grammar of Christian Hope as Eschatological Existence Chapter 114 The Grammar of Hope and Historic Redemption: Everyday Futurity Chapter 115 The Grammar of Hope and Historic Redemption: Works of Love and the Kingdom of God Chapter 116 Interlude: Is there a Dual Destiny? Chapter 117 The Grammar of Hope and Ultimate Redemption: Death and Eternal Life Chapter 118 The Grammar of Hope and Ultimate Redemption: The End of All Things in God's Absolute Future