Christ and Reconciliation (CCTPW 1) // Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen.

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Christ and Reconciliation is the first of a (most ambitious) five-volume set–A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World (CCTPW). Here, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen’s fourfold focus (coherence, inclusive, dialogical, and hospitable) in light of Christian tradition (biblical and historical) is put to the test, and the results are impressive. This is truly an inclusive, dialogical, and hospitable work of systematic/constructive theology–probably one of the most without significant compromise–in recent decades. Kärkkäinen, professor of systematic theology (Fuller) and docent of ecumenics (Helsinki), displays his near-breadth-less vault of information–it is just absolutely staggering. However, this might be the set-back for such an impressive work: it reads more as a theological survey than a constructive (‘building up’) work of theology. So, as a resource, the CCTPW is absolutely invaluable for our ‘post- everything’ world (just see the endless bibliography at the end of each volume).

Christ and Reconciliation, arguably the heart of Christian theology, limits itself to the life and works of Jesus. Though both are inseparably linked, each is considered separably for heuristic purposes. Kärkkäinen is readable, though, at times, dry due to his expansive treatment.

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