Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology: Finding your own voice, by Dr Val Webb

Testing Tradition...By putting the study of theology into its historical context, Dr Val Webb’s book should be mandatory for  all contemplating serious theological study. It is comprehensive with chapters covering the definitions and history of theology through the last 2000 years. It is particularly valuable because of  ts autobiographical thread which covers Dr Webb’s own lay theological journey of discovery from the early certainties of an evangelical faith to the doubts that modernity and  post-modernity throws at us.

This brings Dr Webb’s book into the heart of contextual theology. Covered are: church, liberation, feminist, process and ecological theologies that emerge out of this approach. As the title of  the book suggests Dr Webb does not avoid the challenges facing the church in constructing a syllabus for ‘lay theological education’ that balances the claims of supernatural versus natural revelation. In particular, the view of ordination that developed in church history, but was challenged by the Reformation where the passing of the apostolic succession by the laying on of hands  granted a special privilege. A privilege which often consigned the laity to second-class status in theological discourse.

Richard Smith

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