An Exploration of Christian Theology, 2nd Edition

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This introduction to Christian theology explores the whole Christian tradition in a simple and straightforward way. Leading Wesleyan theologian Don Thorsen surveys the theological views represented within historic Christianity and discusses the variety of positions held without favoring one over another. The book includes helpful end-of-chapter questions for further reflection and discussion, a convenient glossary of theological terms, and sidebars. The second edition is marked by a thorough updating of the text and the addition of two new chapters on apologetics and the future of the unevangelized.


Part 1: Basics of Theology
1. Theology
2. Revelation
3. Authority
4. Scripture
5. Apologetics
Part 2: God
6. Who Is God?
7. The Trinity
8. Knowing God
9. The Works of God
Part 3: Creation
10. Creation
11. Providence and Evil
Part 4: Humanity
12. The Image of God
13. The Human Person
Part 5: Sin
14. What Is Sin?
15. The Nature of Sin
Part 6: Jesus Christ
16. Who Is Jesus Christ?
17. The Incarnation
18. The Works of Jesus Christ
Part 7: The Holy Spirit
19. Who Is the Holy Spirit?
20. The Works of the Spirit
Part 8: Salvation
21. God's Grace and Our Choice
22. What Is Salvation?
23. Living as a Christian
24. Christian Spirituality
Part 9: The Church
25. The Church
26. Ministry
27. The Means of Grace
Part 10: The Future
28. Eschatology
29. Future of the Unevangelized
30. Heaven and Hell
Epilogue: From Theory to Practice


"Thorsen provides a guide through theology that is helpful for those curious about Christianity and those seeking to understand the breadth of the tradition. Insightful and fiercely fair, this book is a model of generosity and faithfulness."

Vincent Bacote, Wheaton College

"Don Thorsen has created an accessible work that will be a valuable resource for all students of theology. Whether one is searching for answers to challenging questions or seeking faith, this uniquely ecumenical approach to theology will provide a roadmap. This excellent exploration of theology draws one into the practical notions of the Christian life."

Carla Sunberg, general superintendent, Church of the Nazarene

"Don Thorsen has given us a gift with this comprehensive 'exploration' of the Christian faith. I have known and worked with Professor Thorsen on ecumenical projects over the last two decades. True to all of his work, he adheres to a set of principles, among them a commitment to theological precision and historical accuracy, as he approaches what is a complex task, even as he pursues his ultimate goal of teaching and indeed preaching, in logical fashion and plain language, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The reader--whether a student new to the material or a pastor or scholar familiar with it--will appreciate his depth of thinking and his translation of difficult concepts into easy-to-understand explanations. Perhaps what I find most compelling about this treatment of Christianity is its underlying premise that it should serve as a bridge between one's stated beliefs and one's practice of life, between studying theology (theoretical) and living our lives (practical). I'm sure others will find this equally as compelling."

Antonios Kireopoulos, associate general secretary, National Council of Churches, USA

The Author

  1. Don Thorsen

    Don Thorsen

    Don Thorsen (PhD, Drew University) is professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. His previous books include An Exploration of Christian Theology, What Christians Believe about the Bible, and The Wesleyan...

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