The Legacy of Stanley Grenz

The following is an excerpt from John Franke’s foreword to Created for Community, 3rd Edition, by Stanley Grenz and Jay T. Smith.

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Cover ArtThe writings of Stanley Grenz remain one of the treasures of evangelical theology. He pioneered evangelical engagement with postmodern thought and culture, remaining faithful to the historic traditions of the church without being enslaved by them. His concern to bear witness to the truth of the gospel in a way that was comprehensible to contemporary people led him to be creative and innovative in connecting Christian faith to the day-to-day complexities of life and the shifting cultural landscape.

In order to do this most faithfully, he believed it was important to do the sort of rigorous scholarly research and analysis characteristic of academic inquiry as a means of demonstrating the coherence of the Christian vision. He also believed it was important to make the results of this work available in a form that could be grasped and appreciated by those in the church, many of whom were keenly interested in the contents, conversations, and controversies of their faith but who often had little interest in the intricacies and nuances of technical scholarship.

In keeping with this conviction, Stan wrote for both the academy and the church. On the academic side, the two published volumes of his projected six-volume The Matrix of Christian Theology series make a significant contribution to the field of systematic theology and set an agenda for one of the most ambitious undertakings of trinitarian theology in recent years. On the more generally accessible side, his book What Christians Really Believe & Why led one reviewer to consider whether Stan was the next C. S. Lewis.

The present work, Created for Community, brings together Stan’s commitment to doing serious thinking about the meaning of Christian faith in our time with his conviction that theology is not simply an intellectual enterprise for a few highly trained scholars. Rather, it is intended to be a transformative discipline that is ultimately in service to the life, witness, and mission of the church.

….In order to do justice to Stan’s approach to theology, this new edition has been capably updated by Dr. Jay Smith, who served as Stan’s research assistant for many years.

©2015 by Stanley J. Grenz and Jay T. Smith. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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For more information on Created for Community, click here.