What is the foundation of theology?
In this monumental work—the “first things” of a multi-volume, comprehensive theological system—Norman R. Gulley argues pervasively and persuasively that Scripture, and Scripture alone, must be the sole foundation of authentic evangelical Christian faith.
According to Gulley, theology should not depend on philosophy, science, reason, tradition or experience but on Scripture alone. His argument stands in contrast to recent influential evangelical theologians who consider Scripture only a witness to revelation, and not revelation itself. According to Gulley, God is thus removed from His Word in the same way others have removed Him from His world. He argues that this emptying of Scripture of its propositional, cognitive revelation deconstructs the basis of the evangelical movement.
Gulley’s view of sola scriptura drives his detailed, sweeping and balanced critique of the major underlying themes, issues and philosophies that have informed some other theological systems. From Parmenides and the timeless view of God in ancient Greece to a detailed analysis of 21st-century dispensational theology, Gulley ranges easily over millennia, showing how different concepts and philosophies have affected the premise of sola scriptura for good or ill.
Aptly subtitled Prolegomena, this ambitious work functions as an excellent introduction to theological thought. It is designed for general use and for the serious student of theology who will appreciate the opening summary of each chapter’s contents, and the concluding study questions. It also serves as an introduction to the next volume which unfolds Gulley’s system within the biblical cosmic controversy worldview.
From the foreword by Millard J. Erickson
“This volume is just the first in an extended treatment of the doctrines of the Christian faith, but is indispensable reading because here Gulley lays the foundations for all that will follow. The excellence of what we find here creates a strong expectation of the benefit this series will be to the entire church of Jesus Christ.”
“Norman Gulley’s Prolegomena is an encyclopedic introduction to systematic theology that is philosophically penetrating, historically informed, and biblically faithful. A compelling contribution to the scholarly study of the ‘queen of the sciences,’ it is particularly relevant to the challenges and opportunities presented by the postmodern world.”
Bruce Demarest, Professor of Theology and Spiritual Formation
Denver Seminary, Denver, Colorado
“Norman Gulley’s Prolegomena is an outstanding contribution to the field of evangelical theology. . . . It is a wealth of information that will be extremely helpful for a new generation of theology students.”
David S. Dockery, President
Union University, Jackson, Tennessee
“This systematic theology is an impressive undertaking. Deeply rooted in the witness of Holy Scripture, it is richly textured by dialogue with current trends and contemporary thinkers. Norman Gulley writes as a theologian of the church and I commend his work to all God’s people everywhere.”
Timothy George, Dean
Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
and Executive Editor, Christianity Today
“Dr. Gulley writes with conviction, yet expresses himself with serenity, as he surveys a wide body of knowledge concerning the Bible, revelation and interpretation. Though conversant with the gamut of belief systems, he consistently upholds an evangelical position on these doctrines. He cites some of his denominational writings, but they are not prominent in his treatment. Gulley steers down the center lane of biblical inerrancy.”
James A. Borland, Professor of New Testament and Theology
Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia
Secretary-Treasurer, Evangelical Theological Society
“Professor Gulley proposes as needed a theology that confronts postmodernity, not by accommodation but by setting forth a clear alternative. . . . Building on general revelation, on the Scriptures as revelation which is propositional, on the Bible as inerrant in the sense of ‘entirely trustworthy,’ on a strictly construed sola scriptura, and on a biblical hermeneutic recognizing authorial intent, divine as well as human, Gulley proposes. . . in evangelical theology for the postmodern era which is anchored in a soteriologically centered biblical worldview.”
James Leo Garrett, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Theology
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas
Click here to read a sample from this book.
Chapter One: Major Philosophers and Scientists—Their Impact on Theology
Chapter Two: The Impact of Major Philosophical Movements on Theology
Chapter Three: Foundationalism
Chapter Four: What Is Systematic Theology?
Chapter Five: God’s General Revelation
Chapter Six: Scripture As Revelation
Chapter Seven: Biblical Inspiration
Chapter Eight: Scripture As Trustworthy
Chapter Nine: Scripture As Authority
Chapter Ten: Biblical Worldview
Chapter Eleven: Postmodern Worldview—Its Challenge to Theology
Chapter Twelve: History of Biblical Hermeneutics—Rabbinic to Post-Reformation
Chapter Thirteen: History of Biblical Hermeneutics—Enlightenment to Postmodernity
Chapter Fourteen: Biblical Hermeneutics
Chapter Fifteen: Dispensational Hermeneutics
Norman R. Gulley is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee and holds a Ph.D. degree in Systematic Theology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has worked in the Far East and in the United States during a long career of pastoring, teaching, academic administration, professional society involvement, writing and extensive worldwide travel as a visiting lecturer. He has authored several books including Is the majority moral?, Christ Our Substitute, and Christ Is Coming! as well as more than 150 professional papers and popular articles on a wide range of issues in theology and practical religion. He is an active member of the Evangelical Theological Society and is a past president of the Adventist Theological Society. He lives with his wife Leona near Red Clay State Park in Tennessee.