Nearly a decade after his death (March 12, 2005), this collection of essays honors the contributions of Stanley Grenz to Christian scholarship. The editors are correct that at the time of his death, “few theologians were shaping conversations in North American Evangelical theology like Stanley Grenz” (p. xvii). Even his critics acknowledge the impact he had on theological conversations of the time. His death has left a significant hole in evangelicalism. He was a gentleman and a scholar, a man who, in the words of his friend Roger Olson, was “a complex combination of humility and ambition” (p. xiii).
This collection of essays honors the man and his legacy by engaging with his works and his ideas. The editors explain that the “contributors to this book consist of [some of] those friends of Stanley Grenz who were influenced and remain indebted to his contribution to evangelical scholarship” (p. xx). After an introductory biographical sketch, credited to the three editors, essays are arranged thematically. Three essays address each of these topics: the Trinity, Community, Eschatology, Scripture, Tradition, and Culture. A conclusion includes an excellent essay by Derek Tidwell, surveying evangelical theology in this century. He proposes a quadrilateral of characteristics of evangelicalism: biblical in focus, preoccupied with the gospel, contextual in character, and gracious in style (pp. 420–28). This is the evangelical theology that Stanley Grenz practiced and modeled in his tragically shortened time. The book concludes with the memorial sermon delivered by the Grenz family pastor, Bruce Milne.
This festschrift is important because of the legacy of the man it honors. It is also important because the themes and doctrines that attracted the interest and the skills of Stanley Grenz continue to deserve attention. Each of the authors in the volume is a respected theologian and scholar, and each one has written an essay deserving of attention. But above all, this volume will remind the reader of the impact this man has had upon evangelical theology. He is sorely missed.
About the Contributors
Prior to teaching at DTS, Dr. Kreider served as Director of Christian Education and then as Senior Pastor in Cedar Hill, TX. His research and writing interests include Jonathan Edwards, theological method, theology and popular culture, and our eschatological hope. Dr. Kreider believes that grace really is amazing; it is a thought that will change the world. He is married to his best friend, Janice, and they have two grown children and one granddaughter, Marlo Grace. He and Janice enjoy live music, good stories, bold coffee, and spending time together and with their rescue dogs—a terrier/greyhound mix named Chloe and a black lab named Carlile.