What does that even mean?

***Disclaimer: I received this book from InterVarsityPress (IVP, IVPress) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine.

Whenever you step into a Bible, theology, or religion class, you can expect to learn great amounts of information in whatever you are studying (i.e., New Testament class, Introduction to Theology, etc.) and will surely have a copious amount of reading from primary and secondary sources. Consequently, within these sources and your textbook(s) there are words you have no clue to their meaning. Suddenly I am flashing back to the fifth and sixth grade and “context clues.” Even then, it is difficult to find the meaning (or, in some cases, meanings).

Sometimes our most humbling moments come from admiting we do not know the definition to a particular word. It is for these types of moments, and others, that Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordlin’s “Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms” would be a valuable resource for the beginning (and even “enduring”) theologian. There are so many words in theological jargon used casually that for the beginning theologian can be difficult and daunting to navigate. Theology is the maze and the walls are supposed to be clues but are in Greek when all you know is English. Now, this book will not help you with your Greek, but, it will suddenly make unknown theological terms appear in English to where you will be able to understand them.

This is not a comprehensive volume. By that I mean it is very thin; a whopping 300 terms. Surely, and there is, another volume would be thicker if you wished, but for its size and purpose this “pocket dictionary” is great. I suppose that is what “concise” means. As it says on the back:

“Beginning to study theology is like stepping into a conversation that has been going on for two thousand years.”

Truthful words and sometimes people shy away from asking “what does that mean” when it appears they are expected to know a particular term or terms. However, most professors have told me and others that it is better to ask for clarity than to presume and be incorrect.

This concise and clear pocket dictionary is perfect for those crunch moments before a test or reviewing words as you write a sermon or paper, it is perfect for those occasions and every where in between.

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