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One of a Kind: The Relationship between Old and New Covenants as the Hermeneutical Key for Christian Theology of Religions

Overall, Sparks work is an interesting and worthwhile read for those who are new to theology of religions or those who are actively involved within the discussion. The author raises some serious issues that deserve attention, but the question remains whether or not the reader will find Sparks’ argument convincing. He leaves a number of problematic issues unresolved. For example, Sparks suggests that one can find types within other religions while simultaneously maintaining that God is not active within other religions. He concludes that these are elements of original monotheism, however, this is a theory based upon Wilhelm Schidmt’s outdated thesis. Most scholars of religion reject Schmidt’s speculation because there is no means to validate the beliefs of primitive religions (282). Regardless, this work provides the reader with sound research that spans theology of religions from the early Church to the contemporary scene. Parenthetically, many of the readers of The Pneuma Review may notice that Sparks’ interaction with Pentecostal scholars is limited. While he cites Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen on several occasions, his engagement with Amos Yong is absent. Sparks’ approach is noticeably christocentric, and one is left wondering how he would interact to Yong’s pneumatological approach to theology of religions.

Reviewed by David Bradnick

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Category: Biblical Studies, Summer 2011

About the Author: David Bradnick, Ph.D. Theological Studies (Regent University School of Divinity), is an instructor in the philosophy department at Stevenson University and York College of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is titled "Loosing and Binding the Spirits: An Emergentist Theology of the Demonic" (2015).

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