Students with a basic English proficiency struggle to benefit from the wealth of English language theological resources. This textbook bridges the gap between intermediate English and theological English by providing an overview of evangelical Christian doctrine that couples language instruction with theological education. The reading passages and learning activities, which focus upon particular doctrinal topics, guide students through content designed to grow their theological English proficiency. Discipline-specific language is highlighted in each chapter, and the range of tasks engages learners in critical thinking and application. As a result, students will improve their ability to interact with a much greater range of theological materials, while progressing in their English language skills.
This creative course material allows students to “kill two birds with one stone,” in that they can study the English language and theology at the same time. I am most impressed with the fact that the language study does not go atthe expense of the theological content: the discussion of the five Christian doctrines covered in the book are in no way “dumbed down” – rather, students are helped through a variety of learning activities to live up to the challenge of understanding genuine biblical truths. Likewise with the readings, rather than opting for simplified texts, the authors introduce passages from theologians such as Barth and Vanhoozer, and then equip the learners to engage with their arguments. In this way, the book delivers both food for thought and the necessary ingredients. I take my hat off to the authors for successfully achieving what I would barely have thought possible!
Zoltán Dörnyei, PhD
Professor of Psycholinguistics,
University of Nottingham, UK
Will Bankston and Cheri Pierson have done the global church another great service with this book! Students bound for theological study will find in these pages the concepts, vocabulary, and grammar that will support their continual growth in Theological English (TE). By focusing on selected doctrines (the Trinity, Christology, revelation, soteriology, and creation), they ensure that students are exposed to fundamental teachings of the Christian faith while they build up their language skills in engaging contexts.
Pierce Taylor Hibbs
Associate Director, Theological Curriculum and Instruction,
Westminster Theological Seminary, Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA
When readers start using this they will be helped by its organisation, which makes it accessible to new readers of English without in any way watering down its subject.
Honorary Research Fellow,
The University of Auckland, New Zealand
This book is a much-needed act of service to the global church. While large quantities of biblical and theological resources are available in English, there has been a serious lack of theological English language learning materials.Exploring Doctrine steps into that gap and unlocks – with generous portions of church history! – the specialized English that the average international Bible college or seminary student needs to access these resources.
Bradley Baurain, PhD
Associate Professor of TESOL,
Moody Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois, USA
International Journal of Christian and English Language Teaching
There has long been a dearth of quality materials to use in helping English language learners with theological English – a language that is more than usually nuanced and significant. Bankston and Pierson have made a first-rate contribution to filling this gap with this useful volume.
David Broersma, PhD
Associate Professor of TESOL and Linguistics,
Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee, USA