For pastors, missionaries, students, and others Leer esta página en español.
Read them online. Copy them to your own computer or to CDs. Print them for your own library. Send copies to those who need them. Quote from them freely. Use the full books, or just those small portions which you need right now. To God be the glory!
"Theology From Below" is about doing theology from "below" the seminary level, i.e. the kind of theology we all do all the time. "Theology" is from "Theo" (God) and "logy" (study of). So, "Theology" is the "Study of God". Anytime we think or talk about God or any of his actions or attributes, we're doing Theology!
At the 2011 Gospel Coalition Conference (April 12-14, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, USA), it was mentioned that over 75,000 new believers are being added to the church worldwide every day. Also, up to 85% of pastors in Africa, Asia, and South America have no formal seminary training, and many of them have no access to any theology books.
A new "Text-to-Give" campaign was announced to raise $46,000 to send out 10,000 copies of D.A. Carson's book, The God Who is There, to English speaking countries around the world. (D.A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.)
This was a worthy cause, and I made such a contribution myself.
But I also felt called to do something more. And, so, that's what this website is about: Free Theology Books for pastors, missionaries, students, and others.
At the 2011 Wheaton Theology Conference on Global Theology (April 7-9, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, USA), Gene Green, Professor of New Testament at Wheaton, said, "Every theology is related to the culture within which it exists... One cannot do theology from the balcony; but only from the dust and dirt of the road... Global Theology is reading from below - with those who have been on the margins of theological discourse."
Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Missionary to El Salvador, said, "The practice of theology is community business... It's not a group of theologians, but rather gatherings of evangelical Christians for Bible study... All God's people are called to theologize in community... not to just concentrate on propositional constructs... but to apply theology to concrete situations of daily lives."
And Samuel Escobar, President of the Latin American Theological Fraternity, said we should all be "missionaries 'from below' - a quiet word at the right time in the right place."
Finally, Jeffrey Greenman, the Associate Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College, closed with, "Our glorious individualism in the West needs to be informed by the corporate togetherness of the global theologies."
What I took away from those two conferences is: You don't have to be a Professor to do theology. "Theology" is defined as the Study of God, and we can all do it.
That doesn't mean it's simple or easy. Nor does it mean you can be ready to make a serious contribution without a lot of study and hard work.
But, it does mean that a heart, committed to speeding the Gospel of Jesus Christ onwards to those whom God has prepared to receive it, can make useful contributions even without formal seminary training.
And so, I'm providing this website, TheologyFromBelow.org , as part of my own walk within the worldwide community of believers.
You'll need the free Adobe Reader to access the books and documents on this site. If you don't already have it, you can get it at http://get.adobe.com/reader/ .
Much of what I'm publishing on this website is presented in English, mostly because English is my native language. But, English is an official language in 53 countries and is spoken (at least as a second language) by 1/5 of the world's population (1.7 billion people).
I'm now also learning Spanish with the RosettaStone system. So I hope to eventually translate much of what I'm presenting here into Spanish as well.
Please use this website freely to further the cause of Jesus Christ and His kingdom in your own walk.
But, please read my contributions here with discernment. Be a Berean.
"Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11, NASB).
If you find anything of value within these pages, please give God all the glory.
If you find anything that is questionable or in error, the fault is entirely mine. Please let me know about any problems, typos, or other errata you may discover:
M. David Johnson