Roger E. Olson, an Evangelical scholar, has an outstanding book entitled “The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform“. In it he traces the development of Christian theology throughout the ages, summarizing the contributions of the major players and events. I have gotten through the majority of the book, and while learning so much from him I have appreciated his easy to read style. Like Bart Ehrman, Olson has a gift for making a potentially boring subject matter into something fascinating.
One memorable quote from his book:
First of all, it must be understood that Irenaeus assumed a solidarity of humanity in both sin and redemption. That assumption is foreign to many modern Christians, who tend to think and live in a much more individualistic –if not atomistic– fasion. Irenaeus and his colleagues in the early church were no “Jesus-and-me” Christians. He believed and taught that what Adam did in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3) and what Jesus Christ did through his entire life (including his death) affected other human beings automatically. Adam and Jesus Christ (the “second Adam”) are not merely individuals but fountainheads of humanity. (page 75)
Dr. Olson’s book has recieved numerous awards including the 2000 Christianity Today Book of the Year Award for Theology/Ethics, and the 2000 ECPA Gold Medallion Award in Theology/Doctrine.