Having recently begun reading and using Southern Seminary theology professor Gregg Allison’s Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine (Zondervan, 2011), I can say that it is easily one of the most helpful books on my shelf. If you are a pastor, a theologian, a Bible teacher, Sunday School teacher, care group leader, or interested layperson, this book will directly benefit you.
I don’t know of any resource quite like Allison’s text, now published after a decade of continual research and writing. If you want to consider how various eminent figures have handled, say, the doctrine of the image of God, you simply find the relevant chapter and then begin reading. Allison has made a great deal of research in history and theology a great deal easier for many of us.
Clearly written, warmly evangelical, and with excellent source-work (very helpful for papers and other writing projects), Historical Theology is a must-buy for those who are serious about their faith and the Christian past. The companion to the best modern systematic theology, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, Historical Theology is one of those books that you find yourself wishing was written–and now is.