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Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world - often described as a kind of heaven on earth. But for the majority of its inhabitants it is hell.
Ghettoes are everywhere, and for those living in Manenberg - a coloured township on the Cape Flats, purpose-built by the apartheid government as part of its forced removal plan - life is just as marginal today as it was during apartheid. The main differences now are the rampant drug use and widespread gang presence. No Neutral Ground is the gripping account of Pete Portal's move from London in the U.K. to Manenberg, of addicts and gangsters meeting Jesus and being transformed, and how he went from living with a heroin addict to helping establish a church community - and all the heartbreak and failure along the way.
This is a story of mighty works of God, as well as relapse, hopelessness and despair; the miraculous and the mundane, heaven and hell, all balanced on a knife edge. Offering searing insight and an inspiring vision of faith, Pete asks why anyone would choose this way of life, if giving up our lives for others is worth it - and what the church could become if we were willing to risk it all to reach the forgotten and the lost.
We are living through a period of cultural climate change. We have outsourced morality to the markets on the one hand, and the state on the other. The markets have brought wealth to many, and the state has done much to contain the worst excesses of inequality, but neither is capable of bearing the moral weight of showing us how to live.
This has had a profound impact on society and the way in which we interact with each other. Traditional values no longer hold, yet recent political swings show that modern ideals of tolerance have left many feeling rudderless and adrift. In this environment we see things fall apart in unexpected ways - toxic public discourse makes true societal progress almost unattainable, a more divisive society is fuelled by identity politics and extremism, and the rise of a victimhood mentality calls for 'safe spaces' but stifles debate. The influence of social media seems all-pervading and the breakdown of the family is only one result of the loss of social capital. Many fear what the future may hold.
Delivering a devastatingly insightful critique of our modern condition, and assessing its roots and causes from the ancient Greeks through the Reformation and Enlightenment to the present day, Sacks argues that there is no liberty without morality, and no freedom without responsibility.
If we care about the future of western civilisation, all of us must play our part in rebuilding our common moral foundation. Then we will discover afresh the life-transforming and counterintuitive truths that a nation is strong when it cares for the weak, and rich when it cares for the poor.
Here is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place, and face the future without fear.
Christian Reflections on The Leadership Challenge gathers together in one place a remarkable collection of leaders who share insights on faith and leadership.
Well-grounded in research, this reflective and practical book shows how Christian leaders - no matter the setting - put into place The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:
The revered teacher and best-selling author reflects on the power, importance, and joy of a life dedicated to reading books in this delightful collection drawn from his wide body of writings. More than fifty years after his death, revered intellectual and teacher C. S. Lewis continues to speak to readers, thanks not only to his intellectual insights on Christianity but also his wondrous creative works and deep reflections on the literature that influenced his life. Beloved for his instructive novels including The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, and The Chronicles of Narnia as well as his philosophical books that explored theology and Christian life, Lewis was a life-long writer and book lover. Cultivated from his many essays, articles, and letters, as well as his classic works, The Reading Life provides guidance and reflections on the love and enjoyment of books. Engaging and enlightening, this well-rounded collection includes Lewis' reflections on science fiction, why children's literature is for readers of all ages, and why we should read two old books for every new one. A window into the thoughts of one of the greatest public intellectuals of our time, this collection reveals not only why Lewis loved the written word, but what it means to learn through literature from one of our wisest and most enduring teachers.
Willie Esterhuyse is 'n produk en kind van Suid-Afrika; wereldbekend as denker, spreker en raadgewer vir staatsleiers. Sy passie vir reis bring hom uit by oerbeskawings waar hy godsdiens se geboorte sien. Tydens besoeke aan Malta raak hy vertroud met die eilandjie se onstuimige voorgeskiedenis en erfenisterreine. Hy ontdek veral die arena vir die konflik tussen Christene en Moslems, 'n kwessie wat vandag die wereld aan die praat en vrees het. In opvolg van, God en die gode van Egipte, en Die God van Genesis, sluit hy die trilogie af met Geagte Jahwe. Meesterlik besluit hy om direk 11 briewe te rig aan God op sy Bybelse noemnaam, Jahwe. Hierin kan Willie vlymskerp die kernsake van ons tyd oopsny en basiese lewensvrae oopboor, soos die stryd tussen gelowe, ineenstorting van samelewings. Hy bied ook rigting vir soekende denkers oor 'n ander kyk op God vir ons tyd. Willie daag ons uit om verder te dink: met die "gees van omgee" wat verby die stukkkend en seer kyk - na 'n wereld wat menslik en leefbaar vir almal is.
In recognition of Karl Barth's stature as a theologian and public figure in the life of Europe and the West, Swiss publisher Theologischer Verlag Zurich (TVZ) published Conversations, a collection of correspondence, articles, interviews, and other short-form writings by Barth. Collected in three volumes, Conversations reveals the depth and breadth of Barth's theological thought, as well as his humor and humanity. Now, for the first time in English, the second of those volumes is offered here. Covering the year 1963, Volume 2 highlights a period in which Barth was especially active, particularly in regard to ecumenism and issues related to the Cold War. Within these pages, scholars and students will find a comprehensive view into Barth's life and beliefs about theology and its role in modern society.
Does believing in Christ mean refusing to ask hard questions in the midst of doubt?Doubt is familiar territory for Lee Strobel, the former atheist and award-winning author of books for skeptics and Christians. But he believes that faith and reason go hand in hand, and that Christianity is a defensible religion. In this six-session revised small group Bible study (DVD/digital video sold separately), Strobel explores the most common emotional obstacles to faith in Christ. These include the natural inclination to wrestle with faith and doubt, the troubling presence of evil and suffering in the world, and the exclusivity of the Christian gospel. They also include this compelling question: Can I doubt and be a Christian?Through compelling personal stories and experts testimony combined with reflection and interaction, Christians and spiritual seekers will learn how to overcome these obstacles, deepen their spiritual convictions, and find new confidence that Christianity is a reasonable faith.Sessions include:The Challenge of FaithDealing with DoubtEvil and Suffering, Part 1Evil and Suffering, Part 2Why Is Jesus the Only Way to God?The Power of FaithDesigned for use with The Case for Faith Revised Video Study 9780310698814 (sold separately).
If Jesus is good news for women in every culture and every time, what does that good news look like for women today? This book is an attempt to speak to and about women with kindness, truth and sass. It's for Christian women of all ages, confident or questioning gender norms, who want to experience their femininity as a powerful identity that they can define and re-define as they grow as disciples. The Girl Deconstruction Project is part sledgehammer, part manifesto, and filled with personal stories, biblical insights and wisdom for living full, free and fierce.
Since the 1960s, theologians have been involved in efforts to guide Christians to reflection and action in light of planetary peril. The contributors to this volume illustrate how Friedrich Schleiermacher's theological work could fulfill that need. Schleiermacher's theology, they contend, finds its culmination in Christian social action and is remarkably conducive to ecological thinking in the modern world. Each chapter deals with a particular locus in Schleiermacher's systematic theology, focusing on its implications for sustainable living. In so doing, Schleiermacher and Sustainability offers a sophisticated account of Schleiermacher's thought that will upend many estimations of his value for current constructive theology and provide a potent resource for those seeking to integrate ecological living into the marrow of their daily existence.
God is unbounded. God became flesh. While these two assertions are equally viable parts of Western Christian religious heritage, they stand in tension with one another. Fearful of reducing God's majesty with shallow anthropomorphisms, philosophy and religion affirm that God, as an eternal being, stands wholly apart from creation. Yet the legacy of the incarnation complicates this view of the incorporeal divine, affirming a very different image of God in physical embodiment. While for many today the idea of an embodied God seems simplisticaeven pedestrianaChristoph Markschies reveals that in antiquity, the educated and uneducated alike subscribed to this very idea. More surprisingly, the idea that God had a body was held by both polytheists and monotheists. Platonic misgivings about divine corporeality entered the church early on, but it was only with the advent of medieval scholasticism that the idea that God has a body became scandalous, an idea still lingering today. In God's Body Markschies traces the shape of the divine form in late antiquity. This exploration follows the development of ideas of God's corporeality in Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions. In antiquity, gods were often like humans, which proved to be important for philosophical reflection and for worship. Markschies considers how a cultic environment nurtured, and transformed, Jewish and Christian descriptions of the divine, as well as how philosophical debates over the connection of body and soul in humanity provided a conceptual framework for imagining God. Markschies probes the connections between this lively culture of religious practice and philosophical speculation and the christological formulations of the church to discover how the dichotomy of an incarnate God and a fleshless God came to be. By studying the religious and cultural past, Markschies reveals a Jewish and Christian heritage alien to modern sensibilities, as well as a God who is less alien to the human experience than much of Western thought has imagined. Since the almighty God who made all creation has also lived in that creation, the biblical idea of humankind as image of God should be taken seriously and not restricted to the conceptual world but rather applied to the whole person.
The Psalms, gritty and bold prayers of a people seeking to be obedient to a powerful and compassionate God, collectively illustrate what a real faith in the living God looks like. In Psalms as a Grammar for Faith: Prayer and Praise , W. H. Bellinger Jr. traces the way the Psalms exemplify and create a grammar for living a life of faith. Bellinger combines his years of study of the Psalms and his own theological sensibility to explore both the genre and shape of the Psalter. He focuses upon the themes of lament and of praise. Bellinger addresses the presence of enemies andtheprayers for vengeance throughout the Psalms, concluding that these lamentations exemplify a covenant theology of prayer.He then examines thepsalms of praisethatteach the art of worship. Various kinds of praise in the Psalter serve as examplesofadorationaproper ways to thank almighty God forthe goodness of life and for the divine mystery. Finally, Bellinger explores the five divisions of the Psalms, arguing for a powerful and intentional anthology initially connected to ancient Israel's encounter with defeat and exile. Bellinger concludes that the Psalter directs readers to use the psalms of lament and praise as models for life, depending on God's justice in times of anger, singingGod'spraise in times of thanksgiving, and always acknowledging God as Lord over hardships and blessings. Only in this way, he argues,can humans live the faith of the Psalmsaa faith defined by complete dependence on God.
With its focus on the traditions and communities that form us over the course of a lifetime, virtue ethics has richly expanded our understanding of what the Christian life can look like. Yet its emphasis on human virtues and habits of mind and life seems inconsistent with the Reformed tradition's insistence that sin lies at the heart of the human condition. For this reason, virtue ethics seems out of place in Reformed theology, especially in the company of the Reformed tradition's greatest twentieth-century theologian, Karl Barth.
In this new addition to the Columbia Series in Reformed Theology, Kirk Nolan argues that Barth's theology actually proves virtue ethics can be compatible with the Reformed tradition. Rather than see virtue as an inevitable and natural process of growth, Barth helps us understand that development in the Christian life comes through a process of repetition and renewal, and that all virtue comes solely as a gift from God. Nolan establishes an important bridge between Reformed moral teaching and the tradition of virtue ethics.
This ninth volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible offers a theological exegesis of Numbers. This commentary, like each in the series, is designed to serve the church--through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth--and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible. "The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher's application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. The Brazos Commentary offers just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be."--Calvin Miller, author of A Hunger for the Holy and Loving God Up Close
This book offers the first English translation of Friedrich Schleiermacher's "On the Doctrine of Election" (1819), a historic and influential essay published just before the first edition of Schleiermacher's magisterial systematic theology: The Christian Faith. In this essay, Schleiermacher develops a view of election as consisting of a single divine decree of both election and rejection that embraces all humanity--a theological development that became basic later for Karl Barth's treatment of election (Church Dogmatics II/2). Schleiermacher also seeks to support the church union movement between Lutherans and the Reformed by examining the doctrine of election in light of the New Testament and historic confessional traditions. This edition is enhanced by the translators' incisive introduction and a foreword by noted Schleiermacher scholar Terrence N. Tice.
The Twilight saga has become one of the most successful fiction series ever written, with more than one hundred million copies in print and several blockbuster films. Despite the tremendous commercial success Twilight has generated, few readers have analyzed its theological teachings or the messages Stephenie Meyer might be sending to women and teenage girls. This book offers both a feminist critique of Twilight and a theological review of the stories' ideas about salvation, heaven and hell, power, reconciliation, resurrection, and organized religion.
Elaine Heath writes in an accessible voice, calling attention to both the "good news" of Twilight's theology and the "bad news" of its gender stereotypes and depictions of violence against women.
The book includes questions for youth and adult groups or for classroom discussions.
Sacramental occasions, or "Holy Fairs," practiced by Scots-Irish Presbyterians in mid-nineteenth-century America were intended to bring conversion to nonbelievers and spiritual renewal to baptized Christians. Kimberly Bracken Long examines the chief texts of American revivalism--sermons, devotional writings, and catechetical materials--to gain insights into the sacramental theology at work in these events, as well as into the nature of revivalism in the American Presbyterian context. She also explores several implications for twenty-first-century Reformed and Presbyterian worship.
This brief, humorous introduction to theology by noted educator and author Don McKim will provide seminarians, college students, and general readers with a fun way to learn the basics. The book covers the key movements, thinkers, definitions, and questions of theology in a lighthearted way. Includes illustrations by Ron Hill.
A milestone in the history of popular theology, 'The Screwtape Letters' is an iconic classic on spiritual warfare and the power of the devil. This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on earth trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is 'lost' to the young devil. Dedicated to Lewis's friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien, 'The Screwtape Letters' is a timeless classic on spiritual conflict and the invisible realities which are part of our religious experience.
This book will thrill movie buffs and casual fans alike. In an engaging style, author Greg Garrett looks at the theological elements in dozens of classic and new classic Hollywood films, including a discussion about what the new openness to spirituality in the movies might mean for the future of American cinema and American religion.
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