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It is hard to imagine just how startling the Christian message must have sounded to those who first heard it.The story of a crucified messiah was absurd. The death of Jesus as a ransom, a punishment, or a sacrifice was an offense and an affront. Yet, by making the death of Jesus central to its preaching and worship, Christianity took a scandal, the cross, and called it a gospel. In Labor of God , author Tom Bennett revisits the church's speech about the cross. He recovers an equally shocking, but often overlooked, metaphor from Scripture and tradition: the cross as an act of divine labor, the travail through which God gives birth to the church. This ancient understanding of the cross enables a fresh theology of Christian atonement, one better able to answer questions of sin, suffering, and divine violence. As Bennett argues, this understanding of the cross can also reshape the classical systematic doctrines of creation, election, soteriology, and the church. Developed through close readings of biblical texts and interaction with voices from theology and the sciences, Labor of God shows how the Christian message of the cross can once again prick the ears and trouble the hearts of those who hear it. To a church immune to the radical character of its own message, Bennett resists the temptation to sanitize and relishes the offenseaan offense that gives birth to a scandalous gospel for a secular age.
Read this book and have your eyes opened to the end-time shifts that await mankind.
Are You Prepared For What is About to Happen?
Giants, Fallen Angels, and the Return of the Nephilim will discuss biblical prophecies of giants on the earth, the Last Days demonic plot of engineering genetic hybrids, and what all of it has to do with Israel and the Middle East.
In this book, you will receive answers to these questions and more . . .
• Have tribes of giants ever walked this Earth?
• Why are there massive and precise “prehistoric” megalithic structures throughout the world?
• Was early man a Neolithic Stone Age caveman or did he receive know-ledge from other sources?
• Are aliens actually fallen angels?
• Who are the Nephilim, and are they returning to Earth?
Discover how important these questions are from both a personal and global perspective.
This book will not only open your eyes to the dangers that await mankind, but to humanity’s only hope as well.
C.S. Lewis's famous work on the nature of love divides love into four categories: Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. The first three are loves which come naturally to the human race. Charity, however, the Gift-love of God, is divine in its source and expression, and without the sweetening grace of this supernatural love, the natural loves become distorted and even dangerous.
As the pastor of an inner-city church in New York City, Timothy Keller has compiled a list of the most frequently voiced 'doubts' sceptics bring to his church, as well as the most important reasons for faith. In THE REASON FOR GOD, he addresses each doubt and explains each reason.Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and reasoning to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth.
One day you will stand before God and give an account of your life. The most important question you can ask yourself now is, will you be ready?
Most Christians know their response to the cross determines where they will spend eternity. But did you know that how you’ll spend eternity is determined by what you do in this life?
God wants you to discover your calling—He’s not trying to keep you in the dark. In fact, He longs for you to find the meaning and purpose that comes with knowing why you’ve been placed on this earth.
In Driven by Eternity, best-selling author John Bevere uses an eye-opening allegory and extensive Scripture to unveil how our daily choices shape our eternal existence.
Life beyond the final breath is much more than a destination. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Discover your God-given destiny and make your life count both today and forever.
This commentary offers a concise, incisive view of Galatians, Paul's most polemical letter. Here, Paul is fighting for the spiritual life and loyalty of some of his hard-won converts. Taking advantage of a range of persuasive rhetorical approaches, his letter appears to bristle with anger at the interlopers and the anguish of spurned affection. In this commentary, Craig S. Keener mines insights from the ancient world to highlight Paul's persuasive tactics and how the Galatian Christians would have heard his intense yet profound message. In so doing, Keener also helps readers to confront Galatians afresh today, so they can hear more closely what Paul is and is not saying for the church universal. Drawing on a wide range of ancient Mediterranean sources to reconstruct the context of Galatians, Keener helps us to grasp the issues that Paul was addressing, the reasons that Paul wrote the letter, and its continuing relevance for contemporary audiences.
Our Faith brings together, for the first time, all the confessional standards and other official doctrinal statements of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America. In addition to the new 2011 ecumenical translations of the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and Canons of Dort, it includes the Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian), the Belhar Confession, Our Song of Hope (RCA), and Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony (CRC).
Following his successful "Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?" leading
Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith introduces the
philosophical sources behind postliberal theology. Offering a
provocative analysis of relativism, Smith provides an introduction
to the key voices of pragmatism: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Richard
Rorty, and Robert Brandom.
WendellBerry teaches us to loveour placesato pay careful attention to where we are, to look beyond and within,andto live in ways that are not captive to the mastery of cultural, social, or economic assumptions about our life in these places.Creation has its own integrity and demands that we confront it. In The Place of Imagination , JosephR. Wiebe argues that this confrontation is precisely what shapes our moral capacity to respond to people and to places. Wiebe contends that Berry manifests this moral imagination most acutely in his fiction.Berry's fiction, however, does not portray an average community or even an ideal one. Instead, he depicts brokencommunitiesin brokenplacesasites and relations scarredby the routines of racial wounds and ecological harm.Yet, in the tracing of Berry's characterswith place-based identities, Wiebe demonstrates the way in which Berry's fiction comes to embody Berry'sownmoral imagination. By joining these ambassadors of Berry's moral imagination in their fictive journeys, readers, too, can allow imagination to transform their affection, thereby restoring place as a facilitator of identity as well ashope for healed and whole communities. Loving place translates into loving people, which in turn transforms broken human narratives into restored lives rooted and ordered by their places.
Available for the first time in trade paperback, this authoritative biography of the great religious leader was hailed by Time magazine as "the most readable Luther biography in English". This edition showcases the intricate woodcuts and engravings that enhance the text and give the flavor of the era in which Martin Luther lived. More than 100 woodcuts and engravings.
No issue is more divisive or more pressing for the church today than homosexuality. Two Views on Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church brings a fresh perspective to a well-worn debate. While Christian debates about homosexuality are most often dominated by biblical exegesis, this book seeks to give much-needed attention to the rich history of received Christian tradition, bringing the Bible into conversation with historical and systematic theology. To that end, both theologians and biblical scholars-well accomplished in their fields and conversant in issues of sexuality and gender-articulate and defend each of the two views: Affirming view William Loader Megan K. DeFranza Traditional view Wesley Hill Stephen R. Holmes Unique among most debates on homosexuality, this book presents a constructive dialogue between people who disagree on significant ethical and theological matters, and yet maintain a respectful and humanizing posture toward one another. Even as these scholars articulate pointed arguments for their position with academic rigor and depth, they do so cordially, clearly, and compassionately, without demeaning the other. The main essays are followed by exceptionally insightful responses and rejoinders that interact with their fellow essayists with convicted civility. Holding to a high view of Scripture, a commitment to the gospel and the church, and a love for people-especially those most affected by this topic-the contributors wrestle deeply with the Bible and theology, especially the prohibition texts, the role of procreation, gender complementarity, and pastoral accommodation. The book concludes with general editor Preston Sprinkle's reflections on the future of discussions on faith and sexuality.
For classical philosophers, friendship was a serious topic of ethical reflection, yet in contemporary discussions on ethics, this subject is largely absent. Drawing upon Aristotelian ethics based on virtue, Patricia Vesely examines friendship as a moral category in the Book of Job, illuminating those virtues, motivations, and perceptions that this relationship entails. She argues that for Job, the virtues of loyalty, compassion, courage, humility, honesty, hospitality, and practical wisdom are essential to a relationship of friendship. These traits of character are most fully embodied in actions of advocacy. In addition to a detailed examination of friendship in the Book of Job, Vesely addresses topics such as the contribution of virtue to human flourishing, the role of tragic literature in moral formation, friendship in Hellenistic and biblical contexts, and ethics in heroic societies. Her book brings together topics spanning philosophy, ethics, and biblical studies, yielding a work that will appeal to a broad range of audiences.
Dynamic, Practical, Faith-Filled Response to the Evil Rising Around Us It's difficult to hear the growing daily reports of evil in our society without a degree of fear. Seen from a human perspective, things appear hopeless. But as we consider the spiritual perspective of those same events, we can--and will--see what purpose those struggles serve in God's plan. In these pages, pastor and author Phil Hotsenpiller will help you begin to connect the dots between biblical prophecies about lawlessness with current events. As you begin to see God's perspective, you will gain a more confident outlook for the future. God is trying to get our attention, show us how to get past our fears, and help us respond with faith to the evil we see all around us. Regardless of what we see on the news, God is still in control. Here are practical, everyday ways we can move forward with hope and determination to make our world a better place until the return of Jesus Christ.
Foundational Teaching from Bestselling Author John Eckhardt We are currently experiencing the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit the world has ever known. God is raising up a new generation of people willing to move in kingdom authority--and you can be part of it! Join bestselling author John Eckhardt, world-renowned apostle and teacher, as he clarifies the gift and functions of apostolic ministry. Observing the roots of our biblical heritage, Eckhardt explores the function of an apostle--both the office and also the gifting every believer carries. With keen insight he reveals how the apostolic dimension affects all aspects of the local church and how apostolic leadership points the way toward fulfillment of the Great Commission. Now is the time to respond to the call. Receive your apostolic commissioning and watch for breakthrough in the hearts around you.
Scripture has brought us light in darkness, strength in weakness, comfort in sadness. It isn't difficult to endorse the Psalmist's experience that the words of God are 'more precious than gold... sweeter than honey'. So it's distressing to watch the Bible being dislodged from its position of authority, not only in our nation but also in the church. Here we focus on the urgent need to continue in, respond to, interpret and expound God's Word.
We live in a cynical age. Cynicism is in the air we breathe; it is a cultural norm; it is the default setting and lens through which many of us view the world. Why is cynicism so pervasive? What does it promise? How does it work? And what does it deliver? In this thorough, interdisciplinary exploration of cynicism, Dick Keyes probes the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of cynicism in its modern and postmodern manifestations. In analyzing our cynicism toward individuals, institutions and God, he gives cynicism the scrutiny it deserves, arguing for its merits as a tool for discernment while pointing out its limitations. Keyes subjects cynicism to its own critique and ultimately looks beyond cynicism to alternatives that wrestle honestly with suspicion, trust and hope. Wide-ranging and vast in scope, Seeing Through Cynicism offers meaty, substantive perspectives for faithful living in a cynical world.
Serious theology is systematic theology. Or so the story goes.Practical theologyawith its focuson the church, its life and its practicesahas sometimes been understood as the second order application of the real work of academic theology.However, inthis abridged translation of his magisterial Praktische Theologie , Christian Grethlein realizes the rigorous methodology, critical commitments, and expansive sweep of practical theologyaas both an academic and an ecclesial discipline. Grethlein roots his practical theology in communication theory, butdoes so in a way ordered to a specific end:the communication of the Christian gospel in the present day. He distinguishes practical theology from simply a guide to specific ecclesial praxis, on the one hand, andsome general theory of religion, on the other. Grethlein then blends empirical observation with biblical texts to reveal practical theology's unique nature asa discipline oriented toward rigorous examination of both the gospel and the intentional ways in which it is shared. In so doing, Grethlein opens the possibility of a truly encyclopedic and embedded practical theology. Part 1provides a historical introduction to practical theology, positioning it on a global stage,andin relation to other academic disciplinesaparticularlythemodern sciencesaas well aswithin ecclesial and theological traditions. Inpart 2Grethlein develops practical theology as communication of the gospel by examining the hermeneutical, empirical, and theological foundations necessary for a systematic practical theology. In part 3 Grethlein turns his attention to ways the gospel is communicatedboth in time and place, as well as the formsof that communicating (telling, talking, preaching, praying,and singing). In An Introduction to Practical Theology , Christian Grethlein offers students the foundations and frameworks for practical theology while guiding its scholars in the crafting of their academic discipline.
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