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What are the implications of a client's image of God? Improve your confidence and your practice skills by enhancing your knowledge of how individuals are likely to perceive God, and of how those perceptions impact the way they function as human beings. Theologians have long speculated and theorized about how humans imagine God to be. This book merges theology with science, presenting empirical research focused on perceptions of God in a variety of populations living in community and mental health settings. Each chapter concludes with references that comprise an essential reading list, and the book is generously enhanced with tables that make data easy to access and understand. "Liberating Images of God" discusses the constriction and impoverishment of God images due to the traditional restrictions of God images to those that are male and personified. This chapter examines the potential for the client and counselor's co-creation of images of God which embrace the feminine as well as the masculine, the nurturer as well as the warrior, and the natural world in all its dimensions as well as the human world, to liberate, enrich, sustain, and transform the client's relationships with God and with him/herself. "Attachment, Well-Being, and Religious Participation Among People with Severe Mental Disorders" examines the relationship between attachment states of mind and religious participation among people diagnosed with severe mental illness. "Concepts of God and Therapeutic Alliance Among People with Severe Mental Disorders" explores the transferential aspects of God representation among severely mentally ill adults. It highlights research on the relationship between a patient's image of God and that patient's working relationship with his/her case manager, and discusses the implications for clinical practice of those findings. "The Subjective Experience of God" presents a theory about the psychological basis for the experience of God that argues that this experience is essentially a form of projection and as such is an internal event that does not exist independent of an individual's psyche. This chapter draws a distinction between faith in a particular belief namely, faith in the existence of a loving, omnipotent God and an attitude of faith, which is the basis for experiences of transcendence. "Relationship of Gender Role Identity and Attitudes" presents the results of a study in which nearly 300 Catholic attendees at three university Catholic centers completed the Bern Sex Role Inventory, the Attitudes Toward Women Scale, and the Perceptions of God Checklist. This chapter looks at images of God as masculine or feminine, and at the connection for people between the way they perceive God and the way they relate towards men and women. "Reflections on a Study in a Mental Hospital," brings you groundbreaking new research on perceptions of God in an inpatient population. This chapter examines the positive effects (as opposed to the negative effects previously portrayed by the psychological community) of religious belief and practice for residential care patients in a psychiatric hospital.
Over two dozen Christian leaders describe how they changed their minds about evolution Perhaps no topic appears as potentially threatening to evangelicals as evolution. The very idea seems to exclude God from the creation the book of Genesis celebrates. Yet many evangelicals have come to accept the conclusions of science while still holding to a vigorous belief in God and the Bible. How did they make this journey? How did they come to embrace both evolution and faith? Here are stories from a community of people who love Jesus and honor the authority of the Bible, but who also agree with what science says about the cosmos, our planet and the life that so abundantly fills it. Among the contributors are Scientists such as: Francis Collins Deborah Haarsma Denis Lamoureux Theologians and philosophers such as: James K. A. Smith Amos Yong Oliver Crisp Biblical scholars such as: N. T. Wright Scot McKnight Tremper Longman III Pastors such as: John Ortberg Ken Fong Laura Truax
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.
The question of 'natural theology' interlocks with the related questions of whether we can conceive of God acting in the world at all, as well as why, if God is God, evil persists in the world. Can specific events in history, like those reported in the Gospels, afford the necessary point from which to ask and answer such questions? Widely shared cultural and philosophical presumptions have conditioned our understanding of history in ways that truncate our epistemic horizons and make the idea of historical divine action problematic. But could better historical study itself win from ancient Jewish and Christian cosmology and eschatology a renewed account of knowledge by which to open up and reconsider the fundamental question of the relation of God and world for today? Professor Wright argues that this can indeed be done, and in this ground-breaking book he develops a distinctive approach to natural theology grounded in an 'epistemology of love'. This approach arises from reflection upon the significance of the ancient concept of the 'new creation' for our understanding the reality of the world and the reality of God in relation to one another. Provisional contents 1. The Fallen Shrine: Lisbon 1755 and the Triumph of Epicureanism 2. The Questioned Book: Critical Scholarship and the Gospels 3. The Shifting Sand: The Meanings of 'History' 4. The End of the World? Eschatology and Apocalyptic in Historical Perspective 5. The Stone the Builders Rejected: Jesus, the Temple and the Kingdom 6. A New Creation: Resurrection and Epistemology 7. Broken Signposts? New Answers for the Right Questions 8. The Waiting Chalice: Natural Theology and the Missio Dei
Despite the popular theology of our day, Christians should not expect to get out of experiencing the tribulation or the end times. Nowhere in the Bible does the Lord promise us this, say Michael Brown and Craig Keener, two leading, acclaimed Bible scholars. In fact, they say, Jesus promises us tribulation in this world. Yet this is no reason to fear. In this fascinating, accessible, and personal book, Brown and Keener walk you through what the Bible really says about the rapture, the tribulation, and the end times. What they find will leave you full of hope. God's wrath is not poured out on His people, and He will shield us from it--as he shielded Israel in Egypt during the ten plagues. So instead of taking comfort in what God hasn't promised, take comfort in the words of Jesus: He has overcome the world, and we live in his victory.
Marking the 50th anniversary of Lewis' death, "The Intellectual World of C. S. Lewis" sees leading Christian thinker Alister McGrath offering a fresh approach to understanding the key themes at the centre of Lewis' theological work and intellectual development.Brings together a collection of original essays exploring important themes within Lewis' work, offering new connections and insights into his theologyThrows new light on subjects including Lewis' intellectual development, the uses of images in literature and theology, the place of myth in modern thought, the role of the imagination in making sense of the world, the celebrated 'argument from desire', and Lewis' place as an Anglican thinker and a Christian theologianWritten by Alister McGrath, one of the world's leading Christian thinkers and authors; this exceptional pairing of McGrath and Lewis brings together the work of two outstanding theologians in one volume
A noted scholar examines the work of the English mystic Julian of Norwich Julian of Norwich is the late fourteenth-century and early fifteenth-century English woman theologian. With her mystical writings, she has become one of the most popular and influential spiritual figures of our times. In Julian of Norwich: In God's Sight, the eminent scholar Philip Sheldrake offers a study of the theology that Julian expresses in her writings. The author examines what is known about Julian's mystical experience or mystical consciousness, discusses what can be surmised about Julian's likely identity and places her writings in historical, cultural and spiritual contexts. Julian of Norwich: In God's Sight is based on a faithful reading of Julian's texts, especially the Long Text, as well as on her own declared theological-spiritual purpose. This compelling book: Presents a contextually-grounded and text-related study of the key elements of Julian's theology Offers a scholarly work by a well-known expert in the field Unlocks an ever-richer understanding of Julian's writings Includes an examination of the key texts attributed to Julian Written for students of theology and those interested in learning more about this popular mystic, Julian of Norwich: In God's Sight offers ascholarly review of Julian's most important writings.
John Wyclif (d. 1384) was among the leading schoolmen of fourteenth-century Europe. He was an outspoken controversialist and critic of the Church, and, in his last days at Oxford, the author of the greatest heresy that England had known. This volume offers new translations of a representative selection of his Latin writings on theology, the Church and the Christian life. It provides a comprehensive view of the life of this charismatic but irascible medieval theologian, and of the development of the most prominent dissenting mind in pre-Reformation England. This collection will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students of medieval history, historical theology and religious heresy, as well as scholars in the field. -- .
Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity
Well-respected pastor and Bible teacher addresses some of the most confounding questions associated with the Christian faith: Is there an afterlife? Can we trust the Bible? Did the resurrection really happen?
In our post-Christian, pluralistic society, responding to the perception that Christians are prejudiced, anti-intellectual, and bigoted has become a greater challenge than ever before. The result is often intimidation, withdrawal, and even doubts among God's people about what we really believe. Bestselling author and teaching pastor at Living on the Edge, Chip Ingram, wants to change that.
In Why I Believe, he gives compelling answers to questions about
- the resurrection of Christ
- the evidence of an afterlife
-the accuracy and intellectual feasibility of the Bible
- the debate between creation and evolution
- the historicity of Jesus
- and more
The solid, biblical, logical answers he shares will satisfy the honest doubts that every believer experiences now and then, and will provide practical, thoughtful answers that can be shared with family and friends. This is the perfect resource for churches, small groups, and individuals who long not only to really know what and why they believe, but also to be equipped to explain the intellectual justification for their faith in everyday language.
Let's be real. Theology is intimidating. There are so many unfamiliar words and difficult concepts--or so it seems. Would you like to know the basics of theology and have an easy route to that knowledge? If so, these short, simple readings are the way to go. Here, Daryl Aaron answers some of the toughest questions about the nature of God, heaven, the Bible, church, and even ourselves. Blending the knowledge of a college professor with friendly, down-to-earth language, Aaron explains theology in a way you can understand. Broken into forty small chapters, this book gives you quick, clear answers to your questions about theology.
In 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council with the prophecy that 'a new day is dawning on the Church, bathing her in radiant splendour'. Desiring 'to impart an ever increasing vigour to the Christian life of the faithful', the Council Fathers devoted particular attention to the laity, and set in motion a series of sweeping reforms. The most significant of these centred on refashioning the Church's liturgy-'the source and summit of the Christian life'-in order to make 'it pastorally efficacious to the fullest degree'. Over fifty years on, however, the statistics speak for themselves. In America, only 15% of cradle Catholics say that they attend Mass on a weekly basis; meanwhile, 35% no longer even tick the 'Catholic box' on surveys. In Britain, the signs are direr still. Of those raised Catholic, just 13% still attend Mass weekly, and 37% say they have 'no religion'. But is this all the fault of Vatican II, and its runaway reforms? Or are wider social, cultural, and moral forces primarily to blame? Catholicism is not the only Christian group to have suffered serious declines since the 1960s. If anything Catholics exhibit higher church attendance, and better retention, than most Protestant churches do. If Vatican II is not the cause of Catholicism's crisis, might it instead be the secret to its comparative success? Mass Exodus is the first serious historical and sociological study of Catholic lapsation and disaffiliation. Drawing on a wide range of theological, historical, and sociological sources, Stephen Bullivant offers a comparative study of secularization across two famously contrasting religious cultures: Britain and the USA.
Can we prove the existence of God, or are we left to grapple in the dark and take blind leaps of faith about what we believe? Everyone asks these questions, and maybe you think you have the answers. But can you defend your beliefs when peers and professors are challenging your worldview? Dr. Stephen Meyer helps you examine the evidence and provides the tools needed to defend your faith and make it your own. This 64-page full-color discussion guide is designed to be used with the "TrueU: Does God Exist?" DVD kit (978-1-58997-339-8). Sold separately, this book is filled with discussion questions designed to dig deeper into the ten 30-minute lessons featured on the DVDs. As you examine and discuss the evidence, you will be better equipped to defend your faith in an increasingly hostile culture. This book is also available in a 10-pack (978-1-58997-116-5).
In "Jesus on Trial," New York Times bestselling author David
Limbaugh applies his lifetime of legal experience to a unique new
undertaking: making a case for the gospels as hard evidence of the
life and work of Jesus Christ. Limbaugh, a practicing attorney and
former professor of law, approaches the canonical gospels with the
same level of scrutiny he would apply to any legal document and
asks all the necessary questions about the story of Jesus told
through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. His analysis of the texts
becomes profoundly personal as he reflects on his own spiritual and
intellectual odyssey from determined skeptic to devout Christian.
Ultimately, Limbaugh concludes that the words Christians have
treasured for centuries stand up to his exhaustive
inquiry--including his examination of historical and religious
evidence beyond the gospels--and thereby affirms Christian faith,
spirituality, and tradition.
"Philosophers startle ordinary people. Christians astonish the philosophers." aPascal, PensA (c)es In Wagering on an Ironic God Thomas S. Hibbs both startles and astonishes. He does so by offering a new interpretation of Pascal's PensA (c)es and by showing the importance of Pascal in and for a philosophy of religion. Hibbs resists the temptation to focus exclusively on Pascal's famous "wager" or to be beguiled by the fragmentary and presumably incomplete nature of PensA (c)es . Instead he discovers in PensA (c)es a coherent and comprehensive project, one in which Pascal contributed to the ancient debate over the best way of lifeaa life of true happiness and true virtue. Hibbs situates Pascal in relation to early modern French philosophers, particularlyMontaigne and Descartes. These three French thinkers offer distinctly modern accounts of the good life. Montaigne advocates the private life of authentic self-expression, while Descartes favors the public goods of progressive enlightenment science andits promise of the mastery of nature. Pascal, by contrast, renders an account of the Christian religion that engages modern subjectivity and science on its own terms and seeks to vindicate the wisdom of the Christian vision by showing that it, better than any of its rivals, truly understands human nature. Though all three philosophers share a preoccupation with Socrates, each finds in that figurea distinct account of philosophy and its aims. Pascal finds in Socrates a philosophy rich inirony: philosophyis marked by a deep yearning for wisdom that is never whollyachieved. Philosophy is a quest without attainment, a love never obtained. Absent Cartesian certaintyor the ambivalence of Montaigne, Pascal's practice of Socratic irony acknowledges the disorder of humanity without discouraging its quest. Instead,the quest for wisdomalerts the seekerto the presence of a hidden God. God, according to Pascal, both conceals and reveals, fulfilling the philosophical aspiration for happiness and the good life only by subverting philosophy's veryself-understanding. Pascal thus wagers all on the irony of a God whoboth startles and astonishes wisdom's true lovers.
Judging Faith, Punishing Sin breaks new ground by offering the first comparative treatment of Catholic inquisitions and Calvinist consistories, offering scholars a new framework for analysing religious reform and social discipline in the great Christian age of reformation. Global in scope, both institutions played critical roles in prosecuting deviance, implementing religious uniformity, and promoting moral discipline in the social upheaval of the Reformation. Rooted in local archives and addressing specific themes, the essays survey the state of scholarship and chart directions for future inquiry and, taken as a whole, demonstrate the unique convergence of penitential practice, legal innovation, church authority, and state power, and how these forces transformed Christianity. Bringing together leading scholars across four continents, this volume is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of religion in the early modern world. University students and scholars alike will appreciate its clear introduction to scholarly debates and cutting edge scholarship.
In Pentecostal Hermeneutics: A Reader Lee Roy Martin brings together fourteen significant publications on biblical interpretation, along with a new introduction to Pentecostal hermeneutics and an extensive up-to-date bibliography on the topic. Organized chronologically, these essays trace the development of Pentecostal hermeneutics as an academic discipline. The concerns of modern historical criticism have often stood at odds with Pentecostalism's use of Scripture. Therefore, over the last three decades, Pentecostal scholars have attempted to identify the unique characteristics and interpretive practices of their tradition and to offer constructive proposals for a Pentecostal hermeneutic that would be critically valid and, at the same time, be consistent with the Pentecostal ethos and conducive for the continued development of the global Pentecostal movement. Contributors include: Rickie D. Moore, John Christopher Thomas, Jackie David Johns, Cheryl Bridges Johns, John W. McKay, Robert O. Baker, Scott A. Ellington, Kenneth J. Archer, Robby Waddell, Andrew Davies, Clark H. Pinnock, and Lee Roy Martin.
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.
This book is an accessible exploration of the big building blocks of the Christian faith, differentiating between the important contours of a Christian worldview and secondary concerns imposed by culture and tradition. "Skilfully bringing together biblically-informed theology and the everyday world, Brian Harris unpacks themes of grace, creation and Christian hope in an engaging conversational manner. The result is a book that empowers us to live out our faith wherever we are." Stephen Garner, Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand.
This book offers a unique approach to Calvin by introducing the individuals and groups who, through their opposition to Calvin's theology and politics, helped shape the Reformer, his theology, and his historical and religious legacy. Respected church historian Gary Jenkins shows how Calvin had to defend or rethink his theology in light of his tormentors' challenges, giving readers a more nuanced view of Calvin's life and thought. The book highlights the central theological ideas of the Swiss Reformation and introduces figures and movements often excluded from standard texts.
"A rare and wonderful theological book that turns something ordinary--being a friend--into an expression of God's greatness."--Jeremiah Rood, Foreword (starred review) In this vibrant theological reflection on the meaning of friendship, experienced pastor and leading Christian ethicist Victor Lee Austin argues that friendship is the medium through which God shares grace with his creatures. Mixing personal reflection and theological commentary, Austin provides a fresh reading of classical writers and biblical texts; shows how a robust theology of friendship addresses contemporary controversies in the areas of marriage, celibacy, and homosexuality; and draws on cultural examples of the desire for true friendship. Ultimately, Austin helps readers understand the strange yet real possibility of friendship with God. About the Series Pastors are called to help people navigate the profound mysteries of being human, from birth to death and everything in between. This series, edited by leading pastoral theologian Jason Byassee, provides pastors and pastors-in-training with rich theological reflection on the various seasons that make up a human life, helping them minister with greater wisdom and joy.
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