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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.
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:
Through his death on the cross, Christ atoned for sin and so reconciled people to God. New Testament authors drew upon a range of metaphors and motifs to describe this salvific act, and down through history Christian thinkers have tried to articulate various theories to explain the atonement. While Christ's sacrifice serves as a central tenet of the Christian faith, the mechanism of atonementaexactly how Christ effects our salvationaremains controversial and ambiguous to many Christians. In Atonement and the Death of Christ ,William Lane Craig conducts an interdisciplinary investigation of this crucial Christian doctrine, drawing upon Old and New Testament studies, historical theology, and analytic philosophy.The study unfolds in three discrete parts:Craig first explores the biblical basis of atonement and unfolds the wide variety of motifs used to characterize this doctrine. Craig then highlights some of the principal alternative theories of the atonement offered by great Christian thinkers of the premodern era. Lastly, Craig's exploration delves into a constructive and innovative engagement with philosophy of law, which allows an understanding of atonement that moves beyond mystery and into the coherent mechanism of penal substitution. Along the way, Craig enters into conversation with contemporary systematic theories of atonement as he seeks to establish a position that is scripturally faithful and philosophically sound.The result is a multifaceted perspective that upholds the suffering of Christ as a substitutionary, representational, and redemptive act that satisfies divine justice. In addition, this carefully reasoned approach addresses the rich tapestry of Old Testament imagery upon which the first Christians drew to explain how the sinless Christ saved his people from the guilt of their sins.
The true meaning of humility persistently drives debate, largely because we cannot agree on the word's definition. The "correctness" of normative terms matters, and humility carries a distinctive normative weight. How we understand humility is not a matter of mere semantics. It is a pursuit of inquiry with the potential to informaperhaps even to transformaour lives. The Joy of Humility takes up this task with a view toward the perennial question of what entails a truly flourishing life. Here, philosophers, theologians, ethicists, and psychologists work to frame the debate in such a way that the conversation can move forward. To model this goal, each chapter prompts a response to which the chapter's author offers a reply. Part one considers the scope and implications of humility as a contested concept; part two works toward clarity on how to measure humility as a trait and its potential impact on individuals and society. With contributions from Miroslav Volf, Norman Wirzba, Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas, Jason Baehr, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Don E. Davis, Kent Dunnington, Jane Foulcher, Sarah Gazaway, Jennifer A. Herdt, Elizabeth J. Krumrei-Mancuso, Robert C. Roberts, and Everett L. Worthington Jr., The Joy of Humility offers an engaging discourse for everyone, laypeople and scholars alike, to consider these profoundly human questions. By opening up the space for dialogue to push past ideological and cultural assumptions, this volume challenges us to consider how humility, in calling us to esteem others as integral to our own well-being, opens us up to a life of joy.
How do we remain faithful to and work within a Christian church that has been historically complicit in racism and that still exhibits racist actions in its communal life? While there have been numerous recent accounts addressing why the Christian church of the West is marked by racism and whiteness, there has been less attention given to how we reconcile the church's racial inequities with the belief that God works through God's people. In Bonhoeffer and the Racialized Church , Ross Halbach seeks to reframe the question within Dietrich Bonhoeffer's conception of the "ultimate and penultimate." Bonhoeffer's acute sense of God's continual speaking offers a prophetic challenge to the church: instead of masking the realities of racial sin or pursuing easy resolution, we must confront the full consequences of whiteness in repentant expectation of Christ's coming. Halbach places the writings of Bonhoeffer into dialogue with the contemporary writings of Willie Jennings, J. Kameron Carter, and Brian Bantum, allowing these various perspectives to augment one another. This approach gives new clarity to present theological discussions of race through a consideration of God's regenerative work. Discussions of race must move from seeking a diagnosis to exploring a dialogue that delves deeper into the issue. Racism is not a question to be answered but a resistance that hinders the church from hearing God's present call, which is given to the body of Christ through baptism and Eucharist. The church's response to God's call is found not in the assurance of a solution but in the obedient act of the church's participation with Christ in preparing the way for the church to hear how the triune God has already spoken and continues to speak today.
The question of the good lifeawhat it looks like for people and societies to be well ordered and flourishingahas universal significance, but its proposed solutions are just as far reaching. At the core of this concern is the nature of the good itself: what is "right"? We must attend to this ethical dilemma before we can begin to envision a life lived to the fullest. With Seeking What Is Right , Iain Provan invites us to consider how Scriptureathe Old Testament in particularacan aid us in this quest. In rooting the definition of the good in God's special revelation, Provan moves beyond the constraints of family, tribe, culture, state, or nature. When we read ourselves into the story of Scripture, we learn a formative ethic that speaks directly to our humanity. Provan delves into Western Christian history to demonstrate the various ways this has been done: how our forebears identified with the narrative of God's people, Israel, and how they applied the Old Testament to their particular times and concerns. This serves as a foundation upon which modern Christians can assess their decisions as people who read the whole biblical story "from the beginning" in our time. Provan challenges us to grapple with ethical issues dominating our contemporary culture as a people in exile, a people formed by disciplines steeped in the patterns and teachings of Scripture. To come alongside ancient Israel in its own experiences of exile, to listen with Israel to the utterances of a holy God, is to approach a true picture of the good life that illuminates all facets of human existence. Provan helps us understand how we should and should not read Scripture in arriving at these conclusions, clarifying for the faithful Christian what the limits of the search for "what is right" look like.
The Civil Rights era was a time of national examination and a moment of great ferment within black churches. Their ministries required new expressions of pastoral theology and care. Soon after the emergence of Black Theology as an academic discourse, distinctively African American approaches to pastoral theology and care were articulated within theological education. Since 1979, Edward Powell Wimberly has been a distinguished and influential voice in the field of pastoral theology and care, especially in African American contexts. Wimberly's career has been dedicated to communicating the love of God for all people in the aftermath of America's original sinaracism. The Edward Wimberly Reader hosts a selection of Wimberly's most vital writings, beginning the important work of expanding the historical record in the field of pastoral theology and care to include the role of African American scholars. Wimberly's various works reflect his social and political engagements, spanning the arenas of congregation and community with a prophetic public theology. At the same time, Wimberly's constructive presentations of African American pastoral care inform pastoral theology methodologies through contextual and narrative approaches to counseling and restorative care practices. An essential collection for students and academics alike, The Edward Wimberly Reader communicates the convictions of a deeply faithful scholar, practitioner, and teacher who changed the conversation by stressing the importance of race, culture, and economics within contexts of pastoral care. Wimberly's corpus offers a faith-inspired vision of a more holistic and life-giving social order, where discrimination is redressed and communities of mutual concern support the flourishing of all.
The ever-evolving climate, technological advances, neoliberal capitalism, and globalization and its effects have transformed the very fabric of global society. In the wake of these phenomena is a globally experienced fragmentation caused by moral assumptions about social institutions as well as increasing disenchantment with democracy and social arrangements as they currently exist. Recently, a surprisingly large number of Christian congregations have been attracted to the twentieth-century concept of community organizing. This phenomenon is a result of the inherent passion for justice in covenantal organizing that underlies Jewish and Christian faith. Not only is covenant instrumental in the formation of God's people as a community, the concept has also played an important role in the rise of modern Western ideas of democracy, constitutionalism, and human rights. God and Community Organizing: A Covenantal Approach brings Saul Alinsky's community organizing into conversation with biblical and theological models of covenant. Hak Joon Lee argues that covenant reflects the life of the triune God who eternally organizes Godself as the Father, Son, and Spirit. At the heart of the biblical institutions of the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant of Jesus is the attempt to structure a wholesome, close-knit community of love, justice, and power. Lee incorporates four examples of covenantal organizing in different historical and social contexts: Exodus, Jesus, Puritans, and Martin Luther King Jr. Critically engaging with Saul Alinsky's method, Lee seeks to highlight how the two streams of thoughtacovenantal organizing and Alinsky's community organizingacan complement each other to develop a more vigorous and effective method of faith-based community organizing. From his study Lee explores the political and moral implications in light of the current struggle against the neoliberal corporate oligarchy. By demonstrating how covenantal organizing presents a more coherent and plausible social philosophy, an effective method in organizing a globalizing society is offered as an alternative to liberal democracy, postmodernism, identity politics, and communitarianism.
In an essay on Biblical Theology published in 1982, Paul Beauchamp points out a "striking convergence" between a prominent Roman Catholic scholar of the period, Roland de Vaux, and the leading Protestant Old Testament theologian of the day, Gerhard von Rad. Both saw looming on the horizon the need for a Biblical Theology in which both Testaments were taken seriously as part of a single, comprehensive theological reflection. There was genuine excitement at the prospect of the methods of tradition-historical reading, already harnessed by von Rad toward a specifically theological goal, turning now to a Biblical Theology proper. Where did that project and the excitement go? With Convergences , Christopher Seitz returns to the period in question. In the later work of von Rad and Martin Noth, Seitz identifies the clear foreshadowing of what would become "canonical interpretation" reflected especially in the work of Brevard Childs. Seitz further reveals that the work of Beauchamp, largely unknown in the Anglophone world, would ultimately line up with Childs in a great many areas (typology, concern with the final form, appreciation for the history of biblical interpretation before the modern era). These scholars reached common shores by distinctive routes and via different interlocutors. Convergences displays such lines of connection and how they spill over from the academy into the interests of the church, including Roman Catholic understandings of the place of Scripture since the mid-twentieth century. Seitz studies the emergence of the lectionary conception, the ressourcement movement, and non-Catholic interest in the prior history of interpretation and figural reading. Convergences maintains that much of what was accomplished in a hopeful coalescence around the canonical form of Scripture remains relevant for biblical interpretation in our present period. Here, we find a form of "catholicity" that offers hope and promise for our day in spite of cultural, ecclesial, and academic distinctives.
The Christian life, concerned with both spirituality and doctrine, aims not at rationally defensible truth but at life-transforming love. Greater understanding of the truth will not settle the restlessness in a human spirit; only the redemptive power of relationship with God can calm the soul. The crux of Kierkegaard's presentation of Christianity is not that doctrine is unimportant, but that it is ultimately insufficient for a life lived in relationship with God. In Contemporary with Christ ,Joshua Cockayne explores the Christian spiritual life with SA,ren Kierkegaard (in the guise of his various pseudonyms) as his guide and analytic theology as his key tool of engagement. Cockayne contends that the Christian life is second-personal : it seeks encounter with a personal God. As Kierkegaard describes, God invites us to "live on the most intimate terms with God." Cockayne argues that this vision of Christian spirituality is deeply practical because it advocates for a certain way of acting and existing. This approach to the Christian life moves from first-reflection, whereby one acquires objective knowledge, to second-reflection, whereby one attains deeper self-understanding, which fortifies one's relationship with God. Individuals encounter Christ through traditional practices: prayer, the Eucharist, and the reading of Scripture. However, experiences of suffering and mortality that mirror Christ's own passion also enliven this life of encounter. Spiritual progress comes through a reorientation of one's will, desire, and self-knowledge. Such progress must ultimately serve the goal of drawing close to God through Christ's presence. Engaging philosophy, theology, and psychology, Cockayne invites us to join in a conversation with Kierkegaard and explore how the spiritual disciplines provide opportunities for relationship with God by becoming contemporary with Christ.
Salvation and human flourishingaa life marked by fulfillment and well-beingahave often been divorced in the thinking and practice of the church. For the apostle Paul, however, the two were inseparable in the vision for the good life. Drawing on the revolutionary teachings and kingdom proclamation of Jesus, Paul and the early church issued a challenge to the ancient world's dominant narratives of flourishing. Paul's conviction of Jesus' universal Lordship emboldened him to imagine not just another world, but this world as it might be when transformed. With Paul and the Good Life , Julien Smith introduces us afresh to Paul's vision for the life of human flourishing under the reign of Jesus. By placing Paul's letters in conversation with both ancient virtue ethics and kingship discourse, Smith outlines the Apostle's christologically shaped understanding of the good life. Numerous Hellenistic philosophical traditions situated the individual cultivation of virtue within the larger telos of the flourishing polis . Against this backdrop, Paul regards the church as a heavenly commonwealth whose citizens are being transformed into the character of its king, Jesus. Within this vision, salvation entails both deliverance from the deforming power of sin and the re-forming of the person and the church through embodied allegiance to Jesus. Citizenship within this commonwealth calls for a countercultural set of virtues, ones that foster unity amidst diversity and the care of creation. Smith concludes by enlisting the help of present-day interlocutors to draw out the implications of Paul's argument for our own context. The resulting conversation aims to place Paul in engagement with missional hermeneutics, spiritual disciplines, liturgical formation, and agrarianism. Ultimately, Paul and the Good Life invites us to imagine how citizens of this heavenly commonwealth might live in the in-between time, in which Jesus's reign has been inaugurated but not consummated.
The pastoral office is one of the most critical in Christianity. Historically, however, Christians have not been able to agree on the precise nature and limits of that office. A specific area of contention has been the role of women in pastoral leadership. In recent decades, three broad types of arguments have been raised against women's ordination: nontheological (primarily cultural or political), Protestant, and Catholic. Reflecting their divergent understandings of the purpose of ordination, Protestant opponents of women's ordination tend to focus on issues of pastoral authority, while Catholic opponents highlight sacramental integrity. These positions are new developments and new theological stances, and thus no one in the current discussion can claim to be defending the church's historic position. Icons of Christ addresses these voices of opposition, making a biblical and theological case for the ordination of women to the ministerial office of Word and Sacrament. William Witt argues that not only those in favor of, but also those opposed to, women's ordination should embrace new theological positions in response to cultural changes of the modern era. Witt mounts a positive ecumenical argument for the ordination of women that touches on issues such as theological hermeneutics, relationships between men and women, Christology and discipleship, and the role of ordained clergy in leading the church in worship, among others. Uniquely, Icons of Christ treats both Protestant and Catholic theological concerns at length, undertaking a robust engagement with biblical exegesis and biblical, historical, systematic, and liturgical theology. The book's theological approach is critically orthodox, evangelical, and catholic. Witt offers the church an ecumenical vision of ordination to the presbyterate as an office of Word and Sacrament that justifiably is open to both men and women. Most critically Witt reminds us that, as all people are image-bearers of the divine, so men and women both are called to serve as icons of Christ in service of the gospel.
With clear writing---technical terms kept to a minimum---and a contemporary approach, emphasizing how each doctrine should be understood and applied by present-day Christians, Making Sense of Salvation explores God s common grace to redeem those who will be saved, and to demonstrate his goodness, mercy, justice, and glory. Topics include but are not limited to the order of salvation---from God s choice of people to be saved to the chosen people receiving a resurrection body; effective calling---the act of God the father speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel to summons people to himself in saving faith; regeneration---a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us; and glorification---when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died. Written in a friendly tone, appealing to the emotions and the spirit as well as the intellect, Making Sense of Salvation helps readers overcome wrong ideas, make better decisions on new questions, and grow as Christians."
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.
\"It\'s almost upon us \" yelled a frantic voice as the ship neared the iceberg. \"God\'s Will be done, \" prayed Mother Marie. If God wanted her to drown in the icy Atlantic Ocean before ever reaching Canada, His Holy Will be done. Yet perhaps . . . This book tells what happened next, plus the many other adventures that met the Sisters who brought the Holy Catholic Faith to Canada. 152 Pp. PB. Impr. 18 Illus.
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).
Too often people's understanding of and engagement with 'church' is reduced to corporate worship, when it is so much more. George Lings identifies seven characteristic elements in Christian communities through the ages, which when held in balance enable a richer expression of discipleship, mission and community. In the monastic tradition these elements have distinctive locations: cell (being alone with God), chapel (corporate public worship), chapter (making decisions), cloister (planned and surprising meetings), garden (the place of work), refectory (food and hospitality) and scriptorium (study and passing on knowledge). Through this lens George Lings explores how these seven elements relate to our individual and communal walk with God, hold good for church and family life, and appear in wider society.
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.
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