BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES AND OTHER AUTHORS
Recommended reading of authors who present
their own perspectives.
PAGE 4 of Jonathan's Recommendations for
On the Incarnation , a new translation and introduction by John Behr, Preface by C.S. Lewis By any standard, this is a classic of Christian theology. Composed by St. Athanasius in the fourth century, it expounds with simplicity the theological vision defended at the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople: that the Son of God himself became "fully human, so that we might become god." Its influence on all Christian theology thereafter, East and West, ensures its place as one of the few "must read" books for all who want to know more about the Christian faith.
The thought which is now expressed in these pages has long been growing in the writers heart. Hidden at first and unconfessed, during the last few years it has from time to time been brought forth in conversation with trusted Christian friends. But the time seems come to give it a wider circulation. Mens hearts, now perhaps more than in any former age, are everywhere moved to enquire into the nature and inspiration of Holy Scripture, and the destiny of the human race, more especially the future state of sinners, as taught in Holy Scripture.
Beginning with Jesus' birth, Ken Bailey leads you on a kaleidoscopic study of Jesus throughout the four Gospels. Bailey examines the life and ministry of Jesus with attention to the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, Jesus' relationship to women, and especially Jesus' parables. Through it all, Bailey employs his trademark expertise as a master of Middle Eastern culture to lead you into a deeper understanding of the person and significance of Jesus within his own cultural context. With a sure but gentle hand, Bailey lifts away the obscuring layers of modern Western interpretation to reveal Jesus in the light of his actual historical and cultural setting. This entirely new material from the pen of Ken Bailey is a must-have for any student of the New Testament. If you have benefited from Bailey's work over the years, this book will be a welcome and indispensable addition to your library. If you are unfamiliar with Bailey's work, this book will introduce you to a very old yet entirely new way of understanding Jesus.
Everlasting hell and divine judgment, a lake of fire and brimstone--these mainstays of evangelical tradition have come under fire once again in recent decades. Would the God of love revealed by Jesus really consign the vast majority of humankind to a destiny of eternal, conscious torment? Is divine mercy bound by the demands of justice? How can anyone presume to know who is saved from the flames and who is not?
Reacting to presumptions in like manner, others write off the fiery images of final judgment altogether. If there is a God who loves us, then surely all are welcome into the heavenly kingdom, regardless of their beliefs or behaviors in this life. Yet, given the sheer volume of threat rhetoric in the Scriptures and the wickedness manifest in human history, the pop-universalism of our day sounds more like denial than hope. Mercy triumphs over judgment; it does not skirt it.
Her Gates Will Never Be Shut endeavors to reconsider what the Bible and the Church have actually said about hell and hope, noting a breadth of real possibilities that undermines every presumption. The polyphony of perspectives on hell and hope offered by the prophets, apostles, and Jesus humble our obsessive need to harmonize every text into a neat theological system. But they open the door to the eternal hope found in Revelation 21-22: the City whose gates will never be shut; where the Spirit and Bride perpetually invite the thirsty who are outside the city to "Come, drink of the waters of life."
Endorsements: "Who are the damned? Who are the saved? The questions have a way of provoking controversy, often quite heated. Brad Jersak, self-identified as an evangelical who accepts the Biblical witness as authoritative, turns the controversy into a conversation, a quiet conversation. He listens. He listens to opposing voices. He listens to Scripture as God's last word on the subject. He listens to the scholars and theologians. Out of the listening something like a 'humility of hope' (Jersak's phrase) begins to replace dogmatisms and we find ourselves part of a conversation with Christian brothers and sisters who are seriously praying for the world's salvation." --Eugene H. Peterson author of Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers "Deeply grounded in evangelical faith and committed to evangelical categories of theological interpretation, Jersak probes the meaning of 'Final Judgment' in Christian faith and tradition. The phrase, for Jersak, must be kept in quote marks, because he sees that what is 'final' is not 'judgment' but the openness of God. The book traces the way in which Christians, and the author, 'exchange certainty for hope.' In the end the residue of evil will not have the last word; what prevails is the goodness of God's love. Readers will be greatly instructed by this thoughtful book." --Walter Brueggemann author of Divine Presence Amid Violence (Cascade, 2009) "Combining theological rigor and pastoral sensitivity Her Gates Will Never Be Shut is sure to push the boundaries of the contemporary theological landscape and expand the theological horizons of scholars, pastors, and lay Christians alike. Grounded, timely, and open--this is evangelical theology at its best." --Jon Stanley co-editor of "God is Dead" and I Don't Feel so Good Myself: Theological Engagements with the New Atheism (Cascade, 2009) About the Contributor(s): Bradley Jersak is an author and seminar speaker based in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He is the author of Can You Hear Me? (2003), Kissing the Leper (2006), and co-editor of Stricken by God? (2007).
This book asks readers to ponder this tough and challenging question: Have we Christians been led astray by our own leaders; dumbed down in our theology by ideas, interpretations, teachings, doctrines of men, and traditions that will not stand up to an honest and sincere test of Scripture; and consequently drawn off target in the practice of our faith? The author, however, is not down on Christianity-just the opposite. He's down on what we have done to it.
Inside its 266 pages John Noē, Ph.D., re-explores what really is authentic Christianity versus today's institutionalized and compromised versions that we've come to comfortably know and accept. In so doing, readers will discover that beliefs do have consequences. He maintains that this is why our modern-day versions pale in comparison with vibrancy and effectiveness of the Christianity that was preached, practiced, and perceived in the 1st century and turned that hostile world "upside down" (Acts 17:6 KJV). They also pale in contrast to the faith that brought our forefathers to America to found this country and establish its great institutions-most of which we moderns have given away to the ungodly crowd and without a fight.
Bottom line is, we Christians are paying an awful price for our self-inflicted deficiencies. 18 key exposé areas comprise this book's smorgasbord of relevant and significant topics, which have resulted in today's dumbed-down dilemma and substandard versions of the Christians faith. These exposé areas are listed on the back cover.
Two of today's most important and popular New Testament scholars--John Dominic Crossan and N.T. Wright--air their very different understandings of the many historical realities and theological meanings of Jesus' Resurrection.
In The Heart of Christianity, world-renowned Jesus scholar and author of the bestseller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time argues that the essential ingredients of a Christian life—faith, being born again, the kingdom of God, the gospel of love—are as vitally important today as they have always been, even during this time of conflict and change in the church.
Borg wants to show us, as today's thinking Christians, how to discover a life of faith by reconceptualizing familiar beliefs. Being born again, for example, has nothing to do with fundamentalism, but is a call to radical personal transformation. Talking about the kingdom of God does not mean that you are fighting against secularism, but that you have committed your life to the divine values of justice and love. And living the true Christian way is essentially about opening one's heart—to God, and to others. Above all else, Borg believes with passion and conviction that living the Christian life still makes sense.
Of the many recent books on the historical Jesus, none has explored what the latest biblical scholarship means for personal faith. Now, in Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg addresses the yearnings of those who want a fully contemporary faith that welcomes rather than oppresses our critical intelligence and openness to the best of historical scholarship. Borg shows how a rigorous examination of historical findings can lead to a new faith in Christ, one that is critical and, at the same time, sustaining.
Drawing on his own journey from a naïve, unquestioning belief in Christ through collegiate skepticism to a mature and contemporary Christian faith, Borg illustrates how an understanding of the historical Jesus can actually lead to a more authentic Christian life—one not rooted in creed or dogma, but in a life of spiritual challenge, compassion, and community.
In straightforward, accessible prose, Borg looks at the major findings of modern Jesus scholarship from the perspective of faith, bringing alive the many levels of Jesus's character: spirit person, teacher of alternative wisdom, social prophet, and movement founder. He also reexamines the major stories of the Old Testament vital to an authentic understanding of Jesus, showing how an enriched understanding of these stories can uncover new truths and new pathways to faith.
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GOD'S MESSAGE OF
WHICH BRINGS GOD'S
GIFTS OF HIS SPIRIT,
HIS LIFE, HIS GRACE,
HIS POWER, HIS
FAIRNESS, HIS PEACE
AND HIS LOVE