The first response book to this latest challenge to Christianity from Ehrman, How God Became Jesus features the work of five internationally recognized biblical scholars. While subjecting his claims to critical scrutiny, they offer a better, historically informed account of why the Galilean preacher from Nazareth came to be hailed as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” Namely, they contend, the exalted place of Jesus in belief and worship is clearly evident in the earliest Christian sources, shortly following his death, and was not simply the invention of the church centuries later.
Using the gospel as a theological leitmotif—an approach to Christian doctrine that begins with the gospel and sees each loci through the lens of the gospel—this text presents an authentically evangelical theology, as opposed to an ordinary systematic theology written by an evangelical theologian.
According to the author, theology is the drama of gospelizing—performing and living out the gospel in the theatre of Christian life. The text features tables, sidebars, and questions for discussion. The end of every part includes a “What to Take Home” section that gives students a run-down on what they need to know. And since reading theology can often be dry and cerebral, the author applies his unique sense of humor in occasional “Comic Belief” sections so that students may enjoy their learning experience through some theological humor added for good measure.
SGBC is organized into three easy-to-use sections, designed to help readers live out God’s story: Listen to the Story; Explain the Story; and Live the Story.
Praise for SGBC:
“The easy-to-use format and practical guidance brings God’s grand story to modern-day life so anyone can understand how it applies today.”—Andy Stanley
“Opens up the biblical story in ways that move us to act.”—Darrell L. Bock
“It makes the text sing and helps us hear the story afresh.”—John Ortberg
“This commentary breaks new ground.”—Craig L. Blomberg
Bringing together theological commentary, tips for application, and memorable illustrations, What Christians Ought to Believe summarizes the basic tenets of the Christian faith using the Apostle’s Creed as its entryway. After first emphasizing the importance of creeds for the formation of the Christian faith, each chapter, following the Creed’s outline, introduces the Father, the Son, and the Spirit and the Church. An appendix includes the Apostles’ Creed in the original Latin and Greek.
What Christians Ought to Believe is ideally suited for both the classroom and the church setting to teach beginning students and laypersons the basics of what Christians ought to affirm if they are to be called Christians.
Author and New Testament scholar Michael Bird was formerly in favor of distinct gender roles in ministry, a viewpoint commonly called “complementarianism.” But inconsistencies in practice and careful biblical study convinced him to rethink his position.
Originally published as a short ebook, Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts offers an engaging, incisive perspective on biblical gender equality and the egalitarian view—a preference for allowing women to hold teaching and leadership positions in ministry.
While Bird is now egalitarian, he nevertheless strikes a respectful tone toward those in his previous camp, seeking to craft a perspective that both values women and upholds biblical differences between the sexes. Humorous and hard-hitting, Bird will challenge readers on both sides of the gender-issue divide.
Though Paul is often lauded as the first great Christian theologian and a champion for Gentile inclusion in the church, in his own time he was universally regarded as a strange and controversial person. In this book Pauline scholar Michael Bird explains why.
An Anomalous Jew presents the figure of Paul in all his complexity with his blend of common and controversial Jewish beliefs and a faith in Christ that brought him into conflict with the socio-religious scene around him. Bird elucidates how the apostle Paul was variously perceived — as a religious deviant by Jews, as a divisive figure by Jewish Christians, as a purveyor of dubious philosophy by Greeks, and as a dangerous troublemaker by the Romans. Readers of this book will better understand the truly anomalous shape of Paul’s thinking and worldview.
In this book, through a distinctive evangelical and critical approach, Michael Bird explores the historical development of the four canonical Gospels. He shows how the memories and faith of the earliest believers formed the Gospel accounts of Jesus that got written and, in turn, how these accounts further shaped the early church.
Bird's study clarifies the often confusing debates over the origins of the canonical Gospels. Bird navigates recent concerns and research as he builds an informed case for how the early Christ followers wrote and spread the story of Jesus -- the story by which they believed they were called to live. The Gospel of the Lord is ideal for students or anyone who wants to know the story behind the four Gospels.
Watch an interview with Michael Bird from our Eerdmans Author Interview Series:
Jesus' mission was Israel-centric, but he espoused a view of restoration that was indebted to certain strands of Israel's sacred traditions where the gentiles are implicit beneficiaries of Israel's salvation. Since this restoration was already being partially realized in Jesus' ministry, it was becoming possible for gentiles to begin sharing in Israel's salvation in the present.
Additionally, Jesus understood himself and his followers to be the new temple and the vanguard of the restored Israel who would appropriate for themselves the role of Israel and the temple in being a light to the nations. Thus, a gentile mission has its germinal roots in the aims and intentions of Jesus and was developed in a transformed situation by adherents of the early Christian movement.
Evangelical Theology: Audio Lectures, a companion to the textbook Evangelical Theology, presents systematic theology from the unique perspective of a biblical scholar. Author and scholar Michael Bird contends that the center, unity, and boundary of the evangelical faith is the evangel, or gospel, as opposed to doctrines like justification by faith or inerrancy.
The evangel is the unifying thread in evangelical theology and the theological hermeneutic through which the various loci of theology need to be understood, thus these lectures present an approach to Christian doctrine that begins with the gospel and sees each loci through the lens of the gospel.
Filled with vibrant illustrations and humor that will keep viewers engaged as they learn the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, Evangelical Theology: Audio Lectures is an ideal way for beginning students and laypeople to explore theology.
Modern Christians have often hesitated to embrace the ancient creeds because of our "nothing but the Bible" tradition. In What Christians Ought to Believe: Audio Lectures, together with the accompanying book What Christians Ought to Believe, Michael Bird opens our eyes to the Apostles' Creed as a resource to explore and understand the basic teachings of the Christian faith.
Bringing together theological commentary, tips for application, and memorable illustrations, What Christians Ought to Believe: Audio Lectures summarizes the basic tenets of the Christian faith using the Apostles' Creed as the entryway. After first emphasizing the importance of creeds for the formation of the Christian faith, lessons introduce core beliefs about the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Church.
What Christians Ought to Believe: Audio Lectures is ideally suited for both the classroom and the church setting to help beginning students and lay learners wanting to better understand what Christians ought to affirm if they are to be called Christians.
Session Titles and Runtimes:
1 - Christian Creeds for Beginners (22 min)
2 - Why You Need the Creed (22 min)
3 - I Believe (19 min)
4 - Believing in the Father (19 min)
5 - Believing in the Son: Divine and Human (21 min)
6 - Believing in the Son: Messiah and Lord (19 min)
7 - Believing in the Virgin Birth (19 min)
8 - Believing in the Cross: The Offence of the Cross (22 min)
9 - Believing in the Cross: The Victory of the Cross (21 min)
10 - Believing that Jesus Lives (19 min)
11 - Believing that Jesus Reigns (21 min)
12 - Believing in the Spirit (20 min)
13 - Belonging to the Church (19 min)
14 - Believing in Salvation, Waiting for God's New World (21 min)