The contributors and views include:James K. Hoffmeier: Theological History Gordon J. Wenham: Proto-History Kenton L. Sparks: Ancient Historiography
General editor and Old Testament scholar Charles Halton explains the importance of genre and provides historical insight in the introduction and helpful summaries of each position in the conclusion. In the reader-friendly Counterpoints format, this book helps readers to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed conclusions in this much-debated topic.
The Immigration Crisis addresses this complex issue through a comprehensive look at the Bible. By a careful study of relevant materials in the Old Testament, in combination with archaeological and sociological materials, the author forms a clear definition of an alien in Israelite society. This understanding is an important starting point in the current debate.
The book concludes by suggesting how the Bible might assist Christians in thinking about the problem of legal and illegal immigrants, and in developing the implications of the biblical teaching for public policy.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Good Housekeeping • Booklist • Publishers Weekly • Bookish
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.
Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.
Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.
Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.
Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion.
Praise for Zealot
“Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account.”—The New Yorker
“A lucid, intelligent page-turner.”—Los Angeles Times
“Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn . . . Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks down that image.”—The Seattle Times
“[Aslan’s] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. . . . A vivid, persuasive portrait.”—Salon
“This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process.”—San Francisco Chronicle
What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” Bonhoeffer wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty.
Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works--each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century--contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.
This splendid volume, in some ways the capstone of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, presents the full array of Bonhoeffer’s 1943–1945 prison letters and theological writings. Using the acclaimed DBWE translation, adapted to a more accessible format, this new edition features supplemental material from Victoria J. Barnett and an insightful introduction by John W. de Gruchy to clarify the theological meaning and social importance of Bonhoeffer’s prison writings.
Interest in Karl Barth is running at unprecedented levels in the English-speaking world, and it is high time that his excellent survey of formative eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Protestant thinkers be made available again to theological students and general readers.
Featuring an extensive introduction by Colin E. Gunton that recontextualizes and reintroduces Barth's work for a new generation, this book provides a superb review of the shapers of modern Protestant thought and practice. Barth offers insightful readings of all the most significant figures of the modern period -- Rousseau, Lessing, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Ritschl, and others -- as well as several lesser-known thinkers. Also included here are Barth's preface to the original 1946 German edition and a translation of his hard-to-find essay "On the Task of a History of Modern Protestant Theology."
In addition to providing insight into some of the church's seminal theologians, this volume offers an excellent look at Barth himself. In capturing Barth's personal views on doctrine, the church, and intellectual history, the book also provides valuable background reading for those studying Barth's own theology.
Köstenberger and Kruger's accessible and careful scholarship not only counters the "Bauer Thesis" using its own terms, but also engages overlooked evidence from the New Testament. Their conclusions are drawn from analysis of the evidence of unity in the New Testament, the formation and closing of the canon, and the methodology and integrity of the recording and distribution of religious texts within the early church.
And if the Bible can be interpreted in many ways, how do we know what to make
of it? And who decided what should be in the Bible anyway?
The Church Fathers provide the answers. These brilliant, embattled, and
sometimes eccentric men defined the biblical canon, hammered out the Creed,
and gave us our understanding of sacraments and salvation. It is they who
preserved for us the rich legacy of the early Church.
D’Ambrosio dusts off the dry theology and brings you the exciting stories and
great heroes such as Ambrose, Augustine, Basil, Athanasius, Chrysostom, and
Jerome. This page-turner will inspire and challenge you with the lives and
insights of these seminal teachers from when the Church was young.
A collection of the earliest known writings of the church, The Apostolic Fathers includes a sermon and six brief documents: the First and Second Epistles of Clement, the Didache, the Epistles of Ignatius, the Epistle of Polycarp, the Epistle about Polycarp's Martyrdom, and the Shepherd of Hermas.
"There are two ways, one of life and one of death," begins the Didache, "and between the two ways there is a great difference." Followers of the way of life today will find much encouragement of those who first embarked on the path two millennia ago.
The John Lightfoot (1602-1675) translation was the source used for this edition of Apostolic Fathers.
In The Victory of Reason, Rodney Stark advances a revolutionary, controversial, and long overdue idea: that Christianity and its related institutions are, in fact, directly responsible for the most significant intellectual, political, scientific, and economic breakthroughs of the past millennium.
In Stark’s view, what has propelled the West is not the tension between secular and nonsecular society, nor the pitting of science and the humanities against religious belief. Christian theology, Stark asserts, is the very font of reason: While the world’s other great belief systems emphasized mystery, obedience, or introspection, Christianity alone embraced logic and reason as the path toward enlightenment, freedom, and progress. That is what made all the difference.
In explaining the West’s dominance, Stark convincingly debunks long-accepted “truths.” For instance, by contending that capitalism thrived centuries before there was a Protestant work ethic–or even Protestants–he counters the notion that the Protestant work ethic was responsible for kicking capitalism into overdrive. In the fifth century, Stark notes, Saint Augustine celebrated theological and material progress and the institution of “exuberant invention.” By contrast, long before Augustine, Aristotle had condemned commercial trade as “inconsistent with human virtue”–which helps further underscore that Augustine’s times were not the Dark Ages but the incubator for the West’s future glories.
This is a sweeping, multifaceted survey that takes readers from the Old World to the New, from the past to the present, overturning along the way not only centuries of prejudiced scholarship but the antireligious bias of our own time. The Victory of Reason proves that what we most admire about our world–scientific progress, democratic rule, free commerce–is largely due to Christianity, through which we are all inheritors of this grand tradition.
Designed particularly for undergraduate courses in theology and religion, the Westminster History of Christian Thought series offers reliable and accessible introductions to Christian thought for each major period in Christian history--the early church, the medieval era, the Reformation, the modern age, and the contemporary period--and concludes with a volume on American religious thought.
Alongside this "historical interpretation" is Bruner's own contemporary interpretation, which incorporates a lucid translation of the text, references to recent scholarship, and his pastoral application of the Gospel to present-day experience. Like Bruner's other work, this commentary is rich in biblical insights, broadly historical, and deeply theological.
Here is what Eugene Peterson said about Bruner's earlier work on Matthew: "This is the kind of commentary I most want -- a theological wrestling with Scripture. Frederick Dale Bruner grapples with the text not only as a technical exegete (although he does that very well) but as a church theologian, caring passionately about what these words tell us about God and ourselves. His Matthew commentary is in the grand traditions of Augustine, Calvin, and Luther -- expansive and leisurely, loving the text, the people in it, and the Christians who read it." The same could well be said about the present John commentary, which promises to be another invaluable resource for pastors, teachers, and laypeople alike.
Generations of monastics, oblates and others whose lives are influenced by monastic spirituality, have encountered the Rule by means of Doyle's work, which remains by far the most widely known and used English version of the Rule. The traditional dates for the thrice-yearly reading of the Rule are included in this edition.
Simple, clear text and beautiful cover art enhance the value of this edition. The elegance of the page, as crafted by the master eye of renowned liturgical artist and designer Frank Kacmarcik, OblSB, makes it a treasure to read and study as Benedict intended. With ribbon marker.
Leonard J. Doyle (1914-1970) was a gifted translator of German, French, Latin, and Italian works for The Liturgical Press, in addition to operating his own publishing company, Doyle and Finegan. His translations include such titles as Parish Holy Week Missal (1956), The Simplification of the Rubrics(1955), Commentary for Benedictine Oblates (1950), Benedictinism Through Changing Centuries (1958), A History of Benedictine Nuns (1958), among others. After Vatican II he worked on the official liturgical books published by The Liturgical Press, including the Lectionary, the Sacramentary, and the Breviary. His translation from Latin of St. Benedict's Rule for Monasteries, which was published in 1948, is still sold by The Liturgical Press.
David W. Cotter, OSB, is a monk of St. John's Abbey and an editor at The Liturgical Press. He is series editor of Berit Olam (The Everlasting Covenant) Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry.
The first theme concerns what it means to be truly human. For Luther, "passive righteousness" described the believer's response to God's grace. But there was also an "active righteousness" that defined the relationship of the believer to the world. The second theme involves God's relation to his creation through his Word, first creating and then redeeming the world.
Clergy and general readers will find here a helpful introduction to Luther's theology and its continuing importance for applying the good news of the gospel to the contemporary world.
Theology of the Reformers articulates the theological self-understanding of five principal figures from the period of the Reformation: Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, Menno Simons, and William Tyndale. George establishes the context for their work by describing the spiritual climate of their time. Then he profiles each reformer, providing a picture of their theology that does justice to the scope of their involvement in the reforming effort.
George details the valuable contributions these men made to issues historically considered pillars of the Christian faith: Scripture, Jesus Christ, salvation, the church, and last things. The intent is not just to document the theology of these reformers, but also to help the church of today better understand and more faithfully live its calling as followers of the one true God.
Through and through, George's work provides a truly integrated and comprehensive picture of Christian theology at the time of the Reformation.
Clarissa W. Atkinson
Marcia J. Bunge
Richard P. Heitzenrater
Mary Ann Hinsdale
Keith Graber Miller
Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
Marcia Y. Riggs
Martha Ellen Stortz
Jane E. Strohl
Cristina L. H. Traina
From one of England’s most distinguished intellectual historians comes “an exhilarating ride…that will stand the test of time as a masterful account of” (The Boston Globe) one of the West’s most important intellectual movements: Atheism.
In 1882, Friedrich Nietzche declared that “God is dead” and ever since tens of thousands of brilliant, courageous, thoughtful individuals have devoted their creative energies to devising ways to live without God with self-reliance, invention, hope, wit, and enthusiasm. Now, for the first time, their story is revealed.
A captivating story of contest, failure, and success, The Age of Atheists sweeps up William James and the pragmatists; Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis; Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, and Albert Camus; the poets of World War One and the novelists of World War Two; scientists, from Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking; and the rise of the new Atheists—Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. This is a story of courage, of the thousands of individuals who, sometimes at great risk, devoted tremendous creative energies to devising ways to fill a godless world with self-reliance, invention, hope, wit, and enthusiasm. Watson explains how atheism has evolved and reveals that the greatest works of art and literature, of science and philosophy of the last century can be traced to the rise of secularism.
From Nietzsche to Daniel Dennett, Watson’s stirring intellectual history manages to take the revolutionary ideas and big questions of these great minds and movements and explain them, making the connections and concepts simple without being simplistic. The Age of Atheists is “highly readable and immensely wide-ranging…For anybody who has wondered about the meaning of life…an enthralling and mind-expanding experience” (The Washington Post).
Birthing Eternity makes a compelling case to take off your theological blindfolds and examine the elephant standing before you. By tracing the correlation between documented history and the biblical prophecy, Birthing Eternity will give you answers that are both unexpected and profound. Find out how God has fulfilled His Word in astounding detail and gain critical insight about current events that are on everyone’s mind in this unsettled and challenging time.
Birthing Eternity makes the Last Days easy to understand. It is proof that the message of End Times Scripture does not require top-secret information, prophetic visions, or a degree in theology. It is simply a matter of connecting the dots between what is plainly stated in Scripture and human events.
More than that, you will find assurance that the unfolding of Last Days events isn’t something to be feared, but rather an exciting adventure. No matter what, there is hope for a bright future—including eternity.
As a part of the KNOW series, Know the Creeds and Councils is designed for personal study or classroom use, but also for small groups and Sunday schools wanting to more deeply understand the foundations of the faith.
Each chapter covers a key statement of faith and includes a discussion of its historical context, a simple explanation of the statement’s content and key points, reflections on contemporary and ongoing relevance, and discussion questions.
Eric Metaxas, New York Times best-selling author, Bonhoeffer
The Star of Bethlehem is one of the greatest mysteries in astronomy and in the Bible. What was it? How did it prompt the Magi to set out on a long journey to Judea? How did it lead them to Jesus?
In this groundbreaking book, Colin R. Nicholl makes the compelling case that the Star of Bethlehem could only have been a great comet. Taking a fresh look at the biblical text and drawing on the latest astronomical research, this beautifully illustrated volume will introduce readers to the Bethlehem Star in all of its glory.
Effective and engaging, Sproul does not shy away from difficult theological terms and ideas, but capably guides readers through this famous doctrinal dispute. To those who decry the doctrines of imputation and justification by faith alone as "legal fiction," Sproul warns that nothing less than the central message of the gospel is at stake.
In this seminal account, acclaimed historian Karen Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, life, and afterlife of history’s most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity’s sacred text, and how its interpretation changed over time. Armstrong’s history of the Bible is a brilliant, captivating book, crucial in an age of declining faith and rising fundamentalism.