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.
But then again, maybe you don’t.
Even if you go to church, it doesn’t mean that you are being exposed (or exposing others) to the gospel explicitly. Sure, most people talk about Jesus, and about being good and avoiding bad, but the gospel message simply isn’t there—at least not in its specificity and its fullness.
Inspired by the needs of both the over-churched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, popular pastor Matt Chandler writes this best-selling treatise to remind us what is of first and utmost importance—the gospel.
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher 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 executed as a state criminal. Within decades after his death, his followers would call him God.
Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most enigmatic figures by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction. He explores the reasons 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’ life and mission.
Praise for Zealot
“Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account.”—The New Yorker
“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
“A special and revealing work, one that believer and skeptic alike will find surprising, engaging, and original.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
“Compulsively readable . . . This superb work is highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.
We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.
In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
From the Hardcover edition.
While imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Simon Wiesenthal was taken one day from his work detail to the bedside of a dying member of the SS. Haunted by the crimes in which he had participated, the soldier wanted to confess to--and obtain absolution from--a Jew. Faced with the choice between compassion and justice, silence and truth, Wiesenthal said nothing. But even years after the way had ended, he wondered: Had he done the right thing? What would you have done in his place?
In this important book, fifty-three distinguished men and women respond to Wiesenthal's questions. They are theologians, political leaders, writers, jurists, psychiatrists, human rights activists, Holocaust survivors, and victims of attempted genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, China and Tibet. Their responses, as varied as their experiences of the world, remind us that Wiesenthal's questions are not limited to events of the past.
Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion. Here, in this straightforward, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book, she sets out a program that can lead us toward a more compassionate life.
The twelve steps Armstrong suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion” and close with “Love Your Enemies.” In between, she takes up “compassion for yourself,” mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and “concern for everybody.” She suggests concrete ways of enhancing our compassion and putting it into action in our everyday lives, and provides, as well, a reading list to encourage us to “hear one another’s narratives.” Throughout, Armstrong makes clear that a compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind but a deliberate and often life-altering commingling of the two.
From the Hardcover edition.
In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. The number of people who spend their lives engaged in violence and dishonesty is tiny compared to the vast majority who would wish others only well. According to the Dalai Lama, our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness. Ethics for the New Millennium presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs. Though he himself a practicing Buddhist, the Dalai Lama's teachings and the moral compass that guides him can lead each and every one of us—Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist—to a happier, more fulfilling life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
All believers have wrestled with this question at some point in their spiritual walks. So what answers does God provide to challenging questions like: Am I really saved? Am I going to heaven? How can I know for sure?
Renowned pastor and author John MacArthur believes every Christian should enjoy the reality and security of being saved without a doubt. Drawing from a background rich in Bible study and teaching, John examines key scriptures, tackles tough questions, and sheds light on the true nature of salvation. Throughout, you’ll be encouraged to embrace the perfect grace found in Jesus Christ.
Saved without a Doubt includes a guide for both personal and group study, which features discovery questions, suggestions for prayer, and activities, all designed to connect life-changing truths with everyday living.
God will reveal to you how to activate the prophetic destiny over your life that seems dormant. He is waiting for you to realize that your dream, prophecy, desire, or miracle is not dead only sleeping! God is ready to awaken those promises as you open yourself to His abundant glory.
What it means to be called and trained as a prophet or intercessor
How to understand dreams and visions and hear directly from God
Why it is important for the body to work in unity
This book is filled with spiritual discoveries that will effect dynamic changes in every reader.
About the Authors
John and Paula Sandford have applied the principles of this book with great success in their parenting of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The founders of Elijah House, the Sandfords are well known around the world for their contributions of teaching, counseling, writing, and leading in the fields of family living, inner healing, prophecy, social concerns, human behavior, and theology. They have written thirteen books.
In the sixteenth century, to attempt to translate the Bible into a common tongue wasn't just difficult, it was dangerous. A Bible in English threatened the power of the monarch and the Church. Early translators like Tyndale, whose work greatly influenced the King James, were hunted down and executed, but the demand for English Bibles continued to grow. Indeed it was the popularity of the Geneva Bible, with its anti-royalist content, that eventually forced James I to sanction his own, pro-monarchy, translation. Errors in early editions--one declared that "thou shalt commit adultery"--and Puritan preferences for the Geneva Bible initially hampered acceptance of the King James, but it went on to become the definitive English-language Bible. McGrath's history of the King James Bible’s creation and influence is a worthy tribute to a great work and a joy to read.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul's systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.
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.
The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.
A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.
Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.
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.
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).
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Chavda carefully lays the foundation as he presents a refreshing look at the importance of the blood of Jesus in the life of the believer. The Hidden Power of the Blood of Jesus is theologically sound but passionately written in a way that the reader will gasp for air as he discovers each new truth. Chavda will transform your thinking on the blood of Jesus as he lifts it out of its stuffy theological setting and makes it practical in your life.
McCarthy and Lysaught have crafted a distinctively unified collection. Gathered for the Journeyrepresents a common project among Catholic scholars who are struggling with similar questions about living faithfully.
Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt
William T. Cavanaugh
David M. Cloutier
James M. Donohue
Jeanne Heffernan Schindler
Kelly S. Johnson
M. Therese Lysaught
William C. Mattison III
David M. McCarthy
Michael R. Miller
Julie Hanlon Rubio
But perhaps not in the way the term is frequently used today. Charismata is a Greek word meaning "gifts of grace." It refers to the gifts or special abilities given to Christians by the Holy Spirit--all the gifts, not just speaking in tongues or miracles or healing.
? What are the 19 gifts?
? Are they all for today?
? What is their purpose?
? How can we discover and put to use our own gifts?
All of these questions, plus a careful examination of gifts revealed in the Bible, are included in this in-depth study, first published in 1974. If you want to know what the Bible says about spiritual gifts, this book is for you.
Dr. Leslie Flynn is the former pastor of Grace Conservative Baptist Church in Nanuet, New York, where he served for 40 years. He has written more than 30 books, among them this classic and The Twelve.
Written as a favor for a friend, this Â“little workÂ” is a wonderful explanation of the Christian faith: a true catechism from which, throughout the history of the church, other catechisms have drawn and learned. Augustine first works his way through the creed, and then the LordÂ’s Prayer as recorded by Matthew, ending with the sacraments. This is a colossal work in one small volume.
While agreeing with the claim that to remember a wrongdoing is to struggle against it, Volf notes that there are too many ways to remember wrongly, perpetuating the evil committed rather than guarding against it. In this way, the just sword of memory often severs the very good it seeks to defend. He argues that remembering rightly has implications not only for the individual but also for the wrongdoer and for the larger community.
Volfs personal stories of persecution offer a compelling backdrop for his search for theological resources to make memories a wellspring of healing rather than a source of deepening pain and animosity. Controversial, thoughtful, and incisively reasoned, "The End of Memory" begins a conversation hard to ignore.
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.