Westerholm first offers a detailed portrait of the "Lutheran" Paul, including the way such theologians as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Wesley have traditionally interpreted "justification by faith" to mean that God declares sinners "righteous" by his grace apart from "works." Westerholm then explores how Paul has fared in the twentieth century, in which "New Perspective" readings of Paul see him teaching that Gentiles need not become Jews or observe Jewish law to be God's people. The final section of the book looks anew at disputed areas of Paul's theological language and offers compelling discussion on the place of both justification by faith and Mosaic law in divine redemption.
Using the themes of the Epistle to the Romans, Westerholm helps readers understand the major components of Paul's vision of life. He delves into the writings of the Old Testament, explores their influence on Paul, and engages contemporary readers in a thought-provoking reconsideration of their own assumptions about faith, theology, and ethics.
This insightful introduction gives postmodern readers, especially those with little or no biblical background, a necessary big-picture look at Paul's view of reality.
This insightful work, placing emphasis on the major figures and both the scholarly lines of development and the appropriate lines for future research, will set the debate in a clearer and more and succinct manner. It will serve as a critical point of reference for further discussion.
Readers of this book will gain not only a better grasp of the ongoing theological debate about justification but also a more nuanced overall understanding of Paul.
A rich display of the Christian tradition’s reading of Scripture
Though well-known and oft-repeated, the advice to read the Bible “like any other book” fails to acknowledge that different books call for different kinds of reading. The voice of Scripture summons readers to hear and respond to its words as divine address. Not everyone chooses to read the Bible on those terms, but in Reading Sacred Scripture Stephen and Martin Westerholm (father and son) invite their readers to engage seriously with a dozen major Bible interpreters — ranging from the second century to the twentieth — who have been attentive to Scripture’s voice.
After expertly setting forth pertinent background context in two initial chapters, the Westerholms devote a separate chapter to each interpreter, exploring how these key Christian thinkers each understood Scripture and how it should be read. Though differing widely in their approaches to the text and its interpretation, these twelve select interpreters all insisted that the Bible is like no other book and should be read accordingly.
Offers a complete overview of the life, writings and legacy of one of the key figures of Christianity The essays compass the major themes of Paul's life and work, as well as his impact through the centuries on theology, Church teaching, social beliefs, art, literature, and contemporary intellectual thought Edited by one of the leading figures in the field of Pauline Studies The contributors include a range of world-renowned academics
But more than just a memoir, TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members--or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that "in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace," Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.
Very simply, a virtue (or vice) is acquired through practice--repeated activity that increases our proficiency at the activity and gradually forms our character. . . . We often need external incentives and sanctions to get us through the initial stages of the process, when our old, entrenched desires still pull us toward the opposite behavior. But with encouragement, discipline, and often a role model or mentor, practice can make things feel more natural and enjoyable as we gradually develop the internal values and desires corresponding to our outward behavior. Virtue often develops, that is, from the outside-in. This is why, when we want to re-form our character from vice to virtue, we often need to practice and persevere in regular spiritual disciplines and formational practices for a lengthy period of time.
Cornelius Plantinga pulls the ancient doctrine of sin out of mothballs and presents it to contemporary readers in clear language, drawing from a wide range of books, films, and other cultural resources. In smoothly flowing prose Plantinga describes how sin corrupts what is good and how such corruption spreads. He discusses the parasitic quality of sin and the ironies and pretenses generated by this quality. He examines the relation of sin to folly and addiction. He describes two classic "postures" or movements of sin -- attack and flight. And in an epilogue he reminds us that whatever we say about sin also sharpens our eye for the beauty of grace.
Introduces readers to key theological issues such as God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, faith, creation, salvation, atonement, religious history, and heaven Thoroughly updated, with the addition of a new chapter on the Holy Spirit Now includes images and more pedagogical features to engage the reader Each chapter offers an overview of an important theme, presents relevant biblical passages, and summarizes the contribution of a major theologian Expands the range of theological positions discussed within the book, especially those of contemporary and feminist theologians Maintains the user-friendly structure of the previous edition, with the Apostle's Creed as a framework Concludes with suggestions on how readers can take their study further Can be used alongside the new edition of Theology: The Basic Readings for a complete overview of the field
Does God have a perfect will for each Christian? Can you be absolutely certain of God’s specific will for your life? In this expanded twenty-fifth anniversary edition of his highly acclaimed work, Garry Friesen examines the prevalent view on God’s will today and provides a sound biblical alternative to the traditional teaching of how God guides us. This new edition includes these helpful resources:
• Study guide for small groups
• Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
• Guide to painless Scripture memorization
Friesen tackles the very practical issues of choosing a mate, picking a career, and giving in this fresh and liberating approach to decision making and the will of God.
Story Behind the Book
Most Christians have been taught how to find God’s will, yet many are still unsure whether they’ve found it. God does guide His people, but the question is, “How does He guide?” After “putting out a fleece” to decide which college to attend, Garry Friesen began pondering why it was so hard to find God’s will when he had so sincerely sought it. Was he the only one who did not have 100 percent clarity for every decision? Then a new possibility struck—perhaps his understanding of the nature of God’s will was biblically deficient. Maybe there was a better way to understand HOW God guides.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this challenging yet compelling book, John MacArthur encourages you to confront the culture's flight from moral responsibility. With sound biblical truth, this book shows how and why sin must be dealt with if you are to live in a way that pleases God. With clairty and insight, John MacArthur provides you with solutions for attaining a personal holiness that can take you from living a life of blame and denial to one of peace and freedom.
Praise for The Vanishing Conscience:
". . . a wake-up call and an alarm to jolt the sleeping church. Not all will like it, but all should read it. In this day of morality by majority, self-centered ministry, and twilight-zone theology, a clear word like this is long overdue." ?Dr. Adrian Rogers, Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church
". . . a clear and prophetic word that we must hear and heed." ?Dr. Joseph M. Stowell, President, Moody Bible Institute
"With the clarion call of a prophet, MacArthur points us back to something we have forgotten: the value and importance of a clean conscience." ?Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor, Harvest Christian Fellowship
In light of these new realities, this book will introduce Christian ethics. It will lay out history, methods, and basic principles every student must know. The author also will include case studies for further explanation and application.
The Christian does not live in a vacuum, says the author, but in a world of government, politics, labor, and marriage. Hence, Christian ethics cannot exist in a vacuum; what the Christian needs, claims Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is concrete instruction in a concrete situation. Although the author died before completing his work, this book is recognized as a major contribution to Christian ethics.
The root and ground of Christian ethics, the author says, is the reality of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. This reality is not manifest in the Church as distinct from the secular world; such a juxtaposition of two separate spheres, Bonhoeffer insists, is a denial of God’s having reconciled the whole world to himself in Christ. On the contrary, God’s commandment is to be found and known in the Church, the family, labor, and government. His commandment permits man to live as man before God, in a world God made, with responsibility for the institutions of that world.
How can lawyers bridge the gap between their beliefs and their daily work? Joseph Allegretti maintains that law can be a true vocation - a "calling" from God. He points to ways that lawyers are or can be healers in society, and he explains how their service to clients resembles a covenant relationship. Lawyers and law students will find his vision of the legal profession to be rich with possibility.
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 theologians Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler contend that there is a disconnect between many of the Church’s absolute sexual norms and other theological and intellectual developments explicitly recognized and endorsed in the Catholic tradition, especially since the Second Vatican Council. These developments include the shift from a primary static worldview to a historically conscious worldview, one that recognizes reality as dynamic, evolving, changing, and particular. By employing such a historically conscious worldview, alternative claims about the moral legitimacy of controversial topics such as contraception, artificial reproduction, and homosexual marriage can faithfully emerge within a Catholic context. Convinced of the central role that love, desire, and fertility play in a human life, and also in the life of Christian discipleship, the authors propose an understanding of sexuality that leads to the enhancement of human sexual relationships and flourishing.
This comprehensive introduction to Catholic sexual ethics—complete with thought-provoking study questions at the end of each chapter—will be sure to stimulate dialogue about sexual morality between Catholic laity, theologians, and the hierarchy. Anyone seeking a credible and informed Catholic sexual ethic will welcome this potentially revolutionary book.
The editors of The Hauerwas Reader, therefore, have compiled and edited a volume that represents all the different periods and phases of Hauerwas’s work. Highlighting both his constructive goals and penchant for polemic, the collection reflects the enormous variety of subjects he has engaged, the different genres in which he has written, and the diverse audiences he has addressed. It offers Hauerwas on ethics, virtue, medicine, and suffering; on euthanasia, abortion, and sexuality; and on war in relation to Catholic and Protestant thought. His essays on the role of religion in liberal democracies, the place of the family in capitalist societies, the inseparability of Christianity and Judaism, and on many other topics are included as well.
Perhaps more than any other author writing on religious topics today, Hauerwas speaks across lines of religious traditions, appealing to Methodists, Jews, Anabaptists or Mennonites, Catholics, Episcopalians, and others.
This book will help you navigate the great law of love given by Jesus. Inside you’ll find a disruptive invitation to be holy as Jesus was holy and engage the sinful world with a smile instead of pointing a finger in their face.
The book then moves from its philosophical basis to a practical application of Christian ethics, considering a wide range of social, biomedical, and personal issues. It does not take a partisan or denominational approach to these issues, but squarely faces them with an open mind and open Bible.
The book is based on sound biblical and philosophical reasoning and does not tell readers what to think but encourages them to think biblically and critically through these issues.
He contends that the fundamental basis for this body of teaching comes from an anthropological perspective that recognizes both the inherent dignity and the social nature of the human person—thus do the church's teachings on political and economic matters chart a middle course between the two extremes of individualism and collectivism. The documents themselves tend to downplay any discontinuities with previous documents, but Curran's systematic analysis reveals the significant historical developments that have occurred over the course of more than a century. Although greatly appreciative of the many strengths of this teaching, Curran also points out the weaknesses and continuing tensions in Catholic social teaching today.
Intended for scholars and students of Catholic social ethics, as well as those involved in Catholic social ministry, this volume will also appeal to non-Catholic readers interested in an understanding and evaluation of Catholic social teaching.
In a clear and concise manner, Todd Salzman investigates what it is that fundamentally divides these two ethical theories and then what has created such animosity and division not only among theologians but also within the Church herself.
-- proposes a possible basis for common ground and future dialogue.
-- is ideal for use by undergraduate and graduate students, as well as lay readers.
-- sheds new light on the debate for moral theologians.
Christian Faith and Social Justice makes sense of the disagreements among Christians over the meaning of justice by bringing together five highly regarded Christian philosophers to introduce and defend rival perspectives on social justice in the Christian tradition. While it aspires to offer a lucid introduction to these theories, the purpose of this book is more than informative. It is purposefully dialogical and is structured so that contributors are able to model for the reader reasoned exchange among philosophers who disagree about the meaning of social justice. The hope is that the reader is left with a better understanding of range of perspectives in the Christian tradition about social justice.
Jodie Marie Robinson refuses to allow her three daughters to grow up believing they are anything but beautiful. Not beautiful by the world's definitionbeautiful by the Lord's definition. And that definition is virtue.
In Women of Virtue, beauty is redefined as a rare and priceless love of one's inner self. Let each of us open our eyes to discover within ourselves the beauty of virtue, and teach our childrenour futurethat therein true happiness lies.
Looking specifically at the areas of medicine, the marketplace, public life, education, and the family, Rae shows how foundational ethical principles can guide you in making moral day-to-day decisions. Informed by Scripture and calling for a renewed understanding of the importance of the Christian faith in moral training, Doing the Right Thing issues a call for cultivated virtue that can bring about both better lives and a better society.
You will find yourself examining the ways in which ethical and character issues relate to your life. As a result, you will be better equipped to promote virtue in your own spheres of influence and the culture at large.
In the early and mid-twentieth century the Catholic Church in the United States tended to focus its social mission on its own charities, hospitals, and schools. But the Second Vatican Council called the Church to a new understanding of social mission, deepening its involvement in and commitment to civic, social, and political life in the United States and abroad. Curran devotes particular attention to three issues that have reflected the Church's strong sense of social mission since that time: abortion, war and peace, and labor.
The Social Mission of the U.S. Catholic Church describes the proper role of bishops, institutions, and movements in the Church, but insists that the primary role belongs to all the baptized members of the Church as they live out the social mission in their daily lives.
Bringing together veteran teachers of Catholic Social Teaching who have worked together on the content, this book is designed to set social questions within the Catholic tradition and contemporary life. End-of-chapter application sections address practical concerns, such as racism in the church, charity, consumerism, and talking with neighbors and coworkers about moral issues. Discussion questions, case studies, excerpts of church documents, and suggestions for further reading enhance the book's usefulness. It will work well for students of theology and ethics, particularly Catholics but also Protestants who want to know more about the Catholic social tradition.
Can you be a committed Christian without having to condemn or convert people of other faiths? Is it possible to affirm other religious traditions without watering down your own?
In his most important book yet, widely acclaimed author and speaker Brian McLaren proposes a new faith alternative, one built on "benevolence and solidarity rather than rivalry and hostility." This way of being Christian is strong but doesn't strong-arm anyone, going beyond mere tolerance to vigorous hospitality toward, interest in, and collaboration with the other.
Blending history, narrative, and brilliant insight, McLaren shows readers step-by-step how to reclaim this strong-benevolent faith, challenging us to stop creating barriers in the name of God and learn how affirming other religions can strengthen our commitment to our own. And in doing so, he invites Christians to become more Christ-like than ever before.
In his cogent, honest, and fully researched and referenced work, The Dominion of Love, Norm Phelps attempts to encourage all who revere the Bible as holy scripture to open their hearts to the suffering that we inflict upon our nonhuman neighbors. He shows that the right of animals not to be imprisoned, harmed, and killed for our benefit flows naturally from the Bible's message of love and compassion and argues that this is the message of the Bible's most important passages dealing with our relationship to animals. He further responds to the defenses of animal exploitation that are often made based on the Bible.
Beautifully written, The Dominion of Love is an essential addition to a growing body of literature that argues for a compassionate and non-exploitative reading of Holy Scripture.
In light of these realities, Curran proposes his understanding of how the strands should influence moral theology today. A concluding chapter highlights the need for a truly theological approach and calls for a significant change in the way that the papal teaching office functions today and its understanding of natural law.
In a work useful to anyone who studies Catholic moral theology, The Development of Moral Theology underscores, in the light of the historical development of these strands, the importance of a truly theological and critical approach to moral theology that has significant ramifications for the life of the Catholic church.
Carson traces the subtle but enormous shift in the way we have come to understand tolerance over recent years -- from defending the rights of those who hold different beliefs to affirming all beliefs as equally valid and correct. He looks back at the history of this shift and discusses its implications for culture today, especially its bearing on democracy, discussions about good and evil, and Christian truth claims.
Using real-life examples that will sometimes arouse laughter and sometimes make the blood boil, Carson argues not only that the "new tolerance" is socially dangerous and intellectually debilitating but also that it actually leads to genuine intolerance of all who struggle to hold fast to their beliefs.