The deflation of the Enlightenment worldview and rise of the post-modern mood over the last decades has altered the relation of Christian faith to culture. How, in this new situation, should the church confess Christ? "Above All Earthly Powers" paints a picture of the West in all its complexity, brilliance, and emptiness.
As David F. Wells masterfully depicts it, the postmodern ethos is relativistic, individualistic, therapeutic, and yet remarkably spiritual. By placing a premium on marketing rather than truth, the evangelical church is in danger of selling authentic engagement with culture for worldly success. Christians need to confess Christ as the center in a society lacking a center, as the sovereign in a world seemingly ruled by chance, and as the one who can give meaning in a nihilistic culture. "Above All Earthly Powers" issues a prophetic call to the evangelical church that it cannot afford to ignore.
Drawing on his years of field experience in Galilee, the author illustrates how the archaeological record has been misused by New Testament scholars, and how synthesis of the material culture is foundational for understanding Christian origins in Galilee and the Jewish culture out of which they aros
Christians and non-Christians alike have long recognized that Jesus' life was characterized by vibrancy, love, commitment, clarity, and joy. We all yearn to share in these traits, and by studying Jesus we can discern that he sees in us the potential to become as he was. After all, Jesus didn't go around asking people to believe certain things about him--he invited them to follow him into the abundant life he wanted to share. Brian C. Taylor focuses on the fresh, immediate, liberating quality of what Jesus had to say about life. "His guidance about how to live struck me to the core," Taylor writes. Taylor's succinct summations of what Jesus taught--Don't worry; Love everybody; Help the poor; Become simple; Face into conflict; Change the world; Forgive yourself for being human, and so on--provide the basis for this series of reflections on the transformative wisdom that inspired those who had ears to hear to drop everything and follow him. Jesus continues to astonish and transform those who hear him, and Becoming Human is a deep well of wisdom for any who wish to give glory to God by becoming fully alive.
Drawn from every era of history, this collection of stories, poems, essays, traditional hymns, and celebratory songs is an essential volume for all Christian libraries--and for readers of all religions interested in learning about Christ. An impressive omnibus.--Baton Rouge State Times/Morning Advocate.
John Shelby Spong, bestselling author and Episcopal bishop of Newark, NJ, challenges the doctrine of the virgin birth, tracing its development in the early Christian church and revealing its legacy in our contemporary attitudes toward women and female sexuality.
The first definitive account of what scholars and the media are calling 'the most important archaeological discovery' about Jesus and his family.
This is the definitive story of the recent discovery of the first-century ossuary (limestone bone box) with the legend 'James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus', and its implications for understanding Jesus, his family (mother, father, brothers), his followers, the first Christians and the Jewish Christian movement in Jerusalem that James led. This ossuary is the first ever archaeological discovery directly confirming the existence of Jesus, and his relationship to his father, Joseph, and brother, James, who became the leader of the important Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem. No one is as qualified and well connected to recount the discovery and its authentication as Hershel Shanks, whose magazine first broke the story.
Reveals the true role of James, the brother of Jesus, in early Christianity- Uses evidence from the canonical Gospels, apocryphal texts, and the writings of the Church Fathers to reveal the teachings of Jesus as transmitted to his chosen successor: James - Demonstrates how the core message in the teachings of Jesus is an expansion not a repudiation of the Jewish religion - Shows how James can serve as a bridge between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam James has been a subject of controversy since the founding of the Church. Evidence that Jesus had siblings contradicts Church dogma on the virgin birth, and James is also a symbol of Christian teachings that have been obscured. While Peter is traditionally thought of as the leader of the apostles and the "rock" on which Jesus built his church, Jeffrey B tz shows that it was James who led the disciples after the crucifixion. It was James, not Peter, who guided them through the Church's first major theological crisis--Paul's interpretation of the teachings of Jesus. Using the canonical Gospels, writings of the Church Fathers, and apocryphal texts, B tz argues that James is the most overlooked figure in the history of the Church. He shows how the core teachings of Jesus are firmly rooted in Hebraic tradition; reveals the bitter battles between James and Paul for ideological supremacy in the early Church; and explains how Paul's interpretations, which became the foundation of the Church, are in many ways its betrayal. B tz reveals a picture of Christianity and the true meaning of Christ's message that are sometimes at odds with established Christian doctrine and concludes that James can serve as a desperately needed missing link between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to heal the wounds of centuries of enmity.
There can be many obstacles to faith. As Art Lindsley says, Lewis knew what it was like not to believe. He struggled with many doubts along the way to faith. Since he was an ardent atheist until age thirty-one, Lewis's experience and education prepared him to understand firsthand the most common arguments against Christianity. As a scholar and teacher of literature at Oxford, Lewis confronted many questions:
- Aren't all religions just humanly invented myths?
- Doesn't evil in the world indicate an absence of any personal or loving God?
- Why should what is true for one person be true for me, especially when it comes to religion?
- How can anyone claim that one religion is right?
- Why follow Jesus if he was just another good moral teacher?
This book provides a readable introduction to Lewis's reflections on these and other objections to belief in Jesus Christ and the compelling reasons why Lewis came to affirm the truth of Christianity. Art Lindsley is a helpful and reliable guide to the voluminous and sometimes challenging writings of Lewis for both seekers and those who want to grasp their own faith more deeply.
This Companion's starting point is the realization that Jesus of Nazareth cannot be studied purely as a subject of ancient history, or as "a man like any other man". History, literature, theology and the dynamic of a living, worldwide religious reality appropriately impinge on the study of Jesus. This book therefore incorporates the most up-to-date historical work on Jesus with the "larger issues" of critical method--the story of Christian faith and study, as well as Jesus in a global church and in the encounter with Judaism and Islam.
Who was the real Jesus? How was this Palestinian charismatic transformed by later generations into the heavenly savior who is the focus of the Christian Church? Did Jesus's own teachings lead to his divine characterization? Or did the church-centered needs of gentile Christianity hide his true face, obscuring the religion he preached and practiced? With unique authority, sensitivity, and insight, renowned scholar Geza Vermes explores these difficult questions by examining the New Testament writings, placing them in the context of the Jewish civilization of the first century. Starting with the elevated, divine figure of Christ presented in the most recent Gospel, the Gospel of John, Vermes travels back through earlier accounts of Jesus's life to reveal the true historical figure.