Dietrich Bonhoeffer was only thirty-nine years old in 1945 when he was executed in a Nazi concentration camp. However, his courage, vision, and brilliance have greatly influenced twentieth century theology. Bonhoeffer's work has profoundly shaped the thinking of many who work for spiritual, political and civil rights, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Liberation Theology proponent Leonardo Boff.A Testament to Freedom spans Bonhoeffer's all too brief pastoral and theological career and includes excerpts from his major books, sermons, and selected letters. This magnificent volume takes readers on a historical and biographical journey that follows Bonhoeffer through the various stages of his life - teacher, pastor, seminary director, and ultimately, martyr in pursuit of peace and justice. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a renowned and beloved Christian minister, seminary professor, and theologian who was imprisoned and later executed by the Nazis for his resistance to Hitler. He was the author of the bestselling classic The Cost of Discipleship, Life Together, and Letters and Papers from Prison. Geffrey B. Kelly is professor of systematic theology at La Salle University in Philadelphia, and author of Liberating Faith: Bonhoeffer's Message for Today. F. Burton Nelson (1920 - 2004) served as professor of Christian ethics at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago for thirty-six years, and is the author of The Story of the People of God.
Introduction by Martin E. MartyA veteran theologian and minister offers his wise counsel to beginners in the field on the difficulties of practicing theology in a church often skeptical of theological pursuit. Thielicke stresses the importance of maintaining one's spiritual health in the course of technical theological inquiry.
This new edition of the Image classic, with more than 100,000 copies sold, brings E. Allison Peers's magnificent translation of St. John of the Cross's masterpiece Dark Night of the Soul to a new generation of readers and will renew the interest of those already familiar with its soaring poetry and timeless truths. The sixteenth-century Carmelite monk St. John of the Cross stands alongside St. Teresa of Avila as the West's best known and most beloved Christian mystic. As Peers writes in the Introduction to his definitive translation of Dark Night of the Soul, "The most sublime of all Spanish mystics, he soars aloft on the wings of Divine love to heights known hardly to any of them... True to the character of his thought, his style is always forceful and energetic."Dark Night of the Soul follows the soul's journey from a state of abandonment and darkness to a loving union with God. In a voice at once grandiose and melodious, and a style that combines the systematic theology of St. Thomas Aquinas with rapturous poetry, St. John describes the process of moving away from routine religious rituals and embracing a Being who can be known only through love. His words, Peers writes, "are a wonderful illustration of the theological truth that grace, far from destroying nature, ennobles and dignifies it, and of the agreement always found between the natural and the supernatural -- between the principles of sound reason and the sublime manifestations of Divine grace." One of the greatest contributions to the literature of mysticism, Dark Night of the Soul offers support and encouragement to all who seek oneness with God.
The development of Martin Luther's thought was both a symptom and moving force in the transformation of the Middle Ages into the modern world. Geographical discovery, an emerging scientific tradition, and a climate of social change had splintered the unity of medieval Christian culture, and these changes provided the background for Luther's theological challenge. His new apprehension of Scripture and fresh understanding of man's relation to God demanded a break with the Church as then constituted and released the powerful impulses that carried the Reformation. Luther's vigorous, colorful language still retains the excitement it had for thousands of his contemporaries. In this volume, Dr. Dillenberger has made a representative selection from Luther's extensive writings, and has also provided the reader with a lucid introduction to his thought.
With over a million copies sold, this classic work is essential reading for all who ask, "Where has my struggle led me?"A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on an unforgettable spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell. As Nouwen reflects on Rembrandt's painting in light of his own life journey, he evokes a powerful drama of the classic parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son's return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's resentfulness, and the father's compassion. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as God loves, and to be loved as God's beloved, will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and is here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times.
Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into the bulwark of a new imperial order--with the central belief that human beings cannot not choose to sin? In this provocative masterpiece of historical scholarship Elaine Pagels re-creates the controversies that racked the early church as it confronted the riddles of sexuality, freedom, and sin as embodied in the story of Genesis. And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul.
The authoritative, unforgettable biography of Martin Luther, the great religious leader, who entered a monastery as a youth and who, as a man, shattered the structure of the medieval church. Luther spoke out against the corrupt religious practices that then existed. His demanded that the authority for doctrine and practice be Scriptures, rather than Popes or Councils, echoed around the world and ignited the Great Reformation. Accused of heresy and threatened with excommunication and death, Luther maintained his bold stand and refused to recant. In his crusade to eliminate religious abuses, he did more than any other man to establish the Protestant faith.