In this book, Bruce W. Winter maps out the role and obligations of Christians as benefactors and citizens in their society. Winter's scholarly insight is enhanced through the selective use of important ancient literary and nonliterary sources. Contrary to the popular perception that early Christians withdrew from society and sought to maintain a low profile, this outstanding study explores the complexities of the positive commitments made by Christians in Gentile regions of the Roman empire.
Seek the Peace of the City provides a robust engagement with the theological foundations and practices of Christian social and political criticism. Richard Bourne identifies a theological realism found in the work of John Howard Yoder. This realism bases social and political criticism in the purposes of a nonviolent, patient, and reconciling God. Bourne develops this account and shows how it is consonant with aspects of the work of a range of contemporary theologians including Stanley Hauerwas, John Milbank, Karl Barth, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In developing this theological realism, the book furnishes an account of Christian criticism capable of addressing key debates in contemporary theology and political theory. Bourne begins by arguing for the public status of theological political claims. He demonstrates that only a vigorous theological realism, grounded in the universal lordship of Christ, is capable of providing a foundation for local, particular, and ad hoc practices of critique. The book concludes by developing an account of the impact such a theological realism and practice of critique might have on contemporary political theory--with explorations of the doxological nature of social change, the changing shape of the state, governmentality and political sovereignty, and the status and role of religious communities in civil society.
Metrospiritual: The Geography of Church Planting is about church planting in the city. There is an outpouring of new expressions of church being started throughout metro areas across North America. Where are these new churches being started? Maybe a more subterranean question is, "Why"? Why are churches being started where they are and why is there is a bias towards one part of the city and an overall neglect of other parts? Metrospiritual explores these questions and more as it builds off of recent research and surveys of hundreds of church planters in seven large cities in the United States and Canada. There is a deeper look at pivotal issues such as gentrification, the Creative Class, community transformation, urban renewal, and the role new churches play in all of these.
As the world hurtles towards urbanization at an ever-increasing pace, there arises the need for further theological reflection on the city. Globalization, international immigration, and densification in cities are having a transformative impact on the urban landscape. Urban mission is at the forefront of many denominations, church planting networks, ministries, and mission organizations yearning for citywide transformation. How are we to think biblically and theologically about the city? View from the Urban Loft will take readers through the development of cities throughout history, act as a guide to navigating the current forces shaping urban environments, and seek to uncover a theology of the city that gives Christians a rationale and a biblical understanding of the meaning and purposes of the city and then how to live in it for the glory of God.
Ours is a time of rapid cultural change with new economic challenges. People look to their governments for leadership and solutions. But what can and should government do to meet the difficulties that beset a nation? What can citizens expect from their elected representatives? What is reasonable? And what should citizens do? What are their responsibilities? This book addresses such fundamental issues through the eyes of Scripture and against the backdrop of North America's dual heritage of Christianity and humanism. Government, politics, and the Bible do not seem like a good mix. But as this book aims to show, the Bible has much wisdom to teach us about the place and role of government and its citizens. Biblical principles work because God knows how his world and his servant governments are supposed to function. After all, he ordained the governing authorities, and the principles enunciated in his Word are timeless and remain practical. This book introduces fundamental biblical principles that apply to government and politics. The intent is to inform and to motivate the reader to get involved where possible in the political processes of the day. Our legislators need the input and help from their knowledgable Christian constituents.
Ideas about education have consequences. This book, edited by Matthew Etherington, provides readers with ideas and insights drawn from fifteen international scholars in Christian thought within the fields of philosophy, theology, and education. Each author responds to the philosophical, historical, and sociological challenges that confront their particular line of educational inquiry. The authors offer a view of Christian education that promotes truth, human dignity, peace, love, diversity, and justice. The book critically analyzes public discourse on education, including the wisdom, actions, recommendations, and controversies of Christian education in the twenty-first century. This timely book will appeal to those concerned with Christian perspectives on education, Aboriginality, gender, history, evangelism, secularism, constructivism, purpose, hope, school choice, and community.
"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as LORD, with ourselves as your servantsfor Jesus sake.For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness, 'Has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Godin the face of Jesus Christ.But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing powerbelongs to God and not to us."II Corinthians 4:5-7
Drawing on their research involving urban pastors from across the United States, Bryan Stone and Claire Wolfteich identify and examine spiritual practices that foster excellence in urban ministry. After discussing the specific challenges facing urban pastors and presenting the kinds of excellence required of them, Stone and Wolfteich explore several practices that help sustain ministers working in urban contexts, such as cultivating holy friendships, practicing Sabbath, maintaining lives of prayer and study, and setting appropriate boundaries. Throughout, the authors weave together stories from urban pastors from a variety of denominations with insights from the history of Christian spirituality and theology to chart a theological course for the formation and renewal of pastors in diverse contemporary contexts.
Werline encourages us to look at prayer in the following way: to attempt to understand how prayers are tied to particular cultural and social settings. Prayers are part of and expressions of a collection of cultural ideas that have been arranged within a system that seems coherent and obvious to those writings the biblical texts. Prayers participate in and express a person's worldview. Werline shows the ways that--though many biblical prayers are familiar to us--biblical texts and contemporary readers come from different worlds. The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament contain many prayers. Large volumes have been written on prayer within a single book, or within the writings of one author, like Paul, or an individual prayer, such as the Lord's Prayer. Werline does not examine every prayer in the Bible or even write exhaustively on a single prayer. He has highlighted a few significant features of each prayer, and some of the prayers vividly exhibit the influence of a particular society's vision. For example, he examines the prayers of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles because of the ways they are tightly tied to the authors' views of history. The writers' interpretation of history profoundly influenced significant portions of the Bible as well as the literature of early Judaism.
Rural communities and traditional cultures throughout North America and around the world are being systematically dismantled by the forces of urban civilization. It is no new phenomenon. For over four millennia, the powers of urban civilization have been playing God, oppressing people, and exploiting the earth. This long history has brought us to the brink of disaster in the current economic, ecological, and energy crises confronting the dominant global culture.This book reads the Bible through the lenses of rural communities. The Bible has something to say about the origin and character of urban civilization and the dynamic of its relationship to rural communities. Both Israel in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament were engaged in the formation of rural communities of faith living as alternatives to the dominant cultures of the urban civilizations in which they lived.It turns out that local, face-to-face communities, both rural and urban, along with traditional cultures of all stripes, are God's chosen instruments for the subversive, nonviolent disarming of urban civilization and the healing of God's earth.
In a revelatory study of Philadelphia's Germantown Avenue, home to a diverse array of more than 90 congregations, Katie Day explores the formative and multifaceted role of religious congregations within an urban environment.
To Transform a City is a timely, compelling book that helps readers understand how to think about cities, their own city, and the broad strategies needed for kingdom impact. The book begins with an overview of the importance of cities in the new day in which we live. The authors address the process of transformation along with examples of where and how communities have been transformed throughout history. After writing a persuasive chapter on kingdom thinking the authors unfold the meaning of the whole church, the whole gospel, and the whole city. The book ends with the need for people of good faith to work together in the city with people of good will for the welfare of the city.
The Theologically Formed Heart invites the reader to consider the role of theology in the formation of virtues and passions, and, conversely, the role of virtues and passions in understanding Scripture, theology, and living a Christian life. The essays in this volume are offered in appreciation of the teaching, scholarship, and service to the church and world of Professor of Theology David J. Gouwens. They are organized in three sections: theological reflections, Reformed theology in service to the church, and studies in the thought of Soren Kierkegaard. Four important issues are explored from multiple perspectives: the Church's coming to terms with religious pluralism in mission, inter-religious dialogue, theological education, and ecclesial life; the gospel's invitation to welcome communities of difference; Reformed aesthetics in Calvin's rhetoric and in contemporary hymnody; and Kierkegaard's contribution to theology and ecclesial practice. The aims of the book go beyond academic confines. Through reading the different essays, a personality will emerge who illustrates a life of scholarship that yields itself gladly to the God made known in Jesus Christ. Thus, beyond imparting new information, the book may inspire its readers to their own practice of theologically forming their hearts.
Any kind of change in our lives has the possibility of bringing grief into the situation. This book was designed to help those who are grieving. It can be used as a devotional and to journal your thoughts. Grief comes unexpectedly and almost knocks us to our knees. Grieve, but don't allow it to settle in and make a home in you. Then it becomes depression. Itzhak Perlman, renowned Israeli violinist is quoted as saying, "You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left." We all have music left in us. We must allow God to bring it out and share it with other brokenhearted people. Joyce Pearson is a Bible study teacher and lay minister. She has spoken internationally to churches in Wales and England. The first twenty years of her teaching, she taught young adult women. Seven years into that ministry, she was asked to add a community Bible study class and continues to teach this community class today. In the mid 1980s God called her to write a Bible study workbook, "Godly Motivation." Because of God's faithfulness during her husband's extended illness and passing, she is able to reach out to others with encouragement and hope. During his illness, Joyce finished her Bible study workbook, "The Grace of Hope." God drew her to begin the study before her husband became ill, proving that He prepares us for the trials of life. Joyce is a widow. She is the mother of three sons and one daughter, one daughter-in-law, and one son-in-law. She also has a daughter-in-law who is in the presence of the Lord. Joyce has 12 grandchildren.
The story of the Bible starts with the simple statement, "In the beginning, God created . . ." From that first sentence of Genesis, the story of salvation unfolds in strange and wonderful mingling of the commonplace and the miraculous, the human and the transcendent. But if you were born after the baby boom, chances are the Bible seems more like an item of passing interest than a book of depth and meaning for the twenty-first century. If you're not familiar with the Bible, it can be difficult to put into perspective the puzzle of kings and prophets, giants and seven-headed dragons, shepherd boys and itinerant preachers, Old Testament law and New Testament grace. Meet the Bible introduces you to the full, epic sweep of the Bible -- the characters, the places, the times, the stories, and the meanings of this Book of books -- and shows you that even the most obscure passage can hold relevance for your life once you understand what to look for. Award-winning writer Philip Yancey and author Brenda Quinn are your guides on this one-year reading tour of the Bible. Each day's reading includes Scripture, contemporary commentary, and questions for contemplation -- all designed to offer insight into how the passage fits into the overall story of the Bible, and how it can speak to your life today. Meet the Bible takes you through the twists and turns of the Bible's many narratives, the high points and the low points, the good characters and the bad, as well as the eternal thoughts and descriptions of God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Here are stories to remember, images of real people and circumstances closer to your own life than you've ever imagined. By the time you've finished the year's worth of reading, you'll have gained a panoramic view of the whole Bible and a firm understanding of its ideas and teachings. If you've never read the Bible, or hardly know the Bible, or would just like to read the Bible in a fresh new way, Meet the Bible offers an inspiring mix of timeless wisdom and contemporary insight that will cause faith to ignite within you. Direct excerpts from Scripture give readers a panoramic tour of the Bible’s key passages, personalities, events, and ideas as the Old Testament sweeps into the New Testament. Culturally relevant commentary from Quinn and Yancey sheds light on each day’s passage, examining the twists and turns of the Bible’s many narratives, the high points and the low points, the good characters and the bad, as well as the eternal thoughts and descriptions of God and his Son. Reflections every five days provide life application for the week’s Scripture readings.
An examination of the Hebrew Scriptures reveals the ethical situations in ancient Israel as a structural analysis, and exposes a covenantal triangle that features a dynamic of giving and receiving, taking and paying penalties, as a meme for human relationships. This can be applied to groups as well as individuals and is surprisingly applicable to life in the twenty-first century. Two senses of "Law"--natural scientific discoveries and the rules laid down by a divine creator--lead to frames for considering these covenantal relationships, and even the existence of "Sin." Are we bound to obey the rules laid down by God, or may we decide what is best for us?
What does it mean to be a Jewish woman today? To an Orthodox woman, it means living a religious way of life in which serving God totally defines her self-perception and her role as wife and mother. For the secular woman, it means having a sense of belonging, although not necessarily to a specific Jewish community. Most contemporary Jewish women fall somewhere in between, but at the core of all of their identities is a complex interweaving of religious and ethnic elements, a shared history, and a collective memory of periods of prejudice, persecution, wandering, and resettlement. Focusing on Jewish women in the United States and Britain, Adrienne Baker examines such issues as women's role in religious law, the spectrum of synagogue observance, the mother's role as conveyor of tradition, conversion and inter- faith marriages, and sexuality. In particular, the book examines the impact of feminism on Jewish women and their culture, uncovering the counterinfluences of tradition and new freedoms on women's lives.
God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) Angels are created—appointed archangel, Lucifer. Lucifer and followers rebel against God. God creates hell—Lucifer (Satan) and followers sent there for eternity. God creates universe/earth. God creates a man and a woman in his own image. Satan lures woman (Eve) and man (Adam) into... The Fall The Road of Life
How can we work together for the common good today? Thirteen contributors – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, non-religious – discuss the common good from a wide range of viewpoints. How have thinkers like Aristotle and Edmund Burke talked about the common good in the past? Catholic Social Teaching has a lot to say about the common good: what does the common good mean for the world’s great religious traditions today? How can we usefully talk about the common good in a plural society? What responsibility has the state for the common good? Can the market serve the common good? If we care about the common good, what should we think – and do - about immigration, education, the NHS, inequality, and freedom? This book starts from the example of David Sheppard and Derek Worlock, the Anglican Bishop and Roman Catholic Archbishop, who famously worked together for the good of the city of Liverpool in the 1980s. The contributors call for a national conversation about how, despite our differences, we can work together – locally, nationally, internationally – for the common good.