In Captive to the Word of God eminent theologian Miroslav Volf invites readers to dip with him into the deep well of Scripture - to look over his shoulder as he engages actively with the Bible, which, as he notes, is at once a sacred text, a witness to Jesus Christ, and the site of God's self-revelation for the sake of humanity's salvation.
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Some of the brightest scientific minds of our time, from Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking, have made incredible insights into the earliest origins of the universe, but have failed to ultimately discover why there is something rather than nothing--why we exist. In A Case for the Existence of God, Dean L. Overman examines the latest theories about the origins of the universe and explains why even the most sophisticated science can only take us so far. Ultimately we must make a leap of faith to understand the world, and Overman argues that a leap into theism provides the most satisfying conclusions. Overman explores fundamental questions about why our world exists and how it functions, using principles of logic, physics, and theology. In a time when religion and science are often portrayed as diametrically opposed, A Case for the Existence of God presents a refreshing view of the interplay between science and religion and makes a compelling case for the existence of God and his role in our world.
Cunningham is a smart young British scholar who is at once a Christian and a firm believer in the theory of evolution. In "Darwin's Pious Idea," Cunningham puts forth a compelling, cutting-edge case for both creation and evolution, drawing skillfully on an array of philosophical, theological, historical, and scientific sources to buttress his arguments.
This brief survey text tells the story of Islam. Gabriel Said Reynolds organizes his study in three parts in order to tell of Muhammad's early life and rise to power, of the origins and development of the Qur'an, with a distinctive, if unique, juxtaposition between the Qur'an and biblical literature, and concluding with an overview of modern and fundamentalist narratives of Islam's origin, which reveals how those who represent Islam's future begin by shaping its past.
"Good Girls, Bad Girls invites readers to take a more nuanced look at twelve women in the Old Testament, to explore their lives more deeply in historical context, and to grasp what these stories might mean to women today. T. J. Wray, a biblical scholar, asks readers to consider whether Jezebel was really as bad as generally believed, and includes women ranging from the infamous Delilah to the mysterious Witch of Endor. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Good Girls, Bad Girls will appeal to both individual readers and groups interested in learning what the Bible really has to say about these twelve important women."--BOOK JACKET.
The author of a much-loved two-volume Matthew commentary that he revised and expanded in 2007, Frederick Dale Bruner now offers The Gospel of John: A Commentary the fruit of his lifetime of study and teaching. Rather than relying mainly on recent scholarship, Bruner?'s approach honors and draws from the church?'s major John commentators throughout history, including Augustine, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Henry, Bultmann, Barrett, and more. Added to this historical interpretation is Bruner?'s contemporary interpretation, which incorporates a clear translation of the text, references to major recent scholarship, and Bruner?'s personal application of the Gospel to his own experience. Rich in biblical insights, ecumenical in tone, broadly historical, deeply theological, and lovingly written, Bruner?'s Gospel of John promises to be an invaluable resource for pastors and teachers.
A loving, hard-working, godly couple has long been denied a family of their own. Finally, the wife makes a deal with God: if he blesses her with a child, she will dedicate that child to God's service. The result of that prayer was the birth of an influential some say prophetic voice. Surprisingly, this is not the biblical story of Samuel but the account of Stanley Hauerwas, one of today's leading theologians in the church and the academy. / The story of Hauerwas's journey into Christian discipleship is captivating and inspiring. With genuine humility, he describes his intellectual struggles with faith, how he has dealt with the complex reality of marriage to a mentally ill partner, and the gift of friendships that have influenced his character. Throughout the narrative shines Hauerwas's conviction that the tale of his life is worth telling only because of the greater Christian story providing foundation and direction for his own.
The concept of luck has played an important role in debates concerning free will and moral responsibility, yet participants in these debates have relied upon an intuitive notion of what luck is. Neil Levy develops an account of luck, which is then applied to the free will debate. He argues that the standard luck objection succeeds against common accounts of libertarian free will, but that it is possible to amend libertarian accounts so that they are no more vulnerable to luck than is compatibilism. But compatibilist accounts of luck are themselves vulnerable to a powerful luck objection: historical compatibilisms cannot satisfactorily explain how agents can take responsibility for their constitutive luck; non-historical compatibilisms run into insurmountable difficulties with the epistemic condition on control over action. Levy argues that because epistemic conditions on control are so demanding that they are rarely satisfied, agents are not blameworthy for performing actions that they take to be best in a given situation. It follows that if there are any actions for which agents are responsible, they are akratic actions; but even these are unacceptably subject to luck. Levy goes on to discuss recent non-historical compatibilisms, and argues that they do not offer a viable alternative to control-based compatibilisms. He suggests that luck undermines our freedom and moral responsibility no matter whether determinism is true or not.
Applying psychoanalytic and gender theory to selected Biblical narratives from Genesis to the Book of Ruth, Lefkovitz interprets the BibleOs stories as foundation texts in the development of sexual identities. In Scripture is an exploration of the Biblical origins of a series of unstable ideas about the sexes, human sexuality, family roles, and Jewish sexual identities, in particular, and by extension, changing attitudes towards Jewish men and women.
In The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1994) Mark Noll offered a bleak, even scathing, assessment of the state of evangelical thinking and scholarship. Now, nearly twenty years later, in a sequel that is more hopeful than despairing more attuned to possibilities than to problems Noll updates his assessment and charts a positive way forward for evangelical scholarship. Noll shows how the orthodox Christology confessed in the classic Christian creeds provides an ideal vantage point for viewing the vast domains of human learning and can enhance intellectual engagement in a variety of specific disciplines. In a substantial postscript he candidly addresses the question How fares the evangelical mind today?
For thirty years, Mark as Story has introduced readers to the rhetorical and narrative skill that makes Mark so arresting and compelling a story. Rhoads, Dewey, and Michie have helped to pioneer our appreciation of the Gospels, and Mark in particular, as narratives originally created in an oral culture for oral performance. New in this edition are a revised introduction and an afterword describing the significant role Mark as Story has played in the development of narrative criticism.
Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings has become the gold standard for use in seminary and college environments. It not only offers all of Luther's most influential, noted, and important writings in the modern translations but also includes excerpts of his sermons and letters that shed light on Luther's own religious and theological development. The volume takes the reader straight to Luther the man, to his controversial Reformation insights, to his strongest convictions about God and Scripture and the life of the church, and most valuably to his theology-a still-exciting encounter with the meaning of Jesus Christ for each age.
This book invites philosophers and their students to consider two of the most fundamental questions in moral and political philosophy: Why be moral? And, what does morality require? Distinguished philosopher James P. Sterba presents his unique views on these topics. Sterba first argues from rationality to morality and then from morality to substantial equality. Prominent scholars Charles W. Mills, Candace A. Vogler, Anita Superson, Russ Shafer-Landau, Allan F. Gibbard, Gerald Gaus, and TiborMachan provide thought-provoking critical responses. In the final part, Sterba addresses these critiques, inviting readers to explore the various arguments and reach their own conclusions on these fundamental questions of moral and political philosophy. 'Morality: The Why and What of It' is an essential text for all students and scholars of ethics and political philosophy.
Documentary portrait of Christian evangelicals who have left the Right In this book Marcia Pally documents the surprising emergence of the new evangelicals. These are people of devout faith who have moved away from the Religious Right and who support liberal democracy and economic justice people whose anti-consumerist, anti-militarist activism focuses less on legislating morality and more on poverty relief, environmental protection, and equal rights and respect for people of all creeds and cultures. Pally creates a typology of new evangelical political and economic activism, touching on the high-profile issues of abortion, gay marriage, and environmental conservation. She devotes much of her book to personal interviews with select new evangelicals across the country, ages 19 74, assembling a collage of thoughtful, passionate voices that create a compelling snapshot of this significant new movement in American Christianity.
Renowned Hebrew Bible scholar Konrad Schmid here provides a comprehensive discussion of the task, history, and conditions of the history of Old Testament literature. He carefully considers the dynamics of language, orality, literacy, and the range of social and political conditions that shaped Israel's writing at each period of the people's history and explores the significance of the transformation of various writings into "Scripture" and a biblical canon.
In Paul and Virtue Ethics, Daniel Harrington and James Keenan build upon their successful collaboration Jesus and Virtue Ethics to discuss the apostle Paul's teachings as a guide to interpret theology and ethics today. Examining Paul's writings, the authors investigate what they teach about the basic questions of virtue ethics: Who am I? Who do I want to become? And how do I get there? Their intent is not to provide stringent rules, but to awaken discovery and encourage dialogue. The book first considers the concept of virtue ethics, an approach to ethics that emphasizes moral character, and Paul's ethics in particular. Next, the authors focus on the virtues of faith, love/charity, and hope as treated by Paul and Thomas Aquinas. Closing the book with reflections on the roles of other virtues (and vices) in individual and communal Christian life, the authors discuss various issues in social ethics and sexual morality as they are dealt with in Paul and in Christian virtue ethics today.
Interprets Paul?'s letter in light of its rhetorical content and cultural context. Paul?'s short, affectionate letter to the Philippians has been much belabored of late by biblical scholars keen to analyze it in light of Greco-Roman letter-writing conventions. Yet Ben Witherington argues that Philippians shouldn t be read as a letter at all but, rather, as a masterful piece of long-distance oratory an extension of Paul?'s oral speech, dictated to a scribe and meant to be read aloud to its recipients. With this in mind, Witherington analyzes Philippians in light of Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions, identifying Paul?'s purpose, highlighting his main points and his persuasive strategies, and considering how his audience denizens of a society of limited literacy yet saturated in highly skilled oral rhetoric would have heard and received Paul?'s message.
Reveals the prophetic challenge in Luke-Acts for today's church Christians chronically and desperately need prophecy, says award winning biblical scholar Luke Timothy Johnson. In this and every age, the church needs the bold proclamation of God's transforming vision to challenge its very human tendency toward expediency and self interest to jolt it into new insight and energy. For Johnson, the New Testament books Luke and Acts provide that much-needed jolt to conventional wisdom. To read Luke-Acts as a literary unit, he says, is to uncover a startling prophetic vision of Jesus and the church one that imagines a reality very different from the one humans would construct on their own. Johnson identifies in Luke's writings an ongoing call for today's church, grounded in the prophetic ministry of Jesus Christ, to embody and enact God's vision for the world.
We think of the Enlightenment as an era dominated by ideas of progress, production, and industry--not an era that favored the lax and indolent individual. But was the Enlightenment only about the unceasing improvement of self and society? The Pursuit of Laziness examines moral, political, and economic treatises of the period, and reveals that crucial eighteenth-century texts did find value in idleness and nonproductivity. Fleshing out Enlightenment thinking in the works of Denis Diderot, Joseph Joubert, Pierre de Marivaux, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Jean-Siméon Chardin, this book explores idleness in all its guises, and illustrates that laziness existed, not as a vice of the wretched, but as an exemplar of modernity and a resistance to beliefs about virtue and utility.
This is a major reinterpretation of ancient philosophy that recovers the long Greek and Roman tradition of philosophy as a complete way of life--and not simply an intellectual discipline. Distinguished philosopher John Cooper traces how, for many ancient thinkers, philosophy was not just to be studied or even used to solve particular practical problems. Rather, philosophy--not just ethics but even logic and physical theory--was literally to be lived. Yet there was great disagreement about how to live philosophically: philosophy was not one but many, mutually opposed, ways of life. Examining this tradition from its establishment by Socrates in the fifth century BCE through Plotinus in the third century CE and the eclipse of pagan philosophy by Christianity,Pursuits of Wisdom examines six central philosophies of living--Socratic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Epicurean, Skeptic, and the Platonist life of late antiquity. The book describes the shared assumptions that allowed these thinkers to conceive of their philosophies as ways of life, as well as the distinctive ideas that led them to widely different conclusions about the best human life.
In recent years, philosophical discussions of free will have focused largely on whether or not free will is compatible with determinism. In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense. In particular, they give us the capacity to respond appositely to feature-rich gestalts of conscious experiences, in ways that are not wholly determined by laws of nature or computational rules. The author contends that this approach is consistent with what science tells us about the world; and he considers its implications for our responsibility for our own conduct, for the role of retribution in criminal punishment, and for the place of human beings in the wider scheme of things.
Ancient Christians invoked sin to account for an astonishing range of things, from the death of God's son to the politics of the Roman Empire that worshipped him. In this book, award-winning historian of religion Paula Fredriksen tells the surprising story of early Christian concepts of sin, exploring the ways that sin came to shape ideas about God no less than about humanity. Long before Christianity, of course, cultures had articulated the idea that human wrongdoing violated relations with the divine. ButSintells how, in the fevered atmosphere of the four centuries between Jesus and Augustine, singular new Christian ideas about sin emerged in rapid and vigorous variety, including the momentous shift from the belief that sin is something one does to something that one is born into. As the original defining circumstances of their movement quickly collapsed, early Christians were left to debate the causes, manifestations, and remedies of sin. This is a powerful and original account of the early history of an idea that has centrally shaped Christianity and left a deep impression on the secular world as well.
In Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit Jodi Magness unearths footprints buried in both archaeological and literary evidence to shed new light on Jewish daily life in Palestine from the mid-first century b.c.e. to 70 c.e. the time and place of Jesus life and ministry. Magness analyzes recent archaeological discoveries from such sites as Qumran and Masada together with a host of period texts, including the New Testament, the works of Josephus, and rabbinic teachings. Layering all these sources together, she reconstructs in detail a fascinating variety of everyday activities dining customs, Sabbath observance, fasting, toilet habits, burial customs, and more.
Bernard Katz smartly turns biblical tales and religious declarations back on themselves to expose their mythical origins and obvious contradictions. This remarkable and entertaining collection of essays takes an atheistic and humorous look at the most popular religious beliefs, including the concept of God, biblical morality, magic and miracles, the much-touted mental health benefits of religion, and the impact of archeology on religious beliefs. At the same time he exposes the dark side of major world religions, pointing out the sexual symbols that lurk behind many religious images. Katz has a biting and succinct style and a knack for presenting the fresh fruits of atheistic thinking to a wide general audience. He clearly illustrates in these essays that morality and goodness are of human origin, not divinely inspired, and that religion can in fact breed immorality. Included are essays titled "Are there Miracles?" "Made in the Image of God," "Religion: Breeder of Immorality," "Have the Fundamentalists Got It Wrong!", "Jesus and the Dagger Men," "The Fear and Cowardice of God," "Jesus the Sinner," "The Theological Sins of the Creationists," "Was Jesus Mr. Nice Guy?," "Why Jews Don't Eat Pork," "Revelations about the Apocalypse and the Fundamentalists," "The Theological Roots of Arab Anti-Semitism," "Is God Love?" and many more. This concise volume offers a unique challenge to religiosity on all fronts.
Seeking to overcome the chasm between church practice and theological reflection, James H. Evans Jr., a major and distinctive voice in American religion, situates theology squarely in the nexus of faith with freedom. There, with a sure touch, he uplifts revelatory aspects of black religious experience that reanimate classical areas of theology, and he creates a theology with a heart, a soul, and a voice that speaks directly to our condition. Edited and introduced by Stephen G. Ray Jr., the second edition, published on the twentieth anniversary of the first, includes three new essays that identify the value of the book for Womanist, evangelical, and black church audiences.
What can we know and what should we believe about today's world? What to Believe Now: Applying Epistemology to Contemporary Issues applies the concerns and techniques of epistemology to a wide variety of contemporary issues. Questions about what we can know-and what we should believe-are first addressed through an explicit consideration of the practicalities of working these issues out at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Coady calls for an ′applied turn′ in epistemology, a process he likens to the applied turn that transformed the study of ethics in the early 1970s. Subjects dealt with include: Experts-how can we recognize them? And when should we trust them? Rumors-should they ever be believed? And can they, in fact, be a source of knowledge? Conspiracy theories-when, if ever, should they be believed, and can they be known to be true? The blogosphere-how does it compare with traditional media as a source of knowledge and justified belief? Timely, thought provoking, and controversial, What to Believe Now offers a wealth of insights into a branch of philosophy of growing importance-and increasing relevance-in the twenty-first century.
Comprising the most up-to-date, interdisciplinary research on the study of Chinese religious beliefs and cultural practices, this volume explores the rich and complex religious and philosophical traditions that have developed and flourished in one of the world′s oldest civilizations. Covers the main Chinese traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism as well as Christianity and Islam Features a unique organizational structure, with groups of readings focused on historical, traditions-based, and topical elements of Chinese religion Explores a number of contemporary religious topics, including gender, nature, asceticism, material culture, and gods and spirits Brings together a team of authors who are experts in their sub-fields, providing readers with the latest research in a rapidly growing discipline