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This book explores the strange persistence of 'blasphemy' in modern secular democracies by examining how accepted and prohibited ways of talking and thinking about the Bible and religion have changed over time. In a series of wide-ranging studies engaging disciplines such as politics, literature and visual theory, Yvonne Sherwood brings the Bible into dialogue with a host of interlocutors including John Locke, John Donne and the 9/11 hijackers, as well as artists such as Sarah Lucas and Rene Magritte. Questions addressed include: * What is the origin of the common belief that the Bible, as opposed to the Qur'an, underpins liberal democratic values? * What kind of artworks does the biblical God specialise in? * If pre-modern Jewish, Christian and Islamic responses to scripture can be more 'critical' than contemporary speech about religion, how does this affect our understanding of secularity, modernity and critique?
In an age of social and political uncertainty, Krish Kandiah turns to less familiar and more uncomfortable parts of the Bible to discover the true character of God - but be warned: he may be stranger than you think.
Building on the challenges he explored in PARADOXOLOGY, Krish strips us of our comfortable assumptions and invites us to look afresh at God's character. When Abraham welcomes three men for dinner, he ends up pleading for the life of a city. When Jacob meets God by the river, they end up in a fight. And when two forlorn disciples meet a stranger on the road, their lives are turned upside down.
GOD IS STRANGER challenges us to lay down our expectations of God and delight in the power that is proven by his very strangeness.
This book is endorsed by OCR for use with the Christian Theology unit of the OCR AS Religious Studies specification. It is also designed to challenge students to go beyond the specification and can therefore be used as an introduction to theology for the general reader as well as those preparing to study theology at university. Features include: - Key questions throughout the chapters to help students focus on key issues - Key terms defined and explained throughout the chapters - Profiles of key individuals - their contribution and significance - Summary diagrams to aid revision - Revision checklists at the end of chapters - Exam-style questions and tips at the end of each chapter.
First published in 1978, "Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture" is a classic work examining the theological doctrines, popular notions, and corresponding symbols and images promoting and sustaining Christian pilgrimage. The book examines two major aspects of pilgrimage practice: the significance of context, or the theological conditions giving rise to pilgrimage and the folk traditions enabling worshippers to absorb the meaning of the event; and the images and symbols embodying the experience of pilgrimage and transmitting its visions in varying ways.
Retelling its own tales of "mere mortals" confronted by potent visions, such as the man Juan Diego who found redemption with the Lady of Guadalupe and the poor French shepherdess Bernadette whose encounter with the Lady at Lourdes inspired Christians across the globe, this text treats religious visions as both paradox and empowering phenomena, tying them explicitly to the times in which they occurred. Offering vivid vignettes of social history, it extends their importance beyond the realm of the religious to our own conceptions of reality.
Extensively revised throughout, this edition includes a new introduction by the theologian Deborah Ross situating the book within the work of Victor and Edith Turner and among the movements of contemporary culture. She addresses the study's legacy within the discipline, especially its hermeneutical framework, which introduced a novel method of describing and interpreting pilgrimage. She also credits the Turners with cementing the link between mysticism, popular devotion, and Christian culture, as well as their recognition of the relationship between pilgrimage and the deep spiritual needs of human beings. She concludes with various critiques of the Turners' work and suggests future directions for research.
For the past twenty-five years, Heaven has inspired us to live well on earth even as we long for eternity. Drawing on Scripture, Joni Eareckson Tada answers the deepest questions of our hearts about what heaven will be like, who we will see there, and who we will be there. This updated and expanded edition of Joni's classic brings a new understanding of what heaven is, along with new mysteries and hopes. Now in her late 60s, Joni is much closer to heaven than she was when she first wrote the book in her mid 40s. And she says, "I will soon-soon!-hear His voice, look into His eyes, and feel His embrace. And He will say, `Welcome home, Joni.'" It is from this vantage point that Joni now speaks about how we can live for Jesus as we look forward to our real home. As a quadriplegic for fifty years, Joni has also endured cancer and extreme ongoing pain. She doesn't speak lightly when she reminds us that, "God knows the precise tools to use in your life to cut, facet, cleanse, and refine the diamond that is your eternal soul.... Every good thing that God has ever given you will last for all eternity-including the best part of every affliction." At the end of each chapter in this updated book, Joni includes additional reflections that speak to where she is now, higher up on the hill of perspective. She calls these thoughts Climbing Higher, and that's her invitation to all who make this journey with her.
Andrew Murray, who strongly believed that missions are the chief end of the church, never tired of spreading the word about the powerful work of the Spirit through the blood of Christ. In both his sacrificial life and his writings, Murray explained the mystery of Christís blood as our precious source of life. In The Blood and the Spirit, he reflects on the tremendous power that Christís blood has for each of us if we accept it as our rightful inheritance and rely upon it to protect and enable us to accomplish our purposes in God. It will fill you with a true, solemn thanksgiving for Good Friday and a joyful appreciation of Easter Sunday.
Thousands of words have been written about the first ten words in the Bible: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," a simple and profound statement that has ignited a firestorm of debate and controversy. People often only focus on the "how" and "when" of creation, but Story in the Stars explores the "why." Why did God create such a vast universe? Why did He choose the sun and moon to light our paths? Why did He design images with stars in the night sky?
The Bible is very clear when it states that God created, named, and positioned all of the stars of the universe in their place in a very specific way-a way that tells us the greatest story ever to be told. In Luke 21:25 Jesus says, "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars." Signs are meant to point us towards something: Jesus. Story in the Stars takes an in-depth look at the Bible and all the signs God mapped out through constellations, planets, and even the way the Earth is tilted. We are uniquely designed by God, and He loves us so much that He ensured a way for all inhabitants of the earth, through all of time, to see the messages of salvation and redemption that He painted in the stars.
A renowned Puritan shows the transforming liberty which comes from seeing Christ in the gospel. An exposition of 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
Set alongside his first encyclical God Is Love (Deus Caritas Est) where he stressed the relationship between the Eucharist and love, The Sacrament of Charity picks up that theme and expands it as he explores the mystery of eucharistic faith and how it reveals the mystery of the Trinity. Released on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the Holy Father examines the important relationship between the Eucharist and the other sacraments, including the sacrament of the Church. He also highlights the social implications of the Eucharist and firmly connects it with the Church's social teaching.
Baptism is taught in the Bible and has been practiced for centuries, but understanding of its meaning and respect for its importance is at a low ebb today. Confusion reigns over questions about its mode and its place in the life of the Christian, and as a result, even many evangelical congregations are downplaying its significance.
This is not the way it should be, Dr. R. C. Sproul declares in this Crucial Questions booklet. Baptism, he affirms, is one of the two sacraments of the Christian church, a sign and seal of the covenant of grace. Therefore, it is a necessary and meaningful practice that is packed with rich symbolism. In this booklet, Dr. Sproul provides help in understanding and appreciating this practice of the church.
An introduction to the Enneagram, a personality model describing nine basic world views and human actions. This book demonstrates how this concept was developed in Egypt by the Desert Fathers, and how it can be used.
Roger Grainger has addressed an issue which he is well versed in and has written some books on it in past. This study, however, is extremely relevant since it has been done specifically from a perspective of the Church of England. Although a lot has been written on small groups in the United States, and elsewhere, the focus of the present study is unique and will be an asset not only to the Church of England in the United Kingdom but also, as one commentator has written, "to the entire Christian Fraternity on the issue of Group Learning". The basic premise is that a more experimental approach to Group Work might usefully be adopted. The Bible provides evidence in both the Old and New Testaments of the awareness involved in group belonging. Within the UK the Church of England concentrates its congregational training in one kind group-based format: process evangelism. But this format neglects more experiential and less directive kinds of group work, which may more effectively educate church members in Christian belonging. In order to discover how different groupwork structures affect learning, three different group formats -- one directive and two experiential -- are compared on a longitudinal basis. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis the principal themes emerging from members self-reports of the different structures reveal four value constructs which play a dominant role in all three kinds of group but with respective prominences and potential enrichments. The practical significance of this for Christian group work -- and for religious education in general -- is considered, arriving at a strategy for congregational training applicable to the church as a whole.
An illuminating, reassuring explanation of the Catholic Church's
teachings on confession and forgiveness by the bestselling author
of "The Lamb's Supper" and "Hail, Holy Queen.
From its earliest centuries, one of the most notable features of Christianity has been the veneration of the saints--the holy dead. This ambitious history tells the fascinating story of the cult of the saints from its origins in the second-century days of the Christian martyrs to the Protestant Reformation. Robert Bartlett examines all of the most important aspects of the saints--including miracles, relics, pilgrimages, shrines, and the saints' role in the calendar, literature, and art. The book explores the central role played by the bodies and body parts of saints, and the special treatment these relics received. From the routes, dangers, and rewards of pilgrimage, to the saints' impact on everyday life, Bartlett's account is an unmatched examination of an important and intriguing part of the religious life of the past--as well as the present.
The first full-length study to trace how early Christians came to perceive Jesus as a sinless human being. Jeffrey S. Siker presents a taxonomy of sin in early Judaism and examines moments in Jesus' life associated with sinfulness: his birth to the unwed Mary, his baptism by John the Baptist, his public ministry - transgressing boundaries of family, friends, and faith - and his cursed death by crucifixion. Although followers viewed his immediate death in tragic terms, with no expectation of his resurrection, they soon began to believe that God had raised him from the dead. Their resurrection faith produced a new understanding of Jesus' prophetic ministry, in which his death had been a perfect sacrificial death for sin, his ministry perfectly obedient, his baptism a demonstration of perfect righteousness, and his birth a perfect virgin birth. This study explores the implications of a retrospective faith that elevated Jesus to perfect divinity, redefining sin.
Millions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers’ bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime of exploring—abroad and in her own backyard—and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity?
Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine’s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.
A theological exploration of Genesis 2 which renews our vision of the purpose of marriage as the central drama within God's salvation plan. Marriage seems increasingly irrelevant to many people today. But is this a true understanding of marriage? Could it be that God may have expectations for marriage which are distinct from our own, and wholly unaffected by our feelings or debates? If God is the author and definer of marriage, then we must look to the Author to discern its meaning rather than ourselves. The Genesis of Marriage sets out a biblical theology of marriage, grounded in the Marriage Text of Genesis 2:18-25, and investigates how it fits in its own context of Genesis 1 - 3 and the whole of Scripture. Examining the Marriage Text exegetically and theologically, Shenk shows this as the climax and conclusion of the two creation accounts, and explores what this reveals about the nature and character of God. The doctrinal implications of this are then explored, answering such practical questions such as, 'What are the ethics of marriage?' and 'How do we approach the real-world concerns of separation, divorce, and remarriage?'. Shenk's exploration helps dispel our modern disillusionment with marriage, or at least our ideas and beliefs about marriage which may be at odds with God's, to reveal deep truth about the nature and character of God.
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