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This book is written as an exercise in theological reflection on one of the knottiest questions imaginable: the connection between being a Christian and the way we own and use things. . . . When we turn to thinking about money and possessions, we find ourselves in murky waters. The things we own and use, like our sexuality, lie close to the bone of our individual and collective sense of identity. So writes respected scholar Luke Timothy Johnson in his introduction to Sharing Possessions: What Faith Demands. Stepping purposefully into the murky waters of owning and sharing, Johnson endeavors to clarify and define the ambiguous concept of human possession especially in relation to God s divine ownership and to discern the Bible s teaching on the mystery of human possessing and possessiveness. This second edition, reflecting thirty years of Johnson s further thinking on the subject, features chapters expanded with fresh insights, helpful new study questions for each chapter, and a substantial epilogue updating the work. All who found in Luke Johnson s treatment of possessions as part of the mystery of human existence a deeper and more fruitful approach to the problems of wealth and poverty will find in this new edition continued critical reflection and fresh insight. Those for whom this is a first encounter will find out what made it worth reissuing after thirty years. Sondra Ely Wheeler Wesley Theological Seminary
This volume on intercultural biblical interpretation includes essays by feminist scholars from Botswana, Germany, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, and the United States. Reading from a rich variety of socio-cultural locations, contributors present their hermeneutical frameworks for interpretation of Hebrew Bible texts, each framework grounded in the writer's journey of professional or social formation and serving as a prism or optic for feminist critical analysis. The volume hosts a lively conversation about the nature and significance of biblical interpretation in a global context, focusing on issues at the nexus of operations of power, textual ambiguity, and intersectionality. Engaged here are notions of biblical authority and postures of dissent; women's agency, discernment, rivalry, and alliance in ancient and contemporary contexts; ideological constructions of sexuality and power; interpretations related to indigeneity, racial identity, interethnic intimacy, and violence in colonial contexts; theologies of the feminine divine and feminist understandings of the sacred; convictions about interdependence and conditions of flourishing for all beings in creation; and ethics of resistance positioned over against dehumanization in political, theological, and hermeneutical praxes. Through their textual and contextual engagements, contributors articulate a broad spectrum of feminist insights into the possibilities for emancipatory visions of community.
The Bible is full of law. Yet too often, Christians either pick and choose verses out of context to bolster existing positions, or assume that any moral judgment the Bible expresses should become the law of the land. Law and the Bible asks: What inspired light does the Bible shed on Christians’ participation in contemporary legal systems? It concludes that more often than not the Bible overturns our faulty assumptions and skewed commitments rather than bolsters them. In the process, God gives us greater insight into what all of life, including law, should be. Each chapter is cowritten by a legal professional and a theologian, and focuses on a key aspect of the biblical witness concerning civil or positive law--that is, law that human societies create to order their communities, implementing and enforcing it through civil government. A foundational text for legal professionals, law and prelaw students, and all who want to think in a faithfully Christian way about law and their relationship to it.
Too few Christians today, says Joshua Jipp, understand hospitality to strangers and the marginalized as an essential part of the church's identity. In this book Jipp argues that God's relationship to his people is fundamentally an act of hospitality to strangers, and that divine and human hospitality together are thus at the very heart of Christian faith. Jipp first provides a thorough interpretation of the major biblical texts related to the practice of hospitality to strangers, considering especially how these texts portray Christ as the divine host who extends God's welcome to all people. Jipp then invites readers to consider how God's hospitality sets the pattern for human hospitality, offering suggestions on how the practice of welcoming strangers can guide the church in its engagement with current social challenges--immigration, incarceration, racism, and more.
New Testament scholars typically assume that the men who pervade the pages of Luke's two volumes are models of an implied "manliness." Scholars rarely question how Lukan men measure up to ancient masculine mores, even though masculinity is increasingly becoming a topic of inquiry in the field of New Testament and its related disciplines. Drawing especially from gender-critical work in classics, Brittany Wilson addresses this lacuna by examining key male characters in Luke-Acts in relation to constructions of masculinity in the Greco-Roman world. Of all Luke's male characters, Wilson maintains that four in particular problematize elite masculine norms: namely, Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist), the Ethiopian eunuch, Paul, and, above all, Jesus. She further explains that these men do not protect their bodily boundaries nor do they embody corporeal control, two interrelated male gender norms. Indeed, Zechariah loses his ability to speak, the Ethiopian eunuch is castrated, Paul loses his ability to see, and Jesus is put to death on the cross. With these bodily "violations," Wilson argues, Luke points to the all-powerful nature of God and in the process reconfigures--or refigures--men's own claims to power. Luke, however, not only refigures the so-called prerogative of male power, but he refigures the parameters of power itself. According to Luke, God provides an alternative construal of power in the figure of Jesus and thus redefines what it means to be masculine. Thus, for Luke, "real" men look manifestly unmanly. Wilson's findings in Unmanly Men will shatter long-held assumptions in scholarly circles and beyond about gendered interpretations of the New Testament, and how they can be used to understand the roles of the Bible's key characters.
Ideas pertaining to economics and social order were central concerns of the early Christian church, yet modern theologians and scholars have paid little or no attention to these issues as important theological questions. This brilliant and thorough study is a history of the views that Christians held of the origin, significance and use of wealth. Justo Gonzalez examines early Christian ideas, beliefs and teachings about the use of money, property, communal sharing and the rights and obligations of rich and poor. Setting the Christian community in the political, social and economic contexts of the times, Gonzalez highlights the ideas of such prominent writers as Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, John Chrysostom, and the Desert Fathers concerning wealth -- noting what traditional scholarship has overlooked. As the author points out, this book is not a social or economic history of Christianity during the first four centuries; it is a history of the views that Christians held on economic matters. This profound, enlightening and highly readable work of excellent scholarship is a major contribution to the study of the history of Christian thought. It clearly demonstrates that the issues of economics and social justice are central theological concerns, deeply rooted in Christian doctrine and Christian tradition.
(NSBT) Craig L. Blomberg offers a comprehensive biblical theology of the Christian attitude to poverty, wealth and material possessions.

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