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Amid conflicting ideas about what the church should be and do in a post-Christian climate, the missing voice is that of Paul. The New Testament's most prolific church planter, Paul faced diverse challenges as he worked to form congregations. Leading biblical scholar James Thompson examines Paul's ministry of planting and nurturing churches in the pre-Christian world to offer guidance for the contemporary church. The church today, as then, must define itself and its mission among people who have been shaped by other experiences of community. Thompson shows that Paul offers an unprecedented vision of the community that is being conformed to the image of Christ. He also addresses contemporary (mis)understandings of words like missional, megachurch, and formation.
Leading biblical scholar James Thompson explains that Paul offers a coherent moral vision based not only on the story of Christ but also on the norms of the law. Paul did not live with a sharp dichotomy of law and gospel and recognized the continuing importance of the law. --from publisher description
What modern church doesn't call itself a community? Yet for how many is it real? How many churches form disciples intimately connected enough to call themselves Christ's body? How many form disciples who know the relational arts that create a robust unity? How many form disciples practiced in the ways of sacrificial love? Pastor John Alexander, a thirty-year veteran of living in Christian communities, yearns for all the wonder and promise of the New Testament vision of church to come true. After struggling with Scripture in live-together church communities, he shares the Scriptural practices and wisdom that make for an authentic, sustainable, and joyful life together. For any person or church wanting to move beyond the clichŽ of community to the radical vision of the New Testament, this book is an invaluable guide
Utilizes material from the award-winning Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible to introduce theological interpretation through a book-by-book survey of the New Testament.
What is the ultimate purpose of pastoral ministry? What emphases and priorities should take precedence? In the day-to-day emphasis on various pastoral roles and pragmatic concerns, what can sometimes get lost is the theological foundation for understanding pastoral ministry. James Thompson is a New Testament scholar with a concern for relating biblical studies to practical ministry. Here he does a careful study of several of Paul's epistles in order to see what Paul's vision and purpose were for his own ministry. He finds that Paul's aim was an ethical transformation of the communities (not just individuals) with which he worked, so that they would live lives worthy of the gospel until Christ's return. Using this as a framework, Thompson offers suggestions for practical application to contemporary ministry.
"In Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God, Pentecostal scholar Gordon Fee has redefined the terms of the discussion about the Holy Spirit in a way that transcends today's paradigm of 'charismatic' or 'noncharismatic' orientation. His words are a strong reminder of what God, through his Holy Spirit, intends the church to be. . . . His work is an attempt to point us back to the Bible and reinvigorate our own vision of how the Spirit mobilizes the community of believers in the local church."--Wendy Murray, author; former senior writer, Christianity Today "Gordon Fee, one of our truly master exegetes, has put steel and sinew into the words Spirit, spirit, and spiritual--words that have become flabby through subjectivizing indulgence and lack of exegetical exercise. His accurate, fresh, and passionate recovery of the place and meaning of Spirit in Paul and for us Christians is a provocative stimulus and reliable guide to the recovery of the experienced presence of God in our lives. For those of us who want to live in continuity with all that has been revealed in Jesus and given in the Spirit, this is an eminently practical book."--Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College "Gordon Fee is one of the finest Bible expositors I have known. Whenever he speaks and writes, I listen, and recommend you do the same."--Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries
"There are many introductions to the life, thought, and letters of Paul the apostle. Some concentrate upon his life, while others focus upon his thought, and still others on his letters. A few of them, like this book, try to integrate all three of them -- including on occasion material from the book of Acts -- into a useful portrait of the man and what he said and thought as revealed through his letters." - from preface.

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