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In The Day the Revolution Began Tom Wright invites you to consider the full meaning of the event at the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus’ crucifixion. As he did in his acclaimed Surprised by Hope, Wright once again challenges commonly held beliefs, this time arguing that the Protestant Reformation did not go far enough in reshaping our understanding of the Cross. With his characteristic rigour and incisiveness, he goes back to the New Testament to show that Jesus’ death not only releases us from the guilt and power of sin, but is nothing less than the beginning of a world-wide revolution that continues to this day – a revolution that creates and energizes a movement responsible for restoring and reconciling the whole of God’s creation. The Day the Revolution Began will take you to a new level in your appreciation of the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice: opening up its powerful and amazing implications, inspiring you with a renewed sense of purpose and hope, and reminding you of the crucial role you can play in the world-transforming movement that Jesus started.
A dramatic tension confronts every Christian believer and interpreter of Scripture: on the one hand, we encounter images of God commanding and engaging in horrendous violence: one the other hand, we encounter the non-violent teachings and example of Jesus, whose loving, self-sacrificial death and resurrection is held up as the supreme revelation of God’s character in the New Testament. How do we reconcile the tension between these seemingly disparate depictions? Are they even capable of reconciliation? Throughout Christian history, many different answers have been proposed, ranging from the long-rejected explanation that these contrasting depictions are of two entirely different ‘gods’ to recent social and cultural theories of metaphor and narrative representation. The Crucifixion of the Warrior God takes up this dramatic tension and the range of proposed answers in an epic constructive investigation. Over two volumes, renowned theologian and biblical scholar Gregory A. Boyd argues that we must take seriously the full range of Scripture as inspired, including its violent depictions of God. At the same time, we must take just as seriously the absolute centrality of the crucified and risen Christ as the supreme revelation of God. Developing a theological interpretation of Scripture that he labels a “cruciform hermeneutic,” Boyd demonstrates how Scripture’s violent images of God are completely reframed and their violence subverted when they are interpreted through the lens of the cross and resurrection. Indeed, when read through this lens, Boyd argues that these violent depictions can be shown to bear witness to the same self-sacrificial character of God that was supremely revealed on the cross.
The Resurrection of Jesus is at the very root of Christian faith; without belief in Jesus Christianity dies. In this thought-provoking work, Matthew Levering defends the credibility of the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. Drawing on the work of N. T. Wright, Levering shows that the historical evidence vindicates this assumption, and reveals that the Gospels were backed by eyewitnesses who were living and telling their stories even during the time of the writing of the Gospels. The author also emphasises the importance of evaluating the Old Testament to validate Jesus' Resurrection. By highlighting the desire—both in the ancient world and now—to make the Resurrection more comprehensible by spiritualizing it, Levering argues that the fact that the disciples themselves did not do this provides a further clue to reliability. Finally, the author addresses the question of why Jesus does not continue to show himself in his glorified flesh after his resurrection, which is often seen as a strong case for scepticism. However, he shows that Jesus' entire mission is predicated upon helping us to avoid cleaving to the present world over God. He is leading us to where he is—the kingdom of God, the beginning of the new creation at the Father's right hand. By developing these arguments for the historical reality of Jesus' Resurrection, this ground-breaking study expertly draws together historical and theological reasons for believing that Jesus' Resurrection happened.
Modern Christians have often hesitated to embrace the ancient creeds because of our “nothing but the Bible” tradition. In What Christians Ought to Believe Michael Bird opens our eyes to the possibilities of the Apostle’s Creed as a way to explore and understand the basic teachings of the Christian faith. Bringing together theological commentary, tips for application, and memorable illustrations, What Christians Ought to Believe summarizes the basic tenets of the Christian faith using the Apostle’s Creed as its entryway. After first emphasizing the importance of creeds for the formation of the Christian faith, each chapter, following the Creed’s outline, introduces the Father, the Son, and the Spirit and the Church. An appendix includes the Apostles’ Creed in the original Latin and Greek. What Christians Ought to Believe is ideally suited for both the classroom and the church setting to teach beginning students and laypersons the basics of what Christians ought to affirm if they are to be called Christians.
How do the truth claims of the gospel of Christ square with the biblical testimony to God's abiding election of the Jewish people? In Romans 9-11, the apostle Paul reflects deeply on this fundamental theological question. The interpretation of these chapters has long been contested, however. The present volume assesses the current state of research and opens up fresh lines of inquiry, taking into account insights generated both by the New Perspective on Paul and by ongoing Jewish-Christian dialogue. Twenty-six essays in English and German - representing the fields of Biblical Studies, Judaic Studies, Systematic Theology and Practical Theology - examine the theological horizons, history of interpretation, literary contexts, argumentative structure, theological themes and contemporary significance of Paul's arguments. With contributions by: Friedrich Avemarie, John M. G. Barclay, William S. Campbell, Susan Eastman, Reinhard Feldmeier, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, A. Katherine Grieb, Klaus Haacker, Wolfgang Kraus, Mark D. Nanos, Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, Enno Edzard Popkes, Mark Reasoner, Wolfgang Reinbold, Martin Rothgangel, Dieter Sanger, Berndt Schaller, Frank Schleritt, Notger Slenczka, Katherine Sonderegger, R. Kendall Soulen, Christoph Stenschke, Annette Steudel, J. Ross Wagner, Florian Wilk, N. Thomas Wrigh
In this book, Agron Belica offers a fresh interpretation of the momentous events on a hillock beyond the walls of Jerusalem nearly two millennia ago: the Crucifixion. Belica asks disconcerting questions about the received version of gospel “history” and gives free rein to his inquisitive nature. Many of his ideas and speculations will strike the casual reader schooled in the ancient Biblical Traditions with which they conflict as unhistorical, impossible, and unbelievable. Yet, when questioning established premises, the impossible may often be shown to be possible, as Socrates was fond of doing.Mr. Belica does not claim to be proving anything, except that with some speculation and reinterpretation of the Biblical record and relevant Quranic texts, when coupled with a few remarks from Josephus, the whole traditional version of the Crucifixion can be seen in a different light. Belica throws new ideas and new possibilities at the reader, asking only that they be considered. Like a barrage of rockets shot into the moonless night sky, some flaring more brightly than the others, some of his speculations are more plausible than others, but all are provocative and worth thinking about. His is the first innovative interpretation of the Crucifixion since Dr. Hugh Schonfield looked at it two generations ago.Beyond that, Belica has taken upon himself the task of redressing the imbalance between the gospel Jesus and the gospel John the Baptist and, in our opinion, has done so with justice on his side. The gospel writers diminished John in order to exalt Jesus and transform him into a superhuman, divine entity. While their motives are understandable, the researcher who seeks to explore unanswered questions and obscure “competitors” to the demigod they were creating, is understandably frustrated and can only mourn the lost evidence. This is particularly true for John the Baptist. In the New Testament, he is a minor figure, his purpose is to introduce and validate the mission of his kinsman Jesus as the Messiah.Belica asks why was John the Baptist so used by the gospellers and then dismissed to the limbo of silence, together with the Essenes who, though a considerable presence in the Palestine of the day, are not even mentioned by them? He was intrigued by that question and began to study the references to John, gradually conceiving unprovable, but provocative theories. His work became known to a mutual friend, the author of a number of valuable books and articles on various aspects of Islamica, Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar—who also became interested in John the Baptist, and through her, I was introduced to him. At first, I was rather skeptical, but was persuaded to look into the historical injustice done to John. (He is much better served in the Quran than he is in the Bible.) Having trusted her instincts over the years in such things in my own literary projects, and with her continuous encouragement and suggestions, I set to work. The result of my own inquiry, the monograph Rethinking John the Baptist, is appended to the present volume.Meanwhile, Agron Belica continued his own research, examining new evidence while elaborating and working out his theories and speculations. The results of this work constitute the main portion of this volume that is dedicated to the rehabilitation of the repute and stature of that much neglected prophet, John the Baptist, known in the Islamic world as Yahya. I was pleased to be chosen as his editor and annotator for this book. -Jay R. Crook Ph.D.

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