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Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart A Study in Biblical Theology by Edward P. Meadors

Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart A Study in Biblical Theology


Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart A Study in Biblical Theology by Edward P. Meadors

The purpose of this book is to provide a biblical, theological answer to Isaiah's question: Why, O Lord, do you cause us to stray from your ways, and harden our heart from fearing you? Transparently, the biblical answer is pervasive, explicit, easy to understand, and interrelated to every major biblical theme. The hardening of the heart is quite simply God's disciplinary punishment for the specific sin of idolatry. Meadors' book is an exercise in biblical theology. Beginning in the Hebrew Bible, the hardened heart finds rescue in the new covenant promises that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea prophesy. In these prohecies, God promises to remove Israel's idols, cleanse the people, anoint them with God's spirit, write God's law upon their hearts, and turn the people's hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. The New Testament tells how Jesus of Nazareth activates these promises and brings them into effect in the lives of those who respond to him in faith. Paul preaches this message as well, and the book of Revelation applies this message to the historical context of the seven churches of Asia Minor, who lived with the agonizing temptation to compromise with the idolatry-laden Roman emperor cult. Meadors examines the biblical rationale for idolatry and the hardening of the heart as it unfolds in specific passages - Lev. 26, Dt. 29, Ps. 115, 135 - and examines the phenomenon through the rest of the Hebrew Bible, the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and Revelation .


. ..the book is about 'idolatry,
focuses on the motif of the hardening of the heart, and approaches its topic from a

'biblical-theological perspectives. All that has been covered by Meadors in an impressive way...Meadors's courageous survey of idolatry and the hardening of the heart in many biblical texts is quite welcome...Meadors's interesting work will challenge other approaches to idolatry and the 'hardening of the heart'
motif in biblical texts

...Meadors fulfills what he sees as his own objective by remaining on the biblical-theological level. It is to be hoped that Meadors's thought-provoking observations and interpretations will be received by many scholars working on the same or similar topics. Thomas J. Kraus, Hilpoltstein, Federal Republic of Germany, RBL (Society of Biblical Literature), 04/2008--Sanford Lakoff Edward P. Meadors begins with the premise that God initiates all hardening, then proceeds to tackle the daunting problem of why God hardens human hearts in the Bible. Written primarily for those with an extensive background in biblical and theological jargon, this in-depth, systematic analysis of the connection between hardening and idolatry in the Bible provides a refreshing, comprehensive approach to the problem...Meador's greatest contribution to this particular theological discussion can be found in the second part of his book, where he focuses on hardening and idolatry in the New Testament. He argues that the new covenant passages of the Old Testament find concrete expression in Christ's saving work on the cross...Arguably, it is Meadors's conclusion that is the most profound portion of the book, because it compels us to look deep within ourselves, examine our own tendencies toward idolatry, confront the reality of our hardened state, and ask God for forgiveness and a reassurance of eternal life. - Christina L. Wendland, Word & World, Fall 2008--Sanford Lakoff

About the Author

Edward P. Meadors is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and the author of Jesus the Messianic Herald of Salvation.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st December 2006


Edward P. Meadors

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T.& T.Clark Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


228 pages


Biblical studies & exegesis



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