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The pastoral office is one of the most critical in Christianity. Historically, however, Christians have not been able to agree on the precise nature and limits of that office. A specific area of contention has been the role of women in pastoral leadership. In recent decades, three broad types of arguments have been raised against women's ordination: nontheological (primarily cultural or political), Protestant, and Catholic. Reflecting their divergent understandings of the purpose of ordination, Protestant opponents of women's ordination tend to focus on issues of pastoral authority, while Catholic opponents highlight sacramental integrity. These positions are new developments and new theological stances, and thus no one in the current discussion can claim to be defending the church's historic position. Icons of Christ addresses these voices of opposition, making a biblical and theological case for the ordination of women to the ministerial office of Word and Sacrament. William Witt argues that not only those in favor of, but also those opposed to, women's ordination should embrace new theological positions in response to cultural changes of the modern era. Witt mounts a positive ecumenical argument for the ordination of women that touches on issues such as theological hermeneutics, relationships between men and women, Christology and discipleship, and the role of ordained clergy in leading the church in worship, among others. Uniquely, Icons of Christ treats both Protestant and Catholic theological concerns at length, undertaking a robust engagement with biblical exegesis and biblical, historical, systematic, and liturgical theology. The book's theological approach is critically orthodox, evangelical, and catholic. Witt offers the church an ecumenical vision of ordination to the presbyterate as an office of Word and Sacrament that justifiably is open to both men and women. Most critically Witt reminds us that, as all people are image-bearers of the divine, so men and women both are called to serve as icons of Christ in service of the gospel.
This book is the second of two volumes collecting together Michael C. Rea's most substantial work in analytic theology. The first volume focuses on the nature of God and our ability to talk and discover truths about God, whereas this volume contains essays focused more on questions about humanity, the human condition, and how human beings relate to God. Part one of Volume II considers on the doctrines of the incarnation, original sin, and atonement. Part two examines the problem of evil, the problem of divine hiddenness, and a theological problem that arises in connection with the idea God not only tolerates but validates a response of angry protest in the face of these problems.
This book is the first of two volumes collecting together Michael C. Rea's most substantial work in analytic theology. This volume considers the nature of God and our ability to talk and discover truths about God, whereas the companion volume focuses on theological questions about humanity and the human condition. The chapters in the first part of Volume I explore issues pertaining to discourse about God and the authority of scripture. Part two focuses on divine attributes, while part three discusses doctrine of the trinity and related issues.
An accessible introduction to Christian philosophical theology Philosophical or analytic theology seeks to employ philosophical tools while studying topics in Christian theology and examining the logical consistency or intelligibility of some of the key doctrines of the Christian faith. In this accessible primer, An Introduction to Christian Philosophical Theology, authors Stephen T. Davis and Eric T. Yang first explain the scope, relevance, and value of philosophical theology and then applies its conceptual tools to examine each of the core Christian doctrines: Revelation and Scripture The Trinity The Incarnation Redemption and the atonement, Resurrection and life after death The final chapter briefly addresses some additional theological issues including petitionary prayer, eschatology, and original sin. Designed for beginning students and non-specialists this guide provides the ideal entry point for not only understanding what philosophical theology is but also for how it can provide valuable insights for how we think about the core doctrines of the Christian faith.
Gospel-Centered Theology for Today Evangelical Theology, Second Edition helps today's readers understand and practice the doctrines of the Christian faith by presenting a gospel-centered theology that is accessible, rigorous, and balanced. According author Michael Bird the gospel is the fulcrum of Christian doctrine; the gospel is where God meets us and where we introduce the world to God. And as such, an authentically evangelical theology is the working out of the gospel in the various doctrines of Christian theology. The text helps readers learn the essentials of Christian theology through several key features, including: A What to Take Home section at end of every part that gives readers a run-down on all the important things they need to know. Tables, sidebars, and questions for discussion to help reinforce key ideas and concepts A Comic Belief section, since reading theology can often be dry and cerebral, so that readers enjoy their learning experience through some theological humor added for good measure. Now in its second edition, Evangelical Theology has proven itself in classrooms around the world as resource that helps readers not only understand the vital doctrines of Christian theology but one that shows them how the gospel should shape how they think, pray, preach, teach, and minister in the world.
Justin Stratis explores the meaning of the biblical phrase 'God is love' through an examination of two quintessentially modern Protestant theologians: Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Barth. This book contains both a detailed engagement with Schleiermacher's untranslated lectures on Dialektik and their relation to his more well-known work, as well as a new assessment of Barth's doctrine of God which both respects his radical innovations and yet places him within the stream of traditional, catholic trinitarianism. After considering the complexities of theological predication, and comparing several classical and contemporary approaches to the implication of 'love', Stratis presents and ultimately commends the distinct approaches of Schleiermacher and Barth for their tendency to treat divine love as a 'conclusion' to the doctrine of God, rather than as a conceptual starting point. In contrast to many contemporary approaches, Stratis concludes with the suggestion that God's love is best conceived as his being toward fellowship, rather than as the eminent instance of loving fellowship understood according to human experiences of love.
This workbook accompanies Wayne Grudem's highly regarded Systematic Theology. Following the textbook's structure, it features review material and exercises for every chapter, and all major areas of Christian doctrine are covered, including: The Word of God God Humanity Christ and the Holy Spirit The Application of Redemption The Church The Future The workbook further maintains the clear writing, friendly tone, and frequent applications to life found in the textbook. Students will benefit from this hands-on engagement with the important teachings in Systematic Theology.
Through the 'dark night of the soul' to the depiction of the erotically-charged union of the soul and God, the poetry and prose works of the Spanish friar John of the Cross (1542-1591) offer a striking account of the transformation of the individual in the course of the Christian life. John of the Cross: Desire, Transformation, and Selfhood argues that these writings are animated by John's own creative and subtly conceptualized notion of erotic desire. John's understanding of desire has the potential to enrich recent theological discussion of the subject, but it has been curiously neglected in past scholarship. To correct this lacuna, this study undertakes a detailed historical analysis in three parts. Firstly, it attends to the patristic, medieval, and sixteenth-century Spanish influences on John's writings, showing how John reworks a long tradition of biblical, Christian, and Platonic reflection on the concept. Secondly, it traces the importance of desire through John's writings, demonstrating how he develops the theme through his poetry, his anthropology of the soul, and his account of the spiritual ascent. Thirdly, it explores the reception of his writings in the twentieth century, demonstrating how particular modern philosophical and theological commitments have prevented scholars from recognising the rich and distinctive shape of John's theological vision. John's account of the transformation of the self, with its hopeful vision of the graced transformation of the soul's desires, has significance beyond the constrained modern categories of systematic theology, Christian spirituality, pastoral theology, and mysticism-it is a vision that is worthy of recovery today.
Wayne Grudem believes that 'theology is meant to be lived and prayed and sung' - but before this can happen, it must be understood. The most widely-used text of the last 25 years in its discipline, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem has been thoroughly revised and expanded (all 57 chapters) for the first time, while retaining the features that have made it the standard in its field: clear explanations, an emphasis on each doctrine's scriptural basis, and practical applications to daily life. Part of the brilliance of Systematic Theology over the years has been its simplicity and ease of use. Each chapter follows the same structure. First, there is discussion of the doctrine being considered, such as justification or the Trinity or the deity of Christ. An explanation of where that doctrine is supported in the Bible and possible objections follow. Personal application and key terms to know for personal growth are then provided. Chapters also include a scripture memory passage, references to other literature on the topic, and suggested hymns and worship songs. With several hundred pages of new content, this new edition now includes the following distinctive features, including: Updated, fuller analysis of several recent controversies within evangelicalism, including the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son in the Trinity, the question of God's atemporal eternity, the role of women in the church, seeker-sensitive churches, miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, and contemporary worship music. New, thoughtful critiques of open theism, the new perspective on Paul, Molinism (or middle knowledge ), Free Grace theology, and the preterist view of Christ's second coming Completely revised, stronger chapter on the clarity of Scripture Completely revised, stronger chapter on creation and evolution (including a longer critique of theistic evolution) Completely updated bibliographies All Scripture quotations updated from RSV to ESV A contemporary worship song added at the end of each chapter (while retaining the traditional hymns as well) Wayne Grudem's warm, pastoral and practical approach to systematic theology has been widely appreciated. He demonstrates on page after page how important biblical doctrine is both for the spiritual health of the individual and for the well-being of the church at large.
There is a broad consensus among biblical scholars that creation ex nihilo (from nothing) is a late Hellenistic development with little inherent connection to Genesis 1 and other biblical creation texts. In this book, Nathan J. Chambers forces us to reconsider the question, arguing in favor of reading this chapter of the Bible in terms of ex nihilo creation and demonstrating that there is a sound basis for the early Christian development of the doctrine. Drawing on the theology of Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas, Chambers considers what the ex nihilo doctrine means and does in classical Christian dogma. He examines ancient Near Eastern cosmological texts that provide a potential context for reading Genesis 1, and, recognizing the distance between the possible historical and theological frameworks for interpreting the text, illuminates how this doctrine developed within early Christian thought as a consequence of the church's commitment to reading Genesis 1 as part of Christian Scripture. Through original close readings of the chapter that engage critically with the work of Jon Levenson, Hermann Gunkel, and Brevard Childs, Chambers demonstrates that, far from precluding interpretive possibilities, reading Genesis 1 in terms of creation from nothing opens up a variety of interpretive avenues that have largely been overlooked in contemporary biblical scholarship. Timely and innovative, this book makes the case for a new (or recovered) framework for reading Genesis 1 that will appeal to biblical studies scholars and seminarians.
Christ came to save us from sin and death. But what did he save us for? One beautiful and compelling answer to this question is that God saved us for union with him so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (1 Pet 2:4), what the Christian tradition has called deification. This term refers to a particular vision of salvation which claims that God wants to share his own divine life with us, uniting us to himself and transforming us into his likeness. While often thought to be either a heretical notion or the provenance of Eastern Orthodoxy, this book shows that deification is an integral part of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and many Protestant denominations. Drawing on the resources of their own Christian heritages, eleven scholars share the riches of their respective traditions on the doctrine of deification. In this book , scholars and pastor-scholars from diverse Christian expressions write for both a scholarly and lay audience about what God created us to be: adopted children of God who are called, even now, to be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).
This book presents theological, cultural, ecclesial and hermeneutical explorations from a specific context-Australia-and invites reimagining of theology and hermeneutics. The horizons of contextuality explored in this book include indigeneity and sovereignty, contingencies of context, feminist theology, multiculturalism and intercultural theologies, sexual abuse and ecclesial coverups, suicide and worship, tradition(ing)s and betrayal, art and popular culture, climate effect and climate justice, disability theories, Islamic insights, migration and the images of home, and heaps of contextual matters in between. The chapters are organized into three sections: (1) Roots presents some of the starting points for contextual thinking in Australia and yonder; (2) Wounds attends to the demands of bodies on the line upon theological, biblical and ecclesial engagements; (3) Shifts pokes at thinkers and critics.