Surprised by Hope

Lively and accessible, this book will surprise and excite all who are interested in the meaning of life not only after death but before it.

Author: Tom Wright

Publisher: SPCK

ISBN: 0281062587

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 374

What do Christians hope for? To leave this wicked world and go to 'heaven' For the 'kingdom of God' to grow gradually on earth? What do we mean by the 'resurrection of the body', and how does that fit with the popular image of sitting on clouds playing harps? And how does all this affect the way we live in the here and now? Tom Wright, one of our leading theologians, addresses these questions in this provocative and wide-ranging new book. He outlines the present confusion about future hope in both church and world. Then, having explained why Christians believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus himself, he explores the biblical hope for 'new heavens and new earth', and shows how the 'second coming' of Jesus, and the eventual resurrection, belong within that larger picture, together with the intermediate hope for 'heaven'. For many, including many Christians, all this will come as a great surprise. Wright convincingly argues that what we believe about life after death directly affects what we believe about life before death. For if God intends to renew the whole creation - and if this has already begun in Jesus' resurrection - the church cannot stop at 'saving souls', but must anticipate the eventual renewal by working for God's kingdom in the wider world, bringing healing and hope in the present life. Lively and accessible, this book will surprise and excite all who are interested in the meaning of life not only after death but before it.

Surprised by Hope

Lively and accessible, this book will surprise and excite all who are interested in the meaning of life, not only after death but before it.

Author: N. T. Wright

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061940593

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 109

In Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, top-selling author and Anglican bishop, N.T. Wright tackles the biblical question of what happens after we die and shows how most Christians get it wrong. We do not “go to” heaven; we are resurrected and heaven comes down to earth--a difference that makes all of the difference to how we live on earth. Following N.T. Wright’s resonant exploration of a life of faith in Simply Christian, the award-winning author whom Newsweek calls “the world’s leading New Testament scholar” takes on one of life’s most controversial topics, a matter of life, death, spirituality, and survival for everyone living in the world today.

Surprised by Hope Participant s Guide

Filled with discussion questions, thoughts for reflection, and ideas for personal application, this study guide will help you get the most out of each session as you explore such questions as ? What is heaven really like?

Author: N. T. Wright

Publisher: Zondervan

ISBN: 031032470X

Category: Religion

Page: 93

View: 796

Many Christians believe our future in heaven is all that really matters. But that's not what the Bible teaches. Through this small group bible study, Surprised by Hope, premier Bible scholar N. T. Wright brings you inside the Scriptures to grasp the full, breathtaking hope Jesus offers the world, and its implications for your life today. Gain an exciting new vision for your life on earth in light of your future in heaven. Wonderful as is the promise of heaven, a glorious hereafter is just part of what salvation is about. What about today? Jesus called his followers the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Your life here and now is of tremendous consequence, and what you believe about the future has a direct impact on how you live in the present. In six transforming, faith-inspiring DVD sessions, premier biblical scholar N. T. Wright opens your eyes to the amazing full scope of what God's Word has to say about the world to come and the world that is. This DVD will help you get the most out of each session as you explore such questions as What is heaven really like? Is our main duty as Christians simply to help non-Christians get there? What hope does the gospel hold for this present life? In what ways does God intend for us to experience that hope personally and spread its healing power to the world around us? This DVD is designed for use with the companion Surprised by Hope Participant Guide (both are included in this pack). Surprised by Hope provides a clearer vision both of the future and of God's kingdom at hand today. Sessions include: 1. Hope for the World 2. The Hope of the Resurrection 3. The Hope of Heaven 4. The Hope of Jesus' Second Coming 5. The Hope of Salvation 6. The Hope of the Church

Surprised by Hope

This story begins when Vickie -- having become a quadriplegic through a trapeze fall -- and her husband, Gary, are pulled over by the police back in 1987.

Author: Vickie Baker

Publisher: Horizon Books

ISBN: 9780889651616

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 177

This story begins when Vickie -- having become a quadriplegic through a trapeze fall -- and her husband, Gary, are pulled over by the police back in 1987. Reason: Someone has reported that they are on their way to commit a double suicide, although it is not revealed until the end of the story who called the police. Gary is hauled off to jail and eventually faces minor charges. Vickie is taken to the psyche ward, the first of many visits and months in institutions thereafter. After several exits and entries, Gary leaves to live on his own (they eventually divorce). Vickie manages quite well on her own and even attends graduate school to study social work. She still must have home care yet through a series of incidents and particularly the arrival of a Christian aide to help her, Vickie comes to Christ and is baptized. Even though she continues to need the help of aides, she manages to take on a new career of writing to inmates (loosely connected with Prison Fellowship) and generally has a life of ministry. The latter chapters reveal her change in attitude toward life from being master of her own destiny to yielding her life to Christ. Vickie's colorful writing style embraces a broad range of emotions as she tells her story, sometimes humorously, sometimes poignantly.

Surprised by Scripture

It offers celebration without naïveté, sorrow without cynicism, and hope without
sentimentality. Standing before it is like glimpsing an apocalyptic vision, a vision
of the beauty of God. Reflecting on this vision ought to inform and direct our ...

Author: Tom Wright

Publisher: SPCK

ISBN: 0281069867

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 955

In this challenging collection of his best recent sermons and speeches, Tom Wright provides a series of case studies that show how the Bible can be applied to pressing contemporary issues, including: • How it is possible to love the Bible and affirm evolution • Why belief in heaven means we should be at the forefront of the environmental movement • Where Christians today have lost focus, and why it is important for them to engage in politi Helpful, practical, and wise, Surprised by Scripture demonstrates how to affirm the Bible in today's world—as well as mapping out new ways of applying its principles and engaging effectively with the world around us.

Surprised by Jesus Again

See his Surprised by Hope and Surprised by Scripture. 11. Expositions of the
Psalms 99–120, pp. 52–55. 12. Harrison, Territories of Science and Religion, 159
–62. 13. I think I first heard this formulation from Barbara Brown Taylor. 14.

Author: Jason Byassee

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 1467456527

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 844

A bold, historical, robust approach to reading Scripture and encountering Jesus anew No one expects to be surprised. Yet biblical interpretation can do exactly that. Christians expect to see Jesus as they read the Bible, but when and how Jesus actually speaks through Scripture can still surprise us! Drawing on the early church’s theological giants—Origen, Augustine, Gregory the Great, and more from the historical cloud of witnesses—author Jason Byassee models how we can recover ancient Christians’ multiple ways of reading the Bible to our benefit. As Byassee says, God himself is Jewish, Catholic, and Pentecostal—so much larger than our own little corner on the truth—and this book offers readers a refreshingly enhanced vision of the Bible and of Jesus himself.

Jesus Paul and the People of God

Remembering the Christian Departed (London: SPCK, 2003); and Surprised by
Hope (London: SPCK, 2007) 2Wright, Resurrection of the Son of God, p 210 3Cf
Beverly Roberts Gaventa and Richard B Hays, eds, Seeking the Identity of Jesus:

Author: Nicholas Perrin

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

ISBN: 0830868437

Category: Religion

Page: 294

View: 627

At the 2010 Wheaton Theology Conference, leading New Testament scholar N. T. Wright and nine other prominent biblical scholars and theologians gathered to consider Wright's prolific body of work. Compiled from their presentations, this volume includes Wright's two main addresses plus nine other essays of critical response.

Plunging into the Kingdom Way

... time or matter as themselves. 1. Wright, Surprised By Hope, 212. 2. Wright,
Paul, 35. 3. Plantinga, Not The Way It's Supposed To Be, 122–23. 4. Wright,
Surprised by Hope, 212. 5. Exod 20:2–5: “I 100 Navigating the Rapids of our

Author: Tim Dickau

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1608992586

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 376

What practices might a community of faith take up that will bear witness to the alternative world Jesus envisions and calls us towards? That is the question that Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, an initially small and fragile group of Christ followers, has kept asking over the last twenty years. Along the way, this small group has spawned a vibrant community of faith that has traveled along four trajectories towards a shared life in community, radical hospitality, justice for the least, and confession leading to transformation. In a culture where individualism, consumerism, injustice, and autonomy shape us all, these practices have re-shaped not only the people of this church but also the neighborhood they inhabit in the East side of Vancouver, British Columbia. For anyone wanting to recover ancient but newly shaped practices of the first disciples, Plunging into the Kingdom Way offers renewed hope. By relating their story in conversation with a host of theologians, sociologists, and philosophers, Tim Dickau sparks the imagination for how you and your friends, your community, or your church can live out the radical vision of Jesus in your neighborhood today. Plunge in and you will discover renewed hope that you can actually follow the way of Jesus today.

Rob Bell and a New American Christianity

Mission is not a message given but a life lived; there is no ticket for another world.
It is a life pressed into God's ecstatic power that produces. 33 N.T. Wright,
Surprised by Hope, p. 194. (Italics, author emphasis.) 34 N.T. Wright, Surprised ...

Author: James K. Wellman, Jr.

Publisher: Abingdon Press

ISBN: 142674935X

Category: Religion

Page: 168

View: 706

The Christian message needs a new interpreter: one that is particular enough to know and interpret the tradition but broad enough to evoke thought and feeling from broader groups of people, including evangelicals, liberals, and those who are disenchanted with churched religion and who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious, yet are fond of the Jesus tradition. This book helps readers to understand the new landscape and its key figure, Rob Bell, by bringing a reasoned voice to the conversation and shedding light on the story, directions, and emotional power of the figure who Andy Crouch claims will be the main influence on Christians in this generation. While his theology is seen as a theo-political stage by church leaders, when Rob Bell tours and speaks, it is the unchurched, the people in the pew, the people who want to be in the pew, who are listening—by the thousands. His recent placement on the cover of Time magazine sealed his import on the American landscape for anyone interested in religion. Jonathan Nathan, a bookbuyer for the Harvard COOP, the largest booksellers in New England with a significant religion section says that no book has ever sold like Rob Bell’s to an audience that is young, thoughtful, and college-educated. Bell’s church has 10k members, and his influence has affected every sector of the American protestant church. Why? Because Rob Bell has caused the whole evangelical world to rethink the scope of SALVATION with one single question: who gets to be saved? With that short sentence Bell has initiated a whole new movement in rethinking what it means to be an evangelical. A movement that has only begun. Not only are heaven and hell at stake, but salvation itself. Is it meant for all or for only a small elect group—and if so, who gets to decide the parameters of that small group? If heaven and hell are not ultimate identifiers for a life of faith, can the passion to evangelize be maintained? If salvation is not either/or, but both/and, does the whole idea of world evangelism simply disappear? Rob Bell has created another question for Evangelicals: Will you decide to live in a closed world of your own making or an open world? Those most influenced by Rob Bell are younger Evangelicals who are dying to open up their worlds. Rob Bell just gave them permission. According to Andy Crouch, his is the voice that will most influence this current generation. For Liberals, Rob Bell gives them reason to be passionate about their faith and to think in big terms about it without giving up their minds and their questions. For the conservatives, he’s the voice that young Christians are looking to and admiring, and even if they disagree, they are trying to observe and imitate his approach and appeal. Rob Bell doesn’t have the personality to sink into some religious subculture: He is a new super religious brand, the Apple or Pixar of his generation. Evangelicals will buy it because they want to damn him, imitate him, or do both. Liberal religionists will buy it because they know that he is a Schleiermachian figure, making a case for faith to its cultured despisers with passion and a new aesthetic. Spiritual but not religious folks will buy it because Rob Bell has an invitation and appeal that is rare, and appeals well beyond holy huddles. As an authorized biography, that will allow for extensive interviews with Bell and his some of his congregants. This will include interviews with outside informed supporters and those that reject him and his theology. The book will reveal what makes him “tick,” how his Wheaton College background affected his work, and how he is dealing with accusations of being on the border of evangelical heresy. This book will be researched and written over the next two month, with a finish date of December 1. Half or more will be available by the fall AAR/SBL annual meeting, with the plan to have Rob Bell and the author presenting. The book will show how is he challenging orthodoxy and why theologians are upset. It will outline the key players in the debate. It will also argue that no matter what the theologians say, people are still attending Bell’s church, listening to him speak. This is in large part because the man has a pastor’s heart. He cares about his people. The theologians aren’t reclaiming the conversation; they are making themselves irrelevant as the people who want genuine faith and are coming to Rob Bell’s books and talks because, as Bell said, “when the woman coming to church tells me she has stopped cutting herself and that a life of faith makes a difference”--that’s where the real things are happening. Finally, people like him, he is a charismatic speaker that young people are listening to: He has something to say, and he is pastorally living the heart of what he is saying.

Small Faith Great God

But I was also surprised to discover that quite a few themes which I had thought
were more recent additions to my ... the ultimate Christian hope (as in The
Resurrection of the Son of God and Surprised by Hope) needs to be brought to
bear on ...

Author: Tom Wright

Publisher: SPCK

ISBN: 0281066655

Category: Religion

Page: 176

View: 592

A revised version of his 1978 book published by Kingsway, expounding Tom Wright's view of 'Biblical Christianity.' Short chapters written in an accessible and popular style explore key issues of belief and their practical outworking in daily life. Anecdotes and reflections backed by Tom Wright's deep biblical knowledge are presented in an easily digestible form. This reissue has been updated and also has a new foreword by the author.

Led Into Mystery

In an essay on 'Resurrection, Finitude, and Ecology', Conradie helpfully brings
together creation and eschatology, the struggle for the environment and the hope
we have in God's promise of a new ... 68 See Wright, Surprised by Hope, p. 197.

Author: John De Gruchy

Publisher: Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd

ISBN: 0334047366

Category: Religion

Page: 247

View: 502

Led into Mystery is an unanticipated sequel to John de Gruchy's book Being Human: Confessions of a Christian Humanist. It was prompted by the untimely and tragic death of his eldest son, Steve, in February 2010, and the questions this posed about the meaning of life and death from the perspective of Christian faith. A further prompt came as a result of a multi-disciplinary research project on "the humanist imperative in South Africa" (2009-2010). This raised critical questions about being human from the perspective of science, especially neuroscience, as well as other faith and secular perspectives. All these inform the discussion which is an exploration of mystery on the boundaries of human knowledge and experience, engagement with the world and the evolution of consciousness from a specifically Christian theological perspective. The title derives from Karl Rahner's comment that theology is about being led back into mystery -- the ultimate mystery of God disclosed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the creative presence of the Spirit in the life of the world. This mystery is an open secret waiting to be explored, expressed and entered into by faith. In doing so, we discern the fragmentary mystery of being human alone and in relationship within the constraints of our time and space. We are rudely encountered by the perplexing mysteries of evil and death, but embraced by the mysteries of goodness and beauty, hope and love. We draw on memory and imagination to develop a language that enables us to explore mystery through the genre of myth, parable, poetry, the novel, music and art, we participate in the mysteries of faith that communicate grace, forgiveness, and freedom which enable us to be more fully human in the life of the world in the struggles for justice and peace.

Worship Beyond Nationalism

... to come as only a dim and distant hope and, thereby, invest far too heavily in
the hope for the not-yet-ness of God's reign. triumphalism may even unwittingly
engage what paul refers to as “the cosmic powers ... Wright, Surprised by Hope,

Author: Rob Hewell

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1610974689

Category: Religion

Page: 154

View: 339

The church in the United States faces a dilemma: How is it possible for Christ's followers to worship faithfully in a nationalistic environment where religion and politics enjoy a vigorous affiliation while the separation of church and state is celebrated as the standard for the relationship between nation and faith? When nationalism propagates itself through a cross-pollination of the stories, symbols, and celebrations of the nation-state and religious groups, the stage is set for a national history bearing the character of sanctified legend. Such resulting civil religious activity is likely to create dissonance for Christ's followers between what they understand to be biblically faithful and what nationalistic practices may endorse as religiously valid. Worship Beyond Nationalism explores faithful worship as a political act by which Christians declare their allegiance to God in Christ rather than to worldly empires, enabling congregations to enact the reality of God's kingdom and embody the gospel for the glory of God and for the sake of the world.

The Skeletons in God s Closet

See particularly his Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and
the Mission of the Church (New York: HarperOne, 2008). 3. While the NIV and
most translations return zero results, it is worth noting a few translations will
return ...

Author: Joshua Ryan Butler

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ISBN: 052910055X

Category: Religion

Page: 356

View: 353

How can a loving God send people to hell? Isn’t it arrogant to believe Jesus is the only way to God? What is up with holy war in the Old Testament? Many of us fear God has some skeletons in the closet. Hell, judgment, and holy war are hot topics for the Christian faith that have a way of igniting fierce debate far and wide. These hard questions leave many wondering whether God is really good and can truly be trusted. The Skeletons in God's Closet confronts our popular caricatures of these difficult topics with the beauty and power of the real thing. Josh Butler reveals that these subjects are consistent with, rather than contradictory to, the goodness of God. He explores Scripture to reveal the plotlines that make sense of these tough topics in light of God’s goodness. From fresh angles, Josh deals powerfully with such difficult passages as: The Lake of Fire Lazarus and the Rich Man The Slaughter of Canaanites in the Old Testament Ultimately, The Skeletons in God's Close uses our toughest questions to provoke paradigm shifts in how we understand our faith as a whole. It pulls the “skeletons out of God’s closet” to reveal they were never really skeletons at all.

Eschatology Liturgy and Christology

N. T. Wright takes a similar position; see Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven,
the Resurrection, and the Misison of the Church (New York: HarperCollins, 2008)
, 249. 32. Nichols, Death and Afterlife, 148. 33. Lane, Keeping Hope Alive, 105; ...

Author: Thomas Rausch

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 0814680518

Category: Religion

Page: 184

View: 486

"If Christian hope is reduced to the salvation of the soul in a heaven beyond death," wrote Jürgen Moltmann, "it loses its power to renew life and change the world, and its flame is quenched." Thomas Rausch, SJ, agrees, arguing that too often the hoped-for eschaton has been replaced by an almost exclusive emphasis on the "four last things"-death and judgment, heaven and hell. But eschatology cannot be reduced to the individual salvation. In his new book, Rausch explores eschatology's intersections with Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and, perhaps most intriguingly, liturgy. With the early Christians, he sees God's future as a radically social reality, already present initially in Christian worship, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist. This fresh and insightful work of theology engages voices both ancient and contemporary.

Work Matters

... Stevens and Alvin Ung, Taking Your Soul to Work: Overcoming the Nine
Deadly Sins of the Workplace (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), pp. 166-68. 2.
N. T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the 161 Heavenly Work —

Author: R. Paul Stevens

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 0802866964

Category: Religion

Page: 184

View: 738

Marketplace theology expert R. Paul Stevens revisits more than twenty biblical accounts -- from Genesis to Revelation -- exploring through them the theological meaning of every sort of work, manual or intellectual, domestic or commercial. --from publisher description.

Heaven Is Not My Home

99 In the Sound of Music, in the song Do-Re-Mi, Julie Andrews (Maria) sings, "
Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start." 100 N.T. Wright,
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection. Chapter Three The
Gospel in ...

Author: David James Burge


ISBN: 144671117X


Page: 210

View: 677

Heaven is Not My Home by David James Burge

For Everyone Bible Study Guide Revelation

I published my book Surprised by Hope, I had a number of letters and emails
from people telling me their experiences with thinking it through, leading study
groups on it and in some cases preaching in the new way I was recommending.

Author: Tom Wright

Publisher: SPCK

ISBN: 0281068666

Category: Religion

Page: 128

View: 294

Many regard Revelation as the hardest book in the New Testament. It is full of strange, lurid, and sometimes bizarre and violent imagery. As a result, people who are quite at home in the Gospels, Acts and Paul's letters find themselves tiptoeing around Revelation with a sense that they don't really belong there. But they do! This book offers one of the clearest and sharpest visions of God's ultimate purpose for the whole creation. Here we see how the powerful forces of evil can be and are being overthrown through the victory of Jesus the Messiah, which continues to inspire and strengthen his followers today. The guides in this series by Tom Wright can be used on their own or alongside his New Testament for Everyone commentaries. They are designed to help you understand the Bible in fresh ways under the guidance of one of the world's leading New Testament scholars. Thoughtful questions, prayer suggestions, and useful background and cultural information all guide you into a deeper understanding of the Christian story and the Christian life.

Creative Ideas for Ministry with the Aged

... the conscious love of God and the conscious presence ofJesus Christ' while
they await a bodily resurrection into a new, incorruptible form (Surprised by Hope
, SPCK, London, 2007, pp. 183–4; for the discussion about resurrection, see pp.

Author: Sue Pickering

Publisher: Canterbury Press

ISBN: 1848256485

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 959

Creative Ideas for Ministry with the Aged is a wise, timely and practical handbook that meets the urgent need for resources for ministry among the elderly. Written out of the author's own experience as a chaplain to a residential care community, it is suitable for ministers who visit the elderly; chaplains, pastoral visitors and caregivers; and all who help train others in elderly pastoral care. Part 1 explores the key theological elements of ministry with the aged, focusing on themes such as the sacrament of the present moment. It asks what constitutes spiritual care and conversation with those whose minds and bodies are failing? Part 2 provides simple service outlines for 'reconnecting with old treasures'; and includes liturgies for communion services, services of the word and remembering special days. Parts 3 and 4 offer imaginative ideas for pastoral practices and spiritual activities using prayer, song, laughter, memory, touch, anointing and more to address questions of loss, letting go, forgiveness, dying and resurrection.

The Uncensored Truth Bible for New Beginnings

Punishment: Matthew 23:33; 2 Peter 2:4. 6. C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (New
York: HarperCollins, 2001), 75. 7. N. T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking
Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: HarperOne,


Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1455515426

Category: Bibles

Page: 1248

View: 596

As the pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Jud Wilhite encounters new Christians every single day. One of the greatest needs new believers have is a resource for understanding the Christian faith and the Bible in a straightforward and applicable guide. The Uncensored Truth Bible for New Beginnings fills that need and show an uncompromising commitment to God's Word and the extent of His grace: the radical, amazing, overwhelming favor and forgiveness of God available to all. The New Living Translation is Jud's preferred Bible translation because he believes it is the easiest for new believers to understand. This fastest growing Bible translation is the work of 90 Bible scholars over a seven-year period and is known for accurately communicating the meaning of the original ancient Hebrew and Greek texts in clear and concise language. Jud hopes The Uncensored Truth Bible for New Beginnings will help you apply the gift of God's words to your life along with some thoughts to help you understand it more quickly and deeply. He gives you tools and resources to help navigate the deep waters of this living document. As you dig into God's words, the encouragement and truth you receive will literally change your life and the world! Key Features Include: A 32-page Introduction in which Jud provides 6 helpful articles on how to understand the Bible, overviews of the Old and New Testaments, and faith as a lifelong journey Book Introductions, including the author, key people and verses, themes, and the date it was written for each book of the Bible 9 Major Uncensored Truth Sections, which guide readers to understand the core beliefs of Christianity-God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, salvation, church, living the Christian life, angels and demons, Jesus' return, and heaven and hell Callout Passages of Scripture that have meant the most to Jud for different reasons in various seasons of life And featuring the reliable and easy-to-read New Living Translation

Cutting Jesus Down to Size

London: SPCK. ———. 1992b. Who Was Jesus? London: SPCK. ———. 1996.
Jesus and the Victory of God. London: SPCK. ———. 2003. The Resurrection of
the Son of God. London: SPCK. ———. 2007. Surprised by Hope. London: SPCK

Author: George Albert Wells

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698673

Category: Religion

Page: 384

View: 351

In this provocative book, noted scholar G. A. Wells tells the story of Higher Criticism: the close study of the scriptures that reveals difficulties and discrepancies. Wells traces the discipline’s German beginnings, exploring the problems in the New Testament that prompted scholars to revise traditional theories of the scriptures’ origins. Wells then traces the development and reception of these views from the 18th century to today. Drawing on current biblical scholarship, Wells explains how the Jesus of Paul’s epistles differs radically from later versions and addresses conservative Christians’ attempts to reconcile them. He carefully analyzes what the New Testament says about miracles, the Virgin Birth, the Nativity, Jesus’ conflicting genealogies, the Resurrection, the post-Resurrection appearances, and the failed prophecies of imminent apocalypse. Wells persuasively profiles the New Testament as a fascinating but flawed collection of incompatible viewpoints, revealing Jesus as a shifting, ambiguous, legendary figure who reflected the evolving teachings of a fragmented, emotion-based cultic movement.