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This book explores the life and ministry of John Wesley from the perspective of Murray Bowen's Extended Family Systems Theory and to a lesser extent from Alfred Adler's concept of family constellation. Throughout the book, the author uses concepts drawn from these theories to explore significant historical and pivotal events in the life of John Wesley. Beginning with family events prior to his birth, the author also explores his early family constellation, influential themes, factors shaping his ministry, and various relational issues, including his relationships with Sophy Hopkey, Grace Murray, and his marriage to Mary Vazeille. It concludes by drawing lessons from Wesley's life pertinent to today's ministers.
From Generation to Generation: The Adaptive Challenge of Mainline Protestant Education in Forming Faithby Charles R. Foster
Mainline Protestant congregations face a profound adaptive challenge. In the midst of significant social, cultural, and technological change, the denominations they represent generally abandoned a view of education capable of maintaining and renewing their faith traditions through their children and youth. New curriculum resources and innovative pedagogical strategies appropriated from the marketplace of religious education options have not met the challenge. A transformation of consciousness is required in congregations seeking a future through their children. It involves the exercise of an ecclesial imagination to reclaim a view of education rooted in the revitalization of their religious traditions in the past and re-envisioning the congregation as a catechetical culture of faith formation.
For several years, argues Guder, contemporary Christian churches have often thought of their mission efforts as simply one more program of the church. In addition, outsiders have rightly criticized Christian mission efforts as exercises in cultural imperialism.<P> In this provocative book, Guder argues that the incarnation of God in Jesus provides the foundational model for the practice of Christian missions in the world today. The incarnation is the culmination of God's activity and presence in the world, says Guder, for in this event God initiates the healing of a broken world.<P> Using literary, historical, and social approaches to scripture, Guder claims the contemporary church should return to an "incarnational mission" in which the practice of Christian witness is "shaped by the life, ministry, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus."
Introducing Feminist Ecclesiology explores women's experiences of being church and reclaiming the church in order to rebuild it as a meaningful, open sacramental space where everybody's presence is celebrated. Natalie Watson proposes a creative and constructive dialog with existing theological approaches to the church, from different Christian traditions as well as more recent feminist theologians, and suggests the development of criteria that hear women's experiences of being church and reclaiming church into speech. The church is the embodied reality of all women children and men whose stories tell the story of the Triune God.
The Isaiah Vision presents an ecumenical strategy for congregation-based evangelism. Behind it lies the conviction that the task of witnessing for Jesus Christ to individual people and to neighborhood communities is, In the final analysis, The responsibility of the local congregation. it draws upon the experiences of congregations in many places and a variety of situations, and is in that sense truly ecumenical. Going beyond ideas and concepts, it addresses concrete methods for their implementation, and what it commends is thus a clear, ecumenical evangelistic strategy. That strategy is based on Isaiah's vision of the restored community in which both the young And The old find fulfillment and fill out their days, and people do not labor in vain but enjoy the work of their hands.
A Journal of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Christian Experiences of that Faithful Minister of Jesus Christ, John Woolmanby John Woolman
Woolman's Journal was first published in 1774 (shortly after his death). His life, as recorded by himself, was the finest flower of a unique Quaker culture, whose focus, as Howard H. Brinton has put is, was not on the literary or plastic arts but on life itself in home, meeting and community, a life which was an artistic creation as beautiful in its simplicity and proportion as was the architecture of its meeting houses. . . Its distinguishing marks were not dogmas but practical testimonies for equality, simplicity and peace. These testimonies, once revolutionary in their social implications, were already becoming institutionalized in Woolman's time as the badges of a peculiar people. In his quiet way (he must have been the quietest radical in history) John Woolman reforged the testimonies, tempered them in the stream of love and converted them once again into instruments of social revolution.
As revolutionary forces gather in the Lacandon jungle of southern Mexico in the fall of 1993, an idealistic American priest vanishes from his post in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The Church, immersed in trying to negotiate a peaceful solution to the escalating conflict between wealthy landowners and poverty-stricken indigenas, remains strangely silent in the face of his disappearance. When his sister, Eva, only thirty-four but already a hardened battlefield photojournalist, finds out what's going on, she flies to Central America to find him, taking a job assisting a taciturn Dutch Mayanist in order to provide herself with a cover. But as it turns out, he, too, is on a secret quest. From the great pyramids of Tikal and the graceful palaces of Palenque to the shadowy guerrilla camps of the vast Lacandon, A Land Without Sin is a modern-day journey into the heart of darkness.
In this seminal treatise, Peter J. Leithart argues that the coming of the New Creation in Jesus Christ has profound and revolutionary implications for social order, implications symbolized and effected in the ritual of baptism. In Christ and Christian baptism, the ancient distinctions between priest and non-priest, between patrician and plebian, are dissolved, giving rise to a new humanity in which there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. Yet, beginning in the medieval period, the church has blunted the revolutionary force of baptism, and reintroduced antique distinctions whose destruction was announced by the gospel. Leithart calls the church to renew her commitment to the gospel that offers priesthood to the plebs.
People want to be happy. Nothing could be more obvious, and yet this common and evident goal is not as easy to achieve as it is to desire. The Christian tradition has understood happiness to be gained through relationship with God, and it has much to say about what will make us truly happy and what will not. This book examines happiness from a Christian perspective, using John Wesley as the focus of study because he understood happiness with God to be the very goal of Christian life. He also understood that Christian happiness needed to acknowledge the difficulties of life. This book seeks to learn from the wisdom of the past in order to imagine how Christians today might talk about happiness in a way that is faithful to the tradition and engages the world as well.
Adolf Koberle's 'The Quest for Holiness' is a significant contribution to world religious literature and a work of abiding value. As such it well deserves translation into the English language and widespread distribution among English language readers. Although written by a profound scholar, this book is not merely for theologians but for all who desire a sound, scriptural setting forth of the truths and the implications for each individual embodied in the steps of justification and sanctification. For simplicity, clarity, and completeness on this subject, this book is unsurpassed. It is written not merely with ink but with the lifeblood of the true believer striving daily for greater holiness and God-pleasing perfection.
Which Bible passages are for us today and which only apply to the first audience ancient readers? Can we just pick and choose for ourselves the verses we think fit our situation? Who gets to decide?
In all his writings, Allen's overriding concern was to show that missionary method, far from being a secondary or indifferent matter, is a matter of supreme importance.
The initial concern with the canonical aspect of Scripture led inevitably to reexamination of the formal character of Scripture as such. "What is the Bible?" became a central question, and it receives here a somewhat distinctive answer, in line with the new direction taken in the formulation of biblical canonicity. Because of the limitations of the author's field of specialization the focus of these studies is on the Old Testament, but some suggestions are ventured for the extension of the main theses into the New Testament.
'In speaking almost casually of "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost" he [that is, St Paul] simply sums up the working faith of the Christian community.
Vernard Eller edits his own 1973 book, King Jesus' Manual of Arms for the 'Armless: War and Peace from Genesis to Revelation.
The author of this book writes from the experience of being English, white, male, and heterosexual, and as one who values the Reformed tradition and has been shaped and enriched by it.
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