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Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity

* How did monotheistic Jews of the early church come to see Jesus as a part of the unique identity of Israel’s God? Offering an alternative to “functional” and “ontic” Christology, Bauckham convincingly argues that the divine identity—who God truly is—can be witnessed in Jesus’ humiliation, suffering, death, and resurrection.

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James and John and Their Impudent Request

What impudence of these two upstart fishermen to demand anything of God! These two brothers went to Jesus, not so much with a question or a petition or a prayer, but they went with a demand: “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

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Open Your Eyes: Toward Living More Deeply in the Present

In order to discover inner peace and peace in our world, we will need to let go of traditional understandings of pain and suffering as God’s will. 

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Moving Heaven and Hell

Regarding Heaven and Hell; Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? – Robert Browning. An evangelical pastor of a mega-church, Rob Bell, creates a stir when he writes a little book, suggesting when it comes to a place called heaven, there’s room for everyone. What the hell?

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End Times – Apocalypse 101: Proper 18-19, Year A

The process the early followers of Jesus went through that resulted in the Church of Jesus Christ is fairly long, fairly obscure, and full of pitfalls for those who seek to recreate it.

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What Kind of Christian? – Part I

Part I

Shortly before his deadly rampage in Norway in July, Anders Behring Breivik posted a rambling Christian jihadist manifesto on his Facebook page.  Within days, a self-professed Christian fundamentalist who blogs online claimed the mass murderer was no Christian because he  “supports Darwinism and human logic, demonstrating a rationalist worldview rather than a Christian one.” Uh-oh. While I would also identify myself as some kind of “Christian,” I couldn’t resemble either of these two characters less. So what kinds of beliefs and behaviors do I accept and refute to describe my own “Christian” identity?  What kind of a “Christian” am I? … 

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The Origins of the New Testament, Part II: Dating the Jesus of History

The events in the life of Jesus of Nazareth did not happen in a vacuum, nor are these events history as history is now defined.

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Prophecy and the Book of Revelation: A Case for Preterism

The events and characters that are described in Revelation are infused with a certain fundamental archetypal significance that can be applied to a wide array of individuals and situations—including ones in the present-day.

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Assuming the World Has Not Ended: 5th Sunday in Eastertide

Harold Camping says that the rapture described in 1 Thessalonias 4 will occur on May 21, 2011, and that God will destroy the entire Universe on October 21, 2011.  Unlike John the Baptist and Jesus, Camping offers no chance for salvation.

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The Origins of the New Testament, Part XX: Seeing the Crucifixion as Related Liturgically to the Passover

The overwhelming probability is that the familiar details of the cross are not the result of historic memory at all, but are rather liturgical interpretations of who it was who died on the cross and what his death meant. A quick analysis of the details from this narrative reveals that they were drawn not from the memory of eye witnesses, but from the scriptures of the Jewish people, primarily from Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. So even the central story of the final events in Jesus’ life now looks more like the work of an interpretative imagination than it does the work of a historian.

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What Are You Looking For?

In the resurrection story that is recorded in Luke, there is a group of women who go to the burial place of Jesus to bring spices and oil to anoint Jesus’ body. This is different than the story depicted in the book of John where only Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb or in the book of Mark where three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary, Jesus’ mother and Salome go to Jesus’ burial place.

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Courage, Freedom and the Spring Holidays

Constituencies of two distinct religious traditions joined in and by their pasts have been engaged this week in observances honoring their shared mythology.

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Socialism, What Would Jesus Say?

What does Socialism actually mean? And how does it relate to American and Christian history?

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Ask, Seek, Knock: Fifth Sunday in Epiphany

Sea Raven’s inspired historical-critical reading of Jesus’ thought welcomes us into the past and present struggle to bring about a divine commonwealth. 

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Myths Surrounding the Birth of Jesus

During the celebration of Christmas, familiar images are recalled in hymns and scripture about the birth of Jesus. In the popular mind, the appearance of herald angels, shepherds abiding in the fields, the star of Bethlehem, the virgin Mary giving birth in a stable, and the adoration of the Magi, have all been melded into one Christmas story. In reality, there are in the gospels, two distinct and at times contradictory stories of Jesus’ birth. A careful reading of the Bible itself reveals that so much about this celebrated birth is myth.

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Reading Jesus; A Writers Encounter with the Gospels

In this impassioned and eye-opening book, Gordon takes us through all the fundamental stories—the Prodigal Son, the Temptation in the Desert, the parable of Lazarus, the Agony in the Garden—pondering the intense strangeness of a deity in human form, the unresolved more ambiguities, the problem posed to her as an enlightened reader by the miracle of the Resurrection. What she rediscovers—and reinterprets with her signature candor, intelligence, and straightforwardness—is a rich store of overlapping, sometimes conflicting teachings that feel both familiar and tantalizingly elusive. It is this unsolvable conundrum that rests at the heart of Reading Jesus and with which Gordon keeps us in thrall on every page.

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Covenant Economics: A Biblical Vision of Justice for All

In this insightful new study, Dr. Horsley contends that God intensely cares about economic justice. As followers of the Heavenly Father, we, too, should be deeply concerned about this vital issue. Horsley divides his book into two sections: “Economic Justice and the Common Good” and “The Renewal of Covenantal Community.” A “distinctively covenantal concern for economic rights and mutually supportive and cooperative community,” he asserts, “runs strongly throughout the Pentateuch, the Prophets, the Gospels, and the Letters of Paul.”

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