This book is dated, but very helpful for helping people through grief in various situations. It outlines a dozen or so stories on grief and then gives...moreThis book is dated, but very helpful for helping people through grief in various situations. It outlines a dozen or so stories on grief and then gives practical advice for people suffering and the caregivers. e.g. Children with cancer, abduction, car crashes, divorce, sudden death, Alzheimer's in the family, infant death, etc. (less)
Sandra Richter’s recent book, Epic of Eden is a great resource for those with a messy brain in regard to the Old Testament. In this book Richter write...moreSandra Richter’s recent book, Epic of Eden is a great resource for those with a messy brain in regard to the Old Testament. In this book Richter writes primarily to cure what she has coined “the dysfunctional closet syndrome.” Epic of Eden is intended to assist the reader in overcoming linguistic, historical, cultural, and geographical barriers. This is accomplished mostly through chronology and geography. Richter simplify things by listing five names which serve as signposts for different eras (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David). Further, three places are given in the Ancient Near East to give the biblical narratives a real place (Mesopotamia, Canaan, Egypt). The first of Richter’s key points is the concept of redemption through the lens of Israel’s tribal or patriarchal culture. Then the concept of covenant (berit) is explored. This is laid as framework for the book. With the notion of covenant laid out, Richter writes on God’s original intent in the Garden of Eden and his final intent in the New Jerusalem. Next, the author guides the reader chronologically through the Old Testament by enumerating Yahweh’s covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and finally the New Covenant enacted by the incarnate Jesus. In essence, the covenants expand their limits from one man and one woman (Adam & Eve) to the church and all people (New Covenant, Christ). In this book, Richter is primarily dealing with two things. The first is a disorganized knowledge of the Old Testament. The second is a misunderstanding of the Old Testament’s culture and theology. Through her treatment of covenant, the reader is given an organizational system for the information and a better understanding of the patriarch’s world. Through her explanation of creation, redemption, genealogies, and geography the reader is able to traverse the various barriers of a distant and different culture. Ultimately, Richter is providing the reader with a biblical theological hermeneutic - a lens through which to view the Old Testament. For the Epic of Eden, Yahweh’s covenants with his people, co-opted from Ancient Near Eastern treaties, are the best way to grasp the information given in the Old Testament. With any book, there will be merits and faults of the material. Richter’s primary accomplishments are organization and helping her readers through Old Testament culture shock. She helps us organize, but she also explains Ancient Near Eastern culture in a relatable way. For example, the firstborn received a double portion because of their pivotal role in Israelite society, not an overt favoritism (p. 29). Also, she explains how the covenant in patrilineal societies was a way of making non-family into family (p. 30). Richter fulfills her purpose well by giving the reader a good framework for the Old Testament through the five covenants. Her book is an excellent resource for any layperson. Her style is simple, and not too academic or dense. As the title suggests, Epic of Eden is about understanding all of the Old Testament in light of Genesis chapter one. This work covers introductory material, but it aims at the heart of a great misunderstanding of the Old Testament’s culture and stories. The book successfully cleans up the metaphorical messy closet. Another way that Epic of Eden fulfills its purpose is by its treatment of the word redemption. Admittedly, the word has strong usage among Christians, but the author shows that it is originally rooted in the laws and social mores of Israel’s patriarchal culture. In order to bridge the gap between the Old and New Testaments, understanding the idea of redemption is beneficial, maybe even essential. Richter illustrates how Abraham, Boaz, Hosea, and Jesus all illustrated the idea of being a kinsman-redeemer (go el). Far too many Christians today struggle with the relevance of the Old Testament to their lives. With an understanding of patriarchal culture and the patriarch’s covenant with Yahweh, redemption then becomes one way of illuminating our view of Christ in the New Testament. In other words, knowing the various events of redemption in the Hebrew Bible can enlighten our understanding of truth unveiled by Yahweh in all scripture. As said before, covenant is the organizing theme of Richter’s work. The idea of covenant should help many to be aware of what is happening in the Old Testament in terms of overall themes and motivations. This very concept may expand the book’s ability to be relevant to people who do not understand the Old Testament at present. Richter’s book highlights the importance of grasping the historical ramifications of covenant in the Bible. Furthermore, one point of disagreement with the author is in regards to the issue of genealogies. In her discussion on the impossibility of dating Eden (p. 51), Richter succinctly argues that genealogies do not always detail every descendant. However, in regard to the lifespans of pre-diluvian patriarchs, she ignores a hermeneutic rule of interpretation where the plain sense of scripture is taken as true unless otherwise denoted. Taking into account extra-biblical sources (e.g. Sumerian kings who live thousands of years) is probably not enough to influence one’s understanding of pre-flood patriarchs, especially in light of Genesis 6:3. What are the “other messages” that the genealogies of Genesis 5 are communicating? While the author does effectively organize a biblical hermeneutic for laity, this may be to the detriment of other wonderful stories which fill out the Old Testament. Quite a few stories are starkly absent in her book (e.g. Cain, Esau, Joseph, Deborah, Gideon, Samuel, Esther, Job, Daniel, Jeremiah, Amos, Haggai, and many others). Understandably, space is limited, but it is disappointing that Epic of Eden did not devote any attention to Wisdom Literature or the Minor Prophets.If Richter is aiming to help us organize our thoughts about the Old Testament, it would have been helpful for her to discuss these aspects.Why is there no mention of Wisdom Literature? Where do we put Job and his theology in our covenant closet? In addition to this point, Richter could have expanded her writing by including various peoples who broke covenant with Yahweh and suffered the consequences. Other than God’s original intent in Eden and Israel in exile, there seemed to be little attention to the failure of God’s creation to keep covenant with Yahweh. Similarly, how does the Old Testament point to Christ? A discussion of Christology in the Old Testament would have been helpful. One point of concern is regarding what is termed as “getting Adam back to the garden.” Richter called this God’s final intent (p. 129). Although, this may be a simplistic approach to understanding the Old Testament. Perhaps a better understanding of God’s final intent might not include a return to the garden, but God redeeming his creation into something better, by bringing them into the Heavenly Father’s house (bet ab). For Christians, the New Jerusalem is not a return to the garden, it is God redeeming the fall of humanity into something like Eden, yet so much better. Yes, it is the people of God in the place of God dwelling in the presence of God, yet, we are not aiming to go back to Eden, but ultimately to bring heaven to earth (Revelation 21). In summary, while not being an exhaustive treatment of the Old Testament, Richter’s Epic of Eden suitably gives the reader a good framework and foundation for further study of the Hebrew Bible. (less)
Headley's book is about reframing ministry as not doing ministry, but being somebody for God. Self-care is included in this framing to avoid burn out....moreHeadley's book is about reframing ministry as not doing ministry, but being somebody for God. Self-care is included in this framing to avoid burn out. Excellent book. (less)
We must be transported wholly out of ourselves, and given unto God. For 'tis better to belong unto God, and not unto oursel...moreI gathered a few insights.
We must be transported wholly out of ourselves, and given unto God. For 'tis better to belong unto God, and not unto ourselves, since thus will the Divine bounties be bestowed if we are united to God.' Dionysius the Areopagite
Wescott said of Dionysius, 'He starts always from the Bible and not from Plato.' (philosophy)
It is the humiltiy of Jesus which above all we must imitate. St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Clairvaux sees perfection as meditating on the life and suffering of Jesus Christ (134)
St. Thomas Aquinas Perfection is: original harmony of human faculties and desires which is to be restored. secondly, glorification is perfect intellect, knowledge of complete truth, knowledge like the holy angels.
Christian perfection consists in Love, and may be attained in this life.
Godly perfection; Absolute totality on the part of the lover; They love God as much as possible.
It is in love that perfection principally depends.
What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. -Luther
Good book. Read for theology of christian holiness with Dr. Chris Bounds. At times, the authors are frustratingly confusing or contradictory, but it w...moreGood book. Read for theology of christian holiness with Dr. Chris Bounds. At times, the authors are frustratingly confusing or contradictory, but it was helpful to understand various views of sanctification. Interestingly, the Wesleyan-Holiness position is the only one to advocate entire sanctification as a second work of grace as a crisis experience by faith where God deals with our sinful nature. I wrote two essays from this book.(less)
This is a great book concerning the theological issue of holiness. Read for Theology of Christian Holiness class from Wesley Biblical Seminary. (Autho...moreThis is a great book concerning the theological issue of holiness. Read for Theology of Christian Holiness class from Wesley Biblical Seminary. (Author did graduate work at Asbury) I really think that Oswalt could be clearer at times, and give more practical application, but he does a wonderful job of explaining what holiness is. (less)
Fine Arts textbook. It was okay. The authors bias and worldview definitely showed through. Not to mention I disagreed with them a little each chapter....moreFine Arts textbook. It was okay. The authors bias and worldview definitely showed through. Not to mention I disagreed with them a little each chapter. So glad I'm done with this thick book.(less)
This is good. So good that I would write reports from it and absorb the information more. Some of their logic is a little petty, but overall it is REA...moreThis is good. So good that I would write reports from it and absorb the information more. Some of their logic is a little petty, but overall it is REALLY well written.(less)