Creation Untamed

The Bible, God, and Natural Disasters

Creation Untamed

A leading Old Testament theologian addresses one of the most vexing questions in Christian life and theology: What is God's role in natural disasters?

NIVAC Bundle 3: Wisdom Books

NIVAC Bundle 3: Wisdom Books

This NIVAC Bundle includes the four wisdom books found in the NIV Application Commentary series.

Does God Always Get What God Wants?

An Exploration of God’s Activity in a Suffering World

Does God Always Get What God Wants?

Tim's wife, Anne, died of breast cancer at the age of forty-nine, having battled against the disease for more than six years. Her suffering had a profound influence on their lives and that of their church, and raised challenging questions: - If "God is in control," does that mean God is to blame for suffering? - Why did God not heal Anne? - Is Anne's death what God wanted to happen? - Does prayer make any difference? - What is God doing about evil? People's experience of suffering causes them to examine the kind of God they believe in, the nature of the universe God made, and God's activity in the world. This book explores all three aspects and responds constructively to the complex issues that the above questions pose--and provides powerful reasons for confidence in the firm Christian hope.

TheoMedia

The Media of God and the Digital Age

TheoMedia

The church is unsure of itself in the twenty-first century's media culture. Some Christians denounce digital media while others embrace the latest gadgets and apps as soon as they appear. Many of us are stumbling along amidst the tweets, status updates, podcasts, and blog posts, wondering if we have ventured into a realm beyond the scope of biblical wisdom. Though there is such a thing as new media, Andrew Byers reminds us that the actual concept of media is ancient, theological, and even biblical. In fact, there is such a thing as the media of God. TheoMedia are means by which God communicates and reveals himself--creation, divine speech, inspired writings, the visual symbol of the cross, and more. Christians are actually called to media saturation. But the media that are to most prominently saturate our lives are the media of God. If God creates and uses media, then Scripture provides a theological logic by which we can create and use media in the digital age. This book is not an unqualified endorsement of the latest media products or a tirade against media technology. Instead, Byers calls us to rethink our understanding of media in terms of the media of God in the biblical story of redemption.

Work

A Kingdom Perspective on Labor

Work

Most Christians spend most of their waking hours working, yet many regard work as at best a necessary evil just one more unfortunate by-product of humanity s fall from grace. Not so, says Ben Witherington III, and in Work: A Kingdom Perspective on Labor, he considers work as neither the curse nor the cure of human life but, rather, as something good that God has given us to do. In this brief primer on the biblical theology and ethics of work, Witherington carefully unpacks the concept of work, considering its relationship to rest, play, worship, the normal cycle of human life, and the coming Kingdom of God. Work as calling, work as ministry, work as a way to make a living, and the notably unbiblical notion of retirement Witherington s Work engages these subjects and more, combining scholarly acumen with good humor, common sense, cultural awareness, and biblically based insights from Genesis to Revelation. Ben Witherington has given the whole people of God something desperately needed to make sense of Monday to Friday a theology of work that breaks down the heretical sacred-secular distinction. . . . Offers a work-view and life-view that, if embraced, would revitalize the mission of God s people in the world. It s that good. R. Paul Stevens author of The Other Six Days and Taking Your Soul to Work Conducting a critical dialogue with the theological voices of our day, drawing upon the wisdom of the Christian tradition, and offering a sensitive reading of New Testament parables, Witherington delivers sound counsel on the Kingdom meaning of work and its implications for our lives today. Lee Hardy author of The Fabric of This World

Death Before the Fall

Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering

Death Before the Fall

2014 ECPA Top Shelf Book Cover Award Did animals have predatory natures before the fall? Did God punish innocent animals with a curse because of human sin? Is it possible for theistic evolution to be compatible with the Bible, even though animal death before the fall would contradict the teaching that death began after the first sin? In this eloquent and provocative "open letter" to evangelicals, Ronald Osborn wrestles with these pointed questions and with the problem of biblical literalism and animal suffering within an evolutionary understanding of the world. Considering the topic of animal suffering and predation as a theodicy dilemma, Osborn offers an open-minded exploration of the subject, specifically coming against the fundamentalist and literalist view of the book of Genesis and the creation account. He challenges one-dimensional reading of Scripture and shines a sobering light on the evangelical dogma responsible for advancing viewpoints long ago dismantled by science. Always acknowledging the traditionalist viewpoint, Osborn demonstrates with a wealth of exegetical and theological insight how orthodox Christianity can embrace evolutionary concepts without contradiction. Osborn forces us to ask hard questions, not only of the Bible and church tradition, but also and especially of ourselves.

The Hardened Heart and Tragic Finitude

The Hardened Heart and Tragic Finitude

This book has two main theses. First, for the biblical/Christian doctrine of sin the root of the human problem is hardness of heart--the corruption of the core self, of the seat of understanding and will. On the other hand, for an important strand of Greek tragedy the root of human harm-doing is the nonculpable blindness and anxiety of finitude that despite the initial nonculpability lead to evil and suffering. The Hardened Heart shows that these two different interpretations of human existence are amenable to a degree of synthesis that leads to this conclusion: hardness of heart and our ordinary finitude together collude to cause sin in its fullness.The second thesis of this volume is that exegetical studies disclose a deconstructive strand in certain biblical texts that represents the finite world that God created as a source of distress and harm-doing in something like the tragic sense. This subdominant deconstructive position challenges the dominant biblical vision, in which the creation came forth from God's creative word as good without qualification.

A Faith Not Worth Fighting For

Addressing Commonly Asked Questions about Christian Nonviolence

A Faith Not Worth Fighting For

In A Faith Not Worth Fighting For, editors Justin Bronson Barringer and Tripp York have assembled a number of essays by pastors, activists, and scholars in order to address the common questions and objections leveled against the Christian practice of nonviolence. Assuming that the command to love one's enemies is at the heart of the Gospel, these writers carefully, faithfully--and no doubt provocatively--attempt to explain why the nonviolent path of Jesus is an integral aspect of Christian discipleship. By addressing misconceptions about Christian pacifism, as well as real-life violent situations, this book will surely challenge the reader's basic understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

1 and 2 Thessalonians

1 and 2 Thessalonians

Understand Not Only What Scripture Says but How to Live It Today A new commentary for today’s world, The Story of God Bible Commentary explains and illuminates each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. The first commentary series to do so, SGBC offers a clear and compelling exposition of biblical texts, guiding everyday readers in how to creatively and faithfully live out the Bible in their own contexts. Its story-centric approach is ideal for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and laypeople alike. Three easy-to-use sections designed to help readers live out God’s story: LISTEN to the Story: Includes complete NIV text with references to other texts at work in each passage, encouraging the reader to hear it within the Bible’s grand story EXPLAIN the Story: Explores and illuminates each text as embedded in its canonical and historical setting LIVE the Story: Reflects on how each text can be lived today and includes contemporary stories and illustrations to aid preachers, teachers, and students