R. C. Sproul has committed his life to clearly communicating deep, practical truths from God's Word to students and laypeople. His lucid teaching style brings clarity to the most difficult--and often contentious--biblical and theological questions. Gathered here in one volume are three of his best-selling books--over $40 worth of reading at a great low price. From Rudolf Otto's" mysterium tremendum" to Martin Luther's "insanity"and Jonathan Edwards's fiery sermons, Sproul's classic "The Holiness of God"illuminates history and Scripture to help readers understand--and live with--the tension that exists between God's terrifying holiness and his inexplicable grace. In "Chosen by God," Sproul tackles the divisive subject of predestination, and discusses God's sovereignty and the problem of evil, human freedom, and the task of evangelism. He explains that there is a mystery in God's ways but not contradiction; and paints a picture of a loving--not spiteful or whimsical--God who provides redemption for radically corrupt people."Pleasing God" explores the topic of sanctification--how we satisfy God by pursuing righteousness. Sproul examines the constant battle Christians wage against sin--pride, slothfulness, dishonesty. He reveals how many Christians have tragically abandoned the struggle, but that God delights in those who press on. Although Sproul brings a Reformed background and approach to topics, his work is not just for Calvinists but for all Christians who want to understand and build on the foundations of their faith.
"True religion confronts earth with heaven and brings eternity to bear upon time," says the author in his preface." The messenger of Christ, though he speaks from God, must also, as the Quakers used to say 'speak to the condition' of his hearers; otherwise he will speak a language known only to himself. His message must be not only timeless but timely. He must speak to his own generation. "The message of this book is indeed both timeless and timely. Tozer is primarily concerned with the loss of the concept of 'majesty' from the popular mind and more importantly in the thinking of the church. He sees the church as having surrendered her once lofty concept of God - not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge. With this comes a further loss of religious awe and a sense of the divine presence, of an appropriate spirit of worship and of our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence." Tozer attempts to address this problem, to go back to the causes of the decline and to understand and correct the errors that have given rise to our loss of a sense of the holy. "It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate" he tells us.
This work offers a study on the problematic of a scientific knowledge of the sensible reality in the Enneads. In so doing, it presents a radical new perspective on the philosophy of Plotinus and engages in an intense, detailed, and critical rereading of Plotinus and his commentators.
Asceticism, the Body and the Spiritual in the Late Antique Era
Author: Dr Hannah Hunt
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Hunt examines the apparent paradox that Jesus' earthly existence and post resurrection appearances are experienced through consummately physical actions and attributes yet some ascetics within the Christian tradition appear to seek to deny the value of the human body, to find it deadening of spiritual life. Hunt considers why the Christian tradition as a whole has rarely managed more than an uneasy truce between the physical and the spiritual aspects of the human person. Why is it that the 'Church' has energetically argued, through centuries of ecumenical councils, for the dual nature of Christ but seems still unwilling to accept the full integration of physical and spiritual within humanity, despite Gregory of Nazianzus's comment that 'what has not been assumed has not been redeemed'?
God the Creator provides a detailed exposition of a conception of God as the creator of everything determinate. It does not defend an established conception such as the Thomist, the Calvinist, or the Process theological idea, but rather elaborates the ancient theme of creation ex nihilo in a new form appropriate to the contemporary world. Part one is a rigorous philosophical development of the idea of God as creator ex nihilo, arguing that an adequate solution to the problem of the one and the many demands such a conception. This part includes a dialectical examination of contemporary and classical theories of being. Part two asks how one can have knowledge of the kind of God described previously; it deals with experience, analogy, and dialectic. Part three applies the conception developed in part one to fundamental religious conceptions such as the object of worship, the nature of religion, and the practices of private and public religious life. It presents theories arising from the conception of creation ex nihilo for the interpretation of religious concern, conversion, faith, certainty, solitude, bliss, service, liturgy, providence, evangelism, dedication, reconciliation, brotherhood, discipline, the integration of public and private religion relative to other dimensions of life, freedom, love, and glory. Though the language arises from the Christian tradition and expresses an orthodox strand of that religion, the argument weaves throughout the concerns of many world religions.
The Philokalia (literally "love of the beautiful or good") is, after the Bible, the most influential source of spiritual tradition within the Orthodox Church. First published in Greek in 1782 by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Macarios of Corinth, the Philokalia includes works by thirty-six influential Orthodox authors from the fourth to fifteenth-centuries such as Maximus the Confessor, Peter of Damascus, Symeon the New Theologian, and Gregory Palamas. Surprisingly, this important collection of theological and spiritual writings has received little scholarly attention. With the growing interest in Orthodox theology, the need for a substantive resource for philokalic studies has become increasingly evident. The purpose of the present volume is to remedy that lack by providing an ecumenical collection of scholarly essays on the Philokalia that will introduce readers to its background, motifs, authors, and relevance for contemporary life and thought.
An Analysis of Sanjuanist Teaching and its Philosophical Implications for Contemporary Discussions of Mystical Experience
Author: S. Payne
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Among Anglo-American philosophers, interest in mysticism has typically been limited to the question of whether or not mystical and religious experi ences provide evidence for, or knowledge of, the existence and nature of God. Most authors conclude that they do not, because such experiences lack certain qualities needed in order to be counted as cognitive. In this study I examine some current philosophical opinions about mysticism and objec tions to its epistemic significance in the context of a detailed study of the writings of a single mystical author, the Spanish Carmelite Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591). I argue that from his works one can draw a coherent theory of what takes place in the Christian mystical life, and will indicate how acceptance of this theory might be defended as rational through a type of inference often referred to as the "Argument to the Best Explanation. " In this way I hope to show that mysticism still has a significant bearing on the justification of religious faith even if it cannot be used to "prove" the exis tence of God. The nature and advantages of my own somewhat unusual approach to mysticism can perhaps best be explained by contrasting it with the way other authors have dealt with the subject. One of the most striking develop ments in recent decades has been the growing fascination with mysticism, meditation, and the experiential aspects of religion.
Many observers greeted the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) as the most important religious event in the twentieth century. Its implementation and impact are still being felt in the Catholic Church, the wider Christian world, and beyond. One sea change that Vatican II brought concerned Roman Catholic attitudes towards Judaism, Islam, and other religions. Gerald O'Collins breaks fresh ground by examining in detail five documents from the Council which embodied a new mind set about other religious faiths and mandated changes that quickly led to international and national dialogues between the Catholic Church and the followers of non-Christian religions. The book also includes chapters on the insights that prepared the way for the re-thinking expressed by Vatican II, and on the follow-up to the Council's teaching found in the work of Pope John Paul II and Jacques Dupuis. O'Collins ably illustrates how the Council made a startling advance in official Catholic teaching about followers of other living faiths. Carefully researched, the book is written in the clear, accessible style that readers of previous works by O'Collins will recognize.
On the Divinely Human Nature of Biblical Literature
Author: Petri Merenlahti
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
The Bible is a perplexing book. It blends primitive beliefs with timeless truths, swings between compassionate love and ruthless violence, and forms a sympathetic heavenly father from the remains of a savage tribal god. What are we to make of it all? Petri Merenlahti takes an entertaining journey through biblical literature and returns with an original theology of imperfection. Looking at the Bible through the lenses of history, culture, literature, and psychology, he calls his readers to let go of an idealized image of the Christian Scriptures and embrace their limited human nature instead. This is vital, he argues, because false idealization and psychological splitting are major sources of religious fanaticism and violence. Merenlahti insists that we make a difference between the smaller God of human imagination and the transcendent God that should remain beyond it. We will then be rewarded with wisdom instead of fanaticism, mercy instead of moralism, and peace instead of hatred and guilt.