Who on Earth is God?: Making Sense of God in the Bible

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 23 Oct 2014
How should we understand the God of the Bible? How do we make sense of God's apparently changing character in the Bible theologically? God is not obvious - unlike all the animate and inanimate objects which we can see around us. God does not appear to fulfill any useful purpose; what is God for or about? Is God just a mystery? Or a problem? Or both? In Who On Earth is God?: Making Sense of God in the Bible Neil Richardson provides the answers to these fascinating questions. Richardson tackles the hard issues surrounding some of the more problematic passages head on, looking at divine anger, violence and jealousy, and suggesting how these can be interpreted. The book engages with the difficult questions posed by contemporary issues, and the 'new atheism' pioneered by popular writers such as Richard Dawkins. This takes discussion 'beyond the bible' into later developments in thought, and notions of God in a post-modern context. This is an indispensable guide for people with or without faith, wrestling with these difficult, and eternal, questions and themes.
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ISBN-13: 9780567472434
ISBN-10: 0567472434
Pagini: 264
Dimensiuni: 138 x 216 x 20 mm
Greutate: 0.36 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția T&T Clark
Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom


Helps readers interpret the bible's theologically troubling themes with greater knowledge and understanding

Notă biografică

Neil Richardson was Tutor in New Testament Studies and later Principal of Wesley College, Bristol, UK. He served as President of the British Methodist Conference in 2003-2004.


ForewordIntroduction: Why This Book?i) That strange word 'God'ii) 'There is no God'?iii) God and godsiv) The God of the Bible ConclusionSeven Steps Towards Reading the BibleChapter One: Beginnings: God of Creationi) God of Beginnings ii) Human Beings and Godiii) The Question of God's Patienceiv) Beginning Again: Abraham, Friend of God SummaryChapter Two: Moses, Joshua and the Violence of God i) God the Terrorist?ii) 'Divine' Massacres, Ancient and Moderniii) Divine Cruelty to Dumb Animals?iv) A Choosy 'Jealous' GodSummaryInterlude (1): Is the Bible No Longer Trustworthy?Chapter Three: Through the Darkest Night i) Why did God Allow This to Happen?ii) Towards Belief in One Godiii) The 'Judgements' of God in History iv) Wrath: God's Dark Side or Ours?Summary Chapter Four God: A 'You' Rather Than an 'It'i) An Awesomely Consistent 'You'ii) An Always and Everywhere 'You'iii) An Elusive (and Cruel?) Youiv) 'My God', 'Our GodSummary Interlude 2 Is the God of the Old Testament Different from the God of the New? Chapter Five: Jesus and the God of the Bible:i) Jesus and the Question of Godii) The Strange Things Jesus Said about God iii) Not a God for Religious People iv) The Meaning of the Virgin Birth SummaryChapter Six: Paul: the God Who Crossed Boundaries i) God on the Damascus Roadii) Jesus in Our Place and in God's Placeiii) Some Contemporary Problems with Paul's Godiv) 'To the Church of God in Corinth'SummaryChapter Seven: 'John's' Witness to God i) 'John' and Godii) Still a Violent God? The Book of Revelation iii) God in the Endiv) The Bible's Climax: the First Letter of John Summary Summary of SummariesConclusion: Who on Earth is God? A Personal Postscript


Here is a book for new Christians and non-Christians. But also for Christians like me - long in the tooth and with years of reading and teaching the Bible under their belt. It is clear, brave, and honest. It will stir people to discussion and debate. It will surely accomplish what its author describes as his aim: "to offer a foundation for a far-reaching Jewish and Christian humanism." It should be stuffed into brief cases, lunch boxes and pockets and read on buses, offices and in the pew.
Neil Richardson is to be congratulated for his boldness in tackling such a huge subject, and for doing so in a remarkably even-handed way. Would that some of those whose views he challenges were as willing to be so balanced! He doesn't shirk the hard questions raised by some biblical passages. Rather he encourages his readers to confront them openly and honestly. His suggestion that 'we can no longer identify the "God" of the text with the real God' will be challenging to some but profoundly helpful to many. This is a fine example of apologetics!