- Tapa blanda: 252 páginas
- Editor: Robert E. Ward, Jr. (7 de agosto de 2012)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0984894101
- ISBN-13: 978-0984894109
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
A Conservative's Primer on the Bible (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 7 ago 2012
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This book is a rational attempt to document what is referred to in the Bible as worshipping "in truth". The approach is to first convince the reader that the Bible is the true word of God; that is is infallible; and that it is the only source of God's message to man that we are ever to get. With that accomplished, the scriptures are used to describe God's attributes, often by showing how God dealt with the various characters and peoples in events recounted in the Bible. Still using only scriptures to develop the narrative, it goes into God's selection of a particular people to prepare future Christians for the fulfillment of His plan for mankind. The need for salvation is revealed, and Jesus is presented to deliver salvation, to the eternal exaltation of Jesus. The conversion process whereby one goes from lost sinner to saved saint is described.
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First, the material covered is neither simple nor merely introductory, though it does present basic, foundational truths toward understanding Jehovah God's gospel and salvation.
Second, it desperately needs a good proofreader and an editor. Though I appreciate that the author's desire is to present the material as though he and the reader were chatting, the ambling folksiness and colloquialisms - and distracting grammatical errors - frequently overshadow the message.
That said, there are several aspects of A Conservative's Primer which lend it toward qualified recommendation, the foremost being that it does accomplish its goal of presenting a scripturally accurate description of the identity and character of Almighty God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the truths of salvation. And I applaud the author's devotion to the infallibility of scripture. It is refreshing in this day and age to read of someone who is not only assured of the inerrancy of Scripture but is unapologetic about that stand and openly encourages others to consider them Truth.
Yes, I understand that proclaiming Scripture inerrant and Jesus alone for salvation can be huge stumbling stones for many, but "just as it is written, `Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense [Jesus, the stone who was rejected], and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed'" (Rm 9.33) and "`Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed ... a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense'; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word" (1 Pet 2.6, 8).
Motivation for my consideration of A Conservative's Primer centered on determining its scriptural accuracy. I am so tired of, even grieved by the proliferation of published works, fiction and nonfiction, which purport to espouse spiritual truth but whose pages are filled with anything but scriptural accuracy. Therefore, it was encouraging that disagreements with this author's presentation of scripture, its truth and inerrancy, God as loving Creator, absolute Sovereign, and holy Providence, and the nature of sin and rebellion, salvation and grace, mercy and holiness were so slight as to be not worth mentioning (no two human beings are probably ever going to perfectly agree on every point) - until I arrived at the last portion of the work: unequivocal fundamentalist statements dissecting Catholicism and Christian denominations.
I, too, have wrestled with how extreme the differences can be from one to another of the various "takes" on Christianity. While I agree with the author's statement that, "whenever a church strays from the straight and narrow, some aspect of `institutionalism' is usually involved," the Body of Christ is His body, not mine, not ours. The author significantly detracts from his presentation of the gospel and salvation by this digression. It would have better served his purpose to simply highlight New Testament teaching on what the church should be and let the reader draw his own conclusions. I.e., "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6.10).
But the topic which brought me to a screeching halt was the author's categorical denial that the nation of Israel and the Jewish people are part of the Almighty's ongoing plans and purposes. If this author wishes to maintain his unadulterated stand on sola Scriptura, then he may wish to reexamine his assumptions on this issue.
The Church's NT taking-over of Israel's OT role stems from a misunderstanding of NT scripture, arrived at by the anti-Semitic slant incorporated into early English translations, after which that anti-Semitic snowball only grew as it solidified the means to justify itself and permeate deep into Gentile theologies.
The NT is, in fact, a Jewish document. Jesus, the Messiah (Yeshua ha Mashiach, in Hebrew), was a Jew who followed Jewish customs, observed Jewish traditions, and recruited Jews as His closest friends and disciples. Paul (Greek; Sha'ul in Hebrew), the primary author of the NT, was also a Jew who throughout his life maintained the Jewish customs and lifestyle. The first hundreds of thousands of Christ-followers were Jews, and it is their first-hand testimonies, some recorded in Scripture and some in other extant documents, which give formation and foundation to the church as we know it, both as a corporate gathering and as the corporeal Body of Christ.
One scripture which serves as a fulcrum in this debate is Matthew 5.17: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (KJV). The implication usually drawn is that since Jesus "fulfilled the law," that is, fulfilled all the prophecies of the Mosaic law, none remain today that require the Jews and no one needs to observe Torah law today. But those conclusions actually contradict Jesus' words immediately preceding them: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets." Instead the Greek word plerôsai usually translated "to fulfill" is actually better translated "to fill to the full." Therefore, Jesus was actually saying that He had come to fill the Torah law with its complete meaning so that everyone would know what complete obedience to Torah law looked like. And, indeed, understanding complete obedience to the Torah law is the broader meaning of the entire Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5 - 7) from which this passage is extracted.
Another scripture which has muddied the understanding of the original Author's intent is Hebrews 8.6, in King James rendered as "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises" (or "has been enacted through better promises" in the Revised Standard Version; emphasis added). The original Greek word nenomothetêtai (from nomos = law [understood to mean Torah law], and tithêmi = put or place) refers, not to the Anglicized `enacted' or `established,' but literally that God's earlier promises have "been made Torah" in Jesus Christ - He doesn't terminate the Law, rather Jesus is the goal at which the Torah has aimed for all previous times and generations since its inception.
Myriad other scriptural bases exist for proclaiming the NT as a Jewish book and the nation of Israel as still a viable and significant part of God's continuing purposes and plans. A key one, to me, is Matthew 1.21: "you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." Why does the name `Jesus' have anything to do with explaining that He will save anyone? Why not say, `Name him Sebastian,' or `George,' or `Freddy'? In English it means nothing, but in Hebrew the name `Jesus' is Yeshua, the masculine form of the word yeshu `ah from the root word yoshia: "he will save." But you can't understand the significance of the angel's words if all you pay attention to is the English. Without the Hebrew, and without an understanding of the deep Jewish longing for salvation, for redemption, then the pathos and the joy innate in these few words is lost.
NT scriptures dealing with cultural norms and expectations, lifestyles, community relations, even Jesus' parables and humor cannot be understood by the Western definitions of wit or story but must be seen through Middle Eastern eyes.
But, most importantly, understanding prophecies regarding end times and the future of Christ's kingdom and Body can only be truly understood in the light of Jesus' fulfillment, as mentioned above, of Torah law and of the prophets as history culminates with the nation of Israel seeing and receiving her Messiah, Jesus, at the end of all ages. After all, 12 of the thrones surrounding the Lord's throne in glory will be occupied by Jesus' 12 apostles (Mt. 19.28, Lk 22.30) -- all Jews and each governing Jews. The story of scripture begins with Israel and ends with Israel. The OT without the NT is like a house without a roof, but the NT without the OT is like the roof with no house and no foundation.
I've only gone into such detail due to the sola Scriptura approach of this author and to illustrate that my reasons for disagreement are based on those same scriptures.
In summation, A Conservative's Primer might be useful in opening up dialog with someone unschooled in Scripture's teachings on the gospel, salvation, the authority of Scripture and her Author, but skip the dogma and divisiveness of chapters eleven and twelve--Jesus came to be a stumbling stone and a rock of offense, but not that kind.
Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge with the expectation that a review would be provided.
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