Securing Life: The Enduring Message of the Bible
Securing Life represents a novel yet timely approach to reading and understanding the Bible. While reverence for the Bible and respect for its authority remain high in our society, biblical illiteracy, misinterpretation, and selective reading place us at risk. The...
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Securing Life represents a novel yet timely approach to reading and understanding the Bible. While reverence for the Bible and respect for its authority remain high in our society, biblical illiteracy, misinterpretation, and selective reading place us at risk. The Bible seems to have a conserving effect on conservative readers, a moderating effect on moderate readers, and a liberating effect on liberal readers. Do biblical texts contain conserving and liberating messages simultaneously? Should biblical texts be limited to specific meaning and perspective, acceptable by all, or do they contain multiple levels of meaning? While this book addresses these questions, it does not approach the Bible as an answer book but rather as a collection of books, multifaceted in nature, its enduring purpose being to provide us with perspective for living faithfully and fully through the stages and seasons of our lives, in harmony with God, nature, others, and self. Rather than starting chronologically with creation, followed by accounts of the patriarchs, the exodus, the conquest, and the monarchy, this book follows a compositional approach used by the Yahwist, an unknown author in Judea who composed Israel's first religious epic. Like the Yahwist, this book moves backward from Covenant through Community to Creation, but because it includes the New Testament, it moves forward to New Covenant, through New Community, to New Creation. A chapter is devoted to each topic. These motifs are preceded by five preparatory chapters--three dealing with introductory matters, one with biblical theology (the doctrine of God), and one with biblical anthropology (the doctrines of sin and salvation). Utilizing the contributions of three disciplines (biblical introduction, biblical theology, and biblical interpretation), Dr. Vande Kappelle demonstrates that the Bible, like religion in general, has both a conserving and liberating effect, providing perspective for formation and for transformation. Robert P. Vande Kappelle, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), is the author of eleven books, including biblical studies on the book of Revelation, the Gospel of John, and the Wisdom literature, and two volumes on the topic of faith, science, and reason: Beyond Belief (2012) and its discussion guide, Iron Sharpens Iron (2013).