The Philosopher and the Gospels
The teachings of Jesus, as presented in the Bible, are familiar to millions, yet there is still much dispute about just what they are and what they mean. Keith Ward argues that, by scrutinizing Jesus' recorded words in the light...
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The teachings of Jesus, as presented in the Bible, are familiar to millions, yet there is still much dispute about just what they are and what they mean. Keith Ward argues that, by scrutinizing Jesus' recorded words in the light of modern biblical scholarship and through the lens of contemporary philosophy, we can discover a profound and beautiful set of teachings that has often not been fully appreciated. Ward uncovers four central themes: that Jesus taught a gospel of conditional salvation for all, not a message of condemnation for all but a small elect; that Jesus' apokalyptic language was symbolic, not literal, revealing spiritual truths about the "new creation" over which he will rule; that Jesus presented a distinctive and inspiring moral idea for how we should seek to live, through spiritual practice and discipline of the soul; that Jesus' life foreshadowed the ultimate union of humanity and all creation with God.
The teachings of Jesus Christ, as presented in the Bible, are familiar to millions, but do we really understand them? Keith Ward argues that, by scrutinising the Gospels through the lens of contemporary philosophy, we can discover a profound teaching that is not always apparent in traditional church teaching. Ward's analysis of what Jesus really said uncovers four central themes: - that the Gospel is for everyone (but not necessarily everyone will be saved); - that the Second Coming will lead to a future in the spiritual realm, not a physical world; - that Jesus presents a moral ideal for life rather than a literal set of rules; - that God is expressed initially through the incarnation of Jesus, but ultimately through the whole of creation.
Professor Keith Ward is a Professorial Research Fellow of the new Centre for Philosophy of Religion at Heythrop College. A well-known broadcaster and presenter, Professor Ward's work is internationally respected and he is today known as one of Britains foremost philosopher-theologians. Former Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, Joint President of the World Congress of Faiths and a Fellow of the British Academy, he is the author of over 20 books, including God: A Guide for the Perplexed; Why There Almost Certainly Is a God and Is Religion Dangerous? Most recently his Sarum lectures were published as God and the Philosophers.
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