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Let's Start With Jesus

Dennis Kinlaw
Lets Start With Jesus
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Let's Start With Jesus

Dennis Kinlaw

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This book revives a neglected yet powerful basis for the work of Christian theology. Instead of starting with the usual philosophical arguments for the existence and nature of God, respected biblical scholar Dennis Kinlaw proposes and shows what it means to start theology with the person and work of Jesus.

"If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him"(John 14:7). Jesus is the great stumbling block of faith. It is in him that Christianity finds its uniqueness among the religions of the world. He is the Incarnate Son of God, the unique revelation of the Father. Yet so often, we begin the process of theological formulation not with the person of Jesus, but rather, with philosophical arguments about God's existence and logical constructions to determine God's nature. How would our understanding be affected if we instead took Jesus as our starting point for doing theology? In Let's Start with Jesus, respected biblical scholar Dennis Kinlaw explores this question, revealing answers that are profound. In seeking to describe the nature of the relationship God desires with us, he explores three metaphors - royal/legal, familial, and nuptial - which serve as motifs for his reflection. Taking familiar theological categories, Kinlaw views them through the primary lens of the person and work of Jesus, and finds that Jesus reveals rich pictures of the nature of God, the nature of personhood, the problem of sin, the way of salvation, and finally, the means of sanctification via perfect love. Dr. Kinlaw leads you deep into the inner sanctuary of the Holy Trinity and shows you three distinct persons relating to each other in pure reciprocal love.

"Every time I read something written by Dennis Kinlaw my mind is stimulated and my heart strangely warmed. Let's Start with Jesus is another important book from a truly gifted man."
- Robert E. Coleman, Distinguished Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Kinlaw's revolutionary approach to doing theology is much more than that - it's a revolutionary approach to life. Kinlaw locates ultimate purpose in a place the church has almost totally neglected, and he does so graciously, with powerful, tightly reasoned biblical argumentation."
- Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

176 pages, from Zondervan.

- Publisher Let''s Start with JesusCopyright 2005 by The Francis Asbury SocietyRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530The Francis Asbury Society, P.O. Box 7, Wilmore, KY 40390-0007www.francisasburysociety.comLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataKinlaw, Dennis F., 1922-Let''s start wtih Jesus : a new way of doing theology / Dennis F. Kinlaw.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN-10: 0-310-26261-5 (hardcover)ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26261-91. Theology. 2. Jesus Christ-Person and offices. I. Title.BT77.K425 2005230-dc222005008718This edition printed on acid free paper.All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible:New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by InternationalBible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.Scripture quotations marked KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible.Scripture quotations marked NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version ofthe Bible, copyrighted 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the NationalCouncil of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission.All rights reserved.Interior design by Michelle EspinozaPrinted in the United States of America05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1A NEW CONCEPT OF GODAyoung chaplain at one of the colleges of Oxford University made ithis practice every year to interview each new student in his college.He wanted to get to know each one and to explain something of thereligious program in that college. On occasion, after the chaplain hadmade his case for the program, a freshman would explain a bit awkwardlythat he did not believe in God and probably would not be activein the chaplain''s program. The chaplain would then reply, "How interesting!And in which god do you not believe?" The student then wouldtry to explain his atheism. The chaplain would smile and comment onthe fact that he and the student had a great deal in common, for he didnot believe in the existence of that god either.Scholars have called Homo sapiens the religious creature. Whereverwe find human beings, we find religious acts and religious language.God talk and human beings seem to go together. When a personspeaks of God or of gods, what does he or she really mean? The commonoccurrence of the divine word in human language would seem tosuggest that there is universal agreement as to its definition. However,the reality is quite the contrary.Most of the gods that so-called unbelievers reject have never hadany objective reality and are simply the goblin constructions of theirown minds. The concept in their heads and the reality behind all thingsmay have little relation to each other. The god before whom the sincerebeliever bows likewise may be a caricature that does little justice to thereality one believes oneself to be worshiping. The consequences for thebeliever whose mental understanding of God is skewed may not be asserious as would be the atheism of the person who denies God''s veryexistence, but it is still damaging. Error for the believer, as well as forthe unbeliever, always carries its unfortunate consequences.William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury, insisted that ifour concept of God is wrong, the more religious we get the more dangerouswe are to ourselves and others. Our concept of God must be atrue representation of the One Who Is, the God with whom all of usultimately will have to deal. In fact, nothing is more important for anyoneor for any society.TWO KINDS OF GOD: POLY/PANTHEISTIC AND MONOTHEISTICBut how can we know what God is really like? Yehezkel Kaufmannis helpful here.1 In his signal work on the religion of Israel, he insiststhat all of the religions of the world can be put into two categories.The first category includes all of those that are basically naturalisticand express themselves either in pantheism or polytheism. Thesereligions see all things as an unbroken whole an

- Publisher Let's Start with Jesus Copyright 2005 by The Francis Asbury Society Requests for information should be addressed to: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530 The Francis Asbury Society, P.O. Box 7, Wilmore, KY 40390-0007 www.francisasburysociety.com Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kinlaw, Dennis F., 1922- Let's start wtih Jesus : a new way of doing theology / Dennis F. Kinlaw. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-10: 0-310-26261-5 (hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26261-9 1. Theology. 2. Jesus Christ-Person and offices. I. Title. BT77.K425 2005 230-dc22 2005008718 This edition printed on acid free paper. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible. Scripture quotations marked NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission. All rights reserved. Interior design by Michelle Espinoza Printed in the United States of America 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 A NEW CONCEPT OF GOD Ayoung chaplain at one of the colleges of Oxford University made it his practice every year to interview each new student in his college. He wanted to get to know each one and to explain something of the religious program in that college. On occasion, after the chaplain had made his case for the program, a freshman would explain a bit awkwardly that he did not believe in God and probably would not be active in the chaplain's program. The chaplain would then reply, "How interesting! And in which god do you not believe?" The student then would try to explain his atheism. The chaplain would smile and comment on the fact that he and the student had a great deal in common, for he did not believe in the existence of that god either. Scholars have called Homo sapiens the religious creature. Wherever we find human beings, we find religious acts and religious language. God talk and human beings seem to go together. When a person speaks of God or of gods, what does he or she really mean? The common occurrence of the divine word in human language would seem to suggest that there is universal agreement as to its definition. However, the reality is quite the contrary. Most of the gods that so-called unbelievers reject have never had any objective reality and are simply the goblin constructions of their own minds. The concept in their heads and the reality behind all things may have little relation to each other. The god before whom the sincere believer bows likewise may be a caricature that does little justice to the reality one believes oneself to be worshiping. The consequences for the believer whose mental understanding of God is skewed may not be as serious as would be the atheism of the person who denies God's very existence, but it is still damaging. Error for the believer, as well as for the unbeliever, always carries its unfortunate consequences. William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury, insisted that if our concept of God is wrong, the more religious we get the more dangerous we are to ourselves and others. Our concept of God must be a true representation of the One Who Is, the God with whom all of us ultimately will have to deal. In fact, nothing is more important for anyone or for any society. TWO KINDS OF GOD: POLY/PANTHEISTIC AND MONOTHEISTIC But how can we know what God is really like? Yehezkel Kaufmann

- Publisher
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About "Let's Start With Jesus"

This book revives a neglected yet powerful basis for the work of Christian theology. Instead of starting with the usual philosophical arguments for the existence and nature of God, respected biblical scholar Dennis Kinlaw proposes and shows what it means to start theology with the person and work of Jesus.

"If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him"(John 14:7). Jesus is the great stumbling block of faith. It is in him that Christianity finds its uniqueness among the religions of the world. He is the Incarnate Son of God, the unique revelation of the Father. Yet so often, we begin the process of theological formulation not with the person of Jesus, but rather, with philosophical arguments about God's existence and logical constructions to determine God's nature. How would our understanding be affected if we instead took Jesus as our starting point for doing theology? In Let's Start with Jesus, respected biblical scholar Dennis Kinlaw explores this question, revealing answers that are profound. In seeking to describe the nature of the relationship God desires with us, he explores three metaphors - royal/legal, familial, and nuptial - which serve as motifs for his reflection. Taking familiar theological categories, Kinlaw views them through the primary lens of the person and work of Jesus, and finds that Jesus reveals rich pictures of the nature of God, the nature of personhood, the problem of sin, the way of salvation, and finally, the means of sanctification via perfect love. Dr. Kinlaw leads you deep into the inner sanctuary of the Holy Trinity and shows you three distinct persons relating to each other in pure reciprocal love.

"Every time I read something written by Dennis Kinlaw my mind is stimulated and my heart strangely warmed. Let's Start with Jesus is another important book from a truly gifted man."
- Robert E. Coleman, Distinguished Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Kinlaw's revolutionary approach to doing theology is much more than that - it's a revolutionary approach to life. Kinlaw locates ultimate purpose in a place the church has almost totally neglected, and he does so graciously, with powerful, tightly reasoned biblical argumentation."
- Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

176 pages, from Zondervan.

- Publisher

Let''s Start with JesusCopyright 2005 by The Francis Asbury SocietyRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530The Francis Asbury Society, P.O. Box 7, Wilmore, KY 40390-0007www.francisasburysociety.comLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataKinlaw, Dennis F., 1922-Let''s start wtih Jesus : a new way of doing theology / Dennis F. Kinlaw.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN-10: 0-310-26261-5 (hardcover)ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26261-91. Theology. 2. Jesus Christ-Person and offices. I. Title.BT77.K425 2005230-dc222005008718This edition printed on acid free paper.All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible:New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by InternationalBible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.Scripture quotations marked KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible.Scripture quotations marked NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version ofthe Bible, copyrighted 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the NationalCouncil of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission.All rights reserved.Interior design by Michelle EspinozaPrinted in the United States of America05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1A NEW CONCEPT OF GODAyoung chaplain at one of the colleges of Oxford University made ithis practice every year to interview each new student in his college.He wanted to get to know each one and to explain something of thereligious program in that college. On occasion, after the chaplain hadmade his case for the program, a freshman would explain a bit awkwardlythat he did not believe in God and probably would not be activein the chaplain''s program. The chaplain would then reply, "How interesting!And in which god do you not believe?" The student then wouldtry to explain his atheism. The chaplain would smile and comment onthe fact that he and the student had a great deal in common, for he didnot believe in the existence of that god either.Scholars have called Homo sapiens the religious creature. Whereverwe find human beings, we find religious acts and religious language.God talk and human beings seem to go together. When a personspeaks of God or of gods, what does he or she really mean? The commonoccurrence of the divine word in human language would seem tosuggest that there is universal agreement as to its definition. However,the reality is quite the contrary.Most of the gods that so-called unbelievers reject have never hadany objective reality and are simply the goblin constructions of theirown minds. The concept in their heads and the reality behind all thingsmay have little relation to each other. The god before whom the sincerebeliever bows likewise may be a caricature that does little justice to thereality one believes oneself to be worshiping. The consequences for thebeliever whose mental understanding of God is skewed may not be asserious as would be the atheism of the person who denies God''s veryexistence, but it is still damaging. Error for the believer, as well as forthe unbeliever, always carries its unfortunate consequences.William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury, insisted that ifour concept of God is wrong, the more religious we get the more dangerouswe are to ourselves and others. Our concept of God must be atrue representation of the One Who Is, the God with whom all of usultimately will have to deal. In fact, nothing is more important for anyoneor for any society.TWO KINDS OF GOD: POLY/PANTHEISTIC AND MONOTHEISTICBut how can we know what God is really like? Yehezkel Kaufmannis helpful here.1 In his signal work on the religion of Israel, he insiststhat all of the religions of the world can be put into two categories.The first category includes all of those that are basically naturalisticand express themselves either in pantheism or polytheism. Thesereligions see all things as an unbroken whole an
- Publisher

Let's Start with Jesus Copyright 2005 by The Francis Asbury Society Requests for information should be addressed to: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530 The Francis Asbury Society, P.O. Box 7, Wilmore, KY 40390-0007 www.francisasburysociety.com Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kinlaw, Dennis F., 1922- Let's start wtih Jesus : a new way of doing theology / Dennis F. Kinlaw. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-10: 0-310-26261-5 (hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26261-9 1. Theology. 2. Jesus Christ-Person and offices. I. Title. BT77.K425 2005 230-dc22 2005008718 This edition printed on acid free paper. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible. Scripture quotations marked NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission. All rights reserved. Interior design by Michelle Espinoza Printed in the United States of America 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 A NEW CONCEPT OF GOD Ayoung chaplain at one of the colleges of Oxford University made it his practice every year to interview each new student in his college. He wanted to get to know each one and to explain something of the religious program in that college. On occasion, after the chaplain had made his case for the program, a freshman would explain a bit awkwardly that he did not believe in God and probably would not be active in the chaplain's program. The chaplain would then reply, "How interesting! And in which god do you not believe?" The student then would try to explain his atheism. The chaplain would smile and comment on the fact that he and the student had a great deal in common, for he did not believe in the existence of that god either. Scholars have called Homo sapiens the religious creature. Wherever we find human beings, we find religious acts and religious language. God talk and human beings seem to go together. When a person speaks of God or of gods, what does he or she really mean? The common occurrence of the divine word in human language would seem to suggest that there is universal agreement as to its definition. However, the reality is quite the contrary. Most of the gods that so-called unbelievers reject have never had any objective reality and are simply the goblin constructions of their own minds. The concept in their heads and the reality behind all things may have little relation to each other. The god before whom the sincere believer bows likewise may be a caricature that does little justice to the reality one believes oneself to be worshiping. The consequences for the believer whose mental understanding of God is skewed may not be as serious as would be the atheism of the person who denies God's very existence, but it is still damaging. Error for the believer, as well as for the unbeliever, always carries its unfortunate consequences. William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury, insisted that if our concept of God is wrong, the more religious we get the more dangerous we are to ourselves and others. Our concept of God must be a true representation of the One Who Is, the God with whom all of us ultimately will have to deal. In fact, nothing is more important for anyone or for any society. TWO KINDS OF GOD: POLY/PANTHEISTIC AND MONOTHEISTIC But how can we know what God is really like? Yehezkel Kaufmann
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Dennis Kinlaw

Dr. Dennis F. Kinlaw (PhD Brandeis) is the founder of the Francis Asbury Society in Wilmore, Kentucky and former president of Asbury College. He is the author of This Day with the Master, Preaching in the Spirit, The Mind of Christ, and We Live as Christ. Dr. Kinlaw is married to Elsie Katherine Blake and they have five children. They reside in Wilmore, Kentucky. SPANISH BIO: Dr. Dennis f. Kinlaw es doctor en filosofia y letras, Brandeis, fundador de la Sociedad Francis Asbury en Wilmore, Kentucky. Es autor de This Day with the Master, Preaching in the Spirit y otros. Tambien ha escrito para v

Table Of Contents

  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments 9
  • Preface 11
  • 1. A New Concept Of God 15
  • 2. The Level Of Intimacy God Desires: Three 47
  • Metaphors Illustrate God's Purposes For Us
  • 3. Personhood And The Concept Of God 71
  • 4. The Human Problem: Why Is
  • Identification With God Impossible? 107
  • 5. The Way Of Salvation: It Is All About 127
  • The Nature Of God
  • 6. Fulfillment Of Salvation: Perfect Love 137
  • Notes 155
  • Author Index 159
  • Scripture Index 161

Excerpt

Excerpt from: Let's Start With Jesus

Let's Start with Jesus A NEW CONCEPT OF GOD Ayoung chaplain at one of the colleges of Oxford University made it his practice every year to interview each new student in his college. He wanted to get to know each one and to explain something of the religious program in that college. On occasion, after the chaplain had made his case for the program, a freshman would explain a bit awkwardly that he did not believe in God and probably would not be active in the chaplain's program. The chaplain would then reply, 'How interesting! And in which god do you not believe?' The student then would try to explain his atheism. The chaplain would smile and comment on the fact that he and the student had a great deal in common, for he did not believe in the existence of that god either. Scholars have called Homo sapiens the religious creature. Wherever we find human beings, we find religious acts and religious language. God talk and human beings seem to go together. When a person speaks of God or of gods, what does he or she really mean? The common occurrence of the divine word in human language would seem to suggest that there is universal agreement as to its definition. However, the reality is quite the contrary. Most of the gods that so-called unbelievers reject have never had any objective reality and are simply the goblin constructions of their own minds. The concept in their heads and the reality behind all things may have little relation to each other. The god before whom the sincere believer bows likewise may be a caricature that does little justice to the reality one believes oneself to be worshiping. The consequences for the believer whose mental understanding of God is skewed may not be as serious as would be the atheism of the person who denies God's very existence, but it is still damaging. Error for the believer, as well as for the unbeliever, always carries its unfortunate consequences. William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury, insisted that if our concept of God is wrong, the more religious we get the more dangerous we are to ourselves and others. Our concept of God must be a true representation of the One Who Is, the God with whom all of us ultimately will have to deal. In fact, nothing is more important for anyone or for any society. TWO KINDS OF GOD: POLY/PANTHEISTIC AND MONOTHEISTIC But how can we know what God is really like? Yehezkel Kaufmann is helpful here.1 In his signal work on the religion of Israel, he insists that all of the religions of the world can be put into two categories. The first category includes all of those that are basically naturalistic and express themselves either in pantheism or polytheism. These religions see all things as an unbroken whole and the divine as part of that whole, or else they see the divine as a name for that whole in which we all participate. Some of these religions speak of the divine as that which permeates the whole and in which we all participate. This is pantheism as seen in Hinduism and contemporary New Age thought. The other group in this category sees nature as containing the divine. The divine manifests itself in multiple forces, each of which has its own particular individuality and should be worshiped for itself. Thus, the Greeks could speak of Ouranos (the heavens), Gaia (the earth), Oceanos (the oceans), and Chronos (time) just as the Romans considered Sol (the sun) and Luna (the moon) primordial divine beings. The cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world had the same basic pantheon but used different names. Thus, the Greeks would speak of Aphrodite and the Romans of Venus, but both were speaking of the same factor in human life. We draw our word aphrodisiac from the name of Aphrodite. In speaking about Aphrodite and Venus, the Greeks and the Romans were referring to the erotic force that attracts the male to the female and the female to the male. Such natural forces were ascribed personhood and were worshiped as individual gods. We have known this polytheism classically in the religions of the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world of Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Some version of it is found among most of the so-called primitive peoples of the earth. Today it is emerging in our postmodern world as New Age thought and practice. Kaufmann's second group, the monotheistic religions, contains three distinct expressions, each of which is rooted not in nature (as are polytheism and pantheism) but in history. They are Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. One immediately recognizes that these are the three historic religions related to Israel and the Hebrew-Christian Bible. All three go back to Abraham and to his world for their roots. These three religions see nature not as divine but rather as a created expression of a supreme God who transcends that nature. God is not a part of nature and must not be confused with anything within it. For these three religions, to mix nature and the divine is to be guilty of idolatry, the worship of that which has no existence in and of itself but is the product of one beyond itself, from which it comes and on which its very existence depends. In other words, these monotheistic religions all make an ontological distinction between the Creator and the creation. The accuracy of Kaufmann's analysis is beyond debate. This means that we are indebted to him for simplifying our problem, especially if we feel the need for a God who can actually make a significant difference in the human estate, a God who can help us. Polytheism and pantheism ultimately have no answer to the problem of evil because both see evil as part of the divine world and of the human world. For them what we speak of as 'evil' and 'divine' are not separable, for the evil of the world is included in the divine. There is nothing but 'us.' There is no 'beyond' that is ontologically and morally different from us on which we can call or to which we can look for help. Therefore, history, like nature, is seen as repetitive, and the future cannot be essentially different from the past since there is no transcendent, transhistorical personal reality that makes a difference. On the other hand, the concepts of the possibility of a new world, a new society, and a different kind of human person have come into our culture from the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures because of the nature of the biblical God. Kaufmann has helped us take the first step, but the second is equally important. There is one transcendent God, but what is that God's nature? A close reading of the literature of the three monotheistic religions will show radical differences among these three religious expressions and nowhere more than in their representations of the divine.

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 228745
  • Product Code 0310262615
  • EAN 9780310262619
  • UPC 025986262617
  • Pages 176
  • Department Academic
  • Category Theology
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Zondervan
  • Publication Date Oct 2005
  • Dimensions 215 x 139 x 10 mm
  • Weight 0.190kg

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