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Christian Wisdom: Desiring God and Learning in Love (Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine) Hardcover – 7 Jun 2007


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'The wisdom tradition in theology has made a comeback, and Ford's book is delightful to read, resplendent with wisdom ancient and new.' The Christian Century

'…deeply original book … this is theology at its most hospitable … this book is the fruit of many rich conversations. The tone of generous inclusive dialogue is maintained throughout. It is an invitation to a praxis.' Church Times

'… this book seems to be both profoundly original and generative. More than simply a study of the Wisdom theme in Christian theology, it is actually a tremendously important essay in the theological method, a proposal for what it might mean for church to 'do theology'. … Let's hope that it's picked up by all the various courses, across the denominations, which train clergy, and from there makes its way into life of the Church.' Theology

'… by his own admission, Ford is not attempting to be theologically comprehensive as much as to encourage a wide and encompassing search of 'the heights and depths of our fragile existence, always learning and discerning, and never past being surprised.' Christian Wisdom will no doubt inspire many others to go and do likewise …' Anvil

'This book is deeply theological, profoundly spiritual, and imaginatively engaged with some important issues that confront thinking people in our time.' Journal of Reformed Theology

Book Description

What is Christian wisdom for living in the twenty-first century? Where is it to be found? How can it be learnt? In the midst of the demands and complexities of contemporary life, David Ford explores a Christian way of desire, wisdom and love.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An inspiring analysis of Christian wisdom in daily living 1 Dec. 2010
By Eric Magnusson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This well-written book will be a great spiritual blessing to Christians all over the world. David F. Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, England, explores a subject of very high importance, yet neglected in our times: the relationship between Christian wisdom and Christian love in everyday life.

The close relationship between wisdom and love has been a recurrent theme in the discussion of Christian wisdom. Professor Ford points out that this relationship could most comprehensively be called a theology of the love of wisdom and of the wisdom of love. But what is the distinctive content of Christian wisdom? This is a difficult question that was considered very important in the Old Testament times and in the Middle Ages but has been sorely neglected over the past few centuries. Professor Ford explores, in a readable way, the fascinating links between Scriptural passages, Christology, and human experience (ranging from the fear of God and spiritual desire for God to Christian responses to the Holocaust).

His words in the concluding chapter glorify God and his love: "The richest wisdom has been found in God's love of creation for its own sake and a responsive human love of God for God's sake and of other people for their own sake. Wise living before this God involves a faith that above all acknowledges being desired and loved by God, like Jesus at his baptism, and that in response desires and loves God."

On this basis, Professor Ford constructs a practical guideline how to read the Bible wisely: ""The wisdom interpretation of scripture that informs this faith has its encompassing maxim: `Let us reread in love!' This takes scripture's own core commandment of loving God and neighbour (which includes loving with all one's mind) as the motive, criterion and goal of wise reading."Then he draws the conclusion for the Church: "The church can be understood as a school of desire and wisdom, its tradition too needing to be continually reread in love. The core dynamic of Christian wisdom is learning to live together in the spirit of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of love for a God who is praised, thanked and blessed `for his name's sake'."

But Professor Ford's exploration goes even farther, into three wider fields: (1) applying the Christian wisdom of love and the love of wisdom to interfaith dialogue with Jews and Muslims, (2) applying Christian wisdom in an interdisciplinary way in higher education, and (3) applying Christian wisdom to our interpersonal relations.

To put it differently, Professor Ford argues that Christian wisdom is to read the Bible in love for God and the neighbor as "learning to live in the Spirit," as the title of one of his chapters says. In our daily life as Christians, we are often at loss how to view our own afflictions in a biblically wise way or how to view and respond to human tragedies in the world. This book should be a help in such difficult situations. A deep analysis of the Book of Job allows Professor Ford to draw important conclusions about Christian wisdom in responding to personal affliction and to big human disasters like the Holocaust.

The author writes in his Introduction that his intention as a Christian thinker was to make an attempt to search out a wisdom for living in the twenty-first century, exploring key elements of Christian wisdom and its relevance to contemporary living. In his very ambitious project to analyze this very important but neglected subject, he has succeeded in an admirable way
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