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The Philosopher and the Gospel [Kindle Edition]

Ward Keith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

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Review

Thoughtful and accessible. --Booklist

About the Author

Professor Keith Ward is a Fellow of the British Academy and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, London. He is today known as one of Britain's foremost philosopher-theologians, and his books include 'Why There is Almost Certainly a God' and 'More than Matter'.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ward master of the word-bite 30 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What makes this work interesting to the theologian and philosopher is how Ward uses his fourfold thesis, based on the analysis of the linguistic conceptual forms attributed to Jesus by the gospels. His thesis is that Jesus taught a gospel of conditional universal salvation, not a message of condemnation for all but a small `elect'. The four theses: conditional universalism, spiritual eschatology, responsive-participatory virtue ethics, and `unitive' idealism are less forbidding than their headings. Ward is a master of the word bite, delivering short, memorable one-liners that sum up the meaning of quite complex theological and philosophical reasoning. Whether his support of universal salvation which is met with the descriptor that it is not torturing (enemies) them in flames for eternity (page 68) or when breaking down the revelation of Christ into a meaningful sentence, a man of prayer, devoted to God, with a mission to proclaim that God was drawing near in a new way, to proclaim the kingdom of God (page 30). These word bites are one of the things that make a book that appears on the surface as suitable only for intellectual stimulation to be accessible for all. I would recommend this book to both those who are tired of fundamentalist interpretations of the sayings of Christ and wish to be able to see the locution of the text through academic reasoning.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing, instructive read 2 Jan. 2012
By panos_t
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Keith Ward's book is one of an unusual theme in the sense that it deals with spiritual matters, philosophically. The perspective is therefore fresh that comes from a thinking mind rather than one that has blind faith. Other than being a joy to read from start to finish, I found myself connecting with the book in plenty of its pages as it felt as I was listening to a very common sense and at the same time thought-provoking sermon. On a personal note, it is the lack of common sense and the prevalence of a spiritual pencil-pushing legalism, in my former Christian life, which has made me a secular believer. Furthermore, I was relived to read how in at least a couple of pieces Keith Ward highlights how the translation does not reflect the spirit of the original text; being Greek myself who has studied the original text and its theology extensively, as a layman, often the English translations cause me frustration but also very interesting debates. Regardless where one is on their faith journey, this book will not let them down. Keith Ward is the sort of person I would gladly meet for a cup of coffee and a stimulating theological debate.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a non Christian 20 July 2013
By Mike
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Keith Ward never disappoints, really liked the book, a really intellectually sound and moderate face of Christianity, strongly recommend it
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 21 April 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good thought provoking book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 16 Mar. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent!
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