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The Philosopher and the Gospels: Jesus Through the Lens of Philosophy Paperback – 21 Oct 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Books (21 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745955622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745955629
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.3 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 611,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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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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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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Keith Ward never disappoints, really liked the book, a really intellectually sound and moderate face of Christianity, strongly recommend it
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Good thought provoking book.
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Excellent!
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