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Understanding Jesus: Five Ways to Spiritual Enlightenment Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Paternoster (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842277391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842277393
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,394,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Peter S. Williams (MA, MPhil) is a philosopher and apologist with several books to his name and a particular expertise in working with students. In addition to working with the Damaris Trust, Peter is Assistant Professor in Communication and Worldviews at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication in Norway. He has authored A Sceptic's Guide to Atheism: God Is Not Dead (Paternoster, 2009); I Wish I Could Believe In Meaning: A Response To Nihilism (Damaris, 2004); The Case For Angels (Paternoster, 2002) and The Case For God (Monarch, 1999).

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Format: Paperback
Peter S. Williams (the Philosopher, not to be confused with Peter J. Williams, Warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge) is a remarkable young man. It is not that this volume covers anything radically new, but what the author manages to do is marshall a huge amount of extant data and insight, into a conceptual framework which makes it easy to engage with. One of the real strengths of his writing is that he manages to take his own high-level familiarity with the academic issues and source texts, and translate this material into a format which is immediately accessible to the rest of us. So many academics write in a way that appears designed to baffle and confuse, and perpetuate the gulf between the academy and normal people - but Peter has the rare gift of bridging that gap, and thus delivering solid food for those who really want to understand who Jesus actually is.

The author provides a five-fold construct for understanding Jesus after he has, first of all, helped to build sufficient credibility for the biblical testimony to Him. The five tiers of his case are:

(1) Jesus' self-centred teaching
(2) Jesus' dynamic deeds
(3) Jesus' resurrection
(4) Jesus and fulfilled prophecy
(5) Jesus and contemporary experience

If one was to be critical of the treatment, one might complain that it would be helpful to have 'more' material in support of each point, but that would be to miss the strength of Williams' argument - each tier provides enough data and reasoning to take one on to the next step. Each element of the case that the author presents to help us understand Jesus is therefore sufficient on its own, but more importantly, is sufficient when viewed cumulatively with the other elements.
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