Each position Erickson examines includes (1) a brief overview, (2) its history, (3) a more thorough examination of its major concepts and of the arguments offered in support of them, and (4) an evaluation of both its positive and negative aspects.
A tool that allows stdents of biblical Greek to read the writings of early church fathers
The apostolic fathers (late first century to mid second century) are early and important links to apostolic Christianity, although there is vigorous debate regarding their connection with the normative teachings of the primitive church. This new reference work, designed to be used alongside Michael Holmes's third edition of the Apostolic Fathers (Baker, 2007) makes these vital writings more accessible by providing students with contextually sensitive glosses of words that occur fewer than thirty times in the New Testament These definitions are presented in the order in which they occur in the texts, along with the frequency of the word in the book, to facilitate a seamless reading process. Thus, students of New Testament Greek will be able to more comfortably expand their studies to read the works of Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, the Shepherd of Hermas, Polycarp of Smyrna, Papias, and others. This work will spur many students of the New Testament to explore the writings of the apostolic fathers and wrestle with their content, theology, praxis, use of the New Testament, and devotion to the risen Lord.
Thomas Long begins this fascinating volume by describing how the Christian funeral developed historically, theologically, and liturgically, and then discusses recent cultural trends in funeral practices, including the rise in both cremations and memorial services. He describes the basic pattern for a funeral service, details options in funeral planning, identifies characteristics of a "good funeral," and provides thoughtful guidance for preaching at a funeral.
Long also notes a disturbing trend toward funeral services that seem theologically right and pastorally caring, but actually depart from the primary aims of the Christian funeral. He argues that a new, less-theological and less-satisfying service that focuses on the mourner has begun to erode the Christian view. He contrasts the ancient grand community drama with today's trend toward body-less memorial services that focus primarily on the living and grief management. This is a loss for the church, he argues, and he calls for the church to reclaim the classic metaphor.