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Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity (Biblical Theology for Life) Paperback – September 12, 2017
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Sections in the Biblical Theology for Life Series include:
Queuing the Questions
Introduces the main questions being addressed in the book. Raising these questions enables readers to see clearly from the outset what each book will be pursuing, inviting them to participate in the process of discovery along the way.
Arriving at Answers
Develops the biblical theology of the topic, focusing on specific biblical texts and constructing answers to the questions introduced in section one.
Reflecting on Relevance
Contextualizes the biblical-theological insights, discussing specific ways in which the theology presented addresses contemporary situations and issues, giving readers the opportunity to consider how they might live out that theology in the world today.
A Note from the Editor
Also Available from the Biblical Theology for Life Series...
|The Kingdom of God||The Mission of God's People||Creation Care||Following Jesus, the Servant King||Christians in an Age of Wealth||Known by God|
|Subject||God's Kingdom||The Church's Mission||The Natural World||Discipleship||Stewardship||Personal Identity|
|Author(s)||Nicholas Perrin||Christopher J.H. Wright||Douglas J. Moo and Jonathan A. Moo||Jonathan Lunde||Craig L. Blomberg||Brian S. Rosner|
|Length||272 pages||304 pages||256 pages||320 pages||272 pages||272 pages|
|The Kingdom of God Video Lectures||The Mission of God's People Video Lectures||Creation Care Video Lectures|
|Subject||God's Kingdom||The Church's Mission||The Natural World|
|Author(s)||Nicholas Perrin||Christopher J.H. Wright||Douglas J. Moo and Jonathan A. Moo|
|Length||4.25 hours||5.75 hours||5 hours|
“Amidst the ceaseless clamor to “know thyself” and the constant barrage of identity politics, Rosner offers a needed corrective by looking at identity through a biblical lens. Known by God is a beautifully written exploration into the biblical story of identity. Rosner demonstrates that identity is both personal and social; it is about knowing God and, even more importantly, being known by God. Woven throughout the book is his own journey from shattered identity to redemptive wholeness. Identity is not ours to make but ours to receive from the One who knows and loves us and calls us into the family of God.” -- Lynn H. Cohick, Chair, Biblical and Theological Studies Department, and Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College
“From the very first page, Brian Rosner succeeds beautifully in doing what few today dare to attempt. He seamlessly integrates raw personal experience with depth of biblical insight and sophisticated cultural analysis. Known by God is like nothing else you’ll read. It deftly explores the weighty theme of human identity, with one eye firmly on the Word of God in all its clarity and another on the world in all its confusion about the self. Rosner is an expert guide through beautiful and largely unmarked territories, in the end opening up for the reader a marvelous vista of the human being from the divine perspective. To know oneself fully, Rosner shows, is really to understand and accept how one is viewed by the Creator and Redeemer.” -- John Dickson, author, historian, and founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity
“The question of human identity is complex, interesting, and perplexing all at the same time! What is it that makes us who we are, and what sustains us in our identity when many of our earthly markers of identity are taken from us? Much of the thinking within this area has emerged from philosophy or ethics. Brian Rosner draws the debate into the world of the Bible. In this deep but accessible book Rosner carefully lays out a biblical foundation for human identity and in so doing offers clarity and practical wisdom to a profound, personal, and intensely important set of questions. The book is deeply grounded in the practices of the church and in Rosner’s own narrative. The combination of scholarly biblical exegesis and meaningful, sometimes moving personal narrative makes this book a wonderful resource for church and academy. In the end, we are who we are because God knows us. Our identity is gifted to us by a God who knows us and desires that we come to know God. There is beauty, hope, and safety in such knowledge. Brian Rosner has given us a vital gift.” -- John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, University of Aberdeen
“Who am I? The only truthful answer is “God knows!” Leavened by autobiographical touches, Rosner’s book teaches us that God knows us when our struggles with our own identity feel hidden from everyone else. Known by God is the most balanced and down-to-earth book about personal identity that I have read. It profoundly illuminates the Bible’s teaching that God fathers, owns, and remembers each of his human children.” -- Francesca Aran Murphy, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
“Every last page of Brian Rosner’s Known by God is filled with careful, convincing exegesis of both testaments of the Christian Bible. But even more striking is how this exegesis is interwoven with the author’s disarming self-disclosure, keen pastoral insight, charitable engagement with contemporary literature and culture, and infectious zeal for gospel proclamation. It is that combination that marks this book as a wonderful example of the best of distinctively evangelical biblical theology.” -- Wesley Hill, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pennsylvania
“I heard a theologian say in a public meeting that he knew who Jesus was but he did not know who he was. He needed this book by Brian Rosner. Drawing expertly on the biblical witness in conversation with modern angst about human identity, Rosner finds in Scripture the key to answering the identity question. Of particular value in Rosner’s argument is his exploration of the idea of being known by God, which is a neglected theme in biblical theology as he rightly points out. Resources found in Dietrich Bonhoeffer and C. S. Lewis also figure helpfully in his account. A book to savor.” -- Graham A. Cole, Dean and Vice President of Education and Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“In this timely and thoughtful book, Dr. Rosner provides a biblical, practical guide to understanding ourselves as God understands us. He makes the persuasive case that society’s call to “find yourself,” “be true to yourself,” and “be authentic” can only lead to human flourishing when these efforts are grounded in one’s union with Christ and God’s prior knowledge of us. This is an ideal book to place into the hands of any believer experiencing the disorientation of life’s big changes, especially when those changes involve suffering and loss. With both theological precision and pastoral experience, Dr. Rosner describes how in times of difficulty we can rest in the identity that we have as members of God’s family.” -- Frank Thielman, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School
“It’s been some time since I read a book this important. Rosner’s Known by God achieves what the subtitle claims: a truly biblical theology of personal identity. In an age of “identity angst,” exacerbated by social media and inauthenticity, people are asking the crucial question, “Who am I?” Rosner explains the question, then walks us through Scripture where we listen to the voice of God answer. Clearly written and cogently presented, this is no self-help, how-to, waste-of-your-time piece. Rosner plumbs the depths, biblically and otherwise, and surfaces with treasure. Spoiler alert! Personal identity centers on knowing that I am known by God. Don’t miss this gem!” -- David L. Allen, Dean, School of Preaching, and Distinguished Professor of Preaching, George W. Truett Chair of Pastoral Ministry, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas
“What makes me the person I am? Who am I? These are surely fundamental existential questions with which we all wrestle. In his new book, Brian Rosner takes up the task of addressing these concerns in a biblically focused way. He maintains that personal identity in Scripture has to do with being made in the image of God, being known by God, and being in Christ---reframing how we think about who we are from a God’s-eye view. The result is a clear and compelling account of human personal identity that sheds new light on some of the most important and contested issues in theological anthropology.” -- Oliver D. Crisp, Professor of Systematic Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
- ASIN : 0310499828
- Publisher : Zondervan Academic (September 12, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- Item Weight : 15.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.3 x 0.72 x 9.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #508,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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- Better layout. There are way too many pull quotes on some pages, making it hard to follow the flow of the text.
- More concise editing. The text doesn't flow and is too cumbersome for a non-academic work.
Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity is divided into three major parts: (1) Queuing the Questions, (2) Arriving at Answers, and (3) Reflecting on Relevance. The initial section seeks to uncover the probing questions concerning personal identity. What defines you? Who are you? What makes you, you? These questions become the framework for the following sections. The second section encompasses the majority of the book and seeks to explore various aspects of how identity angst forces us towards a stable and satisfying sense of self (p. 38). First, Rosner examines the foundations of personal identity through traditional identity markers (i.e. age, race, occupation, possessions, religion, etc.). Second, Rosner directs attention towards the biblical portrait of human identity before grounding such as the culmination of being known by God. The third section explores some of the practical implications and personal benefits that flow from the identity of being known by God (i.e. significance, humility, comfort, direction, etc.).
The biblical theological portrait that Rosnor paints is saturated in gospel reflection that gives both life and worth to a needing world. Known by God is both timely and timeless. Rosner is keenly aware of the cultural confusion that soaks the social landscape of the twenty-first century, and a book of this scope lands with immediate weight. But, then again, a book of this magnitude has potential to land with such weight regardless of time and space. Known by God uncovers an identity eternally established in the creative work of God and the value that comes from being intimately known by him, and him alone. Rosner offers readers a brilliant exploration of personal identity that is landmarked with careful exegesis of both the Old and New Testament, and further overflows with spiritual encouragement. Readers will appreciate the ability that Rosner demonstrates in moving from questions to cultural engagement, then to the biblical text and personal application. Still, the application therein offers more than an understanding of self, it brings gospel-breathed life to every corner of one’s existence.
The Biblical Theology for Life series by Zondervan offers a number of excellent volumes for readers to explore. Still, among the best in the series is Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity by Brian S. Rosner. Rosner embodies the emphasis that readers are to expect from a series offering life out of biblical theology. This book is both practically engaging and theologically rigorous. Rosner is clear and persuasive, and readers are certain to gain more than they expect. If you are looking for a book that will wet your biblical-theological appetite while simultaneously encouraging you towards an identity established in God, then do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Known by God. It comes highly recommended!
While we spend so much time thinking about our knowing God, Mr. Rosner explains how important it is to be known by God and how that fulfills something deep inside of us that allows us to secure a personal identity.
He has one chapter where he, in his words, identifies the angst in us and how this subject speaks to it. Chapters 2 through 10 explain how believers in Christ have an identity where we are known by God as His children and that’s tied to Jesus Christ. He does a great job explaining from both the Old and New Testaments this concept as well as differentiating between being made in the image of God and being known by God. He explains all the elements that make up our personal identity while further showing how they come up short in explaining the Christian’s position.
The third section made up of chapters 11 through 15 seek to explain the relevance of this theology to our lives. Those chapters cover significance, humility, comfort, direction, and being known by God. To my mind, the chapter on significance was especially apropos to the fruitless struggle so many have finding significance.
I’m not aware of all the literature out there on the subject, but I’m convinced having this book on the shelf could answer any possible question on it that might arise. It’s also an area where some of the systematic theologies might come up short. The book is well done, has a few charts, and nice quotes on several pages that really add something to the discussion. Mr. Rosner has co-written a major exegetical commentary on First Corinthians, but proves himself adept here with a completely different kind of work. I judge it a success.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.