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Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation Paperback – February 12, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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The Original Saints believed and taught that you MUST come clean with God in Repentance BEFORE the Holy Spirit would indwell. No one was 'Saved in sin or did any early Saint teach that man was Born in Sin. They understood that man possessed free and unhindered ability to Obey God and DO what was Right. Most of professing Christianity today is under a massive System of Error that has negated genuine repentance and substituted it with a wretched man profession that keeps them in slavery to their sin
The other reviews of this book are also excellent and worth reading. Faith without works is dead as James wrote. In an effort to grow, most churches only demand a yes answer to a few questions and bingo, you are accepted into membership, (now, don't forget to tithe). This results in a shallow church body. In contrast to the early church, that required 3 yeas of godly living before a person was allowed to be baptized into membership. Real Christians will love this book.
The authors make a good case -- relying on modern scholarship -- that early Christians believed that Jesus died as a martyr for their new faith -- not as a sacrificial atonement -- and that Christians would receive salvation not only through faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the resurrected Christ, but also through the doing of good works imitating their founding martyr's life..
They argue that the Catholic and Protestant beliefs current today among many Christians -- the fall of man, salvation only through faith, Christ's sacrificial atonement on the cross -- and related doctrines -- are based on medieval Catholic and Reformation Protestant theologians having access only to poor translations of the Bible and being so separated in time and space from the original Christians that the theologians frequently misinterpreted key Gospel and Pauline texts.
The authors are respectful of both conservative and liberal views of the Bible and theology, and base themselves solidly on modern scholarship that has learned far more about correct translations of Greek and Hebrew terms, and also far more about the Jewish and Greek cultures of Christ's era than was accessible to medieval Catholic and Reformation Protestant theologians.
It's hard to summarize such a rich book in a few words. I would suggest that you read it yourself and see what you think. I'm still mulling over their arguments in my mind. I'm not entirely convinced that generations of Christian theologians are completely wrong, but the book is making me re-examine my beliefs.
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