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Reading the Bible After Christendom Paperback – March 5, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

For nearly two thousand years, the Holy Bible has dominated tradition in the Western world. Reading the Bible After Christendom invites readers to try to look at the scripture from the perspective of a world where Christianity didn't dominate the world in culture, to gain an understanding of the faith free from the influences of the world. Offering many intriguing ideas about faith and the holy word, Reading the Bible After Christendom is a strong pick for any student of the Bible.
--The Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Lloyd Pietersen is Senior Lecturer & Research Coordinator in New Testament Stuides at the University of Gloucestershire.

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Product Details

  • Series: After Christendom
  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Press (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836196171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836196177
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,985,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The main reason this book is excellent is that it asks the right question: How can the church be the church in the world after Christendom? The specific part of the question the book addresses is how to read, interpret, and apply Scripture post-Christendom. The book reminds us that consciously or unconsciously Christians tend to read Scripture in the context of Christendom, with Christianity allied with worldly power, a situation that has existed in the Western world since Constantine. Now we must learn to read Scripture "from the margins" as our marginalized brothers and sisters of the early church did.

The book places the emphasis on Jesus as the key to reading all of Scripture, thus again following the example of the early Christians. Another feature of the book is that it provides an excellent book-by-book summary of Scripture.

As Walter Brueggemann writes in the Foreword, the book "is an invitation to critique old categories of power and truth, and to read again, and so to be empowered to live a different life in the world."
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Format: Paperback
She wrote ... "Of all the books that have been published in religion this year, one of the ones I have admired most is Lloyd Pietersen's Reading the Bible After Christendom. Not least among its many virtues is the fact that it enjoys a very muscular foreword by Walter Brueggemann. That alone would be worth the price of admission. But what I also had been struck by...and am now even more informed and persuaded by...is Pietersen's inclusion and explication of two lists.** The first is a list of the presentations of Constantinian Christianity and culture, and the second is a much shorter list of the presentations of the shifts away from it...."

[...]

Can't argue with the First Lady of American Christianity!
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Pietersen's undertaking provides a helpful, history-based lens through which to view the Bible. The Constantianian Compromise of the Church did in fact diminish the tradition to which Christianity's sacred writings attest. Throughout this period we call "Christendom" these texts were read through a distorted lens--a lens owned by the established political and economic power. The decline and fall of Christendom which we are now living offers an opportunity to approach this rich lode with a new and freeing perspective ... if we will seize it! Pietersen examines alternative postures the hermeneutical tradition offers and makes helpful recommendations.
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