A Handbook of the Christian Faith

Overview

A Handbook of the Christian Faith is a one- volume overview of the Bible, church history, Christian beliefs and practices, other religions, and other issues of Christianity written in an easy-to-understand style. Organized in ten thematic chapters, the book is designed for use by individuals or study groups. "I cannot think of a more helpful resource for adults who are serious about their faith and the desire to understand it better," says Dr. W. Ward Gasque, President, Paci&supl;c Association for Theological...
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A Handbook of the Christian Faith

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Overview

A Handbook of the Christian Faith is a one- volume overview of the Bible, church history, Christian beliefs and practices, other religions, and other issues of Christianity written in an easy-to-understand style. Organized in ten thematic chapters, the book is designed for use by individuals or study groups. "I cannot think of a more helpful resource for adults who are serious about their faith and the desire to understand it better," says Dr. W. Ward Gasque, President, Paci&supl;c Association for Theological Studies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764229060
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,445,720
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

John Schwarz has academic degrees in business, law, and Christian studies. He spent 30 years in the corporate business world and took early retirement to go to Kenya as a missionary. A Handbook to the Christian Faith grew out of Bible study courses John developed and taught, and it was the study manual for the video course Word Alive! John and his wife live part of the year in Arizona and part in Minnesota.
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Table of Contents

1 The Bible
The Story and Message of the Bible 12
The Two Covenants or Testaments 12
The Bible: Formation, Structure and Books 13
The Hebrew Scriptures 14
The Apocrypha 16
The New Testament 18
The Books of the Bible 20
The Theme and Message of the Bible 21
The Biblical Story 21
The Transmission and Translations of the Bible 23
Revelation, Inspiration and Authority 25
Reading the Bible 27
Bible Translations, Bible Dictionaries and Bible Commentaries 29
2 The Old Testament
The Old Testament: The Roots of Our Faith 34
The Pentateuch: Creation, Fall, Election, Salvation and Covenant 34
The Prologue to the Biblical Story 35
The Ancestral History of Israel 38
Exodus: The "Center" of the Old Testament 42
Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy 45
The Historical Books: The Rise and Fall of Israel 46
The Voice and Message of the Prophets 50
The Writings: Israel's Wisdom and Devotional Literature 54
Judaism Today 59
3 Jesus of Nazareth
The World, Life and Ministry of Jesus 64
The Intertestamental Period 64
The House of Herod 67
Jewish Political and Religious Communities in the First Century 69
The First-Century New Testament World 71
Jesus of Nazareth: In "The Fullness of Time" 73
The Birth of Jesus 74
Brief Outline of Jesus' Ministry 77
Jesus' Baptism, Testing and Calling Twelve to Be His Disciples 78
Jesus' Public Ministry 82
Jesus' Arrest, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension 84
Jesus' Names, Titles and Symbols 88
4 The Gospels
The Gospel Testimonies to Jesus 92
The Gospels: The "Good News" 92
The Synoptic Gospels 97
Mark: The Foundation Gospel 99
Matthew: The Jewish-Christian Gospel 104
Luke: The Universal Gospel 108
John: The Spiritual Gospel 113
Summary Comparison of the Four Gospels 118
5 The Outward Movement
The Acts and Letters of the Apostles 122
The Acts of Peter and the Travels of Paul 122
The Apostle Paul: Ambassador for Christ 126
Galatians: The Epistle of Freedom From the Law 131
Romans: Paul's Magnum Opus 133
The Corinthian Correspondence 135
Paul's Other Letters 138
Hebrews, James, Peter, John and Jude 140
The Book of Revelation 142
Why Didn't the Jews Accept Jesus? 145
6 The Church
A Brief History of Christianity 148
The Apostolic Era 148
The Church in the Middle Ages 152
The Protestant Reformation 157
Christian Missions to All the World 168
Christianity in America 175
Important Dates and Events in Christian History 181
7 Christian Beliefs
A Summary of Christian Doctrines and Beliefs 184
Christian Theology 184
God Our Father: All-Mighty and All-Loving 184
The Doctrine of Creation 188
Sin: The Human Predicament 190
Jesus Christ: Lord and Savior 192
Salvation: By Grace Through Faith 196
The Holy Spirit: The Perfecter of Our Faith 198
The Church: Marks and Sacraments 200
The Church: Polity, Clergy Titles and Calendar 203
The End Times or Final Things 207
Angels, Satan and Demons 210
8 Other Religions
Other Religions and Beliefs 214
Other World Religions 214
Hinduism: The Religion of India 214
Buddhism: The Middle Way 218
Five Other Eastern Religions 221
Islam: Christianity's Greatest Competitor 223
Christian and Non-Christian Cults 232
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 234
Jehovah's Witnesses 237
Christian Science 238
Unity School of Christianity 239
Recent Religious Movements 240
The New Age Movement: Blending East and West 242
Do All Religions Lead to God? 244
9 Growing in and Sharing Christ
Growing in Christ and Sharing Christ 248
Christian Apologetics 248
Challenges to Christianity 250
Growing in Christ Through Prayer 253
Growing in Christ Through Study 258
Obstacles to Growth: The Seven Deadly Sins 261
The Message of Evangelism: Jesus Christ 264
The Mechanics of Evangelism: Sharing the Good News 267
Pascal's "Wager": Betting on God 269
10 Living Christianly
Biblical Guidelines for Living the Christian Faith 272
How to Think As a Christian 272
The Ten Commandments: Rules for Christian Living 275
The Sermon on the Mount: The Christian Manifesto 281
The Parable of the Good Samaritan 286
Parables of Wealth and Possessions 289
"How Then Should We Live?" 291
Three Who Lived "for Jesus' Sake" 292
Appendix World Religions and Belief Systems 297
The World of the Old and New Testaments Map 299
The First-Century World of Palestine Map 300
Index 301
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