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Entertaining Angels

Entertaining Angels

by Michael J. H. Godfrey


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Hebrews is a sermon, and a providentially sermon for our age. This ancient text speaks to a Christ-community descending into an abyss of ennui, losing coordinates of faith and sliding through a back door or nonchalance. With glimpses across the globe and though history, this book attempts to extrapolate meaning for today from a sometimes difficult first century text.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498296878
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/11/2016
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Michael Godfrey is an Anglican Priest who has worked in rural and remote, suburban and inner-urban Australia and New Zealand. He holds a PhD in New Testament from Australian Catholic University, an MA in Literature from Massey University, and a BD from the Melbourne College of Divinity. Godfrey is the author of Entertaining Angels and Babylon's Cap. He was dismissed as Dean of Waiapu, but fought the dismissal, which was overturned by an appellate tribunal. He opted not to return to ministry, preferring to concentrate on writing and further studies. He is a member of the Māori Congregation of Te Pou Herenga Waka o te Whakapono, preaching and leading worship when invited.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Introduction 1

2 Establishing a Preaching Relationship 19

3 Atonement: Heb 2:17-18 43

4 A Priest Like Us and For Us: Heb 3:1-19 54

5 Take Care, Brothers and Sisters (Losing Moral Coordinates): Heb 4:1-11 67

6 The Power of God's Command: Heb 4:12-13 85

7 Cling to One Who Knows What It's Like (Christ Entering the World of Human Coordinates): Heb 4:14-16 92

8 High Priest for Us: Heb 5:1-10 100

9 You Have Not Persevered, Dullard! Heb 5:11-6:8 113

10 God Is Faithful: Heb 6:13-20 123

11 Melchizedek… the Argument from the Lesser to the Greater: Heb 7:1-28 127

12 Priest of a New Covenant: Heb 8:1-13 137

13 The Shadow and the Reality: Heb 9:1-10:18 145

14 Endure! Heb 10:19-39 153

15 Faith Is… Heb 11:1-40 158

16 Other Countries: God-Breathed Histories 169

17 No Pain, No Gain… the End Game: Heb 12:1-17 198

18 God: That Than Which Nothing Greater Can Be Conceived! Heb 12:18-24 207

19 A Sermon Winds Up: Heb 12:25-13:25 211

20 Practical Applications: Love… Heb 13:1-16 213

21 Pray for Us: Heb 13:18-21 225

22 Final Thoughts 227

Bibliography 229

Subject Index 243

Name Index 249

Ancient Document Index 255

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This book of reflections on the text of Hebrews is told in a lyrical voice by a great storyteller. Michael Godfrey writes as a passionate scholar-priest who values the biblical text, ancient and contemporary tradition, and the current social context. His voice will encourage and cajole the reader to follow Jesus Christ no matter the challenge of the journey."

—Sarah Harris, Lecturer in New Testament, Carey Baptist College

"Idiosyncratic yet compelling, Entertaining Angels is a novel and challenging journey through the Epistle to the Hebrews that reads the epistle as a sermon calling the church to rediscover—without compromise—its spiritual and moral coordinates. Moving back and forth between the context of the ancient author and that of the modern church, this is a timely and prophetic call for modern Christians to rediscover our spiritual coordinates in Jesus Christ."

— James E. Harding, Lecturer in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, University of Otago

"This gem of a book opens up Hebrews in an exciting and incisive way. As it goes through the book section by section, it brings not only its message—but the way it communicates that message—to life. Read it—you won't regret it."

—Paula Gooder, Theologian in Residence, Bible Society

"Entertaining Angels takes us on a leisurely journey through a 'tricky bit' of the New Testament. Describing the beautiful, challenging Letter to the Hebrews as 'a masterpiece of faith encouragement,' Godfrey demonstrates its relevance to any twenty-first-century Christian who may be losing heart in the absence of 'signs and wonders.' This book—underpinned by scholarship and Godfrey's wide reading in philosophy, the classics, and poetry—encourages and reassures: hold fast, we worship a Lord who is victorious."

—Lisa Emerson, Director of Teaching and Learning, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Associate Professor, School of English and Media Studies, Massey University

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