A Handbook of the Christian Faith

A Handbook of the Christian Faith

by John Schwarz


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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, Pacific Association for Theological Studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764229060
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2004
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 973,285
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.86(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

1The Bible
The Story and Message of the Bible12
The Two Covenants or Testaments12
The Bible: Formation, Structure and Books13
The Hebrew Scriptures14
The Apocrypha16
The New Testament18
The Books of the Bible20
The Theme and Message of the Bible21
The Biblical Story21
The Transmission and Translations of the Bible23
Revelation, Inspiration and Authority25
Reading the Bible27
Bible Translations, Bible Dictionaries and Bible Commentaries29
2The Old Testament
The Old Testament: The Roots of Our Faith34
The Pentateuch: Creation, Fall, Election, Salvation and Covenant34
The Prologue to the Biblical Story35
The Ancestral History of Israel38
Exodus: The "Center" of the Old Testament42
Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy45
The Historical Books: The Rise and Fall of Israel46
The Voice and Message of the Prophets50
The Writings: Israel's Wisdom and Devotional Literature54
Judaism Today59
3Jesus of Nazareth
The World, Life and Ministry of Jesus64
The Intertestamental Period64
The House of Herod67
Jewish Political and Religious Communities in the First Century69
The First-Century New Testament World71
Jesus of Nazareth: In "The Fullness of Time"73
The Birth of Jesus74
Brief Outline of Jesus' Ministry77
Jesus' Baptism, Testing and Calling Twelve to Be His Disciples78
Jesus' Public Ministry82
Jesus' Arrest, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension84
Jesus' Names, Titles and Symbols88
4The Gospels
The Gospel Testimonies to Jesus92
The Gospels: The "Good News"92
The Synoptic Gospels97
Mark: The Foundation Gospel99
Matthew: The Jewish-Christian Gospel104
Luke: The Universal Gospel108
John: The Spiritual Gospel113
Summary Comparison of the Four Gospels118
5The Outward Movement
The Acts and Letters of the Apostles122
The Acts of Peter and the Travels of Paul122
The Apostle Paul: Ambassador for Christ126
Galatians: The Epistle of Freedom From the Law131
Romans: Paul's Magnum Opus133
The Corinthian Correspondence135
Paul's Other Letters138
Hebrews, James, Peter, John and Jude140
The Book of Revelation142
Why Didn't the Jews Accept Jesus?145
6The Church
A Brief History of Christianity148
The Apostolic Era148
The Church in the Middle Ages152
The Protestant Reformation157
Christian Missions to All the World168
Christianity in America175
Important Dates and Events in Christian History181
7Christian Beliefs
A Summary of Christian Doctrines and Beliefs184
Christian Theology184
God Our Father: All-Mighty and All-Loving184
The Doctrine of Creation188
Sin: The Human Predicament190
Jesus Christ: Lord and Savior192
Salvation: By Grace Through Faith196
The Holy Spirit: The Perfecter of Our Faith198
The Church: Marks and Sacraments200
The Church: Polity, Clergy Titles and Calendar203
The End Times or Final Things207
Angels, Satan and Demons210
8Other Religions
Other Religions and Beliefs214
Other World Religions214
Hinduism: The Religion of India214
Buddhism: The Middle Way218
Five Other Eastern Religions221
Islam: Christianity's Greatest Competitor223
Christian and Non-Christian Cults232
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints234
Jehovah's Witnesses237
Christian Science238
Unity School of Christianity239
Recent Religious Movements240
The New Age Movement: Blending East and West242
Do All Religions Lead to God?244
9Growing in and Sharing Christ
Growing in Christ and Sharing Christ248
Christian Apologetics248
Challenges to Christianity250
Growing in Christ Through Prayer253
Growing in Christ Through Study258
Obstacles to Growth: The Seven Deadly Sins261
The Message of Evangelism: Jesus Christ264
The Mechanics of Evangelism: Sharing the Good News267
Pascal's "Wager": Betting on God269
10Living Christianly
Biblical Guidelines for Living the Christian Faith272
How to Think As a Christian272
The Ten Commandments: Rules for Christian Living275
The Sermon on the Mount: The Christian Manifesto281
The Parable of the Good Samaritan286
Parables of Wealth and Possessions289
"How Then Should We Live?"291
Three Who Lived "for Jesus' Sake"292
AppendixWorld Religions and Belief Systems297
The World of the Old and New Testaments Map299
The First-Century World of Palestine Map300

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