As the subtitle suggests, “The God of Abraham Praise,” is a short course in Christian belief. It consists of 15 lessons and three appendices. I wrote this course for my pupils who were preparing for their confirmation in the Episcopal Church in the spring of 2011. I entitled the course, “The God of Abraham Praise,” after a hymn by that name written by Thomas Olivers and first published in 1775. As the story goes Olivers was drawn to worship in a London Synagogue one evening and he heard a noted singer Leoni sing an ancient Jewish melody with words attributed to Daniel ben Judah a 15th century Jewish judge in Rome. The text was based on the 13 Creeds of the great sage Maimonides. Olivers paraphrased the text and gave it a distinctive Christian flavor.
In my faith journey I too have been drawn to the synagogue, not literally but figuratively, to understand and appreciate the Jewish origins of the Christian faith. And why not, for Jesus was a devout Jew as were all of his first disciples. I trust the reader will find in this course an orthodox statement of Christian belief. At the same time a reader unfamiliar with the Jewish roots of Christianity may find this presentation of the faith novel. I trust that Jewish readers who bear the faith of Abraham will come to understand Jesus more. And I trust that Christian readers who understand Jesus will come to appreciate the Abrahamic faith more.
The 15 Lessons are: The Name of God; The Creator; Things Visible and Invisible; God’s Idol; The Call of Abraham; The Call of Moses and the Exodus; The Giving of the Law; The Holy Land; The Birth of the Messiah; The Baptism and Temptation of Messiah Jesus; The Ministry of Jesus in Galilee; The Ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem; The Ongoing Ministry of Jesus; The Ongoing Ministry of the Church; and The End of the Age. Appendix 1 is on The Lord’s Prayer and Prayer. Appendix 2 is on The Apostle’s Creed and the Trinity. Appendix 3 is on the Sabbath and Sunday.
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About the Author
The son of a Baptist minister, I was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1977. I studied for the ministry at Princeton, General, and Union Seminaries. I have served as a parish priest for over thirty years. I have a particular interest in the healing ministry and the Jewish roots of Christianity. I am married and have a grown son and daughter.