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Why Jesus? - eBook
Abingdon Press / 2010 / ePub
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Feeling most at home behind a pulpit, Bishop William H. Willimons deepest calling is to be a preacher and truth-teller of Jesus Christ. Willimon is currently Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke University Divinity School and retired Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, after serving for 20 years as faculty member and Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. He continues to give lectures and teach at universities around the world. Willimon earned a doctoral degree from Emory University and has been honored with 13 additional doctorates.
A study by the Pulpit and Pew Research Center found that Willimon is one of the most widely read authors among mainline Protestant pastors. An international survey conducted by Baylor University named him one of the "Twelve Most Effective Preachers" in the English-speaking world. With over a million copies of more than 60 books sold, his popularity is undeniable.
A United Methodist bishop and prolific author, Willimon (Pastor: The Theological Practice of Ordained Ministry) makes dual use of the title question, offering nuanced arguments for following Jesus (some of which subtly counter popular contemporaries who preach pragmatic Christianity) and interrogating Jesus about his personal spiritual struggles. Addressing numerous gospel accounts from Jesus' ministry, particularly the miracles, parables, and resurrection, chapters explore interpretations of Jesus both familiar (story teller, preacher, savior) and provocative (vagabond, magician, home wrecker). Willimon offers his "own meager testimony," throughout, acknowledging his discomfort with challenges Jesus makes to religious leaders such as himself, while at the same time claiming his vocation as preacher and writer, called to "help Jesus get hold of you--with nothing but words." Conversational, boxed "Asides to Jesus" provide tongue-in-cheek humor and opportunities for reflection--for example, "I confess that I'm guilty of thinking that God is somewhat like me, only nicer"--while citations following each chapter under the heading "You Can Look it Up" challenge the reader to personally engage the discussed texts. This is accessible wisdom from a seasoned theologian. (Oct.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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