Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity
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Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity  -     Edited By: Jonathan Lunde
    By: Brian S. Rosner

Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity

Edited By: Jonathan Lunde
Zondervan / 2017 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW499824

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Who are you? What makes you, you? In the past, your personal identity would have been settled before you were born. Today, identity is a do-it-yourself project: ours is a day of identity angst. Known by God surveys the neglected biblical theme of being known by God as his children, a truth that meets our deepest and lifelong need of recognition—the key to a secure personal identity. Brian Rosner shows that embracing this identity gives our fleeting lives significance, provokes humility, supplies cheering comfort, and offers moral direction for living.

Product Information

Title: Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity
By: Brian S. Rosner
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2017
Weight: 1 pound 1 ounce
ISBN: 0310499828
ISBN-13: 9780310499824
Series: Biblical Theology for Life
Stock No: WW499824

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Publisher's Description

Who are you? What defines you? What makes you, you?

In the past an individual's identity was more predictable than it is today. Life's big questions were basically settled before you were born: where you'd live, what you'd do, the type of person you'd marry, your basic beliefs, and so on. Today personal identity is a do-it-yourself project. Constructing a stable and satisfying sense of self is hard amidst relationship breakdowns, the pace of modern life, the rise of social media, multiple careers, social mobility, and so on. Ours is a day of identity angst.

Known by God is built on the observation that humans are inherently social beings; we know who we are in relation to others and by being known by them. If one of the universal desires of the self is to be known by others, being known by God as his children meets our deepest and lifelong need for recognition and gives us a secure identity. Rosner argues that rather than knowing ourselves, being known by God is the key to personal identity.

He explores three biblical angles on the question of personal identity: being made in the image of God, being known by God and being in Christ. The notion of sonship is at the center - God gives us our identity as a parent who knows his child. Being known by him as his child gives our fleeting lives significance, provokes in us needed humility, supplies cheering comfort when things go wrong, and offers clear moral direction for living.

Author Bio

Brian S. Rosner is Principal of Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia Previously he taught at the University of Aberdeen and Moore Theological College.  He holds degrees from Sydney University and Dallas Theological Seminary and has a PhD from the University of Cambridge.  Brian is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, the Pillar commentary on 1 Corinthians (with Roy E. Ciampa), The Consolations of Theology, Greed as Idolatry and Paul and the Law. He is married to Natalie and has four children, a son-in-law and one grandchild. 

Jonathan Lunde (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Talbot School of Theology of Biola University. He is coeditor (with Kenneth Berding) of Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament and has contributed articles to The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels and the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Jon and his wife, Pamela, have three children and reside in Brea, California.

Editorial Reviews

“I have a deep appreciation for how Brian Rosner addresses the theme of the knowledge of God in Scripture. He makes it practical and relational, as it is meant to be. This work is an exegetical treasure trove full of spiritual encouragements along the way. Its message invites us, even ushers us, into the very intimacy with our faithful God that it proclaims.”
“Amidst the ceaseless clamor to “know thyself” and the constant barrage of identity politics, Rosner offers a needed corrective by looking at identity through a biblical lens. Known by God is a beautifully written exploration into the biblical story of identity. Rosner demonstrates that identity is both personal and social; it is about knowing God and, even more importantly, being known by God. Woven throughout the book is his own journey from shattered identity to redemptive wholeness. Identity is not ours to make but ours to receive from the One who knows and loves us and calls us into the family of God.”
“From the very first page, Brian Rosner succeeds beautifully in doing what few today dare to attempt. He seamlessly integrates raw personal experience with depth of biblical insight and sophisticated cultural analysis. Known by God is like nothing else you’ll read. It deftly explores the weighty theme of human identity, with one eye firmly on the Word of God in all its clarity and another on the world in all its confusion about the self. Rosner is an expert guide through beautiful and largely unmarked territories, in the end opening up for the reader a marvelous vista of the human being from the divine perspective. To know oneself fully, Rosner shows, is really to understand and accept how one is viewed by the Creator and Redeemer.”
“The question of human identity is complex, interesting, and perplexing all at the same time! What is it that makes us who we are, and what sustains us in our identity when many of our earthly markers of identity are taken from us? Much of the thinking within this area has emerged from philosophy or ethics. Brian Rosner draws the debate into the world of the Bible. In this deep but accessible book Rosner carefully lays out a biblical foundation for human identity and in so doing offers clarity and practical wisdom to a profound, personal, and intensely important set of questions. The book is deeply grounded in the practices of the church and in Rosner’s own narrative. The combination of scholarly biblical exegesis and meaningful, sometimes moving personal narrative makes this book a wonderful resource for church and academy. In the end, we are who we are because God knows us. Our identity is gifted to us by a God who knows us and desires that we come to know God. There is beauty, hope, and safety in such knowledge. Brian Rosner has given us a vital gift.”
“Who am I? The only truthful answer is “God knows!” Leavened by autobiographical touches, Rosner’s book teaches us that God knows us when our struggles with our own identity feel hidden from everyone else. Known by God is the most balanced and down-to-earth book about personal identity that I have read. It profoundly illuminates the Bible’s teaching that God fathers, owns, and remembers each of his human children.”
“Every last page of Brian Rosner’s Known by God is filled with careful, convincing exegesis of both testaments of the Christian Bible. But even more striking is how this exegesis is interwoven with the author’s disarming self-disclosure, keen pastoral insight, charitable engagement with contemporary literature and culture, and infectious zeal for gospel proclamation. It is that combination that marks this book as a wonderful example of the best of distinctively evangelical biblical theology.”
“I heard a theologian say in a public meeting that he knew who Jesus was but he did not know who he was. He needed this book by Brian Rosner. Drawing expertly on the biblical witness in conversation with modern angst about human identity, Rosner finds in Scripture the key to answering the identity question. Of particular value in Rosner’s argument is his exploration of the idea of being known by God, which is a neglected theme in biblical theology as he rightly points out. Resources found in Dietrich Bonhoeffer and C. S. Lewis also figure helpfully in his account. A book to savor.”
“In this timely and thoughtful book, Dr. Rosner provides a biblical, practical guide to understanding ourselves as God understands us. He makes the persuasive case that society’s call to “find yourself,” “be true to yourself,” and “be authentic” can only lead to human flourishing when these efforts are grounded in one’s union with Christ and God’s prior knowledge of us. This is an ideal book to place into the hands of any believer experiencing the disorientation of life’s big changes, especially when those changes involve suffering and loss. With both theological precision and pastoral experience, Dr. Rosner describes how in times of difficulty we can rest in the identity that we have as members of God’s family.”
“It’s been some time since I read a book this important. Rosner’s Known by God achieves what the subtitle claims: a truly biblical theology of personal identity. In an age of “identity angst,” exacerbated by social media and inauthenticity, people are asking the crucial question, “Who am I?” Rosner explains the question, then walks us through Scripture where we listen to the voice of God answer. Clearly written and cogently presented, this is no self-help, how-to, waste-of-your-time piece. Rosner plumbs the depths, biblically and otherwise, and surfaces with treasure. Spoiler alert! Personal identity centers on knowing that I am known by God. Don’t miss this gem!”
“What makes me the person I am? Who am I? These are surely fundamental existential questions with which we all wrestle. In his new book, Brian Rosner takes up the task of addressing these concerns in a biblically focused way. He maintains that personal identity in Scripture has to do with being made in the image of God, being known by God, and being in Christ---reframing how we think about who we are from a God’s-eye view. The result is a clear and compelling account of human personal identity that sheds new light on some of the most important and contested issues in theological anthropology.”

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