The second-century heretic Marcion believed it was impossible to reconcile the Old Testament message of Law and sacrifice with the New Testament message of grace and forgiveness. Even today, many believers struggle to find unifying themes in scripture that can make sense of its great diversity. Dauphinais and Levering suggest that holiness, that is, love as communion with God and neighbor, is the common thread that runs through scripture. Holiness, they say, manifests itself in profuse biblical language about a promised land and a holy people, all of which reveals a holy God desiring to recreate us in his image. The authors point out that this idea is as old as the church itself and as new as the work of contemporary biblical scholars.Holy People, Holy Land is a mind-expanding journey through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The authors reveal that the Old Testament themes of land and Law, temple and covenant, all begin and end with God's gracious salvific work in Christ, who fulfills the Law, establishes perfect justice, and is the true Temple. This book is intended for undergraduate students in theology and the Bible, both Catholic and Protestant, who seek to learn the story of how love, revealed most prominently in the sacrifice of Christ, creates a holy people equipped to serve God and one another.
The Bible doesn't come with a secret decoder ring, which means that it is left to church theologians to make sense of the Bible's many intricate and overlapping themes. Over the centuries, the church has identified several themes--such as love and covenant--that have helped the faithful to better understand a sometimes bewildering book.
In Holy People, Holy Land, authors Dauphinais and Levering make the case that holiness--which they define as communion with God through love of neighbor--is the central theme of Scripture. Holy People, Holy Land will give any reader the tools to better understand Scripture by showing how a holy God desires to recreate his children in his image so that they too can be holy.
Michael Dauphinais (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is associate dean of faculty and associate professor of theology at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida. Matthew Levering (Ph.D., Boston College) is professor of theology at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Dauphinais and Levering are coauthors of Knowing the Love of Christ.
The authors, associate professors of theology at Ave Maria University in
Naples, Fla., present the narrative of the Bible in the context of God's
passion for restoring humankind to a state of original holiness. They consider
holiness-defined as a condition of balance and innocence before God and his
creation-to be the underlying theme of all scripture. As such, it provides a
paradigm for God's intervention in human affairs, unifying sacred history as
the record of God's reaching out to a world in need of grace. The authors
sidestep questions of historicity and authorship, focusing instead on the
biblical stories as reflections of God's hand in human affairs. As the title
suggests, they chart a pattern of holiness, not just in people, but in the
land the people possess. This theme builds until the final chapter, which
addresses the restoration of holiness of person and place, a future time when
"the people of the new covenant have become the righteous dwelling place of
God." Although written for undergraduate theology students and fraught with
intimidating-looking footnotes, the material is easily grasped by the average
reader and is highly recommended for Catholics and Protestants alike. (Oct.)
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