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Samuel Wells explores the most important events in human history by examining six characters in the drama---Pontius Pilate, Barabbas, Joseph of Arimathea, Pilate's wife, Peter, and Mary Magdalene. Each one comes alive as Wells shows how they reflect and shape our reactions to contemporary issues such as marriage, friendship, discipleship, politics, and violence.
Through close readings of the passages, applied scholarship, and suggestions for discussion, Wells reveals how Jesus' death exposes the truth about our world and how his resurrection makes possible a new way of life. This is a book that will restore your passion and change your understanding of power.
Power and Passion was chosen by the Archbishop of Canterbury as his Lent book for 2007. It offers one chapter for each week of Lent, but it is a book that can be shared any time we need to reconsider our own power in the light of the power of Jesus' resurrection and allow our own passion to be renewed by the passion of Christ.
Number of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2006
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
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Samuel Wells vividly paints the stories surrounding Jesus cross and resurrection. We see the weakness of Pontius Pilate and Barabbas, and the compromised character of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. We discover the subtle power of Pilates wife. And in Peter and Mary Magdalene we find the true power of resurrection, bringing forgiveness and ending the stranglehold of death, thus transforming all human passion. Through close readings of the gospel texts, Wells demonstrates the significance of these characters for faith and life today. In this book, structured with one chapter for each week of Lent, Wells guides us from the deathly power that put Jesus on the cross to the new power brought by Jesus resurrection. The book offers opportunities at the end of each chapter for prayer and discussion. The Archbishop of Canterbury has selected Power and Passion as his Lent book for 2007.
Each character is discussed in detail, beginning with his or her historical setting. Wells makes sure readers understand their historical context, though, of course, he cannot take time to study the entire social system of the era in-depth. Passages of Scripture that are pertinent to the character form a large part of each chapter. How did this person view passion? What did he or she think about power and about how power should be attained? Gradually, the reader sees that a persons views about power and passion vastly affect their actions and attitudes. The stories we have heard often do the same thing; because of Peters betrayal of Jesus, we know that even the sin of denying can be forgiven.
Another important feature of Power and Passion is the discussion opportunity at the end. The wonderings are not pushy, but if considered honestly can lead to a better self-understanding in the reader. The prayers are sincere. This discussion space makes the book suitable for small group studies, as well as meaningful personal reflection. Lent is one good time to do this, though certainly it is not limited to that time.
Samuel Wells fourteen years ministering in the Church of England equipped him well to write for Christian audiences. His writing is punctuated throughout by passages from Scripture. Those wishing to make their passions useful to God will find Wells words extremely helpful. Linette Yoder, Christian Book Previews.com
Jacqueline Cassiday5 Stars Out Of 5February 13, 2008Jacqueline CassidayThis is an awesome book because the author makes clear how the human politics of the time of Jesus' passion relate to our politics today--making it very clear that there is indeed a relationship between Christian faith and politics. The author shows us how our personal faith can effect change in the world. But, he keeps to the scriptural truth of justice without getting bogged down in conservative vs liberal. The wondering and prayers at the end of each chapter provide a meaningful spiritual period to each chapter. I found this book under the category of 'drama' when looking for scripts for Lenten dramatic presentations. At first I was disappointed because there is no script here; however, one could design an entire Lenten preaching series and incorporate contemporary dialog to illustrate the main points of each chapter, and integrate the wondering and prayers as responsive reading interludes.