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    Pope Francis and the Event of Encounter

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    Since being elected to the Chair of St. Peter on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis has given unique shape to the meaning of the new evangelization. With his emphasis on the concept of encounter, and his stunning expression of pastoral ministry in Evangelii gaudium, the present pontiff has breathed new life into the Christian vocation to evangelize. This book brings together the voices of fifteen American Catholic scholars around the theme of Pope Francis and the Event of Encounter. Inaugurating the new series, Global Perspectives on the New Evangelization, this book incorporates a variety of approaches and questions in order to amplify the theology behind the pontificate of Pope Francis and the most recent developments in the new evangelization. Among the topics treated in the book are mercy, ecology, doctrine, culture, and the life and ministry of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The reader will be delighted with an array of perspectives that promise to give inspiration for embarking on further frontiers of the new evangelization.

    Small Church, Excellent Ministry

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    Pastors of smaller membership churches have a huge calling. They are responsible for changing the world! Rather than look at the small number of members in their congregations as a limitation, pastors should view their congregations as an elite force, able to impact their communities for the Kingdom of God.
    Small Church, Excellent Ministry is a handbook designed for pastors serving in smaller membership churches. This book will help you to conduct your ministry with excellence. Written by practitioners and professors, the information provided in this book is on the vanguard of pastoral ministry and is useful for training pastors to be leaders of their churches.

    Pentecostals in the 21st Century

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    A little over one hundred years ago the Holy Spirit breathed a fresh awakening into little communities in Topeka, Kansas (1901) and then on Azusa Street in California (1906). Over the past century this spiritual awakening has touched every country on the globe. By 2014 there were 631 million Pentecostals in the world, comprising a quarter of all Christians, and that number is forecast to grow to 800 million by 2025. This book offers a window into some of the unique features of this phenomenal movement through expert contributions from some of the world's preeminent Pentecostal theologians. It presents a Pentecostal perspective on important theological themes that pastors, theologians, and lay leaders are grappling with in the twenty-first century.

    Luther on Leadership

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    As a leader, Martin Luther shook the world. Yet, oddly enough, while a great deal has been written about his life, theology, and legacy, few authors have taken the time to examine his leadership characteristics. Luther on Leadership fills this gap by examining his life in light of modern leadership theories. This book looks at Luther's life from a variety of angles to show why he was such an effective leader. With chapters focusing on Luther as a change agent, transformational leader, adaptive leader, and more, this work will help the reader understand why Luther transformed the landscape of Europe. Examining not only his theological contributions, but also his contributions in fields such as law, politics, economics, and education, Luther on Leadership aims to give a holistic picture of Luther as a leader in many areas of society.

    Theologies of the Gospel in Context

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    Many preachers and teachers of preaching talk about the gospel; few name it. Theologies of the Gospel in Context assembles a gifted group of homileticians who think that preachers need to be able to articulate the gospel not «in general,» but in a certain time and place, in context. They consider what gospel sounds like for people under oppression, in capitalist economies, in neocolonial contexts, for survivors of trauma, and for disestablished mainline churches marred by racism. Preachers will appreciate these preacher/scholars' desire to articulate the gospel with clarity, especially since the term is so often left unexplained. Homileticians will see a new genre of doing their work as teachers and researchers in preaching: a vision that helps preaching see itself not just as an adjunct to exegesis or communication, but a place of doing theology. In these pages homiletics is more than technique, it is a truly theological discipline.

    The Global Edwards

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    In a globalized world, networks are key, whether they are networks of people, ideas, or interests. In this volume of essays on the texts and teachings of Jonathan Edwards, contributors from each continent ask questions about how the world of Edwards explains or illuminates the world of today, whether in the area of systematics, missions, historiography, politics, church-planting, or biblical studies. Such diverse discourses enrich the networks of scholarship that the contributors represent, and provide a global snapshot of contemporary research in Edwards studies. These papers were presented in August 2015 at the Jonathan Edwards Congress held at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia, where personal engagement with the topics at hand made the worldwide network of Edwards aficionados and scholars not merely a virtual aspiration but an experience in time and space. This book will not only inform its readers but surprise them as well, as they track the power of eighteenth century theological ideas in the late modern world.

    Text Messages

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    Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. We live in a rapidly changing world, a world that seems to be increasingly inhospitable toward preaching. In the face of digital technology, social media, cultural pluralism, and pastoral burnout, how can Christian preachers proclaim the gospel faithfully and effectively? This book answers that question by bringing together a selection of important voices from across North America, Asia, and the Pacific. It argues that Spirit-empowered preaching is characterized by five attributes: it opens the Scriptures, engages the culture, addresses the listener, dissects the preacher, and elevates the Savior. With contributions from authors like William Willimon, Darrell Johnson, Lynne Baab, Robert Smith Jr., and Paul Windsor, this is an excellent resource for ordained ministers, lay preachers, theological students, and anyone wrestling with the challenge of preaching God's word in a smartphone world.

    Convergence

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    Philosophy and theology are important concepts for Christians. This important work identifies how philosophy shapes theology, while also addressing various philosophical issues that arise within the Bible and theology. The hope is that this book will catapult the reader into critical thinking, while creating an appetite and appreciation for these separate yet similar disciplines.

    Empire from the Margins

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    At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were a number of smaller religious bodies that sought to develop religious and national identity on the margins–something especially difficult when the nation was at war in South Africa. This book examines rich and varied extant sources that provide helpful windows into the wartime experience of Canada's religious minorities. Those groups on the margins experienced internal struggles and external pressures related to issues of loyalty and identity. How each faith tradition addressed those challenges was shaped by their own dominant personalities, ethnic identity, history, tradition, and theological convictions. Responses were fluid, divided, and rarely unanimous. Those seeking to address such issues not only had to deal with internal expectations and tensions, but also construct a public response that would satisfy often hostile and vocal external critics. Some positions evolved over time, leading to new identities, loyalties, and trajectories. In all cases, being on the margins meant dealing with two dominant national and imperial narratives–English or French–both bolstered respectively by powerful Anglo-Saxon Protestantism or French Quebec Catholicism. The chapters in this book examine how those on the margins sought to do just that.

    Interactive World, Interactive God

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    Since the dawn of science, ideas about the relation between science and religion have always depended on what else is going on in a society. During the twentieth century, daily life changed dramatically. Technology revolutionized transportation, agriculture, communications, and housework. People came to rely on scientific predictability in their technology. Many wondered whether God's supposed actions were consistent with scientific knowledge. The twenty-first century is bringing new scientific research capabilities. They are revealing that scientific results are not totally predictable after all. Certain types of interaction lead to outcomes that are unpredictable, in principle. These in turn may lead to a whole new range of potential interactions. They do not rule out the reality of a dynamic God who can act in the world without breaking the known principles of science. God may in fact work with «the way things really are.» Human experience of God may accurately reflect this reality. Interactive World, Interactive God illustrates such new understandings in religion and science by describing recent developments in a wide range of sciences, and providing theological commentary. The book is written for intelligent readers who may not be specialized in science but who are looking for ways to understand divine action in today's world.