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Many Christians are held captive by a picture of the imagination as a purveyor of false images, prone to idolatry. We live in a society fixated on images that have little or no significance. We are surrounded by models of the world that are not in touch with any truth outside of themselves. But we lack the resources to see and imagine things differently. Kevin Vanhoozer ca Many Christians are held captive by a picture of the imagination as a purveyor of false images, prone to idolatry. We live in a society fixated on images that have little or no significance. We are surrounded by models of the world that are not in touch with any truth outside of themselves. But we lack the resources to see and imagine things differently. Kevin Vanhoozer calls the church to a more biblical and premodern picture, one that sees every particular person, thing and event in the light of God's act of reconciling the world to himself in Christ. Through essays on the church's worship, witness and wisdom, Vanhoozer shows us how a poetic imagination can answer the questions of life's meaning by drawing our attention to what really matters: the God of the gospel.


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Many Christians are held captive by a picture of the imagination as a purveyor of false images, prone to idolatry. We live in a society fixated on images that have little or no significance. We are surrounded by models of the world that are not in touch with any truth outside of themselves. But we lack the resources to see and imagine things differently. Kevin Vanhoozer ca Many Christians are held captive by a picture of the imagination as a purveyor of false images, prone to idolatry. We live in a society fixated on images that have little or no significance. We are surrounded by models of the world that are not in touch with any truth outside of themselves. But we lack the resources to see and imagine things differently. Kevin Vanhoozer calls the church to a more biblical and premodern picture, one that sees every particular person, thing and event in the light of God's act of reconciling the world to himself in Christ. Through essays on the church's worship, witness and wisdom, Vanhoozer shows us how a poetic imagination can answer the questions of life's meaning by drawing our attention to what really matters: the God of the gospel.

53 review for Pictures at a Theological Exhibition: Scenes of the Church's Worship, Witness and Wisdom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Philliber

    If relaying sound doctrine to Christ’s people is part of the divinely sanctioned, apostolically commissioned tasks of a minister (e.g., 2 Timothy 2.2 and Titus 2.1), then looking for friends who can help us in this task is simply plain smart. And a friend has stepped forward to do just this in his recently published 327 page paperback titled, “Pictures at a Theological Exhibition: Scenes of the Church's Worship, Witness and Wisdom.” Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology a If relaying sound doctrine to Christ’s people is part of the divinely sanctioned, apostolically commissioned tasks of a minister (e.g., 2 Timothy 2.2 and Titus 2.1), then looking for friends who can help us in this task is simply plain smart. And a friend has stepped forward to do just this in his recently published 327 page paperback titled, “Pictures at a Theological Exhibition: Scenes of the Church's Worship, Witness and Wisdom.” Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, has pulled together this readable resource with the aforementioned goal in mind; “…it may help to think of this book as a playbook for understanding, a guidebook for helping pastors run plays. The point is to get doctrine into the lives of people, individuals and communities, and onto the field of contemporary culture,…” (13).The intended audience is clearly a wide range of readers from seminary students to practiced parsons. “Pictures at a Theological Exhibition” flows along as if the reader were walking through an art exhibit. Outside of the introductory and concluding chapters, the book moves through four rooms. The first three chapters are in the foyer of the exhibit (prolegomena) where Vanhoozer explains the importance of good theology and doctrine, the place of scriptural inerrancy, and how to practice sola scriptura. Because the author believes that what “the church needs now are pastor-theologians” (62) this three-pack set of chapters doesn’t shy away from some hard discussions about reading scripture literally or literalistically, and what inerrancy means and doesn’t mean. The next area in this theological exhibition displays the pictures of the church’s worship. The author shows how theology should feed into doxology, the place of beauty and fittingness in Christian singing, and how the “truth of the gospel must both stick in our minds and sing in our souls” (155). The heartbeat that rhythmically pulses in each of these chapters is that right “worship proceeds from right knowledge of God” (114), and conversely, we should “resolve to let our worship improve our theology, and our theology improve our worship” (120). Our tour guide then leads us into a second apartment that demonstrates the church’s witness. Vanhoozer asks his readers to step outside of their present Darwinian story into a different drama that looks at our world through the lens of Scripture, what he calls textual indwelling and canon sense. As the church moves inside this God-breathed performance “it becomes a revolutionary and reconciliatory theater” (179). Here inside this God-crafted play, were we practice new ways of regularly responding to God’s call on our lives, we are shaped and formed in virtues and disciplines that stand in contradistinction to lives that have been formed by alternative narratives (184). And similarly, it is here inside this divine drama that we shift from status anxiety to status peace, for the “gospel is the good news that, because of Jesus’ status exchange, our status before God is secure” (213). The final chamber in this theological exhibition sets out three pictures of the church’s way of wisdom. The initial portrait is painted around the theme of apologetic virtue. Since, “when doctrine fails to relate to life, it becomes an argument against the truth of Christianity” (230), it becomes imperative to demonstrate the truth of Christianity with our whole being; “To live out our knowledge of the gospel is to integrate what we say we believe with what we desire and do” (233). Vanhoozer then asks us to slide over to view the next painting, which invites us to practice canon sense by looking into, and making a proper assessment of, an illuminating example of scientism which reduces humankind to only and solely that which is physical. The final drawing sketches out the modern, unitive tale being conveyed in the contemporary academy; “What is universal in today’s university is contestability, the notion that everything that can be said can also be challenged” (287). “Pictures at a Theological Exhibition” challenges readers to examine the imaginative plotline that outlines their lives. Vanhoozer, rightly in my estimation, anticipates that many of his Christian readers are indwelling a Darwinian narrative “that only the strongest survive. This Darwinian mythos generates an ethos of conflict and competition” (135); and running parallel to this is the market fable of bigger is better and success means numbers. These shaping stories show up in Christian worship where singing and ceremony are MacDonaldized, influenced not by sola scriptura, but by sola cultura (97). This is the storied world where popularity “is next to godliness” (205); where we are “dominated by the hermeneutics of suspicion and epistemology of doubt” (153). The author’s concern is that fellow believers don’t fully recognize that there “are cultural powers and principalities at work to shape our habits of seeing, thinking and doing” (184).Nevertheless, this is not a protest book, but rather a handbook on learning to revitalize our corporate imagination to begin picturing reality through a different plausibility structure; the divine drama scripted out in holy writ and written out in the Icon of God: Jesus the Messiah, crucified, resurrected and enthroned. Vanhoozer hands pastors and ministers, younger and older, fresh tools by which to relay sound doctrine to the ears and hearts of their congregations. Not only would this volume be a worthy gift for any seminarian, but it is an essential addition to a cleric’s library. And it would be an ideal manuscript for a minister’s reading and prayer group to pore over together. I can’t recommend the book enough! Thanks to IVP Academic for providing, upon my request, the free copy of “Pictures at a Theological Exhibition” used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Reagan

    Kevin Vanhoozer is an excellent writer. He has a knack for making very complex concepts understandable. He has written many fine essays and sermons and this book collects several of them. What makes the book worthwhile is how well these essays work together to say something to us. You probably picked up on his using Mussorgsky’s Pictures In An Exhibition. He effectively explains the parallel for what he is doing with Mussorgsky. It made good sense. He also looks at how we have lost our imaginatio Kevin Vanhoozer is an excellent writer. He has a knack for making very complex concepts understandable. He has written many fine essays and sermons and this book collects several of them. What makes the book worthwhile is how well these essays work together to say something to us. You probably picked up on his using Mussorgsky’s Pictures In An Exhibition. He effectively explains the parallel for what he is doing with Mussorgsky. It made good sense. He also looks at how we have lost our imagination (he explains its good meaning) and how we must work to get it back. He describes his book as “scenes of the church’s worship, witness, and wisdom.” Like me, some of these essays will speak to you more than others, but they are all well thought out. Not a one of them seemed hasty to me. I loved how he picked up on a concept he came across called the “McDonaldization” of our society. How that exposed our day! He gave some great thoughts about Scripture that gave much to chew on. There is so much more here. I loved how he could could even tackle a narrow subject like he did in “Enhancement in the Cathedral: Power, Knowledge, and Smart Pills.” Don’t miss that one. If like theology, you will enjoy this volume. I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Daniel J. Cameron

    This book did exactly what it sought to do, to give us a picture of “the practice of biblical interpretation that makes up the life of the church” (10). Unlike many theology books, the reader of this book will not walk away merely intellectually informed, but will walk away knowing exactly what it looks like to participate in the drama of Christ. If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Vanhoozer’s writings this book may be a slow read as you come to understand what he calls the drama of Jesus Christ and This book did exactly what it sought to do, to give us a picture of “the practice of biblical interpretation that makes up the life of the church” (10). Unlike many theology books, the reader of this book will not walk away merely intellectually informed, but will walk away knowing exactly what it looks like to participate in the drama of Christ. If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Vanhoozer’s writings this book may be a slow read as you come to understand what he calls the drama of Jesus Christ and how we are all actors in this divine drama, but you will not leave confused and wondering what Vanhoozer was trying to do. I have met many people who do not see the importance of theology because they see it as a purely intellectual exercise for those in their ivory towers. Vanhoozer has done a tremendous job striking this harmful ideology to the ground with his arguments in this book. If you think that theology is impractical and you struggle to see the importance of continuing to grow in theological knowledge, then please, purchase this book and read it thoroughly. This book is a great complement to his other books such as Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2014) and The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015). I look forward to what he will be releasing next!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Classic Vanhoozer. Reviewed for TGC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joe Johnson

    In the eyes of a fair number of Christians today, the imagination doesn’t seem to count for very much—or at least that’s how Kevin Vanhoozer describes the current landscape in the introduction to his new essay collection Pictures at a Theological Exhibition. He believes that many evangelicals unfortunately view the imagination essentially as “a factory for producing images of things that are not there” (p.18). “Maybe it’s important for telling good stories at night or writing gripping novels, bu In the eyes of a fair number of Christians today, the imagination doesn’t seem to count for very much—or at least that’s how Kevin Vanhoozer describes the current landscape in the introduction to his new essay collection Pictures at a Theological Exhibition. He believes that many evangelicals unfortunately view the imagination essentially as “a factory for producing images of things that are not there” (p.18). “Maybe it’s important for telling good stories at night or writing gripping novels, but it’s not that important for theology,” they might say. When the imagination isn’t considered theologically useful, it seems like the value of analytic activities like systematic theology tend to get over-emphasized while artistic expressions like poetry get marginalized. For Vanhoozer, though, both systematic theology and poetry have important roles to play in the Christian life. He writes, “We need both the clarity of crisp concepts and the intricacy of lush metaphors in order to get sound, life-giving doctrine” (p.13). His overall indictment is that many contemporary believers don’t think having a developed biblical imagination matters. In a world where “many Christians are [simultaneously] suffering from malnourished imaginations, captive to culturally conditioned pictures of the good life,” this is a sadly ironic state of affairs (p.20). Recovering the Imagination Therefore, Vanhoozer wants to bring about a genuine renewal of the biblical imagination in the hearts of his readers. If the common conception of the imagination held by many Christians is wrongheaded, or at least incomplete, what might be a better way for them to think of it? Well, this is the kind understanding that Vanhoozer wants to cultivate in his audience: Augustine speaks of the “eyes of faith,” which comes close to what I mean by the believing imagination. Theology is faith imagining, seeing everything that was, is and is to come as related to what God the Father has done in his Son through the Spirit. (p.27) If we are successfully persuaded by him, we will begin to see the biblical imagination as “the sum total of the metaphors and stories by which a holy nation lives” (p.35). It’s a “formative” power; Vanhoozer describes the imagination as, “a vital aid in discerning fittingness—the way parts ‘belong to’ a whole” (p.24). He goes on to say, and I think rightly so, that this kind of imagination is what’s needed for the people of God to have the “eyes of faith” to perceive God at work in the world and to participate in the renewal of all things in Christ through the Spirit (p.34). We often think of the imagination in visual terms, but he also highlights the importance of the its verbal dimension, including metaphors and other figures of speech (pp.26-28). When it comes to how Christians think about the Church, a number of possible metaphors suggest themselves. Vanhoozer insists, though, that, “We need to return to the New Testament and let its images for the church continue to nourish our imaginations” (p.30). A Theological Art Gallery The title of the book alludes to the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s 1874 work Pictures at an Exhibition (p.30). Therefore, a bit of historical background is in order. According to Vanhoozer, Mussorgsky and his friend Viktor Hartmann were both proponents of distinctly Russian art and were resistant towards the “westernization” of Russian culture that they saw happening around them. Following Hartmann’s tragically young death (at the age of thirty-nine), “an exhibition of over four hundred of his works” was organized in tribute by many of his friends” (p.30). This inspired Mussorgsky to compose a musical rendition of ten of Hartmann’s pieces of art, “‘drawing’ in sound selected scenes from Hartmann’s travels and observations of everyday Russian life” (p.30). Vanhoozer writes that “The Church, as a ‘holy nation,’ should also resist westernization to the extent that it conflicts with the culture, as it were, of the kingdom of God” (p.31). He adds, “As Mussorgsky’s rendering of Hartmann’s pictures aided the cause of Russian national culture, so pictures of the people of God (ordinary Christian ‘folk’) in the biblical exhibition are there to edify the church” (p.31). As this comment shows, Vanhoozer isn’t interested so much in writing an abstract, theoretical treatise on the imagination as in sketching scenes of ecclesial life that show the imagination being faithfully used. Like the collection put together by the friends of Viktor Hartmann, the book’s chapters are organized like an artistic exhibition. After strolling through the foyer where “prolegomena” are discussed—things like suggestions for thinking imaginatively about Scripture and what it means for it to be authoritative—readers encounter three galleries: Each gallery contains various biblical exhibits: essays that depict various scenes of the church’s worship, witness, and wisdom… The first gallery focuses on the church as a royal priesthood and examines scenes of the church’s worship. The second gallery looks at the church as a school of prophets and focuses on Christian witness. The third and final gallery visits scenes that dramatically test the church’s wisdom. (p.44) A Few Common Themes There sadly is neither time nor space to dig into all of these essays. Suffice it to say that I found nearly all of them to be illuminating and thought-provoking. I do, however, want to look more closely at a few of the themes that Vanhoozer suggests can be found throughout this essay collection. These themes lend an overarching sense of unity-in-diversity to the contents of each of the books “galleries.” The first is “a common concern for the well-being and edification of the church, as well as a high view of the church’s task and the pastor’s vocation” (p.45). In his essay “What Are Theologians For?” Vanhoozer presents to his readers a number of metaphors for the task of doing theology in church communities. Theologians, like farmers working the soil, are in the business of cultivation. However, they (unlike farmers) are called to cultivate and tend to humanity (p.50). “Theologians are farmers of men and women, and the particular crop they grow is the next generation of disciples” (p.68). Elsewhere in the same essay, he compares theologians to doctors in that they are tasked with promoting the health of the Church through the good medicine of sound teaching. How does this connect to the unifying theme of the church’s task and pastor’s vocation? This can be seen in his insistence that the roles of pastor and theologian must not be driven apart (p.62). Many of the early Reformers, including John Calvin and John Knox, distinguished between pastors and “doctors of the church” (pp.60-61). Calvin, for instance, believed that Ephesians 4:11 (The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers (NRSV)) referred to pastors and teachers as separate offices. Vanhoozer notes, though, that centuries prior to Calvin, the Western Father Jerome commented on the same verse and said that “No one ought to assume to himself the name of pastor unless he is able to teach them whom he feeds” (pp.61-62). Vanhoozer aligns himself with Jerome rather than Calvin in this matter, contending that, “What the church needs now are pastor-theologians” (p.62). Another essay that addresses the theme of the Church’s vocation, and helps articulate the importance of a renewed ecclesial imagination is “Worship at the Well” (p.107). Many people can gladly affirm that both worship and theology matter, but the relationship between them is sometimes left unexplored. Following the old latin motto of “Lex orandi, lex credendi,” Vanhoozer writes: Theology both emerges from and leads us back to worship. Conversely, worship must be theological: it must reflect faith’s understanding of who God is and what God has done. Worship must also be corporate, for one of the great things that God has done is precisely to form a people. (p.119) In the same essay, he unsurprisingly turns to the role of the imagination as an important cognitive faculty in genuine worship. After all, it is the imagination itself that “helps us conceive of God in terms of rich biblical metaphors like ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ (p.115). Hence, it is far from irrelevant when it comes to integrating theology and communal worship practices. Another theme worth bringing up is Vanhoozer’s claim that, “Theology is less an intellectual achievement to admire from afar than an embodied interpretation staged by the believing community” (p.46). In his previous books (especially The Drama of Doctrine and Faith Speaking Understanding), he has advocated for a “dramatic” conception of theology and discipleship. He does the same in the essays of Pictures at a Theological Exhibition. For instance, in “Three Ways of Singing Sola,” he compares Scripture to (among other things) a script. He explains that this claim doesn’t mean that the Bible necessarily gives a “detailed blueprint” for how we should respond to every situation. Instead, it gives a metaphor for how Christians can think of Scripture’s role in their lives: The Bible is like a script in that disciples are to act out what is in Christ. The word of Christ dwells in us richly as the script of our lives. Being biblical means living by the story of the Bible—the gospel—rather than other narratives… Scripture is never more like a script than when it directs disciples in their roles, enabling them to act out the story of Christ. (p.103) These same themes come up again further on in the book in his essay “The Drama of Discipleship.” In this piece, he points out that the call to discipleship “requires a response” and that this response cannot avoid action of some kind. Hence, “There are no armchair disciples” (p.182). These things are inherently dramatic because we don’t merely read about God but are (through Scripture) addressed by Him and thereby drawn into the action (p.190). I think that Vanhoozer would suggest that the category of drama preserves the best of narrative frameworks for theology while more fully highlighting the participatory role of the Christian life. Conclusion Pictures at a Theological Exhibition makes heavy use of imagery taken from the art world. As we near the end of this review, I want to briefly shift from art to the culinary realm. This collection of essays feels like a nourishing, satisfying, and colorful theological banquet. The subject matters addressed are richly varied, ranging from the nature of scriptural interpretation to the significance of the art in the Church. From beginning to end, we see Vanhoozer employ multiple metaphors for different ways of thinking about whatever matter is at hand. In the book’s opening pages, he confesses that his overall hope is to “rehabilitate a biblically invigorated imagination as a means and mode of doing theology… as a key to healing the breach between knowing, feeling and doing” (p.10). Vanhoozer is a gifted writer, and I think he has quite successfully accomplished these aims. If you’ve never read anything by Vanhoozer before, Pictures at a theological Exhibition, being a collection of essays, might be a good place to start. I deeply enjoyed it. *Disclosure: I received this book free from IVP Academic for review purposes. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. **More theology book reviews can be found at Tabletalktheology.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rafael Sales

    Uma leitura certamente marcante, Vanhoozer sabe ser um erudito com toda a piedade e temor à Deus. Essa leitura com toda a certeza foi realizada em um momento onde eu vinha me questionando consideravelmente sobre vocação, serviço à igreja, desejo do coração e o lugar nesse mundo de Deus. Em vários momentos tive que simplesmente parar a leitura e orar, chorar e refletir sobre as pérolas transmitidas pelas mãos do Vanhoozer. Um autor que já venho tenho uma grande consideração, mas após esse livro s Uma leitura certamente marcante, Vanhoozer sabe ser um erudito com toda a piedade e temor à Deus. Essa leitura com toda a certeza foi realizada em um momento onde eu vinha me questionando consideravelmente sobre vocação, serviço à igreja, desejo do coração e o lugar nesse mundo de Deus. Em vários momentos tive que simplesmente parar a leitura e orar, chorar e refletir sobre as pérolas transmitidas pelas mãos do Vanhoozer. Um autor que já venho tenho uma grande consideração, mas após esse livro só fez foi aumentar. Vanhoozer, sem dúvida veio me ensinar sobre como servir a Deus com a vocação que ressoa em meu coração, veio me ensinar o equilibrio entre a erudição academica e as disciplinas espirituais. Equilibrio esse muitas as vezes ignorado por aqueles que se encontram na vocação de ensinar ou pastorear. Vanhoozer dá uma aula de erudição ao tratar sobre os assuntos mais complexos da filosofia, mas essa erudição limitada e guiada pela piedade e gratidão a Deus, pela obra de Cristo, ministrada pela Espírito Santo, como o mesmo diz (citando Lutero): "alguém só merecer ser designado teólogo, se antes compreendeu as coisas visiveis de Deus por meio da cruz". Assim como o nome o livro é composto de quadros teologicos, montados em 03 galerias com um vestibulo inicial. Os quadros são composições do autor feitas em diversos anos de dedicação ao estudo teologico e ao compartilhamento por meio de pregações e palestras. Antes de cada quadro a uma breve explicação do contexto e porque foi encaixado naquela galeria em específico. Antes de todo o preparatório há um excelente discurso sobre as metáforas e seu lugar na interpretação bíblica para a vida da Igreja.  No Vestíbulo, ou seja, o preparatório para a excursão entre as galerias, Vanhoozer prepara o leitor para o que será o "passeio" pelas galerias voltadas completamente a igreja: Adoração, Testemunho e Sabedoria. Ressalto o magnifico artigo intitulado: "Para que servem os teólogos?". Ao meu ver esse é o melhor artigo de todo o livro, pois ele literalmente expõe o lugar do teólogo no corpo de Cristo, o compromisso do teólogo em ser um exemplo e reflexo de Cristo na Igreja. Em meio a tantas dúvidas que sempre tive, em meio a tanta desolação e muitas vezes clamando a Deus para compreender o que a um bom tempo venho compreendendo em meu coração, o Senhor me permite ter acesso a essa preciosidade. Vanhoozer apresenta o teólogo em 6 metáforas: Filósofo, Poeta, Sociólogo, Hermeneuta, Dramaturgo e Doutor. É impossível não concluir que "estudar teologia significa embarcar em uma vocação espiritual". Na Galeria 1: Adoração, Vanhoozer chama a atenção para uma adoração que não seja apenas reflexiva ou somente intelectual, mas para uma adoração viva que vai além da mera intelectualidade e se estende à vivência. Na Galeria 2: Testemunho, após mostrar a adoração como o ponto central da Igreja, então somos levados a compreender o papel do testemunho no evangelismo, como uma vida que demostra a adoração em seu cotidiano cativa as pessoas. Na Galeria 3: Sabedoria, como a igreja se comporta em um mundo hostil e principalmente na academia, onde o cristianismo é visto como apenas mais uma perspectiva em um mundo coberto pelo relativismo. Saliento o artigo: "Aperfeiçoamento na catedral: poder, conhecimento e pílulas da inteligência, onde o autor gera uma reflexão com a questão dos desenvolvimentos suprahumanos ligados às questões bioéticas. A abordagem hermenêutica de VANHOOZER, chamada canônico-linguística, mostra que a Bíblia não apenas uma série de regras ou sistemas, mas ela revela o drama de Deus [teodrama] e como os seres humanos estão inseridos nesse atos de Deus. Esse livro é excelente, é uma pérola. Ótimo trabalho da Editora Monergismo o publicando para o português, pois provavelmente é um dos melhores livros que lerei em 2019.  Uma leitura certamente marcante, Vanhoozer sabe ser um erudito com toda a piedade e temor à Deus. Essa leitura com toda a certeza foi realizada em um momento onde eu vinha me questionando consideravelmente sobre vocação, serviço à igreja, desejo do coração e o lugar nesse mundo de Deus. Em vários momentos tive que simplesmente parar a leitura e orar, chorar e refletir sobre as pérolas transmitidas pelas mãos do Vanhoozer. Um autor que já venho tenho uma grande consideração, mas após esse livro só fez foi aumentar. Vanhoozer, sem dúvida veio me ensinar sobre como servir a Deus com a vocação que ressoa em meu coração, veio me ensinar o equilibrio entre a erudição academica e as disciplinas espirituais. Equilibrio esse muitas as vezes ignorado por aqueles que se encontram na vocação de ensinar ou pastorear. Vanhoozer dá uma aula de erudição ao tratar sobre os assuntos mais complexos da filosofia, mas essa erudição limitada e guiada pela piedade e gratidão a Deus, pela obra de Cristo, ministrada pela Espírito Santo, como o mesmo diz (citando Lutero): "alguém só merecer ser designado teólogo, se antes compreendeu as coisas visiveis de Deus por meio da cruz". Assim como o nome o livro é composto de quadros teologicos, montados em 03 galerias com um vestibulo inicial. Os quadros são composições do autor feitas em diversos anos de dedicação ao estudo teologico e ao compartilhamento por meio de pregações e palestras. Antes de cada quadro a uma breve explicação do contexto e porque foi encaixado naquela galeria em específico. Antes de todo o preparatório há um excelente discurso sobre as metáforas e seu lugar na interpretação bíblica para a vida da Igreja.  No Vestíbulo, ou seja, o preparatório para a excursão entre as galerias, Vanhoozer prepara o leitor para o que será o "passeio" pelas galerias voltadas completamente a igreja: Adoração, Testemunho e Sabedoria. Ressalto o magnifico artigo intitulado: "Para que servem os teólogos?". Ao meu ver esse é o melhor artigo de todo o livro, pois ele literalmente expõe o lugar do teólogo no corpo de Cristo, o compromisso do teólogo em ser um exemplo e reflexo de Cristo na Igreja. Em meio a tantas dúvidas que sempre tive, em meio a tanta desolação e muitas vezes clamando a Deus para compreender o que a um bom tempo venho compreendendo em meu coração, o Senhor me permite ter acesso a essa preciosidade. Vanhoozer apresenta o teólogo em 6 metáforas: Filósofo, Poeta, Sociólogo, Hermeneuta, Dramaturgo e Doutor. É impossível não concluir que "estudar teologia significa embarcar em uma vocação espiritual". Na Galeria 1: Adoração, Vanhoozer chama a atenção para uma adoração que não seja apenas reflexiva ou somente intelectual, mas para uma adoração viva que vai além da mera intelectualidade e se estende à vivência. Na Galeria 2: Testemunho, após mostrar a adoração como o ponto central da Igreja, então somos levados a compreender o papel do testemunho no evangelismo, como uma vida que demostra a adoração em seu cotidiano cativa as pessoas. Na Galeria 3: Sabedoria, como a igreja se comporta em um mundo hostil e principalmente na academia, onde o cristianismo é visto como apenas mais uma perspectiva em um mundo coberto pelo relativismo. Saliento o artigo: "Aperfeiçoamento na catedral: poder, conhecimento e pílulas da inteligência, onde o autor gera uma reflexão com a questão dos desenvolvimentos suprahumanos ligados às questões bioéticas. A abordagem hermenêutica de VANHOOZER, chamada canônico-linguística, mostra que a Bíblia não apenas uma série de regras ou sistemas, mas ela revela o drama de Deus [teodrama] e como os seres humanos estão inseridos nesse atos de Deus. Esse livro é excelente, é uma pérola. Ótimo trabalho da Editora Monergismo o publicando para o português, pois provavelmente é um dos melhores livros que lerei em 2019. 

  7. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Brilliant read - and really helpful introduction to Vanhoozer's theology for someone who had very little idea of what he's about! It's a collection of essays, lectures and sermons written across a long period of time, but was unified throughout by some key themes (which I'm guessing are the key themes of Vanhoozer's overall theology). Some chapters felt a little too scholarly, but the vast majority were really engaging - highlights were the sermons at the end of each chapter, and a chapter on th Brilliant read - and really helpful introduction to Vanhoozer's theology for someone who had very little idea of what he's about! It's a collection of essays, lectures and sermons written across a long period of time, but was unified throughout by some key themes (which I'm guessing are the key themes of Vanhoozer's overall theology). Some chapters felt a little too scholarly, but the vast majority were really engaging - highlights were the sermons at the end of each chapter, and a chapter on the ethics of taking 'smart pills' (think Bradley Cooper in 'Limitless')! Other big take-homes: - Evangelical Christians need a better 'imagination' - not in the sense of seeing things which aren't there, but seeing things that exist but don't yet appear to. The Bible isn't simply a list of facts to believe and instructions of what to do in certain circumstances (though it does include those), but a story of what God has done and is doing in the world. As we immerse ourselves in the story it doesn't just give us things to believe and do, but a new way of thinking (Romans 12.2) to see the world through the perspective of God's activity. This new 'imagination' helps us to 'fill in the gaps' when we come to situations not specifically addressed in the Scriptures. - We need theology not just to gives us terms for what God is like (e.g 'good', 'just') but to inform/transform our thinking of what those terms mean (i.e our idea of goodness or justice may be deficient compared to Scripture's definition). - Our defence of the gospel (apologetics) should align with what we are defending. As the gospel is not a statement of beliefs but a report of a 'thing done' (a 'drama'), our defence of it should not just be in intellectual arguments but primarily in demonstrations/re-enactments of the gospel. This is why the most powerful and biblical apologetic is not a set of irrefutable arguments, but a community of Jesus-followers who love God, one-another and the world sacrificially. It's easy to ignore a philosophical argument, less easy to ignore a community that truly loves one another (John 13.35).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edielton Paulo

    Que quadros, que exposições teológicas deste livro de Vanhoozer. O primeiro que li do autor, e que honra tê-lo lido. Com certeza lerei mais livros dele. Vanhoozer, o "curador teológico", nos conduz pela mão à sua exposição de quadros teológicos. A cada galeria ele nos mostra cenas/quadros concernentes à adoração, testemunho e sabedoria da igreja de forma magistral, de maneira teologicamente imaginativa, o que nos faz ver o teodrama, o drama de Deus, de forma teórica, prática, espiritual e redent Que quadros, que exposições teológicas deste livro de Vanhoozer. O primeiro que li do autor, e que honra tê-lo lido. Com certeza lerei mais livros dele. Vanhoozer, o "curador teológico", nos conduz pela mão à sua exposição de quadros teológicos. A cada galeria ele nos mostra cenas/quadros concernentes à adoração, testemunho e sabedoria da igreja de forma magistral, de maneira teologicamente imaginativa, o que nos faz ver o teodrama, o drama de Deus, de forma teórica, prática, espiritual e redentora na pessoa de Cristo (qui-rô). Livro para ler diversas vezes ao longo da vida. Não vejo a hora de lê-lo novamente. Agradeço imensamente à Editora Monergismo por esta publicação!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kwan Qi Xiang

    the sort of book you write after a successful and focused academic career, when all your key ideas and themes have crystallized and integrate into whatever essay or sermon you give.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard Mounce

    So helpful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Josh Jackson

    With this one, Vanhoozer secures himself a spot in my top 10 most influential authors in my life. Big love Kev.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Felipe

    Uma das melhores leituras de 2017. Fantástico!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Philip Tadros

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hart

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fabrício Tavares De Moraes

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sean Grogan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nate Claiborne

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Barbosa

  20. 5 out of 5

    Austin Gannett

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kresge

  22. 4 out of 5

    Landon Tilley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Keenon

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andre Filho

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paulo Henrique

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Miller

    Simply outstanding! Vintage Vanhoozer, profound, dripping with the honey of well-formed lines and beautiful word play -- good, true and beautiful, what more could you ask? The essay on singing is worth the price of the book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    J. Brandon

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joel

  29. 4 out of 5

    KJ

  30. 5 out of 5

    David

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kris

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kinsey

  34. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  35. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  36. 4 out of 5

    Andreas Forslund

  37. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  38. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Binkley

  39. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Kleven

  40. 5 out of 5

    Henrik

  41. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

  42. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Little

  43. 4 out of 5

    Yibbie

  44. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hunter

  45. 5 out of 5

    Kameron

  46. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Rust

  47. 5 out of 5

    Chris Land

  48. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wermeskerch

  49. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  50. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

  51. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

  52. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  53. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

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