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The Story of God: Wesleyan Theology & Biblical Narrative

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The author weaves together the issues of theology, the Bible, and everyday experience, to present a fresh telling of the grand story of God. Kivar.


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The author weaves together the issues of theology, the Bible, and everyday experience, to present a fresh telling of the grand story of God. Kivar.

30 review for The Story of God: Wesleyan Theology & Biblical Narrative

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve Irby

    I just finished "The Story of God," by Michael Lodahl. Right from the start, Lodahl has a very conversational tone. I believe this is one attractive feature missing form most theologies I have read. When speaking to revelation/inspiration he makes a great point that though Peter proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, and that Jesus said that he got this inspiration from the Father, Peter took this inspired truth and worked against the plan of redemption by telling Jesus to stop talking nonsense about dyi I just finished "The Story of God," by Michael Lodahl. Right from the start, Lodahl has a very conversational tone. I believe this is one attractive feature missing form most theologies I have read. When speaking to revelation/inspiration he makes a great point that though Peter proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, and that Jesus said that he got this inspiration from the Father, Peter took this inspired truth and worked against the plan of redemption by telling Jesus to stop talking nonsense about dying. This sets the table for how we can see how a divine message is interpreted through humans. In covering reason Lodahl gets into some of the proofs for God. I have to admit that while I dislike the ontological argument, he covers it well, or at least makes Anselm's concept more coherent. By the way: kudos for breaking down the theological terminology for those who may not know it, e.g. theology (Gk. Theos = God, logos = word: discourse about God). While I know this is an intro book, I wish more did this so more people in the pew would shoot for a deep book and then a deeper one. The less roadblocks people have the more engaged and involved more people will be. His coverage of creato ex nihilo and creato ex amore was condensed enough not to make one yawn but good enough to let one know why it is important. His coverage of the Omnis, in this first edition, published in 1994, made me wonder if the second edition published after the 1994 release of "The Openness of God," Pinnock et al, would read differently. Note to self: buy the latest edition. Lodahl makes sure to keep his narrative very Christocentric. His beginning the story at creation with the "let there be..." statements lands him at the incarnation and then at the crucified Lord. He gets there by Paul and John's statements showing that all that is was created through and for Jesus. The flow is wonderful. Great line here: "When the Christian tradition pays heed to the cross of Jesus, it lays to rest any notion of an impassive, omnipotent deity on a distant heavenly throne, untouched and unaffected by the pains of creation. The God revealed in Jesus' suffering with and for us is a God who is vulnerable, who shares in the pain." Absolutely beautiful. And I believe Lodahl is, like me, a fan of Moltmann and his book, "The Crucified God." These pages have the Moltmann smell, and it is very nice. Also glad to see another theologian slay "impassive" and "immutable." Under the universe as creation, Lodahl's handling of Genisis is done well. This cosmology is one about Israel's Creator who is One, not a scientific treatise about the creation. Later, when once more dealing with theodicy, Lodahl pulls a Moltmann-plus-one. In The Crucified God, Moltmann said that during the executions--in this case, hangings--at the concentration camps, when questions of "where is God" were asked, the response most fitting is that He is up there suffering with those dying, feeling the pain, betrayal, loneliness, and sadness (amen). But Lodahl really puts this in a fresh light when contrasting this with Cain's murder of Abel: God was right there pleading with Cain to make a better choice. (Amen and amen. Both the Moltmann and Lodahl references are my paraphrases.) As to his coverage of original sin: this seems to be one of the better writings on this topic. Unless I misinterpret Lodahl, he is saying that Adamic sin is residual. We live in a world that has experienced some 6000 years of sin. This sin is influential and we grow and live around this residue. Also, the ramifications of this sin live on in our DNA (this is my assumption based on what he said). If this is the case I can buy it. But the extreme Augistinian case, no. And any that suggest that I am born with sin credited to me (my interpretation), no. Ch 10: Lodahl is an open theist...gotta be. I may be wrong but I have a pretty good nose/it takes one to know one. He also does loving justice to God's immutability. In dealing with the flood and the character of God, Lodahl introduces us to the Cruciform hermeneutic. I think this is cool because this was written 20 something years before Boyd's Crucifixion of the Warrior God: all scripture has to be viewed through the person and work of Jesus Christ. If scripture deviates from this then this is an instance of man using their freewill in interpreting divine inspiration. In dealing with Christology he makes a great point in speaking the how the fathers constructed the hypostatic union: fully man and fully God, but they didnt mention that Jesus was fully Jewish. In so doing Christianity has drawn an unfortunate line between Christians and Jews so that it makes an us and them which ends up being a us vs. them. One can no more separate the man from God nor the man from the Jew. I appreciate how, when speaking of the temptation of Christ, Lodahl says that for this to have any meaning whatsoever the temptations had to be appealing and possible or else the whole thing is a sham. This aspect is often overlooked by some as though the temptation was but something the Theanthropothic saviour had to go through but could never have fallen to. The next chapter dealing with Spirit Christology was very good but had me wondering if Lodahl affirmed Spirit Christology alone (which easily leads to adoptionism). Nope, the next chapter was on Logos Christology. He made the wise distinction between these two by appealing to the hypostatic union: as fully man [insert Spirit Christology]; as fully God [insert Logos Christology]. This was very well done. When speaking to the atonement Lodahl lays out four models to contemplate: moral influence, satisfaction, Christus Victor, and the Eastern view of Recapitulation, I believe it is (from the incarnation to the ascension). Happily he ends this chapter calling on all to embrace the diverse views and live in the creative tension. I couldnt agree more. I appreciate how he places the resurrection before the crucifixion because--if I may take a stab at summary--anyone can be killed but not everyone is resurrected. It is this point that many in the west have missed having places so much stock in Christ's death, they miss the divine conformation of His life, and His Messiahship, in His resurrection. One thing I found I interesting is that Lodahl said Wesley believed we should be open to the concept that anyone, whosoever, should be able to take communion for the purpose of a "converting ordinance." I find this interesting because I wrote a paper on this concept yesterday. Lodahl's coverage of entire sanctification is the best I have yet read. Being perfect in intention and direction does not mean with no fault, it means a life grounded in the love of God and neighbor from whence all thoughts, words and deeds are begun. And we will mess it up sometimes. It is about a change in relationship, not "being." Sin isnt a thorn to be removed but a severing from God in relation; love brings us closer. [I hope I did that justice.] You really wrote a great book here, Doc. You need an audio version since someone I recommend it to is more of a listener than a reader.

  2. 4 out of 5

    dennis

    Narrative theology based off of Wesleyan thought. Basically the story of the Bible forms a giant picture of Gods story of love ....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Years ago when I went before my ordination board I expressed an interest in Narrative Theology. My definition of Narrative Theology was poor and one of the board members said it sounded Unitarian. I wish I had known about this book which blends Narrative Theology and the Wesleyan tradition. Most of the theological terms are defined in this book which makes it very assessable. I have recommended it to my current parishioners as an easy to read and thorough introduction to Wesleyan Theology.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt Wiseman

  5. 5 out of 5

    Monique Jauregui

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Hall

  8. 4 out of 5

    doug funnie

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin Taylor

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jade

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Guarino

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cari

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Blackwell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Maione

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Greene

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Bair

  18. 5 out of 5

    Malone

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arthur

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ally Myers

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ron Willoughby

  25. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Stidham

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dane

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Emmons

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Pogemiller

  29. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

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