Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rethinking the Conventional View
Kenneth Berding
368 pages
Kregel Publications (October 27, 2006)

Berding puts forth a primarily exegetical argument for all thinking Christians, in order to provide a biblical understanding of so-called "spiritual gifts" in contrast to the conventional "abilities" notion. He makes a case for spiritual ministries through the exegesis of key New Testament passages.

Thesis: Charisma and pneumatika ought to be understood primarily as spiritual-ministries rather than as spiritual-abilities.

Chapters 1-3 present the basic ideas via a hypothetical spiritual gifts seminar. Chapters 4-6 discuss word meaning and its use. Chapter ) discusses Paul's concern for ministry. Chapter 8 discusses the nature of biblical lists. Chapters 9-12 exegete the four key passages (Ephesians 4:11-12; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:28-20; and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10). Chapter 13 discusses Paul's use of "grace" and "given". Chapter 14 addresses four potential objections ("the language of given-ness and having, the issue of talents, English usage of the word gift, and the role of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10" p133). Chapters 15-18 place "ministries" in the context of four broad Pauline themes. Finally, chapters 19-23 explain the implications of the thesis and make recommendations.

Those seeking to go deeper will find ample end notes and four supporting appendixes. Subject and Scripture indexes are included.


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