In the Mail: I Think Someone Reads my Blog Edition

I walked up my 157.3 steps this afternoon (is it Friday yet?) and found these two books sitting at by door. Sitting? Well, laying down – lazy books.

Thanks to Baylor University for this book:

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Review

I know of no other work like this in the field of historical Jesus research. This book might point the way to a whole new approach for distinguishing authentic Jesus research. –Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University

Product Description

The Historiographical Jesus introduces a new theory and approach for studying the life of Jesus. Anthony Le Donne uses the precepts of social memory theory to identify memory refraction in the Jesus tradition the refocusing distortion that occurs as the stories and sayings of Jesus were handed down and consciously and unconsciously framed in new settings with new applications. Recognition of this refraction allows historians to escape the problematic dichotomy between memory and typology. The author focuses on the title “Son of David” as it was used in Jewish and Christian traditions to demonstrate both how his new theory functions and to advance historical Jesus research.

And someone knows how I think! From the Univeristy of Illinois:

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Product Description

The idea of the United States as a Christian nation is a powerful, seductive, and potentially destructive theme in American life, culture, and politics. Many fundamentalist and evangelical leaders routinely promote this notion, and millions of Americans simply assume the Christian character of the United States. And yet, as Richard T. Hughes reveals in this powerful book, the biblical vision of the “kingdom of God” stands at odds with the values and actions of an American empire that sanctions war instead of peace, promotes dominance and oppression instead of reconciliation, and exalts wealth and power instead of justice for the poor and needy.

With conviction and careful consideration, Hughes reviews the myth of Christian America from its earliest history in the founding of the republic to the present day. Extensively analyzing the Old and New Testaments, Hughes provides a solid, scripturally-based explanation of the kingdom of God–a kingdom defined by love, peace, patience, and generosity. Throughout American history, however, this concept has been appropriated by religious and political leaders and distorted into a messianic nationalism that champions the United States as God’s “chosen nation” and bears little resemblance to the teachings of Jesus.

Pointing to a systemic biblical and theological illiteracy running rampant in the United States, Hughes investigates the reasons why so many Americans think of the United States as a Christian nation despite the Constitution’s outright prohibition against establishing any national religion by law or coercion. He traces the development of fundamentalist Christianity throughout American history, noting especially the increased power and widespread influence of fundamentalism at the dawn of the twenty-first century, embodied and enacted by the administration of President George W. Bush and America’s reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Timely and provocative, Christian America and the Kingdom of God illuminates the devastating irony of a “Christian America” that so often behaves in unchristian ways.

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