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Thirty years ago James Mackey wrote Jesus the Man and the Myth, which became the defining book on Christology in seminaries and universities throughout the English-speaking world. Now he has written a bold one-volume systematic theology in eight chapters on creation, fall, salvation, God, creed, code, cult and church constitution. It is fashioned out of material from two sources: (1) the major theological movements of the 20th century, which in haphazard, start-stop fashion sought to construct a theology of some of these themes in the light of contemporary cultural categories of thought and imagery, and (2) a thorough reading of the Bible as innocent as possible of the influence of theologies borrowed from Platonism. The first source yields the conclusion that nature and history provide the dominant sources of divine revelation, thus eliding the crass distinctions between nature and supernature, reason and faith. The second confirms the notion that from the opening of Genesis to the teaching of Jesus, the Bible, when read on its own terms, proclaims a creation faith: the central idea being that grace and revelation are to be found in the eternal activity of the loving creator God ever evident in evolving creation. Finding the esssence of Christianity in the lived creation faith of Jesus the Jew, Mackey goes on to shows what the Christian religion has lost or corrupted on the way, what corrections and advances need to be made in all the Christian churches, and what future the Christian faith can plot for itself in a world characterized by an increasing secular culture, by a growing interest in spiritualities without the trappings of religion, and by ever-closer encounters between all the religions of the human race. The fact that Christian faith is fundamentally a creation faith offers common ground for a dialogue of human equals between Christians and members of other religions or of none.
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