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Does God Need the Church?: Toward a Theology of the People of God (Michael Glazier Books) [Paperback]

By Gerhard Lohfink & Linda M. Maloney (Translator)
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Item Number 139304  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   341
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.85"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1999
Publisher   Michael Glazier Books
ISBN  0814659284  
EAN  9780814659281  


Availability  23 units.
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Item Description...
Overview
Are not all religions equally close to and equally far from God? Why, then, the Church? Gerhard Lohfink poses these questions with scholarly reliability and on the basis of his own experience of community in Does God Need the Church? In 1982 Father Lohfink wrote Wie hat Jesus Gemeinde gewollt? (translated into English as Jesus and Community) to show, on the basis of the New Testament, that faith is founded in a community that distinguishes itself in clear contours from the rest of society. In that book he also described a sequence of events that moved directly from commonality to a community that was readily accessible to every group of people and was made legitimate by Jesus himself. Only later did Father Lohfink learn, within a new horizon of experience, that such a description is not the way to community. The story of the gathering of the people of God, from Abraham until today, never took place according to such a model. Today Father Lohfink states that he would not write Wie hat Jesus Gemeinde gewollt? the same way. The situation of belief and believers has undergone a shift: the question of the Church has become much more urgent. Church life is declining and the religions are returning, often in new guises. In light of these shifts and the change in his own view of community, Father Lohfink inquires in Does God Need the Church? of Israel's theology, Jesus' praxis, the experiences of the early Christian communities, and of what is appearing in the Church today. These inquiries lead to an amazing history involving God and the world-a history that God presses forward with the aid of a single people and that always turns out differently from what they think and plan.

Publishers Description

Are not al religions equally close to and equally far from God? Why, then, the Church? Gerhard Lohfink poses these questions with scholarly reliability and on the basis of his own experience of community in "Does God Need the Church?"

In 1982 Father Lohfink wrote "Wie hat Jesus Gemeinde gewollt?" (translated into English as"Jesus and Community") to show, on the basis of the New Testament, that faith is founded in a community that distinguishes itself in clear contours from the rest of society. In that book he also described a sequence of events that moved directly from commonality to a community that was readily accessible to every group of people and was made legitimate by Jesus himself. Only later did Father Lohfink learn, within a new horizon of experience, that such a description is not the way to community. The story of the gathering of the people of God, from Abraham until today, never took place according to such a model.

Today Father Lohfink states that he would not write "Wie hat Jesus Gemeinde gewollt?" the same way. The situation of belief and believers has undergone a shift: the question of the Church has become much more urgent. Church life is declining and the religions are returning, often in new guises.

In light of these shifts and the change in his own view of community, Father Lohfink inquires in "Does God Need the Church?" of Israel's theology, Jesus' praxis, the experiences of the early Christian communities, and of what is appearing in the Church today. These inquiries lead to an amazing history involving God and the world - a history that God presses forward with the aid of a single people and that always turns out differently from what they think and plan.

"Gerhard Lohfink, ThD, was professor of New Testament exegesis at the University of Tubingen until 1986 when he resigned from his professorship in order to live and work as a theologian in the Catholic Integrierte Gemeinde and its community of priests."

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More About Gerhard Lohfink & Linda M. Maloney

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gerhard Lohfink was professor of New Testament exegesis at the University of T ubingen. Since 1986, he has lived and worked as a theologian for the Catholic Integrated Community. His many books include "Does God Need the Church?" (Liturgical Press, 1999).

Gerhard Lohfink was born in 1934.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Institutions & Organizations   [1650  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Lohfink for non-seminary  Jan 20, 2008
I am reading this book after reading "Jesus and Community", also by Lohfink. I am an older student and fairly well educated (B.S., B.A.). I found the books somewhat slow going but packed full of insightful and thought provoking information. Although Lohfink's background is very different from mine, his use of scripture made it possible to stay on track with his points. I have had hours and hours of discussion and comtemplation from this study. I am in the process of redefining my concept of "church" in response to some of these ideas. I would recommend this to any lay person for serious study (if you aren't scared to pull out your dictionary and don't get alarmed if someone references ideas or texts that you don't necessarily agree with).
 
Why go to Church?  Jan 6, 2007
The author, a well-known New Testament scholar, published a study some twenty years ago entitled "Jesus and Community." That book was well-received, but it did not provide enough background to be helpful for contemporary parishes wanting to renew themselves. This book is a much more fulsome study of the entire biblical story from Genesis to the Book of Revelation, focusing on the role of community in shaping the people of God. He shows quite convincingly that the God of the Bible wants his people to give witness to their faith not simply as individuals but primarily as a unified community of believers. Accordingly, Christians who do not see the importance of belonging to a concrete parish or local church do not understand the biblical message.
 
The People of God in the Divine Plan of Redemption  Jan 8, 2003
This book communicates the author's vision of the Church and its role in the world with power and progressive clarity. Lohfink demonstrates that an understanding of the Church cannot be separated from an understanding of Israel as the people of God, the vehicle through which God brings salvation to the entire world. Using historical critical methods and his experience as a biblical exegete, he reconstructs the story of Israel, particularly its Exodus traditions, showing how the experience of Israel with God resulted in a social project, rooted in the Torah. It was a radically new form of community and worldview that stood in contrast to other nations and peoples. He proceeds to weave the story of Jesus in the context of Israel's history, connecting his gathering of the Twelve with the eschatological gathering of Israel, and portraying his death as the renewal and sealing of the covenant for the people of God. Finally, he details how the Church is a continuation of a history that began with Abraham, but now centered in Jesus.

Of particular interests is how Lohfink handles Jesus' feeding of the five thousand. He shows how the historic Church has tended to make the same mistakes as Jesus' disciples did in their response to the hungry multitudes. Lohfink uses Jesus' response to their questions to deduce how the Church must be formed in order to be more than another charitable organization or religious services provider. The mission of the Church is rather to be the new society, a locus of salvation capable of transforming the world.

Finally, Father Lohfink shares his own story, describing his experiences in the German Church from the time of Hitler to the present, including his decision to relinquish his chair as a Professor of New Testament at the University of Tubingen to join the Catholic Integrated Community and its Association of Priests in Munich Germany.

Does God Need the Church? Yes indeed!
 

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