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Greed As Idolatry: The Origin and Meaning of a Pauline Metaphor [Paperback]

By Brian S. Rosner (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   214
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.36" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 2, 2007
Publisher   WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO.
ISBN  0802833748  
EAN  9780802833747  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
The first full-length study of this intriguing Pauline expression What are the origin and meaning of the words "greed is idolatry" found in Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5? In what sense are the greedy guilty of idolatry? Many different answers have been given to this question throughout the history of interpretation. In fact, a consensus exists on only one score - that the expression serves to blacken greed. Brian Rosner takes up the challenge of interpretation by tackling the phrase as a metaphor. With an in-depth study of the text from this vantage point, he concludes that the comparison of greed with idolatry teaches that to desire to acquire and keep for oneself more material goods is an attack on God's exclusive rights to human love, trust, and obedience. Rosner's work here has profound implications for theology and ethics today.

Publishers Description
What are the origin and meaning of the words ???greed is idolatry??? found in Ephesians 5: 5 and Colossians 3: 5? In what sense are the greedy guilty of idolatry? Many different answers have been given to this question throughout the history of interpretation. In fact, a consensus exists on only one score ? that the expression serves to vilify greed.

Brian Rosner ably takes on the challenge of interpretation by tackling the phrase as a metaphor, structuring his argument around an intriguing comparison to mountain climbing. From this vantage point, he offers a thorough history of interpretation of the phrase, including a study of the origin of the concept of idolatrous greed in biblical and Jewish sources. Rosner concludes that the comparison of greed with idolatry teaches that to desire to acquire and keep for oneself more money and material things is an attack on God??'s exclusive right to human love, trust, and obedience.

With this work comes a stunning, fresh understanding of familiar terms ? ???greed, ??? ???idolatry, ??? and even ???God??? ? challenging both the church as a whole and individual believers to consider the far-ranging implications of our materialistic world. The first full-length study of this intriguing Pauline expression, Greed as Idolatry has profound implications for theological ethics today.

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More About Brian S. Rosner

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Brian Rosner is Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia.


Brian S. Rosner currently resides in Aberdeen.

Brian S. Rosner has published or released items in the following series...
  1. IVP Reference Collection
  2. New Studies in Biblical Theology
  3. Pillar New Testament Commentary


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > New Testa   [0  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study   [4395  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Flesh Is A Master Of Disguise  Dec 16, 2007
Brian Rosner does much to address the sin of concealed avarice within the body of Christ. Distinguishing between what God desires for His children, and the controlling vices in the own depths of our hearts, Rosner turns to the Bible for help in shedding light on these competing agendas. This is a no-holds-barred, grapple-to-the-death for those courageous enough to admit their temptation to want the best, want more or want what is explicitly warned about in Scripture: 'the love of money is the root'. The overriding concern is for some denominations that hold to financial success and tithing as an evidence thereof to be the pinnacle of the Christian faith.

Quoting Calvin, pg 8: '...this disease (greed) is widely spread, and not a few minds have caught the infection. Nay, it is not reckoned a disease, but receives, on the contrary, very general commendation. This accounts for the harshness of Paul's language, which arose from a desire to tear from our hearts the false view.' Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians 11:307

'The idea of avarice as a religion may have been suggested to St Paul by our Lord's words, Matt 6:24.' JB Lightfoot, Colossians & Philemon p 210

The classic Old Testament parallel: 'In 1 Sam 15:23 Saul's failure to carry out the ban led Samuel, who wished to underscore the seriousness of his sin, to compare it to divination and idolatry.' p 14 Through the vast research done to trace the origin of the Pauline metaphor and what various commentators had thought of it, Rosner establishes 9 genuine types of interpretation, some resulting in 'vice lists', and others in 'household codes', and not a few in conjecture.

'Greed is idolatry' is from Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5 and is therefore a biblical-ethical warning, and none should reject this worrying tendency in their lives, if they claim to be Christ's. Denying the Father our love and trust, the saved are given to greed too easily and capitulate to idols too often. 'Greed As Idolatry' reveals the most deceptive of sins.

Interpretations as simplified in Chapter 2 are:
| Greed Is As Bad As Idolatry
| Greed Leads To Idolatry
| Greed Is The Worship Of The God Or Demon 'Mammon'
| Greed Is Slavery Imposed By The Economic System
| Greed Is Service And Obedience To Wealth
| Greed Is Inordinate Love And Devotion To Wealth
| Greed Is Trust And Confidence In Wealth

No stone is left unturned. Rosner includes concepts such as sexual immorality, violence and corruption of which greed is the root sin, able to keep us from experiencing the fullness of the blessings which are ours, in Christ.

Comprehensive in his address, Rosner queries the Old Testament, Rabbinic literature and the NT, extracting the definitive teaching of each epoch. Progressing from source criticism, to contextual application, to biblical-theological associations and then to textual criticism, Rosner plumbs the depths. Finally, resisting greed is then discussed with our backs to the wall: what's it gonna take to rid ourselves of the pervasive materialism, this despicable sin which makes man proud, self-sufficient and godless?

Here the story sufficiently ends as it began: God.

'Abraham does not consistently confess that his goods come from God, and this results in robbery and illicit gain.' p 35
 

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