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What Are Spiritual Gifts?: Rethinking the Conventional View [Paperback]

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Item Number 49435  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   363
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.78"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2007
Publisher   Kregel Publications
ISBN  0825421241  
EAN  9780825421242  

Availability  147 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 11:27.
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Item Description...
In this groundbreaking work, New Testament scholar Kenneth Berding suggests that we have misunderstood spiritual gifts themselves and how they function, and thus have embarked on a misplaced search to find individualized spiritual gifts. Berding reconsiders at a fundamental level what spiritual gifts are and argues that the Holy Spirit does not give personalized abilities or enablements, but rather ministries to be undertaken.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
rethink what you know  Mar 8, 2007
a great conversation starter! rethink what you think you know. Dr. Berding gives a great deal of "food for thought" from extensive research and much prayer. I think every Christian should read this book and search the bible for himself.
God-honoring and -glorifying  Jan 11, 2007
Whether or not you agree with the premise of this book, you will most likely still gain much from reading it. I gained a deeper and richer understanding of the parts of Scripture discussed and was graced with the sincerity and reverence that Dr. Berding's writing exudes. Furthermore, this book has the potential to bridge so many divisions in Christ's body today between charismatics and non-charismatics through a better understanding of God's truth and the biblical emphasis on unity in Christ above 'spiritual gifts', that they are to be used to build up the body, not tear it down.
Gifts in Scripture  Nov 24, 2006
If one is involved in Evangelical Protestantism, one of the more common themes is the discerning of spiritual gifts. Local churches, denominations, and various parachurch ministries all encourage those involved to discover the hidden talent that God has given them (it is naturally assumed such a talent exists) and to answer the call to use these special gifts in His service. Often there will be seminars and courses offered to assist the Christian in the discernment process. So pervasive is this trend that it is rarely ever challenged or even given a second thought...until now.

Kenneth Berding, a professor of New Testament at Biola University, has in What Are Spiritual Gifts? given the topic careful consideration and concluded that the conventioal wisdom, however well-intentioned, simply cannot hold water biblically. He effectively argues that the conventional view fails to understand the scriptural context and imposes an interpretive framework that is foreign to the understanding of the New Testament writers.

After an introductory section done in question and answer format, Berding gets to the heart of his thesis by refuting the common assumptions within the Evangelical tradition concerning the spiritual gifts. Rather than special abilities conferred to an individual, he argues the spiritual gifts are to be seen as ministries conferred to the Church and it is through the Holy Spirit working within the Body of Christ that these ministries are properly conducted.

The passages in the New Testament concerning spiritual gifts are thoroughly examined and, in a careful exegesis, Berding convincingly demonstrates the weaknesses inherent in the conventional view. In the various passages in the Epistles of St. Paul that are commonly put forward to encourage Christians to discover their "special gifts", he points out the complete misunderstanding of the Apostle's actual intent in outlining the functions of the early Church. Anticipating counterclaims, Berding also clinches the argument in advance.

Berding then fleshes out his arguments by adding a richer context in which to understand the larger context of the epistles. He considers key elements in the passages (i.e., ministry and service, the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church) and gives the larger picture painted by St. Paul in his epistles so as to understand them more accurately within the more limited context that is the topic of this book. In so doing, the misorientation at the foundations of the more common understanding of these passages within the Evangelical movement becomes more readily demonstrable.

The final section of the book moves from theory to practice and examines the implications of the previous discussion and its applications within the Church. Examples of the use of the spiritual gifts within the Church are taken from the New Testament and suggestions as to how the general blueprint given in Holy Scripture may be applied today are considered. An important conclusion to be drawn is that the focus on a potential role within the Church is to be less concerned with any inate ability of our own than it is to consider where we may be needed to build up the Body of Christ.

Kenneth Berding has provided a careful, Biblical examination of a topic that is a major preoccupation of much of the Church. In a wave of classes, surveys, and various tools adopted from both the corporate world and pop psychology, he has gone back to an often ignored source of inspiration - the Holy Scriptures. In lending clarity to a muddled situation, What Are Spiritual Gifts? is a much needed antidote to the misapplications of foreign methodologies that too often cloud the topic.


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