Zondervan Counterpoints Series

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Posts 21
Zachary Bricker | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Nov 26 2018 11:27 AM

Anyone read and/or utilize books in this series? Do you find them helpful? The Cyber Monday sale peeked my interest as a potentially useful resource to get the 30,000 ft view of an area of interest. 

Posts 479
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 26 2018 11:51 AM

Yes.

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Zachary Bricker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 26 2018 2:29 PM

Bump, hoping to get some insight on this series. Thanks

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 26 2018 2:58 PM

Zachary Bricker:

Bump, hoping to get some insight on this series. Thanks

I have read six of the books in this series:

  • Four views on the Book of Revelation
  • Understanding Four Views of Baptism
  • Four Views on Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology
  • Four Views on Eternal Security
  • Show Them No Mercy
  • Five Views on Law and Gospel

I find them very helpful for a number of reasons:

  1. Different points of view are presented by people who are knowledgeable in those areas and are able to communicate this point of view clearly (on most occasions!)
  2. This nearly always exposes me to details of different perspectives that I wasn't familiar with before
  3. The way in which the different writers engage with and critique each other's views is also helpful

As a good way of getting quick insights into a range of different views on a topic I find them very useful.

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Zachary Bricker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 26 2018 3:03 PM

Thank you Graham 

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 26 2018 4:12 PM

I've read:

1.  Four views on the Book of Revelation.

2.  Understanding Four Views of Baptism

3.  Four Views on Eternal Security

4.  Remarriage After Divorce in Today's Church

5.  Five Views on Biblical Inerracy

6.  Four Views on the Role of Works at the Final Judgement

7.  Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper

As Graham mentioned, they are "a good way of getting quick insights into a range of different views on a topic."  I really enjoyed the one on Remarriae After Divorce.  I read that along with "...And Marries Another: Divorce and Remarriage in the Teaching of the New Testament" by Craig S. Keener.

You don't have to agree with any view to learn something new and enlightening, regardless of your own views on any topic they present.

DAL 

Posts 497
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 26 2018 6:00 PM

Zachary Bricker:

Anyone read and/or utilize books in this series? Do you find them helpful? The Cyber Monday sale peeked my interest as a potentially useful resource to get the 30,000 ft view of an area of interest. 

These books are basically your second Bible. They're a great resource to decide for yourself what major and minor tenants of the faith are true.

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Bill Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 26 2018 8:52 PM

Greg Masone:

These books are basically your second Bible. They're a great resource to decide for yourself what major and minor tenants of the faith are true.

Sigh. Your recommendation led to (yet) another purchase during an expensive season to be a Logos Bible Software user. Thanks!

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Zachary Bricker | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 27 2018 4:03 AM

I made the purchase, thank you all!

Posts 497
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 27 2018 8:59 AM

Bill Anderson:
Sigh. Your recommendation led to (yet) another purchase during an expensive season to be a Logos Bible Software user. Thanks!

Ha! That's funny! I made it kinda tongue-in-cheek though! But you're welcome, and yeah, its been an expensive season for Logos!

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David A Egolf | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 27 2018 2:05 PM

Zondervan does a good job of organizing their production.  Dr. Wayne Grudem explained the process in the forward (or introduction) to the volume he edited.  Adherents to the different points of view are enlisted in order to have credible proponents holding up each viewpoint.  Then, Zondervan puts them all up in a hotel so that they can caucus.  The idea of the common meetings is so that they are addressing each viewpoint at an equivalent level.  That way the multiple views are presented in a way which should produce comparable results.  Finally, each author is allowed to write a rebuttle for each of the other views.  The resulting books are quite good.

Dr. Grudem said that the group of contributors toyed with the idea of telling the Zondervan reps at the end of the caucus week that they had all coalesced to a single viewpoint!  Big Smile

Posts 497
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 7:18 PM

Does it ever bother anyone that the onus of deciding what is true about the Christian faith is placed on every single individual believer?

Like, we all have our reasons for believing after, say, Calvin, or Wesley, or Luther, or anyone else, but at the end of the day, how do we know which one is really right? These books are nice in that they present to us the different viewpoints on a certain theological topic within Christianity, but they still leave it up to the individual to decide what to believe.

In a way, thats basically a form of relativism. Each individual Christian decides for themselves what they want to believe and no one else really has any authority to dispute that.

Doesn't that bother people?

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 7:36 PM

Greg Masone:

Does it ever bother anyone that the onus of deciding what is true about the Christian faith is placed on every single individual believer?

Like, we all have our reasons for believing after, say, Calvin, or Wesley, or Luther, or anyone else, but at the end of the day, how do we know which one is really right? These books are nice in that they present to us the different viewpoints on a certain theological topic within Christianity, but they still leave it up to the individual to decide what to believe.

In a way, thats basically a form of relativism. Each individual Christian decides for themselves what they want to believe and no one else really has any authority to dispute that.

Doesn't that bother people?

It seems that way when you focus on the details of specific positions and their differences. When you look at the broader picture of the main points we believe, there are huge areas of agreement that can be considered essentially settled. In this specific series, for example, look at the volume on sanctification. There are lots of different positions, but quite often the writers conclude, "But we do broadly agree about this." Christians have more in common than they think.

Personally, I'm okay with some uncertainty that's not resolved prior to the eschaton. The alternatives to individual variation in belief are even less desirable.

Getting back to the topic (and the forum guidelines), I like this series; I have many volumes in print. Reading them, however, I've often reached the end of the chapter and thought, "Why didn't you bring up X, Y, Z? They would have made your position stronger and clearer." But that could just be me being picky as I tend to always want everything to be as comprehensive as possible.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 7:40 PM

Greg Masone:
Does it ever bother anyone that the onus of deciding what is true about the Christian faith is placed on every single individual believer?

You're drifting into theological topics inappropriate for the forums. And, to answer your question, your question arises only if you believe particular theological assertions that are not particularly broadly accepted. It would bother me if I believed enough of the assumptions behind it to consider it a distinct possibility.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 497
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 11:19 PM

Well, we're Catholic so we don't have the same problems that arise among our Protestant brethren. 

I don't like theological buffet lines, so I wouldn't recommend these books with the intent to figure out whether the chicken or the beef is the better choice. I somewhat regret not making my earlier tongue-in-cheek comment more obvious. Sorry Mr. Anderson!

A much better choice for a "second Bible" would be the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The authors of the ZCS don't compare well to the apostles and their successors. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Posts 1113
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 11:29 PM

Greg Masone:

Well, we're Catholic so we don't have the same problems that arise among our Protestant brethren. 

I don't like theological buffet lines, so I wouldn't recommend these books with the intent to figure out whether the chicken or the beef is the better choice. I somewhat regret not making my earlier tongue-in-cheek comment more obvious. Sorry Mr. Anderson!

A much better choice for a "second Bible" would be the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The authors of the ZCS don't compare well to the apostles and their successors. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Ah. I didn't see the earlier post. So it's that sort of denominational dig rather than an honest, though off topic, query. Definitely way out of bounds of the forum guidelines and in very poor taste.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 12:00 AM

Greg Masone:
Well, we're Catholic so we don't have the same problems that arise among our Protestant brethren. 

Greg .... I have spent years trying to get forum users to recognize that it is NOT appropriate to make digs at Catholics, Orthodox, Mormons, Bereans, Christian Scientists, Muslims, Buddhists or whatever is the whipping boy of the poster. I do not wish to be in a "we" that violates this basic principle on the forums. In the forums, it is not appropriate to make digs at others - regardless of the humor intended. We have enough different flavors of English and enough second-language speakers that humor is often missed. 

For new members who may not know: my grandfather was a Church of Christ pastor, my grandmother was a Finnish (Pietist) Lutheran, my great grandmother was Irish Catholic, my great great grandfather was a Congregational abolitionist pastor, my father's family was what I nicknamed "Amish escapees", one ancestor was killed as a Salem witch, another was kicked out of the Boston Colony for inappropriate teaching ... my family has plenty of reasons to be intolerant of intolerance.

 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 958
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 2:45 AM

MJ. Smith:

Greg Masone:
Well, we're Catholic so we don't have the same problems that arise among our Protestant brethren. 

Greg .... I have spent years trying to get forum users to recognize that it is NOT appropriate to make digs at Catholics, Orthodox, Mormons, Bereans, Christian Scientists, Muslims, Buddhists or whatever is the whipping boy of the poster. I do not wish to be in a "we" that violates this basic principle on the forums. In the forums, it is not appropriate to make digs at others - regardless of the humor intended. We have enough different flavors of English and enough second-language speakers that humor is often missed. 

For new members who may not know: my grandfather was a Church of Christ pastor, my grandmother was a Finnish (Pietist) Lutheran, my great grandmother was Irish Catholic, my great great grandfather was a Congregational abolitionist pastor, my father's family was what I nicknamed "Amish escapees", one ancestor was killed as a Salem witch, another was kicked out of the Boston Colony for inappropriate teaching ... my family has plenty of reasons to be intolerant of intolerance.

 

Wow! I believe there were only 20 actually executed at Salem, so that's quite some back story.

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