Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Linda Woodhead

By Linda Woodhead

At a time whilst Christianity is prospering within the Southern Hempisphere yet declining in a lot of the West, Linda Woodhead deals a daring new evaluate of the world's biggest faith, exploring the cultural and institutional dimensions of Christianity over millennia.

Christianity addresses subject matters that different books overlook, for instance the contest for strength among various sorts of Christianity, the churches' makes use of of energy, and their struggles with modernity. Woodhead additionally considers the hot charismatic explosion of Christianity in Latin the USA, Africa, and the a long way East. She concludes through exhibiting the ways that those that formerly had the least energy in Christianity--women and non-Europeans--have turn into increaslingly relevant to its unfolding story.

Up-to-date, authoritative, and jam-packed with clean insights, Christianity: a really brief advent brings an unlimited and sundry topic into sharp focus


`her research is refined and perceptive.' self sufficient on Sunday

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Sample text

For other Christian thinkers, salvation does effect some change and improvement in the human condition, even if it fails to make us perfect. At the other pole of the spectrum is the minority view that salvation can result in human perfection, even divinization (see Chapters 4 and 5). Christianity or ‘the Lord’s Supper’). Their basic elements could not be simpler: in baptism, a washing in water; in the Eucharist, a sharing of bread and wine. Through baptism an individual is ‘born again’, not into the world but into the church, and not by natural birth but by supernatural re-birth.

As well as concentrating power in the hands of a few, apostolic succession helped secure uniformity of belief amongst Christians. Although ‘heretics’ might claim to know the wisdom of Jesus by direct inspiration, their ‘orthodox’ opponents could claim to be more faithful to the memory of what the historical Jesus actually said and did – since they stood in a chain of received wisdom that stretched back to him. Apostolic succession was equally important as a way of tying a developing sacramentalism to the office of a recognized priesthood.

Christianity priest was normally a person authorized to perform sacrifice, and hence to stand between the humans who offered the sacrifice and the God who received it. As Christianity developed an understanding of Christ’s death as sacrifice and the Eucharist as a repetition of this once-for-all offering, so the language of priesthood became more appropriate. Christian priests were understood to stand in a special relation to the God-man by virtue not only of apostolic succession, but because of their ability to offer His sacrifice at the altar on behalf of the people.

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