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Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart: A Study in Biblical Theology [Hardcover]

By Edward P. Meadors (Author)
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Item description for Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart: A Study in Biblical Theology by Edward P. Meadors...

The purpose of this book is to provide a biblical, theological answer to Isaiah's question: "Why, O Lord, do you cause us to stray from your ways, and harden our heart from fearing you?" Transparently, the biblical answer is pervasive, explicit, easy to understand, and interrelated to every major biblical theme. The hardening of the heart is quite simply God's disciplinary punishment for the specific sin of idolatry.
Meadors' book is an exercise in biblical theology. Beginning in the Hebrew Bible the hardened heart finds rescue in the "new covenant" promises that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea prophesy. In these prohecies God promises to remove Israel's idols, cleanse the people, anoint them with God's spirit, write God's law upon their hearts, and turn the people's hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. The New Testament tells how Jesus of Nazareth activates these promises and brings them into effect in the lives of those who respond to him in faith. Paul preaches this message as well, and the book of Revelation applies this message to the historical context of the seven churches of Asia Minor, who lived with the agonizing temptation to compromise with the idolatry-laden Roman emperor cult. Meadors examines the biblical rationale for idolatry and the hardening of the heart as it unfolds in specific passages---Lev. 26, Dt. 29, Ps. 115, 135---and examines the phenomenon through the rest of the Hebrew Bible, the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and Revelation.

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Item Specifications...

Language: English
Studio: T&T Clark Int'l
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2006
Publisher   T. & T. Clark Publishers
ISBN  0567025632  
ISBN13  9780567025630  

Availability  0 units.

More About Edward P. Meadors

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Edward P. Meadors is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and the author of Jesus the Messianic Herald of Salvation.

Edward P. Meadors was born in 1964.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
6Books > Subjects > Reference

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Reviews - What do customers think about Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart: A Study in Biblical Theology?

A biblical study that is more grinding a personal axe  Apr 27, 2010
This book is written from a thoroughly Arminian viewpoint. Page 1 of the first chapter offers a number of somewhat rhetorical questions relating to the fact that God, indeed, hardens the hearts of individuals and groups. This biblical fact, the author owns, is unquestionable. He wants to know why, and then asks, "Was God's action arbitrary and unconditional?" This question, the answer and explanation of which comprises the substance of the volume, is accompanied by a footnoted comment discussing Jonathan Edward's use of the word "arbitrary" in his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" The author makes reference to Edward's statement eight pages later, and it is clear from both places that either he misunderstands the primary meaning of the word "arbitrary," or that he deliberately ascribes a meaning never intended by Jonathan Edwards: "A comment such as that of Jonathan Edwards therefore opens itself up to misunderstanding: `There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God. By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation...' Edward's point is biblically undeniable--God's power alone accounts for the salvation of the redeemed. However, the Bible nowhere describes God as exercising his power in an arbitrary manner; to the contrary, God acts in full accord with his covenant promises." It is evident in these footnotes and from the author's understanding of the word "arbitrary" here and elsewhere in the book, that it represents for him an opposing theological viewpoint concerning God's will, against which he continually argues throughout the volume. Unfortunately, his understanding of the word does not conform to its primary definition, which is the meaning clearly intended by Edwards. That meaning is, "subject to individual will or judgment, without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion." The author of this book undoubtedly sees "arbitrary" as meaning, "capricious, unreasonable, unsupported, variable," meanings which, unfortunately, are often erroneously applied to the word and which should certainly never be applied to any description of God's will. The author's first concluding statement in the final chapter is headed by the question, "Is God's hardening of human hearts in the Bible an arbitrary, unconditional, indiscriminate act?" The author's answer is "no." The context of Edward's sermon likewise demonstrates that he does not believe God's will is unsupported, variable, unreasonable, or indiscriminate. Thus, it is the present author who has misunderstood or misinterpreted Edwards. This error, plus other misstatements and erroneous definitions, sets the tone for the book. Further, instead of letting the scriptures speak for themselves or simply standing on his own explanations and conclusions, the author repeatedly makes reference to opposing viewpoints found in the writings and statements of Reformed theologians (e.g. Wayne Grudem and John Piper). These references are attempts to bolster his own stated position, but such comments actually weaken his arguments. Indeed, his concluding chapter is little more than a polemic against various theologies (Reformed, "open theism," etc.) with which he does not agree, thus detracting from the notion that this work represents a truly biblical study of idolatry.
Expand your understanding of Idolatry  Jan 15, 2010
Edward Meadors is a Professor of Biblical Studies at Taylor University. In this book he explores the role of God in the hardening of peoples hearts, through it we can come to better understand God's purpose in hardening peoples hearts, and the role of idolatry in the world both past and present. The book was well structured and showed a large array of the idolatrous practices people have fallen into over the years. The book is very readable, and refreshing because idolatry is mentioned quite often in Christian literature, but rarely is the hardening aspect touched on. The final chapter of contemporary application, and in my opinion the final chapter would do quite well as a stand alone print. I would most definitely recommend it to anyone interested in understanding not only idolatry and its role in our lives, but also the effects of it.
Idolatry, hardening of the heart  Nov 25, 2008
The book is a well disciplined treatment of Biblical theology regarding the first two commandments.

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