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Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Living Through the Lord's Prayer [Paperback]

By Telford Work (Author)
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Item description for Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Living Through the Lord's Prayer by Telford Work...

Work proposes that Christians take whatever is happening in their world and set the Lord's Prayer in the middle of it to shed light on the scene, expose what matters--and then pray it. Ecumenical and evangelical in tone, the volume ends with three sparkling, joyful sermons.

Publishers Description
Karl Barth's legendary image of preaching with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other now has a matching image for praying. In Ain't Too Proud to Beg Telford Work encourages praying with a social documentary in one hand and the Lord's Prayer in the other. The result is neither a commentary on the Lord's Prayer nor a theology of prayer. Instead it is an exercise book that uses prayer to strengthen our theological muscles. Work proposes that we take whatever is happening in our world -- a political election or the latest war will do -- and set the Lord's Prayer in the middle of it. Let that prayer shed light on the scene and expose what matters. Then pray it. Then look again and see how the prayer is a response to what matters. These three movements give structure to the book as a whole and to each chapter within it. Prayed this way, the Lord's Prayer is always new and never quite the same. Ecumenical, evangelical, postmodern, and irenic in tone, Ain't Too Proud to Beg ends not with a neat scholarly wrap-up but with an open-ended "Amen" -- three sparkling, joyful sermons -- a fitting ending to Work's provocative exploration of prayer as a theological process.

Awards and Recognitions
Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Living Through the Lord's Prayer by Telford Work has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Christianity Today Book Award - 2008 Award of Merit - Christian Living category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Living Through the Lord's Prayer by Telford Work has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christian Century - 04/07/2009 page 48

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.64" Width: 5.86" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2007
ISBN  0802803938  
ISBN13  9780802803931  

Availability  0 units.

More About Telford Work

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Telford Work (PhD, Duke University) is associate professor of theology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and the author of several books, including "Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Living through the Lord's Prayer "and "Living and Active: Scripture in the Economy of Salvation." He serves as associate editor for "Pro Ecclesia "and has written articles for numerous publications, including "Christianity Today," "Books & Culture," and "Theology Today."

Telford Work has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Living Through the Lord's Prayer?

This is more about living the Christian life than it is about prayer  Nov 22, 2007
In Ain't Too Proud to Beg, Telford Work shows how the Lord's prayer relates to our living as Christians. He writes, "First, we `live through' the Lord's Prayer in the same sense that, say, America lives by the American Way. The Lord's Prayer is the Lord's way; its agenda is the right agenda for the Father's children. When we pray it, it trains us in the way of the Lord Jesus, which of course is the only true way to live (John 14:6)."

The author continually looks through this prayer as a means of grappling with current moral dilemmas. Chapter one seeks to answer the question, "What is the character of the God that we worship?" In the wake of 9/11, Work is troubled by the thought that the God of biblical faith bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the God of Wahhabi Islam. This God of judgment may not be the kindred spirit and soulmate that we imagine. Witness the language of many of the Psalms, which record the struggle of people trying to come to grips with what God does and what He doesn't do.

One of the highlights is that the author often resorts to God's triune nature in his search for answers. He likens it to a rule of the Christian faith: "Every good answer to every question about God's character appeals to God as Triune." The Trinity reminds us that God is not far off. We can address God as Father because the same relationship that Jesus enjoyed with the Father is now ours through the Son. Jesus not only prays for us, He prays with us as we say, "Our Father." His frequent insights about the Trinity are delightful and provide welcome perspective on a neglected subject.

The book is also a valuable addition to existing literature on the Kingdom of God. The book is divided into two halves: the first dealing with the coming of the kingdom and the second focusing on the righteousness of the kingdom. Underneath these broad headings, the author tackles all the subjects raised in the prayer. He takes a philosophical essay approach rather than being strictly expository or devotional.

Every page is packed with information and insights. This is not Christianity light. I found myself getting a little lost at times through the inclusion of contemporary studies that provide background and perspective. But this is the work of an associate professor of theology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Even if at times I found myself in unfamiliar territory, it's what one would expect from someone who has the experience of years of academic study. He does a fine job of showing the implications of this prayer in our contemporary setting.

Every Christian could benefit from considering the generosity of spirit advocated in "Generosity Under Pressure: or, How to Win in November No Matter What," which is one of the three sermons found in the concluding "Amen" section of the book. It's profoundly helpful and relevant as we head into another election. Work writes, "Our task is a kind of inaction: not to backslide into our old lives of frenzy, anxiety, alienation and resignation." He's not saying that we shouldn't work for change as the Spirit leads; only that we should not lose our focus. Christ has freed us so that we don't have to be dragged back into the world's way of living.

I appreciate the broad perspective and the unconventional analysis of this familiar passage of Scripture (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4). It's a book that is better read slowly or repeatedly. It will be helpful to anyone who is serious about living the Christian life.

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