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Fb2 God, Freedom and Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture ePub

by Ron Highfield

Category: Theology
Subcategory: Christian Books
Author: Ron Highfield
ISBN: 0830827110
ISBN13: 978-0830827114
Language: English
Publisher: IVP Academic; 1.2.2013 edition (March 1, 2013)
Pages: 229
Fb2 eBook: 1705 kb
ePub eBook: 1398 kb
Digital formats: lrf mobi txt azw

We are never as truly free, safe and whole as we are when we rest in the self-giving God of the gospel. In this fine book Ron Highfield exposes the false advertising of those who call us to find true freedom and dignity apart from an obedient relationship to our Maker

This book examines the formation and characteristics of the modern self and sets it in contrast to the self implied in the Christian . Scientific literature seldom refers to the connection between self- expression and human dignity.

This book examines the formation and characteristics of the modern self and sets it in contrast to the self implied in the Christian understanding of human freedom and dignity. When this issue is found in the literature (Highfield, 2013;Stetson, 1998;Varga, 2016), it is typically not sufficiently analysed and explained, and it is often associated only with realised dignity (in the sense that self-expression raises the level of realised dignity).

God, Freedom & Human Dignity book. Does God's all-encompassing will restrict our freedom?.

Does God's ownership and mastery over us diminish our dignity? The fear that God is a threat to our freedom and dignity goes far back in Western thought. Such suspicion remains with us today in our so-called secular society. In such a context any talk of God tends to provoke responses that range from defiance to subservience to indifference. God, Freedom and Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture. IVP Academic, 2013, Paperback.

Volume 40 - Issue 2. God, Freedom and Human Dignity: Embracing a. .God has come to be viewed as a competitor. His freedom and power impinge upon my own. His exhaustive knowledge invades my privileged inner world. The book is not a thoroughgoing theological anthropology, nor is its purpose to provide detailed theological discussions of core concepts such as the atonement, the image of God, or the Trinity.

Identity in a Me-Centered Culture by Ron Highfield and Publisher IVP Academic .

God, Freedom and Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture by Ron Highfield and Publisher IVP Academic. Save up to 80% by choosing the eTextbook option for ISBN: 9780830864508, 0830864504. Does God's ownership and mastery over us diminish our dignity? The fear that God is a threat to our freedom and dignity goes far back in Western thought. At the heart of the issue is the modern notion of the autonomous self and the inevitable crisis it provokes for a view of human identity, freedom and dignity found in God. Can the modern self really secure its own freedom, dignity and happiness?

God, Freedom & human diGnity Through the Spirit, God enables us to achieve the perfect freedom of life in.

God, Freedom & human diGnity. Embracing a god-cEntErEd idEntity in a mE-cEntErEd culturE. Through the Spirit, God enables us to achieve the perfect freedom of life in harmony with our truest identity. Finally, chapter sixteen brings all these threads together in a harmonious reconciliation where God is fully and gloriously God and we are fully and gloriously human.

82) The solution: establishing a God-centered identity grounded in the incredible love of God for .

82) The solution: establishing a God-centered identity grounded in the incredible love of God for humankind as evidenced in creation and manifested in the cross of Christ, a love grounded in an eternal relationship with God. God, Freedom, and Human Dignity is therefore a book about human identity-the self. Highfield draws on both ancient and modern philosophical and theological sources to stimulate in readers not only a new identity, but also a new passion for God in response to His love.

God, Freedom and Human Dignity : Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture.

Does God's all-encompassing will restrict our freedom? Does God's ownership and mastery over us diminish our dignity? The fear that God is a threat to our freedom and dignity goes far back in Western thought. Such suspicion remains with us today in our so-called secular society. In such a context any talk of God tends to provoke responses that range from defiance to subservience to indifference. How did Western culture come to this place? What impact does this social and intellectual environment have on those who claim to believe in God or more specifically in the Christian God of the Bible? Professor of religion Ron Highfield traces out the development of Western thought that has led us our current frame of mind from Plato, Augustine and Descartes through Locke, Kant, Blake Bentham, Hegel, Nietzsche--all the way down to Charles Taylor's landmark work Sources of the Self. At the heart of the issue is the modern notion of the autonomous self and the inevitable crisis it provokes for a view of human identity, freedom and dignity found in God. Can the modern self really secure its own freedom, dignity and happiness? What alternative do we have? Highfield makes pertinent use of trinitarian theology to show how genuine Christian faith responds to this challenge by directing us to a God who is not in competition with his human creations, but rather who provides us with what we seek but could never give ourselves. God, Freedom and Human Dignity is essential reading for Christian students who are interested in the debates around secularism, modernity and identity formation.
Comments to eBook God, Freedom and Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture
Conjuril
Ron Highfield's "God, Freedom and Human Dignity" is an excellent analysis of the problems that Christianity faces in contemporary Me-Centered culture. Highfield has a superb grasp of important historical shifts in the theological/philosophical (and subsequently popular) conception of the self. Although he deals with a number of "heady" thinkers, he also writes in a very accessible manner--always deftly illustrating the broad strokes of those thinkers' ideas, without lapsing into needlessly jargon-intensive minutiae.

His basic premise--which I certainly think is valid--is that the Christian God is seen as a threat to a distinctly modern understanding of the self. Since the Enlightenment, we have been bombarded with narratives that spur us to believe our "self" is more authentic and possesses greater dignity the LESS we permit ourselves to be shaped by the will and values of external forces (institutions, authorities, communities, friends, etc.), and the MORE we adhere to our own independent will and desires, making ourselves into whatever we choose and refusing to let anyone else shape us.

Highfield is certainly correct that this represents a sharp departure from the rest of the Western tradition, in which such a view was considered to be not only ungracious and dishonest about man's healthy attachments and reliance on a broader community, but dangerously disabling. Man should not be permitted, let alone encouraged, to withdraw into his own insular viewpoint. Any reasonable assessment of human nature and social interaction will be forced to admit that it is healthy and essential to have external influences that challenge our own independently formed beliefs and independently willed desires--indeed, that is the process of maturation, and without it, we could scarcely expect to mature beyond our beginnings as thoroughly self-centered children.

In essence, Highfield is arguing that major thinkers since the Enlightenment have instead constructed plausible arguments for insulating ourselves in that childish self-centricity--and it is from that perspective that most people today encounter Christianity's message that we must submit ourselves obediently to God's love and guidance. As a result, for a majority of people today, that message can only sound threatening--and faith in God necessarily appears like a threat to human dignity. If, in the contemporary Me-Centered understanding of the self, I am more authentic and "true to myself" the more I refuse to let my will be shaped or guided by others (including God), then Christianity's insights can only sound like they are trying to strip me of my freedom and worth.

The broader point is that, in order for people today to hear what Christianity is actually trying to convey--and hear it in the right way--we first have to dispel the false assumptions that underlie the Me-Centered understanding of the self. Perhaps we can't begin at all with Scripture or theology. We may need to begin with history, philosophy, and psychology, inviting people to first reflect on the flawed notion they hold of the self and dignity. We need to resurrect the more traditional awareness that isolation within one's own will constitutes a kind of enslavement to one's passions and desires, and a postponement of maturity and natural interactions with one's community--not the authentic act of expression or liberation it has been made out to be.

Given the extent of its focus on (Christian) God, the book will be best suited for a Christian reader who wishes to cultivate his or her faith, as well as better understand the pressures in contemporary culture that pit many against such faith. However, if they can look past the Christian language, even non-Christian readers will find much of use in Highfield's astute insights into how the modern Me-Centered self differs from pre-Enlightenment understandings (from ancient Greece through Kierkegaard) of the self. I'm greatly impressed with Highfield's ability to move swiftly and intelligibly through many influential thinkers, pointing up very useful comparisons and contrasts in terms of how they conceive of the self, freedom, dignity, and God. Highly recommended!
Alsanadar
Imagine for a moment a baby chick hatching. It pecks its way out of the shell, and eventually breaks into freedom!! Question: what is the chick free to be? That's obvious. But what if the chick decided not to be what it was created to be? That may sound foolish until we realize the rebellious chick represents all of us.

Professor Highfield deals incisively with the rebellious nature in all of us -- without adding the burden of guilt or judgment. He explains how we tend to feel trapped by an omnipotent God and how we decide to compete with him, even though we cannot. He shows us how God is not powerful, but instead is power itself. Of course, he is also so much more. All of his so-called attributes are who he is, not what he has.

Highfield explains this and more with an amazing, syllogistic reasoning comparable to Aquinas' "Summa." He connects the dots when describing the failure of the me-centered culture to satisfy in part I. In part II he lays out a beautiful picture of who God is, who we are, and the strength that comes from submitting to God's design and developing a truly, God-centered self.

"God, Freedom and Human Dignity" is a work rich with the thoughts of those who have gone before us. Highfield (with 370 footnotes) displays an incredible familiarity with what people have written on the subject of freedom from the second century to the twenty-first. However, if you stay with him, I predict that by chapter 10 (The Awakening Presence) you will get "it." (Okay. Some of you may not come to full understanding until chapter 12 - The Divine Adoption.) It is so worth the journey.

Confession time: I know Professor Highfield. I've read his superb work, "Great Is the Lord." In fact, I had the privilege to study that text in a class that he taught. I say all that to say, he lives what he teaches. That is crucial in a work like this. He is a man who know what God has called him to be, and he embraces that fully. He is a man who loves others deeply, and he is a man at peace. May his kind increase!!

Read this book and find the freedom!
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