Identity and Idolatry - (New Studies in Biblical Theology) by Richard Lints (Paperback)
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About the Book In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Richard Lints argues that idol language in the Bible is a conceptual inversion of the image language of Genesis 1. He shows how the narrative of human identity runs from creation to fall to redemption in Christ, and examines the recent renaissance of interest in idolatry with its conceptual power to explain the culture of desire. Book Synopsis One of Desiring God's Top 15 Books So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27) Genesis 1:26-27 has served as the locus of most theological anthropologies in the central Christian tradition. However, Richard Lints observes that too rarely have these verses been understood as conceptually interwoven with the whole of the prologue materials of Genesis 1. The construction of the cosmic temple strongly hints that the image of God language serves liturgical functions. Lints argues that idol language in the Bible is a conceptual inversion of the image language of Genesis 1. These constructs illuminate each other, and clarify the canon's central anthropological concerns. The question of human identity is distinct, though not separate, from the question of human nature; the latter has far too frequently been read into the biblical use of image. Lints shows how the narrative of human identity runs from creation (imago Dei) to fall (the golden calf/idol, Exodus 32) to redemption (Christ as perfect image, Colossians 1:15-20). The biblical-theological use of image/idol is a thread through the canon that highlights the movements of redemptive history. In the concluding chapters of this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Lints interprets the use of idolatry as it emerges in the secular prophets of the nineteenth century, and examines the recent renaissance of interest in idolatry with its conceptual power to explain the culture of desire. Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead. Review Quotes Begin with the imago Dei. . . . Work that out across the canon, and you discover that light shines on many topics, not least the nature of idolatry. This book manages to blend some elements of systematic theology with careful biblical theology to produce a study that is wonderfully evocative.--D. A. Carson I am grateful that Lints wrote this book, and I commend it to others for a better understanding of this significant issue of the image of God and idolatry. The rich themes of the book have significant practical implications for Christians.--G. K. Beale, Themelios, April 2016 In Identity and Idolatry, Richard Lints shows himself to be an exceptional thinker who combines the sensitivities of a theologian with that of a philosopher and interpreter of the Bible. He not only speaks of ideas in the abstract but shows how these ideas forge the way we think and act. I rmend this book to all thoughtful Christians.--Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College Lint's placement of imago Dei as a main theme of biblical theology is appreciated. One cannot read the history of redemption without being moved at the inversion of mankind's purpose. Created to reflect God's glory, mankind now reflects his own humanity in dead idols. Thanks be to Christ Jesus who righted this inversion by his sinless life. Lints' warning against the modern church's own consumeristic idolatry is welcomed. May God rescue us from the unsatisfying, unfulfilling, 'plastic narratives' of our times through the power of the gospel.--Stuart Bell, Credo Magazine, June 16, 2018 This is an outstanding read and I heartily rmend it to you. Rather than treating various aspects of human nature as so many other theological anthropologies do (body, soul, spirit, mind, emotions, will, et al.), this is a thorough treatment of human identity from the angles of systematic and biblical theology. It's about who we are versus what we are.--Paul D. Adams, In Christ Jesus, November 29, 2015

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