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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Power, Service, Humility: A New Testament Ethic
Feldmeier, Reinhard

Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014 pp. x + 145. $19.95


Description: Since ancient times, depictions of the divine have been painted with the colors of divine power. Not surprisingly, power language became a central part of the New Testament’s understanding of God and human relationships. In Power, Service, Humility, biblical scholar Reinhard Feldmeier reads across the New Testament canon—the Gospels, Pauline epistles, and Revelation of John—to distinguish two ways in which power works. Feldmeier’s chief claim is that power based on oppression, the kind Satan offers Christ, is a far different kind of power than the empowerment that God grants Jesus in the resurrection. Further, Feldmeier demonstrates the antithetical link between worldly power and the power present in Christ-like service and humility. As Feldmeier discovers, the differences between sacred and secular power have dramatic implications for how humans handle power within the church and beyond. Power, Service, Humility provokes thoughtful considerations of both human and divine relationships with power and power’s holy place within the Christian faith.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Johannine Literature, John, Pauline Epistles, Revelation, Literature, Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches, Sociology, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, New Testament Theology, Ethics

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Review by David Briones
Published 2/5/2015
Citation: David Briones, review of Reinhard Feldmeier, Power, Service, Humility: A New Testament Ethic, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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