Posted October 7, 2014
Book: Zealous: Following Jesus with Guidance from St. Paul
Author: Mark Hart and Christopher Cuddy
Servant Books. Cincinnati, OH. 2014. Pp. 179
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
Mark Hart and Christopher Cuddy provide a contemporary look at the basics of spiritual life --- the existence of God, the purpose of man, the coming of the Savior, our response to God and our eventual goal of eternal life --- and they do so through the lens of St. Paul's epistles. With a clear, simple invitation, readers are encouraged to delve more deeply into Scripture t for answers to these timeless issues and internalize what God's truth means for them personally.
An Excerpt from the Book:
Who Are We (and Where Did We come From)?
In order to help us understand our source and identity, St. Paul turns our attention to the very beginning --- the creation of the world itself. The apostle encourages us to begin our investigation by studying our first parents: Adam and Eve (Romans 5:14)
One of the most famous verses in the entire Bible is Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." He created the animals, and he eventually made something ---or, rather someone --- who was very special to him. In fact, this person was the most unique of all the creatures God had mad. . .and his name was Adam.
Adam and his wife, Eve, were God's most prized earthly creatures, and h made them very different from the birds, the fish, and the trees. God made them unique. They were created in God's own image and likeness. When we say that something is like or similar to something else, we mean they have certain characteristics or traits in common. A daughter is said to be like her mother if their hair is the same color, their laugh is similar, or their smile the same angle. My car is like your car if we have the same model or brand or year.
. . .Adam, though much smaller and weaker and lower, was like God in some ways. They shared certain similarities, two of the most important similarities being intellect and will. God created Adam with an intellect to know truth and to understand reality. God didn't want Adam merely to live in the world; he wanted Adam to think, understand, and contemplate the things he saw and encountered. What a gift this was! God gave Adam and Eve intellects to understand truth, just as God himself has an intellect to understand the truth. Granted, God's intellect is infinitely more powerful than Adam's intellect, but his intellect still bore a certain resemblance to God's own intellect. God didn't stop there, however, He went on to give them another gift as well.
In addition to the gift intellect, God also gave Adam and Eve wills with which to love.
Table of Contents:
1. The one beyond question: who is God?
2. The one in need of answers: Who is man?
3. Words cannot express: How God and man relate
4. Losing the fake I.D.: How man relates to himself
5. Make space for Christ: How man relates to others
6. On earth as it is in Heaven: The Christian life from here to eternity
7. Choose your own adventure: The practicality of St. Paul
Where Paul went: What Paul wrote
Thematic concordance of St. Paul's writings
Resources for further study