Repentance and conversion are key topics in New Testament interpretation and in Christian life. However, the study of conversion in early Christianity has been plagued by psychological assumptions alien to the world of the New Testament. Leading New Testament scholar Joel Green believes that careful attention to the narrative of Luke-Acts calls for significant rethinking about the nature of Christian conversion.
Drawing on the cognitive sciences and examining key evidence in Luke-Acts, this book emphasizes the embodied nature of human life as it explores the life transformation signaled by the message of conversion, offering a new reading of a key aspect of New Testament theology.
“Joel Green takes our understanding of repentance and conversion in Luke-Acts, and indeed the whole New Testament, to a new level of methodological sophistication. He delves into important aspects of modern cognitive studies and theory as a tool for understanding human experience and concludes that repentance/conversion (rightly regarded as synonymous) must be viewed as a holistic, embodied phenomenon….Green also correctly emphasizes that conversion is not just a once-for-all experience but rather constitutes the beginning of a lifelong journey within the context of the faith community.” – David Aune, University of Notre Dame
“Joel Green offers a provocative and uncommonly helpful analysis of a subject that has become increasingly important….He opens up for readers fresh ways of thinking about Luke’s two volumes as well as the meaning of religious conversion and its embodied enactment in a lifelong journey shared with a community of others and marked by a set of sustained practices. I enthusiastically recommend this work!” – John T. Carroll, Union Presbyterian Seminary
“Joel Green offers a fresh account of conversion in Luke-Acts that is exegetically fruitful and eminently readable. Green’s cognitive approach expertly explores the communal, embodied nature of Lukan conversion and examines passages both expected and unexpected along the way. Students and scholars alike will find Green’s navigation of Luke’s narrative theology of conversion a welcome read.” – Brittany E. Wilson, Duke University Divinity School
“Joel Green shows that Luke’s understanding of what we call ‘conversion’ involves not merely a change in thinking or of opinion but an entire reorientation of life, connected both with God’s summons to his people in earlier biblical history and with a need for perseverance. This is a decisively fresh work on a vital topic.” – Craig Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary
Joel B. Green (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is dean of the School of Theology, professor of New Testament interpretation, and associate dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, The World of the New Testament, Introducing the New Testament, and commentaries on Luke and 1 Peter. He is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Theological Interpretation.
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