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What We Believe and Why
An insightful, accessible, plain-spoken (and a little bit feisty) look at the Christian faith – from its Jewish roots to its future hope – beyond denominational struggles and doctrinal war.
For individuals, small groups and congregations seeking deeper knowledge of the faith and greater maturity in Christ. Includes an exhaustive “Glossary Plus” of Christian and Jewish terms, an extensive Bibliography, a detailed Index, and a little Humor in the back.
The Christian faith—the basics and much more. In this sweeping and careful account of the essentials and non-essentials of the faith, Dr. George Koch lays out the foundation of what Christians believe, why they believe it, and how the Bible calls them to live with each other and the world. This begins with understanding “being saved,” through learning to live and love like Jesus (it’s hard!), and the content of eternal life with Him.
The profound Jewish roots of the faith are revealed and explained, along with the deep meaning of the Hebrew and Greek behind the words of the Old and New Testaments. The true purpose of prayer is explored in some surprising ways, across denominations and history. Then the nature of God’s love is looked at—with its ability to burst open prisons of the heart and mind. And obedience: What does God expect from us, and how can we fulfill it?
Next is covenant—the very way of God with Abraham, Moses, Jesus and us—like a marriage: intimate, caring, protected. Then on through issues of the Holy Spirit, peace, mercy, heresy (it’s probably not what you think!), the Trinity, and Bible authority.
Koch then examines how competing religious concepts arose in the Church, and how these are often used—against the explicit commands of Jesus—to drive apart believers. He sets forth several specific and biblical steps that opposing Christian groups and individuals can take to begin to embody the unity that Jesus desired of His followers—to find true reconciliation with God and with each other.
The journey of this book is a challenging one, but can help Christians learn to refocus on the love of God, neighbor and enemy that Jesus taught, rather than differences over concepts about God and the Church. The true purpose of the Christian life is not merely to know more about God, but to know God more
Praise for "What We Believe and Why"
"I read one or two books a week, and for me What We Believe and Why has become my breakthrough book of the year! The Holy Spirit spoke powerfully to me through its pages. Some chapters were helpful reminders stated in a fresh manner; others were totally new insights. Fortunately, George Koch writes in such a way that not only his fellow theologians can understand, but also plumbers, bus drivers and even individuals like me."
Dr. David R. Mains
Director, Mainstay Ministries
The following is from an email sent by the author, John H. Armstrong, to a friend (and later forwarded to Byron Arts):
"I have THE book for you... It is called What We Believe and Why... [George Koch] is Anglican, catholic, orthodox, evangelical, insightful, helpful, readable, etc. In fact, the book is a primer that ordinary folks can read and...it has a great glossary so people do not get lost in terms, etc. The cover says that the book 'is insightful, accessible, plain-spoken and a little feisty.' That is a perfect description. It [does not] require anyone to be an Anglican to treasure his work and his insights. Honestly, I've not seen a book like it and will be promoting it soon on my blog site...If I were pastoring this is what I would use, hands down."
John H. Armstrong
Adjunct professor of evangelism, Wheaton College Graduate School; author; former pastor and church-planter
"In his action-centered, unique, challenging, and informative primer on 'What We Believe and Why,' or 'What Matters Most and What Doesn't,' George Koch lays out the basics and origins for belief that is Christian. In that well-reasoned effort he addresses a Hebraic mindset that preventively, remedially, and practically reduces distortions in Western Christianity. How can one overestimate the value of the Hebraic mindset that shapes Old Testament writings and underpins the theology and life of the earliest and later Church? …Here, we are shown "how to reconcile, respect, and protect each other as believers, even across great divides;" mindset trumps method and faith is deepened; relationship with God is connected, committed, and creative; the essence of theology that is Christian is clear and compelling; and the journey is enjoyable and challenging!"
Dr. Wesley M. Pinkham
Dean of Doctoral Studies, The King's University