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Continuum International Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart

The purpose of this book is to provide a biblical, theological answer to Isaiah's question: "Why, O Lord, do you cause us to stray from your ways, and harden our heart from fearing you?" Transparently, the biblical answer is pervasive, explicit, easy to understand, and interrelated to every major biblical theme. The hardening of the heart is quite simply God's disciplinary punishment for the specific sin of idolatry.

Meadors' book is an exercise in biblical theology. Beginning in the Hebrew Bible the hardened heart finds rescue in the "new covenant" promises that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea prophesy. In these prohecies God promises to remove Israel's idols, cleanse the people, anoint them with God's spirit, write God's law upon their hearts, and turn the people's hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. The New Testament tells how Jesus of Nazareth activates these promises and brings them into effect in the lives of those who respond to him in faith. Paul preaches this message as well, and the book of Revelation applies this message to the historical context of the seven churches of Asia Minor, who lived with the agonizing temptation to compromise with the idolatry-laden Roman emperor cult. Meadors examines the biblical rationale for idolatry and the hardening of the heart as it unfolds in specific passages---Lev. 26, Dt. 29, Ps. 115, 135---and examines the phenomenon through the rest of the Hebrew Bible, the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and Revelation.

Edward P. Meadors is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and the author of Jesus the Messianic Herald of Salvation.

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Customer Reviews for Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart
Review 1 for Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 27, 2010
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Dustin Sutherland
Idolatry and Hardening of the Heart" written by professor Dr. Edwards is a truly an amazing book. It is both deep and inspiring to read. Edwards looks to answer the issues surrounding Idolatry and the hardening of the heart. As a college student it helped me better understand the destructive power of sin and how Idolatry leads to a hardened heart. After reading this book I feel that I have a much deeper understanding of the issue of Idolatry and why in the end hearts are hardened when they turn away from God. This book really helped show me the importance of the heart and why we need to protect it. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a deep yet inspirational read.
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Review 2 for Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 2, 2010
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SJohnson
Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart is a very compelling book that helped me better understand biblical theology and some controversial topics that Paul addresses in Romans. I found Pauls multiple references to Old Testament Scripture fascinating and realized how interwoven Scripture is. I gained a greater appreciation for Pauls writing and the way he was able to relate to and gather support from his audience. Overall, I completely agree with the authors conclusions and find his ideas well supported and founded on truth. Every argument had more than enough Scriptural evidence to support its ideas. Meadors really challenged me to dig deeper into Scripture and understand from every angle Pauls message to the church in Rome. I better understand that while God displayed His sovereignty in the hardening of hearts, He did it to accomplish His purposes and to demonstrate His grace and mercy.
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Review 3 for Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:April 27, 2010
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Rod Dearth
This discussion of idolatry is more a polemic against the Reformed notions of free will, predestination, and reprobation than it is a truly biblical study of idolatry. The author begins on page 1 of Chapter One by misinterpreting Jonathan Edward's use of the word "arbitrary" in his famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." This misunderstanding or misinterpretation of a common word then serves as the author's basis for arguing against various aspects of Reformed doctrine, particularly predestination and reprobation. These arguments continue throughout the book. His own theology is quite obviously Arminian and this is fine, but the constant polemics, contrasting the views of Reformed theologians (e.g. Wayne Grudem, John Piper) with his own position, detracts from his arguments. The concluding chapter of the book is nothing more than a polemical summation against various theologies (Reformed, "open theism," etc.), thus completing the picture of this book as an argument in favor of the author's personal theology.A better treatment by far, and at a more attractive price, is found in G.K. Beale's "We Become What We Worship". Beale's book is substantially longer, eschews the doctrinal arguments, and includes a concluding chapter that is truly insightful and valuable to the reader. There are no hidden agendas in Beale's book. It is scholarly, readable, and biblically thorough-going in its foundations.
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