This book offers a probing, insightful look at the "outsider" motif running through the Bible. The biblical story about God's covenant with "insiders" -- with Israel as the chosen people -- is scandalous in today's cultural climate of inclusivity. But, as Frank Anthony Spina shows, God's exclusive election actually has an inclusive purpose.
Looking carefully at the biblical narrative, Spina highlights in bold relief seven remarkable stories that treat nonelect people positively and, even more, as strategically important participants in God's plan of salvation. The stories of Esau, Tamar, Rahab, Naaman, Jonah, Ruth, and the woman at the well come alive in new ways as Spina discusses and examines them from an outsider-insider point of view.
Frank Anthony Spina is professor of Old Testament and biblical theology at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington, and an associate priest at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Bellevue, Washington. He speaks extensively to church study groups; for more information visit his personal website www.faspina.com
Bibliotheca Sacra "Spina is a master of narrative exposition."
Interpretation "Offers a solid challenge as to how we view God, salvation, and the human condition, then and now."
Ellen F. Davis "The perspective offered here is more than timely; it yields theological and ethical insight into the Bible as a whole. With a keen eye to literary structure and detail — metaphor, symbol, wordplay — Frank Spina goes to the heart of the texts he treats, often challenging conventional readings. A master teacher is at work here, whose lively style and lucid presentation make his fine scholarship accessible to a wide audience. This book is a delightful short course in reading biblical narrative well."
John Goldingay "Why has no one written this book before? What an excellent idea to focus on this line of outsiders within scripture and note how they contribute to God's purpose (and often show up the insiders). And how illuminatingly Frank Spina has done that!"
Joel S. Kaminsky "An insightful book that probes a much-neglected aspect of biblical theology — the pivotal role played by various outsiders in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. . . Spina is to be lauded for bringing some of the Bible's richest theological reflections on inclusion and exclusion to a wider audience."
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