Our Faith by Emil Brunner
Emil Brunner is one of the great systematic theologians of the early twentieth century. Our Faith was translated by John W. Rilling, and published by Charles Scribnerís Sons, NY, 1954. This book prepared for Religion Online by Paul Mobley.
The Bible can nourish us only if it is understood and personally appropriated as God's own Word. But this requires an interpreter to translate the great, difficult, strange words of the Bible into the familiar language of daily life. That is the purpose of this little book.
Chapter 1: Is There A God ?
There is an awareness of God that is not tangible or measurable, as, for example, a piece of wood. God is in a class by Himself.
Chapter 2: Is the Bible the Word Of God ?
Why does everyone have a Bible ? Why is it translated into hundreds of languages ? Brunner explains how the Bible is the word of God.
Chapter 3: The Mystery Of God
God is not domesticated and spoken familiarly about as, for example, about oneís cat or dog. The fact is that we know nothing about God except what He has revealed. In heaven we will know God, but until then we must rely on His own Words.
Chapter 4: Creation and The Creator
When we look about us, and at ourselves, we should recognize a Creator, that all we behold is creation, for man has never done anything so great. If the creator and creation are denied, or taken away, then all else fails.
Chapter 5: Godís Plan for the World
God did not plan and create the world and then walk away from it. He has a plan which we need to learn, for then we can see how we fit into it.
Chapter 6: God and the Demonic Element in the World
One reading of a newspaper and it is clear that the world is bedeviled by many things from accidents to murder. Much of it can be attributed to evil.
Chapter 7: Eternal Election
Though born of our parents, each of us comes from the thought and will of God. We are rooted in eternity. When we turn away from those roots life becomes meaningless.
Chapter 8: The Mystery of Man
As war and peace may depend upon the stroke of the pen in the hands of one government official, so your life depends upon the answer to the question, "what is Man ?"
Chapter 9: On the Goodness of Man
Among men, by their evaluations there are bad men, and good men, and that most are in between those extremes. But the Bible says that "There are none who do good". So where is the goodness of men?
Chapter 10: The Law
Civil law issued by government is the law agreed to or initiated by the people. But the law of God is given man from God, and not from man.
Chapter 11: The Ten Commandments and the Double Commandment
The commandments are for men and not God. The greatest is to love God and oneís neighbor.
Chapter 12: The Ordinances of God
Humans are favored above all animals in at least one way, that of having a free will, the ability to reason and decide. He can say yes or no to whatever he encounters. He can choose evil or God.
Chapter 13: The Promise
We know that we are disobedient and that drives us further away from God all too often. But God, in Jesus, came with a promise of forgiveness. That is the promise contained in His word.
Chapter 14: Jesus The Christ
Who is Jesus? Better than that is Who is Jesus Christ? For in Him all our eternal hopes lie.
Chapter 15: The Son of Man
Are you perhaps a true man ? Really ? The question comes from our failure to be what we should be. Jesus was the man God wanted men to be.
Chapter 16: The Son Of God
No one today knows God from having seen Him. The Son of God had seen Him before coming to earth as Jesus. He reveals God to us.
Chapter 17: The King
Who is the King ? Who is our King ? These are eternally important questions which are answered by oiur choosing our King. The King wants subjects chosen through free will and love.
Chapter 18: The Mediator
Our beliefs and actions are recorded in heaven and will be there in judgment, unless we have a Mediator with God. Through obedience our mediator pleads our case before God and obtains a clean record for us.
Chapter 19: The Holy Ghost
There are differences of opinion about the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. He has not gone away. He is alive and active. How?
Chapter 20: Faith or Despair
Despair can be a terrible affliction when it has grown to be constantly in our thoughts. The greatest of all despair is death. Is it merely death, or can natural death also be hope? Jesus answers loud and clear.
Chapter 21: By Faith Alone
Is it enough to say "by faith alone"? Or is it that true faith in God makes one ever active doing what God has stated as the best for us?
Chapter 22: Conversion
Conversion is a right about face, a daily growing in the right direction.
Chapter 23: Regeneration
"If any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away, behold all things are become new." He is regenerated a new person.
Chapter 24: On Christian Freedom
Masterlessness is slavery. Freedom is only half the story. The other half is what are we free for, and thus what is it that is chosen.
Chapter 25: Prayer
Without help from outside the world, the future of present life is dismal. Prayer to the living God has meaning, and true prayer from a believer will be heard.
Chapter 26: The Meaning Of Prayer
Prayer is indeed daring and humiliating at the same time. Yet God is our Father and waits to hear from each of us.
Chapter 27: Fellowship
Loneliness can occur in a crowd. Loneliness is solitude of the soul. It is within one's self. Other people can relieve that kind of loneliness to an extent, but it is God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, who give full relief and internal peace.
Chapter 28: The Church
The church is important for it is the army of Christ. He bought and paid for it with His own blood on the Cross. The duty is to spread the gospel, and to preserve it.
Chapter 29: The Sacraments
What do I make of the Sacraments? Many Christians have let go of them observing the Lordís Supper, for example.. However, sacraments are important.
Chapter 30: Baptism
Through the simple act of baptism Godís claims us as His own. We then become children of God. Is it that simple ? Yes, for those who believe.
Chapter 31: The Lordís Supper
When one of us dies he or she is no longer present. That is not so for Jesus. We have a commemoration of Him that helps us to remember Him and to praise Him before God. It is the Lordís Supper.
Chapter 32: The Future
The Christian faith is distinguished from all other faiths in that it knows that God is coming. The assurance of future salvation and eternal completion is the Christian faith.
Chapter 33: Afterward?
We are not prophets and cannot predict the future except for one certainty; death of this fleshly body. The Bible however tells us with certainty of Heaven for those who are believers.
Chapter 34: The Last Judgment
You and I will be judged at the last judgment. We can depend on it.
Chapter 35: On Life Eternal
Our task is to live in this faith, to be joyful, and to live now in love which is the inner meaning of eternal life.
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