"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
In an era plagued by religious conflict, the Third Edition of Gods in the Global Village directly responds to issues of social problems prevalent in the world today. Using an engaging, thought-provoking style, author Lester R. Kurtz focuses on the relationship among the major faith traditions that inform the thinking and ethical standards of most people in the emerging global social order.
This book focuses on a central aspect of that common crisis. A major assumption of this book is that all knowledge is shaped by the social context of the knower; therefore, both religious traditions and our studies of them are shaped by the context in which we construct them. The author argues that religious pluralism will be a necessary precondition of the global village for the foreseeable future. The question that faces us as a human community is not Which religious tradition is true? or even Is any religious tradition true? but rather How can we enable the various religious and secular traditions to coexist peacefully on the planet? The text supports the belief that the sociology of religion-itself a pluralistic discipline-can provide invaluable insight into the most pressing problems of our time.