"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. ”
The reasons why people are attracted to Christianity and its teachings are many and varied. In this book, Diogenes Allen hopes “to supply more of the information (pieces of the puzzle) that are needed if a person is to make more sense of the Christian understanding of God and our life in the universe.” This leads him to an approach that seeks to increase a critical but pious person’s understanding of the Christian religion. More philosopher than theologian, Allen writes for “a troubled believer,” dealing with issues and questions that emerge during Christians’ daily lives and in the course of contemplating the Christian faith. His account of theology seeks to be “as accessible as the Prodigal Son is to people without a long, technical training in theology.” He shows how our ideas of God affect our view of ourselves and our behavior. He seeks to show that a Christian understanding of God makes sense while also pointing out how Jesus’ teachings form the basis of “the widespread conviction in our civilization and beyond that each of us is of irreplaceable or of absolute value.”