Archives for May 2013

The Weekly Hit List: May 31, 2013

On Gods SideJim Wallis, author of On God’s Side, was interviewed by Sarah van Gelder for YES! Magazine.

van Gelder: If you could suggest one thing to a YES! reader that they could do to reach out to people who are ideologically very different than they are, what would you say?

Wallis: The first thing I would say to a YES! reader is, religion has no monopoly on morality. We need all of us in this conversation. I want to speak to the genuine fears that secular activists may have of religious communities, because there have been people wanting to impose their religious agenda on the country using political power.

I fought my whole life against religious fundamentalists, but there also are secular fundamentalists who don’t want people of faith around, and who can be as narrow as the religious fundamentalists.

“So let’s talk about a common ground for the common good, including people of faith, people who are spiritual but not religious, or secular but with moral sensibilities. I want to get over our fear of each other and embrace each other’s best moral values and find where we can work together.”

Read the rest of the “Meet the Refreshing Evangelical Who’s Leading a Revival—of ‘the Common Good’” here.

 

More On God’s Side media:

“Jim Wallis, Frank Wolf Discuss How Politics Can Serve the Common Good” in The Christian Post

“The Common Good, The Planet, and Humankind” by Joanne Boyer for Wisdom Voices

“Common Ground for the Common Good” by Gary Manning

“Helping the Poor in the Concrete” by  Faith McDonnell for Juicy Ecumenism

 

In Case You Missed It:

We are holding a summer book giveaway for one lucky reader to win five Brazos Press titles:

– On God’s Side by Jim Wallis
– Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham
– Of Games and God by Kevin Schut
– A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf
– A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson

Don’t miss your chance to enter, here.

 

Quick Hits:

Don’t miss Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, this Sunday, May 26, at 7:00 a.m. ET, on Washington DC’s WPGC 95.5 FM.

Claiming Abraham by Michael Lodahl was shortlisted for the 2013 Michael Ramsey prize.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was reviewed by T. E. Hanna for Of Dust And Kings.

Eyes Wide Open by William D. Romanowski was recommended by Hearts & Minds Books.

Spirituality and the Awakening Self by David G. Benner was referenced by Tennessee Baptist Cooperative Fellowship.

Psalms for All Seasons was referenced in Reformed Worship.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

Today is the last day of our May ebook specials, which are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 52% off.

Searching for Home by Craig M. Barnes
Conversations with Poppi about God by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold
Everyday Apocalypse by David Dark
The Early Church on Killing edited by Ronald J. Sider
Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory by Markus Bockmuehl

Lectionary Reflection for the Second Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from 1 & 2 Kings (BTCB) by Peter J. Leithart, commenting on 1 Kings 18:20-39:

When Ahab arrives, Elijah proposes a contest on Mount Carmel, in the north of Israel toward the Mediteranean Sea. Elijah takes charge of the whole contest, and Ahab complies with Elijah’s every instructions (1 Kgs. 18:19-20).

After he calls Elijah a “troubler,” Ahab disappears from the narrative until 18:41, and after 18:17 Ahab never speak again. Ahab, like Baal his god (18:29), falls silent.

The prophets of Baal also submissively, even comically, follow Elijah’s orders. He tells them to choose an ox, prepare it, and call on Baal, and they do (18:25-26). Even when he mockingly instructs them to cry out more loudly; they follow his instructions (18:27-28).

They continue their antics throughout the day, but the day of Baal is nearly over. At evening, a new day begins, the day of Yahweh.

Yahweh shows mercy to demonstrate that he is God. This is a common theme in the prophets, who claim that Yahweh forgives Israel, restores it, brings it back to the land, for the sake of his own name. Repentance is a gift of God, and if God gives a gift of repentance it is because he has already decided to show mercy to his people.

In explaining why he does not destroy Israel when they rebel against him, Yahweh says through Ezekiel: “I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt” (20:9; cf. 20:14, 22).

Israel’s continuing existence does not ultimately depend on Israel’s faithfulness, but on Yahweh. He displays his glory, the glory of his name, before the nations, and he saves Israel, sends renewal and resurrection to Israel, time and again, for the sake of his name.

Yahweh, as Elijah confesses, “turns the heart” (1 Kgs. 18:37). Israel cannot turn to Yahweh unless he turns to them first. When Israel begins to pray toward Jerusalem, confess their sins, and turn away from them, they realize that God is always already there first.

 

©2006 by Peter J. Leithart. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Summer Book Giveaway

To kick off the summer, we are giving away five books to one lucky Brazos Blog reader.

 

On Gods Side

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good
by Jim Wallis

| 9781587433375 | $21.99 | April 2013 |

Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus’s ancient and compelling vision of the common good—a vision that impacts and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world.

 

Educating All God's Children

Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can—and Should–Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids
by Nicole Baker Fulgham

| 9781587433276 | $17.99 | April 2013 |

An education expert calls Christians to champion urgently needed reform and provides concrete steps to help all children get the quality public education they deserve.

 

 

Of Games and GodOf Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games
by Kevin Schut

| 9781587433252 | $16.99 | January 2013 |

A communications expert and enthusiastic gamer offers a lively, balanced, and informed Christian perspective on video games and video game culture.

 

 

 

APublicFaith

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
by Miroslav Volf

| 9781587433436 | $17.99 | May 2013 |

An intellectual and applied Christian engagement with what it really means to flourish as human beings in relationship to God and one another.

 

 

A Hobbit JourneyA Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth
by Matthew Dickerson

| 9781587433009 | $16.99 | September 2012|

An expert on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy shows how a Christian worldview and themes undergird Tolkien’s classic works.

 

 

 

The Weekly Hit List: May 24, 2013

Of Games and GodOf Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed by Mitch Toler for The Center for Youth Ministry Training.

“I encourage gamers to read the whole book. It will help you understand the way non-gamers think. It will help you see many pitfalls in video games that we often overlook or take for granted. It will also help you to see benefits of video games and that as a Christian gamer you’re not alone.

“Most importantly, Schut has given us all, gamers and non-gamers alike, tools to look critically and thoughtfully at what video games are communicating, how we interact with them, and what that means for our Christian spirituality.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

On God’s Side media:

“Daily Circuit,” Minnesota Public Radio

“The Ronn Owens Show” on KGO-AM (CBS), San Francisco

“Books: Denver Best Sellers, 5/19/2013” in The Denver Post

“Author Jim Wallis says faith, not politics, is solution to fix cynical nation” by Bob Smietana in The Tennessean

“Ever the Prophet, Never the King” by Josh Good in The American

“The Jim Wallis Interview: What Abe Lincoln, C.S. Lewis, Narnia and Puddleglum can teach us about the Common Good” by David Crumm in Read the Spirit

“COLUMN: Common Good: What breaks your heart?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Is Little League baseball the answer?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Feeling ‘politically homeless’?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Can we still find common ground?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

 

Quick Hits:

Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was recommended by Education Week.

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed by Captain Comics Round Table.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was reviewed in Regent’s Reviews.

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells was also reviewed in Regent’s Reviews.

Creston Davis, co-author of Paul’s New Moment, wrote “The logic of democracy” for Mmegi.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

May ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 52% off.

Searching for Home by Craig M. Barnes
Conversations with Poppi about God by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold
Everyday Apocalypse by David Dark
The Early Church on Killing edited by Ronald J. Sider
Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory by Markus Bockmuehl

Lectionary Reflection for Trinity Sunday

ProverbsThis excerpt comes from Proverbs (BTCB) by Daniel J. Treier, commenting on Proverbs 8:

“Wisdom Christology” has currently become popular, treating wisdom as a crucial category for understanding the identity of Jesus Christ.

For some this is a historical claim about the influence of Old Testament or intertestamental Jewish texts upon New Testament or early Christian understandings. For others, such historical influences are more Greco-Roman, whether in terms of Jesus’s self-presentation as  wandering sage or in regard to philosophical motifs. For still others, “Sophia” presents feminist possibilities for reinterpreting traditional theological categories or the male Jesus in woman-friendlier ways.

Some of these claims are not mutually exclusive, but other scholars caution against inflated Wisdom Christologies, sensing that various agendas spawn the myriad historical hypotheses. Though certain historical cautions are warranted, and in this case some feminist theological claims are overblown, we should not overreact. It will not do to minimize Pauline and other New Testament Wisdom vocabulary entirely, as if it were only and always minimal and polemical.

To take one example, polemical or not, the hymn in Col. 1 reflects a positive, even glorious pattern of appropriating the christological implications of Prov. 8. Interpreting Prov. 8 as having christological relevance helps to hold together creation and redemption rather than prioritizing either in lopsided fashion

Even if we assume with Athanasius and most traditional theologians that the incarnation occurred only due to God’s redemptive plan for counteracting the effects of our fall into sin, still the Redeemer is the Logos by whom the world came into being.

On the other hand, lest Wisdom devolve into mere common sense immanent to creation—a matter of opinion polling among sinful humans taking their own looks at a created order that is actually under a curse—in Christ God confronts us with true Wisdom that is personal and redemptive, entailing response to divine initiative.

 

©2011 by Daniel J. Treier. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Kevin Schut Speaking about Of Games and God for Youth Pastors

Here is Kevin Schut, author of Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games, speaking about his book for youth pastors.

The Tour This Week

Every Monday we will provide an update on upcoming media, speaking events, and book signings for Jim Wallis.

On Gods Side

Tuesday, May 21, in Nashville, TN:
– Nashville Concert for the Common Good, with Ashley Cleveland, Buddy Miller, Beth Nielsen-Chapman, Marcus Hummon and Margaret Becker, at 7:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, May 23, in Washington, DC:
– American Enterprise Institute, at 12:00 p.m. ET

Friday, May 24, in Boston, MA:
“Nightside with Dan Rea” on WBZ News Radio, live at 9:00 p.m. ET

 

Additional information on these events can be found via the On God’s Side web site: http://www.OnGodsSide.com.

The Weekly Hit List: May 17, 2013

Educating All God's ChildrenEducating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was reviewed in Library Journal

“Fulgham draws on her extensive experience as a teacher in poor regions of the United States to piece together this account of the harsh realities and inherent inequities of the American public education system.

“By walking readers through a survey of the current state of education in low-income areas, Fulgham successfully paints a picture showing the urgent need to move toward bridging a gross educational gap in public schools. She helps readers dispel the misperception that students in underachieving schools lack the competencies necessary to find educational success and to parlay that into lifelong opportunities.

“Pointing to the role of faith-based advocacy groups in major social revolutions such as desegregation, Fulgham calls for a similar movement to close the education gap. Focusing on Christianity as the moral compass to compel action, she points out that the call can and should stem from any spiritual mindset. Fulgham’s call to action includes simple steps that individuals and groups can take to effect change.

VERDICT This is an intriguing survey of the current inequity in education and would be a valuable read for any teacher, community organizer, or religiously oriented person or group moved to work toward the ultimate improvement of American society.”

 

On God’s Side media:

“The Tavis Smiley Show” on Public Radio International

“The Craig Fahle Show” on WDET-FM NPR, Michigan Public Radio

“Stateside” on WUOM-FM NPR (WFUM 91.1 Flint & WVGR 104.1 Grand Rapids), Michigan Public Radio

Doug Pagitt Radio

So What Faith review by Dr. Greg Smith

“WATCH: Would Putting Me in Prison Serve the Common Good” on The Huffington Post

“VIDEO: 6 Months After Superstorm Sandy, Hope Emerges” on The Common Good Forum

“The Christian Church’s role in fighting hunger and poverty: Jim Walls speaks at Baylor” on Texas Hunger Initiative

“The Common Good, The Planet, and Humankind” on Opednews.com

“On God’s Side” by Marrton Dormish

 

Quick Hits:

Kevin Schut, author of Of Games and God, was interviewed by James Arnold for The Evangelical Outpost.

Of Games and God was also reviewed by James Arnold for The Evangelical Outpost.

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf was reviewed by Dr. Conrade Yap.

Psalms for All Seasons was referenced in Worship Leader.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was referenced by Roger E. Olsen.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

May ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 52% off.

Searching for Home by Craig M. Barnes
Conversations with Poppi about God by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold
Everyday Apocalypse by David Dark
The Early Church on Killing edited by Ronald J. Sider
Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory by Markus Bockmuehl

Lectionary Reflection for Pentecost

Psalms for All SeasonsThis excerpt comes from Psalms for All Seasons, commenting on Psalm 104:

Psalm 104, a psalm of praise, focuses on God’s creative work. Complementing descriptions of creation in Gen. 1 and Job 28-39, this text stresses God’s ongoing involvement with creation.

It is especially noteworthy for its luminous description of God “wrapped in light as with a garment” (v. 2), for stressing God’s ongoing involvement with creation as one who “grows grass for cattle” (v. 14) and “brings forth wine to gladden the human heart” (v. 15), for renewing creation by the breath of the spirit (v. 30), and for taking delight in all of creation (v. 31).

Like Ps. 103, it begins and ends by calling the self to praise.

 

A prayer for reflection:

God who spoke creation into being,
astonishing the angels with galaxies and sunsets,
all your creatures proclaim your majestic power and playful wisdom.
Send forth your renewing Spirit, that we might discover your purpose for us
and live for your glory and delight. Amen.

 

©2012 Faith Alive Christian Resources. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Kevin Schut on Sex and Gender in Video Games

Here is Kevin Schut, author of Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games, speaking on sex and gender in video games.