The Weekly Hit List: A regular round-up of all things Brazos from around the web - including reviews, interviews and other activity.

The Weekly Hit List: February 12, 2016

Cover ArtAt A Slice of Infinity, Jill Carattini reflected on Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings.

“Lament is an expression of grief, a practice—maybe even a word—that has fallen out of use in modern times, a discipline often avoided, even buried in Christian liturgies. “[I]n a growing trend,” writes Billings, “many funerals completely avoid the language of dying and death as well as the appearance of the dead body—turning it all into a one-sided ‘celebration’ of the life of the one who has died.”(1) Such language might be fitting for certain worldviews, particularly those worldviews where death remains an enemy that puts an end to the life we are celebrating. But the biblical paradox about death attends to far more of the human experience.”

Quick Hits:

The Colossian Forum staff members enjoyed a sneak peek at the new book The Justice Calling, by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson.

James K. A. Smith, author of the forthcoming You Are What You Love, wrote about An American Lent.

Just in time for Lent – a Free Discussion Guide for Rejoicing in Lament

The Latest on America’s Original Sin

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  • Jim Wallis and Eddie Glaude Jr. joined Morning Joe to discuss the water crisis in Flint and how racial geography impacts the country.

Interviews:

Op Eds:

“Many of us in the faith community are affirming the theological truth that black lives do matter, because while all human beings are made in the image of God, it is black lives, specifically, that have been devalued in our country – and our social systems must be held accountable.”

Reviews:

 

The Weekly Hit List: January 8, 2016

Cover ArtWesley Hill’s Spiritual Friendship was featured in The 2015 Christ and Pop Culture 25.

“Raises the possibility of deeper friendships being not just as a bulwark against corrosive individualism or a solution to the “problem” of gay Christians, but also a rich font of spiritual blessing for everyone. This short book is desperately needed in our cultural context, raising questions we shouldn’t keep to ourselves.”

Publishers Weekly reviewed The Justice Calling, coming soon from Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson.

“Powerful insights, based in scripture and Christian teaching, to help Christians to live out Jesus’ teachings in a globalized, interconnected, but impersonal world.”

Quick Hits:

Rejoicing in Lament, by J. Todd Billings, was a book of the year at Pilgrim in Progress and The Fidelity Essays, and was recommended at Scrawlings & Ramblings.

Ellen Charry’s Psalms 1- 50 was reviewed at SirReadaLot.

James K. A. Smith, author of the forthcoming You Are What You Love, was interviewed Thursday on The Ride Home with John & Kathy. You can find the podcast here, starting at the 1:12:00 mark.

The Weekly Hit List: December 18, 2015

 Cover ArtWe are very pleased to announce that Wesley Hill’s Spiritual Friendship received an Award of Merit in the Beautiful Orthodoxy category of the Christianity Today Book Awards.

The book makes an acute diagnosis of our atomized lives in a world that imagines sex as the only source of real intimacy, and marriage as the only setting for real commitment. It retrieves elements of the historic church tradition relating to friendship and commitment. And all this is presented in sensitive, evocative language, with a reverence for literature, language, and art that makes it a delight to read. Hill’s account has a raw, even wrenching, honesty that’s essential to authentic Christian testimony in our broken world. —Andy Crouch

Wes wrote a brief response here.

To have the flagship magazine of evangelical Christianity turning its attention to the beauty and power of relationships other than romantic ones, and turning its attention thereby to the actual lived experience of celibate, gay people — well, let’s just say it feels not only like a professional honor but also like a deeply, deeply personal one.

Also, our congratulations Stephen Monsma and Stanley Carlson-Thies, whose Free to Serve won an Award of Merit in Politics and Public Life, and to Jonathan Grant, whose Divine Sex tied in Christian Living/Discipleship.

“The church’s response to the seemingly limitless trajectory of hypersexualization has been puny, negative, and ineffective…Divine Sex properly widens the frame, delivering an incisive and nearly comprehensive analysis of our present state”

“Religious liberty desperately needs defending as a matter of public policy, and Free to Serve shows how it’s done.”


Quick Hits:

Todd Wilson reviewed Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy at Books at a Glance.

Rejoicing in Lament, by J. Todd Billings, was recommended at Pastoral Backstory.

Matthew Skinner, author of Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel, wrote Learning from Mary in Our Age of Endless War for Odyssey Networks.

The Weekly Hit List: December 11, 2015

Cover ArtMatthew Skinner’s Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel was reviewed by Steve Walton for Themelios.

This book will be eminently helpful to a church Bible study group working through Acts. It will also inform and help preachers or teachers engaging with Acts, and students who want to see ways in which the book’s themes and issues relate to Christian life and experience today. I commend it very warmly.

J. Todd Billings wrote the post Gratitude for God’s Surprising Work, which reflects on the stories people have shared with him after reading Rejoicing in Lament. Also, Sean Lucas at Reformation 21 named Rejoicing in Lament as one of his Top Ten Books of 2015.

A powerful book. Billings explores his own battle with incurable cancer in the larger narrative of the psalms of lament and union with Christ. As a pastor who has several parishioners dealing with cancer at any given time, this was a rich theological resource and personal reflection.

The Weekly Hit List: December 4, 2015

 Cover ArtLisa Graham McMinn, author of the forthcoming To the Table, was interviewed at Publishers Weekly.

Sacramental eating calls forth a humble gratitude that inclines us to eat in ways that fosters the flourishing of other life. So we learn about and begin to pursue “just” food untainted with human exploitation, animal misery, or ecosystem degradation. We begin to open our hearts and minds to an ever-expanding community that changes how and what we eat. Perhaps we will influence how our partners and children eat, and introduce our friends and extended family to eating with an eye toward the flourishing of all life.

Alastair Roberts, at The Gospel Coalition, reviewed Jonathan Grant’s Divine Sex.

Grant presents a wide-angled-lens account of Christian sexual ethics within the context of contemporary culture. Rather than focus on discrete questions—he only lightly grazes on some of the fiercest prevailing controversies—Grant’s concern is to expose the nature of the shared cultural matrix from which they arise….This is a book I’ve already personally recommended to several friends and acquaintances. I highly encourage you to read it too.


Quick Hits:

Free to Serve, by Stephen Monsma and Stanley Carlson-Thies, was reviewed at Influence Magazine.

At Reformedish, Derek Rishmawy used Peter Leithart’s commentary on 1 & 2 Kings to discuss lessons for the church from the time of king Ahab’s reign.

Lisa Graham McMinn announced To the Table on her blog, Preserving Life.

The Weekly Hit List: November 6, 2015

Cover ArtJames K.A. Smith was interviewed at The Living Church.

Do you plan to write a book at a more popular level, more in line with your talks that have been broadcast on YouTube?
Yes, it’s called You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (2016). When I wrote Desiring the Kingdom, I thought it was a popular book. Only an academic could make that mistake! In my talks I translate more of my concepts into metaphors. With this new book I reworked what works in the talks and developed some stickier metaphors. I’ve added new material on family and household, children and youth, and faith and work. I’ve tried to write it with a little more verve and scriptural cadences. It’s coming out in March.

Traces of the Trinity, by Peter Leithart, was reviewed at The Solid-State Archive.

An invaluable resource, not only for understanding the operation of the Trinity in the everyday stuff of life, but for the shaping of worldviews and ideas we hold of what God has to do with our personal lives. I can’t recommend this volume enough. It crosses literary boundaries and may be enjoyed by the apologist and the layman, the pastor and the congregant.


Quick Hits:

At his blog, Peter Enns, author of The Evolution of Adam argues that seeing the need to move beyond biblical categories is in fact biblical.

Craig Blomberg was interview at White Horse Inn about his book Can We Still Believe the Bible?.

Derek Rishmawy attended the recent Center for Pastor Theologians’ conference, and reflected on the messages of Brazos Press authors Peter Leithart and James K.A. Smith.

The Weekly Hit List: October 23, 2015

Free to Serve: Grand Rapids EventJoin us Monday the 26th in Grand Rapids, for a special launch event for Free to Serve! The author and practitioner panel will continue a conversation launched by Free to Serve — on how faith-based organizations can meaningfully relate to one another, community leaders, government, and the media as we serve.


Jonathan Grant’s Divine Sex was reviewed at AJ Cerda.

This is the best book on Biblical sexuality that I have ever read….Jonathan Grant has done the Christian community a gigantic favor by meticulously pealing apart the layers of the modern sexual imaginary to expose the pathologies which are at the heart of the secularization of sexuality. This will satisfy the intellectual curiosities of your inner philosopher; but Grant does not leave the reader with a philosophical assessment of the sexual imaginary, he offers a solidly Biblical and deeply profound vision for the future of sexuality. The church, for her part, would be wise to listen.


Quick Hits:

Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians, by Chris Armstrong, appeared in the Publishers Weekly article Exploring C. S. Lewis’s Lasting Popularity—52 Years After His Death.

Drew McIntyre, at Plowshares Into Swords, reviewed Darkness is My Only Companion, by Kathryn Greene-McCreight.

 

 

The Weekly Hit List: October 9, 2015

Cover ArtRejoicing in Lament, by J. Todd Billings, was reviewed by Don McKim at The Presbyterian Outlook

By all means, read this book. It speaks to a range of Christians — caretakers, counselors and those experiencing cancer or loss. It witnesses to faith in the midst of deep lament.


Quick Hits:

Roger Olson continued his series on Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight.

Wesley Hill, author of Spiritual Friendship, discussed what happens When Friendships Fail.

 

 

The Weekly Hit List: October 2, 2015

Cover ArtAt Acts and More, Steve Walton shared a review of Matthew Skinner’s Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel.

This book will be eminently helpful to a church Bible study group working through Acts. It will also inform and help preachers or teachers engaging with Acts, and students who want to see ways in which the book’s themes and issues relate to Christian life and experience today. I commend it very warmly.

Spiritual Friendship, by Wesley Hill, was a featured review at The Englewood Review of Books.

Wesley Hill’s spectacular new book, Spiritual Friendship, explores one way gay Christians—especially those who embrace the traditional teaching of the church—are a gift to the church….Spiritual Friendship displays Hill’s considerable intellect, pulls from an astonishing variety of sources, and inspires with its beautiful prose.


Quick Hits:

The Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance announced the forthcoming Free to Serve, from Stephen Monsma and Stanley Carlson-Thies.

Monsma and Carlson-Thies were interviewed about Free to Serve in the latest issue of Christianity Today.

The Christian Examiner reviewed Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel.