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: March 27, 2015

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, wrote “Why Doesn’t God Always Heal? Prayer and Incurable Cancer” for Huffington Post Religion.

“If God desires our well-being, why doesn’t he always grant prayers for healing?

“‘There’s no doubt about your diagnosis,’ the doctor told me.

“I squirmed in my chair as I heard the numbers: according to the calculus of medical predications, my young children would most likely lose their dad in their childhood. It’s an incurable, lethal cancer.

“But as a Christian, I wondered – should ‘incurable’ really be part of my vocabulary? What about God’s power and prayer?”

Read the entire article here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Billings is appearing with poet Christian Wiman at Western Theological Seminary on Tuesday, March 31. The Holland Sentinel wrote about it here.

First Things is hosting a lecture and book signing event with Billings in New York City on April 7. Be sure to RSVP if you plan to attend.

Western Theological Seminary wrote about Rejoicing in Lament.

Hearts & Minds Books reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Billings was mentioned by Her.meneutics.

Ron Holdeman recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Carl Wilton recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Don Haflich reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Jordan Stone recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

 

Quick Hits:

Wesley Hill, author of Spiritual Friendship, preached at Cathedral Church of the Advent and was interviewed by AL.com.

Wesley Hill was interviewed and lectured at Moore College.

Nonviolent Action by Ronald Sider was reviewed by Jerry M. Ireland.

Jerry L. Walls, author of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, was interviewed on Deeper Waters podcast.

 

Ebook Specials:

Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do by Phillip Cary is on sale for $1.99 (88% off) from participating retailers through March 31.

The Weekly Hit List: March 20, 2015

The Gospel Coalition reviewed Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings

“Dealing with our own troubles and sharing in those of others are among the most challenging aspects of the Christian life.

“It isn’t always easy to weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). Foolish and insensitive things get said by well-meaning folks.

“J. Todd Billings’s excellent new book, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ, will go a long way in equipping us to endure and to minister to one another in more theologically grounded and helpful ways.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Books at a Glance reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Tim Challies recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Derek Emerson reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Bobby Grow reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

 

 

Congratulations to David G. Benner!

Presence and Encounter: The Sacramental Possibilities of Everyday Life is a Foreword Reviews 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award finalist in the Body, Mind & Spirit category.

Foreword Reviews, the only review magazine solely dedicated to discovering new independent books, announced the finalists for its 17th Annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd.

 

Quick Hits:

Craig Blomberg, author of Can We Still Believe the Bible?, is answering readers’ questions on Margaret Feinberg’s blog.

Bob Trube reviewed Can We Still Believe the Bible?.

The Weekly Hit List: March 13, 2015

Outreach Magazine Resources of the Year Awards:

Congratulations to Scot McKnight: Outreach Magazine chose Kingdom Conspiracy as their Resource of the Year in the Missional Church category.

Todd Engstrom, executive pastor of ministries at The Austin Stone Community Church, described Kingdom Conspiracy as “a timely resource for the missional church to re-examine some basic assumptions that impact church practice in the everyday.”

 

Also congratulations to Craig Detweiler: Outreach Magazine honored iGods in the Culture category.

 

 

Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Todd Billings was interviewed on Jesus Creed.

“Instead of a theodicy, scripture gives us a prayer book. The Psalms shape our response to evil through laments, which focus our eyes upon God’s promise to make things right, even when things are a mess and through thanksgiving, which rightly recognizes that we are not “entitled” to good things, but the goods of creation and redemption come from the gracious hand of God.

“I think that we cultivate our confidence in God and his promise through prayer, through worship – feeding upon Christ by Word and Sacrament in community – and through compassionate service.”

Read the entire interview here.

 

Todd appeared on INSIGHT (on Canada’s Miracle Channel).

Immanuel UCC‘s blog reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Dr. Conrade Yap reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

 

 

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory Media:

Scot McKnight recommended Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls on Jesus Creed.

“No one in the world has thought more about heaven, hell and purgatory than Jerry Walls.

“He has an academic, but accessible, book on each topic and now he has brought all his thinking together in one far more accessible, rearranged book called Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: A Protestant View of the Cosmic Drama.”

 

Peter Leithart discussed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls on his First Things blog.

 

Jerry M. Ireland reviewed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

 

 

Quick Hits:

Presence and Encounter by David G. Benner was recommended by Kathy Milans on Soul Care Collective.

Nonviolent Action by Ronald J. Sider was reviewed by Chris Woznicki.

 

Ebook Specials:

The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins by Peter Enns is only $2.99 (83% off) from participating retailers through March 13.

The Weekly Hit List: March 6, 2015

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, was interviewed by Publishers Weekly.

“Billings, research professor of reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich., and an ordained minister of the Reformed Church in America, has made significant theological contributions over the years.

“Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church (Baker Academic, 2011)—his study of the basic tenet of Christian faith and its effects on social justice, mission, and observant life—won a 2012 Christianity Today Award of Merit in the Theology/Ethics category.

“But when he received the news of his terminal illness at age 39, Billings’s world was shaken, and he faced the most personally difficult theological questions of his life.”

Read the entire interview here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Todd will appear live on INSIGHT (on the Miracle Channel) on Monday, March 9, at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Todd appeared on Steve Brown, Etc.

Publishers Weekly mentioned Rejoicing in Lament in “Comfort & Counsel.”

Todd appeared on Mere Fidelity podcast.

Mail Tribune mentioned Rejoicing in Lament.

Trevin Wax reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Steven Shaffer reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Christ the King recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Chris Brauns reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Michael Philliber reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

 

Quick Hits:

Jerry L. Walls, author of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, was interviewed by Wesley Accent.

Jerry Walls wrote “Predestination and Freedom” for Good News.

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, appeared on Seminary Dropout podcast.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory was mentioned by Publishers Weekly in “Is Heaven for Real?”

Divine Sex by Jonathan Grant (July 2015) was mentioned by Publishers Weekly.

Liberating Image by J. Richard Middleton was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was recommended by Phil Steiger and Steve Mathewson.

M. Daniel Carroll R., author of Christians at the Border, wrote “The Immigration Debate: Can the Bible Help?” for Evangelicals for Social Action.

 

Ebook Specials:

Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition by James K. A. Smith is only $2.99 (80% off) from participating retailers through March 9.

Conversations with Poppi about God: An Eight-Year-Old and Her Theologian Grandfather Trade Questions by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold is only $0.99 (84% off) from participating retailers through March 11.

The Weekly Hit List: February 27, 2015

RELEVANT Magazine published “Are We Missing Something Important About Prayer?” by Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament.

“‘For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace’ (Psalm 102:3).

“When my lips cried these words in a public prayer service, it felt like I was exposing a wound. I had just been diagnosed with a lethal, incurable cancer. My expected lifespan had been chopped by decades. The cancer had already burned through the inside of my bones—like a furnace.

“Lament is bringing our grief and our protest before the Almighty when life doesn’t make sense.

“Praying this Psalm of lament felt a bit like speaking a foreign language. As a young Christian, I had been taught that prayer consisted of ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. I found that structure helpful, and I still do. But there’s something missing: lament. Lament is not confession, and it can’t be reduced to bringing our petitions and supplications before God. Lament is bringing our grief and our protest before the Almighty when life doesn’t make sense.”

Read the entire article here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Today marks the end of a two-week blog tour for Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings. A complete list of posts, and the giveaway winners announcement, are on the blog tour web site.

Rejoicing in Lament was quoted on the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries blog: “Remedy for Control.”

Dillon Thorton recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Jordan Mark Stone recommended Rejoicing in Lament

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Scot McKnight spoke with a panel at Westminster Theological Centre about Kingdom Conspiracy.

Jon Beadle recommended Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scott Lencke reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scot McKnight wrote “A Robust Kingdom” on Jesus Creed.

 

Quick Hits:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, was interviewed by Warren Cole Smith for WORLD Magazine.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was reviewed on The Christian Humanist blog.

Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith, was quoted in USA Today.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, was interviewed on WikiGod Podcast.

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, is speaking at Inhabit: Faithful Practice in the New Commons at the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.

The Weekly Hit List: February 20, 2015

This was the first week of a two-week blog tour for Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings.

Participating bloggers this week included:

  • Peter Leithart
  • April Fiet
  • Kyle Strobel
  • Jill Carattini
  • Nate Pyle
  • Mary Vanden Berg

Don’t miss our book giveaway on the blog tour web site! The grand prize is a five-book package valued at over $80.

 

This week Todd appeared on Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ podcast Mortification of Spin, lending insights on ways to encourage those suffering with serious illness.

 

Todd also wrote “Divine Providence: Occupying The Mysterious Middle” for Reformation 21.

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Ben Witherington finished a series of posts on Kingdom Conspiracy, including a lengthy interview with McKnight. Parts: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10.

Kelly Foster reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Chris Altrock reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

 

 

Nonviolent Action Media:

Ronald Sider was interviewed on John Morehead’s podcast.

Nonviolent Action was reviewed on Theologues.

Ronald Sider wrote “Opinion: An army of peacemakers: Time is ripe for a massive expansion of nonviolent efforts to end injustice” for Mennonite World Review.

 

Quick Hits:

Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster, wrote a guest post on Amy Julia Becker’s Christianity Today blog: “Does my Life as a Parent Count?”

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, was interviewed on WikiGod Podcast.

The Weekly Hit List: February 13, 2015

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, wrote “Avoiding the Dead Ends of Providence: Monocausal Fatalism and Open Theism” for Reformation 21.

“It is not easy to leave suffering as an open question, particularly in the midst of crisis. At times, I’ve sensed that there must be a reason that this cancer has hit me.

“Perhaps God couldn’t do anything about it? Perhaps God is ‘relational’ in such a way that some things are truly ‘pointless’ even to God? There might be some reassurance in affirming such an ‘answer.’ Yet, this is not an answer that would keep cultivating Christian lament with the Psalmist. The Psalmists keep asking, questioning, and petitioning because they believe God is the almighty Lord.”

Read the entire article here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Publishers Weekly named Rejoicing in Lament a “Spirituality & Religion Book of Note.”

Billings will appear for a book signing and interview with Neal Plantinga in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Baker Book House on Thursday, February 19.

Billings appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show.

 

Quick Hits:

Spiritual Friendship by Wesley Hill (April 2015) and Divine Sex by Jonathan Grant (July 2015) were mentioned in Publishers Weekly article “Sex and Religion: A Crop of Books Addresses a Fraught Relationship.”

Spirituality and the Awakening Self by David G. Benner was called a “treasure trove” by Lacy Clark Ellman.

Ben Witherington wrote a series of posts on Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy, including a lengthy interview with McKnight. Parts: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5.

The Weekly Hit List: February 6, 2015

Jerry L. Walls, author of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, was interviewed by David Baggett for Moral Apologetics.

“Well, I was raised in Knockemstiff, Ohio, and ‘hellfire and damnation’ was often preached about in my little country church, especially during revivals. Listening to the sermons at Bethel Chapel, there was no doubt that issues of life and death were at stake in how one responded to the gospel.  I was converted at age 11 in response to a sermon on the text, ‘there is but one step between death and thee.’

“Several years later, I went to Princeton seminary, and many students as well as faculty were dubious about the idea of hell, and some rejected the afterlife altogether. The clash between my religious formation and my formal theological training was existentially riveting for me, and provoked me to think seriously about heaven and hell and whether there really are good reasons to believe in them or not. After graduating from Princeton, I went to Yale Divinity school, where I wrote a master’s thesis on hell, and I have been thinking and writing about these issues ever since!”

Read the entire interview here.

 

Rejoicing in Lament Media:

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, wrote “Lament: Self-Indulgent Whining, or Faithful Complaints?” for Reformation 21.

“As I spent more and more time in study and prayer with the Psalms I realized how often I had been ‘skipping over’ its sharp cries of grief, its protests to the Lord, its complaints about enemies. In a Christianity always seeking to be upbeat, centered on helping us to discover and fulfill our dreams, I had missed the centrality of lament: raw complaints and protests before the Lord.

“As a cancer patient whose life expectancy had likely been chopped off by decades, I felt grief and anger. But am I supposed to ‘bring those emotions to church,’ and risk being a complainer? The prayer of Psalm 102:23-24 was clear enough: ‘In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days. So I said: “Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days.”‘

“Apparently, God can handle our complaints.”

Read the entire article here.

 

In a new video, Todd Billings reminisced reminisced on how the community at Western Theological Seminary supported him during some of his darkest days.

 

Quick Hits:

Colossians (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Christopher R. Seitz was reviewed by Steve Bishop.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was mentioned by Patheos blogger Keith Parsons.

 

The Weekly Hit List: January 30, 2015

Ronald J. Sider, author of Nonviolent Action (February 2015), was interviewed in Plough Quarterly.

“Leading Christians have lent moral backing to military action against the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), citing the Just War doctrine. Christian pacifists, meanwhile, have struggled to suggest convincing alternatives at a time when preaching nonviolence can seem naïve, even heartless. But does the Just War tradition give its adherents a blank check in such a situation?

“We turned to Ron Sider, founder of Evangelicals for Social Action and a dean among Christian pacifists, who lately has been talking about a truce with Just War Christians – while challenging all of us to go beyond easy answers.”

Read the rest of “Does ISIS Prove Nonviolence Wrong?: Making Peace with Just Warriors: An Interview with Ron Sider” here.

 

Ronald Sider also wrote “What Christian Ethics Demands, But Most Christians Have Yet to Seriously Try” for Sojourners.

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Evangelicals for Social Action reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Midwest Book Review reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Richard Heyduck reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scot McKnight wrote “Kingdom of God, Politics, and Romans 13.”

 

Quick Hits:

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was reviewed by Nick Peters.

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, was featured in a Calvin College Chimes article.

 

The Weekly Hit List: January 23, 2015

Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

“An exploration of complex, age-old questions about suffering and God’s nature leads Billings to extol the beauty of mystery and the limits of human wisdom: ‘humans don’t have an answer to the problem of evil, and we shouldn’t claim that we have one.’

“Along with disclosing his wrenching questions, fears, and hopes, Billings explores ‘the ways in which God’s story intersects with the cancer story.’

“His poignant insight into the role of lament in faithful Christian living makes this a work of both astute scholarship and powerful testimony.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Quick Hits:

The Justice Calling by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson (July 2015) was recommended by Relevant Magazine as one of “12 Books We’re Excited About This Year.”

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins by Dennis Okholm was reviewed by Denver Journal.

Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight was reviewed by Chris Hennessey and by Johnny Walker.

Scot McKnight was appointed by Bishop Todd Hunter as a Canon Theologian for the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others.

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, spoke at Calvin College’s January Series on “Apple, Google, and other ‘iGods’.”

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was recommended on Hearts & Minds Books and reviewed on Anabaptist Redux.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was recommended on Hearts & Minds Books.

Presence and Encounter by David G. Benner was recommended by Eddie Olliffe.

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf was reviewed on The Christian Mind.