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: April 24, 2015

Eve Tushnet wrote about Wesley Hill’s Spiritual Friendship for The American Conservative.

Hill explores how our cultural expectations affect people who, for whatever reason, don’t expect to marry or have kids. How do we give and receive love? How do we lead lives which are fruitful and not just lonely expanses of time-before-death?

So often gay people in the “traditional” (for lack of a better word) churches receive no hint that we, too, have vocations—that we, too, are called to love specific other people. So Hill is trying to restore “spiritual friendship”—intimate, lasting friendship which draws the friends closer to God—as a vocation for gay or same-sex attracted Christians.

Read the rest of “No Marriage Is an Island” here.

 

Other Spiritual Friendship Media:

Stephen Shaffer reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

Patrick Schreiner reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

Adam Shields reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

 

 

The Drama of Living by David F. Ford was recommended and reviewed by D. Brent Laytham for The Christian Century:

This rich, relevant volume, a sequel to Ford’s stunning The Shape of Living, is an author’s report on his past books, a participant’s report on Scriptural Reasoning meetings, an annotated anthology of the poetry of Micheal O’Siadhail, and a dramatic reading of the Gospel of John.

The surprising thing about the book is its wholeness, as Ford seeks to draw readers (and rereaders) to wiser living.

 

Quick Hits:

Traces of the Trinity by Peter J. Leithart was reviewed by James Matichuk.

Evangelicals for Social Action shared an excerpt from Nonviolent Action by Ronald J. Sider.

Nonviolent Action by Ronald J. Sider was reviewed by Bob Trube.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was reviewed by David Baggett.

Scot McKnight discussed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

 

Ebook Specials:

A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis by Devin Brown is on sale for $2.99 (82% off) from participating retailers through April  26.

The Weekly Hit List: April 17, 2015

Congratulations to Wendy VanderWal-Gritter! Generous Spaciousness is a finalist in the 2015 Word Awards in the Christian Living category.

Focusing on the church’s engagement with gay and lesbian Christians, this book invites readers into a gracious conversation regarding human sexuality.

The Word Awards are designed to bring attention to excellence in Canadian Christian writing in all genres.

Award winners will be announced at a gala on June 13, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario.

The complete shortlist is available here, and a complete press release can be found here.

 

Amy Plantinga Pauw reviewed and recommended Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings for Christian Century.

Buoyed by the psalmists, who trusted God in the midst of their anxiety, joy, anger, and suffering, Billings wrestles theologically with the daily realities and implications of his cancer diagnosis.

His honest witness can help Christians avoid glibness or sentimentality in supporting those facing serious illness.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Todd Billings appeared on Connecting Faith with Neil Stavem (Faith Radio network).

Paul Nierengarten reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

April Fiet referenced Rejoicing in Lament.

Ted Schroder reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

 

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory  (Jerry L. Walls) Media:

Scot McKnight discussed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory in several posts: April 10; April 14April 16

Drew McCarthy reviewed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory for Seedbed.

Joshua Torrey reviewed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

Matthew Manry reviewed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

 

Spiritual Friendship (Wesley Hill) Media:

Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books recommended Spiritual Friendship:

It is one of the most important books of our time, vital, important, rare, wise, exceptional.  It is exactly about our embodiedness, yes, even about the redemption of our sexuality.

It is beautifully written, exquisite at times, and more candid then one might expect in an evangelical Christian book.  We are proud to carry it, and eager to commend it to one and all.

Matthew Loftus reviewed Spiritual Friendship for Mere Orthodoxy.

Wesley Hill will be appearing at Christ Church Anglican on May 2 with Tim Otto and Julie Rodgers.

Conciliar Post reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

Dr. Conrade Yap reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

Tim Perry reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

 

Quick Hits:

Traces of the Trinity by Peter J. Leithart was reviewed by Tim Perry and recommended by Kuyperian Commentary.

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, will appear at Lipscomb University on April 23.

The (Un)Common Good by Jim Wallis was reviewed by Conversation in Faith.

Real Sex by Lauren Winner was mentioned by Publishers Weekly.

The Weekly Hit List: April 10, 2015

Wesley Hill, author of Spiritual Friendship, was interviewed by Jonathan Merritt for his Religion News Service blog.

RNS: How do you hope reimagining friendship will help shape the debate over same-sex erotic behavior?

WH: My sense of the debate in the Christian churches is that many people think there are two options: Be gay and celibate and therefore lonely, or be gay and partnered and therefore not alone. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t think those are the only two options. I’m trying to live in a different place: openly acknowledging that I’m gay, pursuing a life of sexual abstinence in obedience to what the Bible teaches, and seeking to fill that life full of friendship and community.

How would our debates about how to love gay and lesbian people in our churches look different if celibacy seemed like a viable option, because deep friendships were a normal part of the Christian life, rather than the bleak occasion for marginalization that it so often appears to be now?

Read the entire article, “Celibate gay Christian leader urges faithful to ‘normalize’ committed friendships,” here.

 

Quick Hits:

Wesley Hill was mentioned by Ross Douthat in The New York Times.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was reviewed by Dr. Conrade Yap and discussed by Scot McKnight.

Nonviolent Action by Ronald J. Sider was reviewed by Elliot Ritzema and Andrew Spencer.

Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings was quoted by Together for Adoption.

The Weekly Hit List: April 3, 2015

Wiman_blog_web

J. Todd Billings (author of Rejoicing in Lament) appeared with Christian Wiman (author of My Bright Abyss) at Western Theological Seminary on March 31. 

View the video of their conversation about being diagnosed with incurable cancer in the prime of life here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

One Billings’s articles was translated into Portugese for Reforma21.

Matthew Forrest Lowe reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Rejoicing in Lament was mentioned by Dr. Adam DeVille.

 

Christianity Today featured Ronald Sider and his new book, Nonviolent Action, in their April 2015 issue: “My Top 5 Books on Nonviolence.”

Ron Sider’s many books—about poverty, politics, and global justice—emphasize some of the most difficult and easily overlooked ethical obligations of following Christ.

In Nonviolent Action: What Christian Ethics Demands But Most Christians Have Never Really Tried (Brazos Press), the author of the now-classic Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger makes the biblical case for pursuing peaceful alternatives to conflict.

Here, Sider chooses 5 books on how nonviolence really works.

Read the entire article here.

 

Christianity Today included Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls as one of their April 2015 “New & Noteworthy Books.”

Walls, who teaches philosophy at Houston Baptist University, has written a trio of scholarly books defending the doctrines of heaven, hell, and—more controversially among Protestants—purgatory. Here, he packages those arguments into a single volume pitched at ordinary readers, delivered at a moment when debates about the hereafter have picked up steam.

“The Christian story is extraordinary, to be sure,” Walls maintains, “but it is radically incomplete and ultimately unsatisfying without a robust doctrine of the afterlife, and one simply cannot seriously affirm Trinity, incarnation, atonement, and resurrection without going on to heartily affirm ‘the life everlasting.’ ”

 

Quick Hits:

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory was reviewed by John Mark N. Reynolds and discussed by Scot McKnight.

Traces of the Trinity by Peter J. Leithart was recommended on Faithlife.

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

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.