Ebook Special for Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith

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

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

“In this series of epistolary exhortations, Smith addresses the faults of the Calvinist theology to which he subscribes–for example, its seeming lack of charity and production of arrogant followers. He then calls on young Calvinists to rise above haughty intellectualism to embrace the richer, more sustainable Reformed tradition that grew out of Calvinist ideas. . . . Smith welcomes readers to embrace more than just a grumpy theological debate. He opens them to a tradition defined by grace, enjoyment, and group worship. This slim introduction will leave readers wanting more history and will prepare them to dive into more challenging texts.”
Publishers Weekly

“A wise and delightfully written portrayal of a robust Calvinism for the twenty-first century.”
Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary

 

Who would have guessed that something as austere as Calvinism would become a hot topic in today’s postmodern culture? At the five hundredth anniversary of John Calvin’s birth, new generations have discovered and embraced a “New Calvinism” with fervor and zeal, finding in the Reformed tradition a rich theological vision. In fact, Time cited New Calvinism as one of “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now.”

Letters to a Young Calvinist provides pastoral and theological counsel, encouraging converts to and participants in this tradition to find in Calvin a vision that’s even bigger than the New Calvinism might suggest. Noted Reformed philosopher James K. A. Smith contends that much of what traffics under the banner of New Calvinism reduces “Reformed” to a narrow concern with Calvinistic soteriology. Smith introduces New Calvinists to the “world-formative” Christianity that was unleashed with the Reformation, presenting the Reformed tradition as an Augustinian renewal movement within the church catholic. Offering wisdom at the intersection of theology and culture, he also provides pastoral caution about pride and maturity.

The creative and accessible letter format invites young Calvinists into a faithful conversation that reaches from Paul and Augustine through Calvin and Edwards to Kuyper and Wolterstorff. Together these letters sketch a comprehensive vision of Calvinism that is generous, winsome, and imaginative.

 

James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. He is the editor of Comment magazine. Smith has authored or edited many books, including Imagining the Kingdom and the Christianity Today Book Award winners Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom. He is also editor of the well-received The Church and Postmodern Culture series (www.churchandpomo.org).

The Weekly Hit List: January 9, 2015

Rejoicing in Lament (February 2015) by J. Todd Billings received a 5-star review from Christianity Today.

“Few words have the power to chill the soul as does cancer. Combined with terminal, the effect is both exponential and surreal.

“It is trite to say that a cancer diagnosis will change your life. Hearing these words from a doctor is profoundly disorienting, more like an out-of-body experience than a medical judgment. Once the sentence is pronounced over us, like some strange and terrifying sacrament uttered by a priest, we are never the same.

“At age 39, theologian J. Todd Billings was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. In his remarkable book Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ (Brazos Press), he presents an unflinching look at how life changes after a medical death sentence. In the same tradition as C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Rejoicing in Lament is brave, honest, and probing. But this book has one important difference. Most writers in this genre look at death and dying through the eyes of a family member who survives. Billings surveys the same terrain, but through the lens of someone who is dying, someone whose landscape includes both ‘a narrowed future’ and ‘a spacious place.’ It is territory marked by fog and light, sorrow and joy. Billings wrote the book during various stages of his treatment, and its contours reflect the shape of a journey that isn’t over.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Three forthcoming Brazos Press titles were included in The Englewood Review of Books‘ Top 50 Books For Christian Readers to Watch for in 2015“:

 

Nonviolent Action: What Christian Ethics Demands but Most Christians Have Never Really Tried by Ronald J. Sider (February 2015)

“Every once in a while a book substantially changes the conversation, and even the posture, of the church. What Ron Sider’s Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger did to change how Christians think about poverty, Nonviolent Action promises to do for how we think about war. This book is for every person who is appalled by evil but conflicted in how to respond to it in a way that honors Jesus, the Prince of Peace. It is not just for pacifists. It is for skeptics, war hawks, liberals, and conservatives—but is not for the faint of heart, for in the end it is a clarion call to take the cross as seriously as we have taken the sword.”
Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and founding partner of The Simple Way

 

Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian by Wesley Hill (April 2015)

“Wesley Hill captured my imagination by presenting a vision of friendship—spiritual friendship—that has been our Christian heritage. Each of us who make up the body of Christ will be enriched and our corporate witness to a broader culture enhanced if we can find a way to live into this vision.”
Mark A. Yarhouse, Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair and professor of psychology, Regent University

 

The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson (fall 2015)

Here two authors with firsthand experience in the justice movement encourage us to ground our call to justice in sound biblical and theological teaching as we engage with the most critical global needs of our time. The authors connect justice to Scripture, the character of God, and the long traditions of the church so that our passion meets perseverance and justice becomes an enduring and integrated part of our life and faith.

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Books at a Glance reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

David Matthew reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Joshua Ryan Butler reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scot McKnight wrote “On the term ‘Kingdom.'”

 

Quick Hits:

Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings was reviewed by Reformation 21 in “New & Noteworthy Books in 2015.”

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, will present at Calvin College’s January Series on Monday, January 12, on  “iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives.”

Craig Detweiler discussed the positive and negative ways in which technology shapes our lives with the Centre for Public Christianity.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed in Denver Journal.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Drew McIntyre.

Colossians (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Christopher Seitz was reviewed by Chris Woznicki.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed on Traces of Faith.

 

Ebook Specials:

Secret Faith in the Public Square: An Argument for the Concealment of Christian Identity by Jonathan Malesic is only $1.99 (93% off) from participating retailers through January 12.

Ebook Special for Secret Faith in the Public Square by Jonathan Malesic

Now through January 12, the ebook of Secret Faith in the Public Square: An Argument for the Concealment of Christian Identity by Jonathan Malesic is only $1.99 (93% off) from the following participating retailers:

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

2009 Book of the Year Award, ForeWord Magazine

“Those interested in the ongoing discussion of the relation of Christianity and culture will want to read this book, as will any theologian interested in what it means to preserve the distinctiveness of Christianity in contemporary America.”
—Bill Reddinger, Religious Studies Review

In this groundbreaking and provocative book, Jonathan Malesic examines the tradition and practice of keeping faith separate from public life. Going against the general theological trend of advocating an ever more visible presence for Christianity in American public life, he argues that the best way for Christians to be caretakers of their tradition and to love their neighbors selflessly is to conceal their religious identity in the public square. The alternative—insisting on Christianity’s public visibility in politics, the marketplace, and the workplace—risks severely compromising the distinctiveness of Christian identity.

Delving deep into the Christian tradition, Malesic explains that keeping Christian identity secret means living fully in the world while maintaining Christian language, prayer, and liturgy in reserve. He shows how major thinkers—Cyril of Jerusalem, Søren Kierkegaard, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer—sought to protect Christian identity from being compromised by the public sphere. He then shows that Christians’ dual responsibilities for the tradition and for the neighbor must be kept secret.

Jonathan Malesic (PhD, University of Virginia) is assistant professor of theology at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He has written several essays for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Ebook Special for Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi

Now through January 7, the ebook of Adventures in Daily Prayer: Experiencing the Power of God’s Love by Bert Ghezzi is only $0.99 (86% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

CBD

 

“At the risk of seeming to have engaged in an extravagant statement, I still venture to say that not one of us presently writing about religion in this country is better equipped by experience, skill, and devotion to write about prayer than is Bert Ghezzi. He lives what he speaks, and he speaks what he lives very, very well.”
—Phyllis Tickle, author of Prayer Is a Place and The Great Emergence

For the past forty-five years, beloved author Bert Ghezzi has begun each day with prayer. At first he had to work at doing it consistently, but eventually he couldn’t imagine starting his day without it. Through his discovery of the gift of daily prayer, he came to see God’s connection with us as a bountiful and permanent act of love.

In this delightful book Ghezzi shares his adventures in prayer, offering readers a winsome invitation to experience the promise and power of this faithful daily practice. For those who have struggled at cultivating a strong prayer life, he provides practical help for overcoming obstacles. He also covers how to pray, praying for and with others, and persevering in prayer. The book includes questions for further reflection and group discussion at the end of each chapter.

Bert Ghezzi (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is a popular speaker and columnist. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including The Heart of a Saint: Ten Ways to Grow Closer to God and The Sign of the Cross: Recovering the Power of the Ancient Prayer.