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.

Ebook Special for A Life Observed by Devin Brown

Now through April 26, the ebook for A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis by Devin Brown is only $2.99 (82% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

“Lewis believed that Christianity was first and foremost about experiencing God in one’s life. . . . Quite appropriately then, Brown’s biography recounts events from Lewis’ life and quotes from his books, letters, and diary in order to tell the story of his spiritual journey. And it’s a fascinating tale, especially when one considers that Lewis was not always a Christian. . . . Fans of Lewis will find much here to savor. So, too, will those interested in a man’s lifelong attempt to live out his faith.”
Booklist

“[Brown] chronicles Lewis’s journey from atheist to Christian, tracing Lewis’s lifelong search for his mysterious object of desirejoy. He provides a close reading of Lewis’s writings and an examination of Lewis’s friendships with J. R. R. Tolkien and the rest of the literary circle known as the Inklings. . . . [This book] perform[s] the task that all critical books should and also plant[s] a desire in readers to pick up and read Lewis’s own work. . . . [It] illuminate[s] this gifted author, whose passion for good writing and deep desire to bring pleasure to readers make his work timeless.”
Publishers Weekly

 

C. S. Lewis is one of the most influential Christian writers of our time. The Chronicles of Narnia has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and all Lewis’s works are estimated to sell 6 million copies annually. At the fiftieth anniversary of his death, Lewis expert Devin Brown brings the beloved author’s story to life in a fresh, accessible, and moving biography through focusing on Lewis’s spiritual journey.

Although it was clear from the start that Lewis would be a writer, it was not always clear he would become a Christian. Drawing on Lewis’s autobiographical works, books by those who knew him personally, and his apologetic and fictional writing, this book tells the inspiring story of Lewis’s journey from cynical atheist to joyous Christian and challenges readers to follow their own calling. The book allows Lewis to tell his own life story in a uniquely powerful manner while shedding light on his best-known works.

Devin Brown (PhD, University of South Carolina) is a Lilly scholar and professor of English at Asbury University. A C. S. Lewis aficionado, Brown has written, taught, and lectured on Lewis extensively for more than ten years. He has authored a number of books related to Lewis, including Inside Narnia and Inside Prince Caspian, and lives in Kentucky. In 2008 Brown was invited to serve as scholar-in-residence at the Kilns, Lewis’s home in Oxford.

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.

Ebook Special for Good News for Anxious Christians by Phillip Cary

Now through March 31, the ebook for 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 the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

“Addressed to shepherds and their flocks, Good News for Anxious Christians features the admonishing, teaching, and comforting voice of a Christ-haunted philosophy professor at Eastern University. Its timely message is timeless: Servants of Christ grow through repetition of the gospel (which turns the heart outward), not through experimentation with techniques (which turns the heart inward). . . . His quiver contains ten arrows, one for each of the practical things that we don’t have to do because they’re not in the Bible. . . . Cary submits that the Lutheran doctrine of sola fide (faith alone) offers a powerful corrective to the strangely Catholicized and psychologized evangelicalism that oppresses us. . . . The gospel, Cary argues, gives us permission to ignore anxiety-producing techniques because Christ is enough, period.”
Christianity Today 5-Star Review

 

Like a succession of failed diet regimens, the much-touted techniques that are supposed to bring us closer to God “in our hearts” can instead make us feel anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed. How can we meet and know God with ongoing joy rather than experiencing the Christian life as a series of guilt-inducing disappointments?

Drawing on his work with college students, Phillip Cary shows Christians that discipleship is a gradual, long-term process that comes through the Bible experienced in Christian community, not a to-do list designed to help them live the Christian life “right.” This lucidly written book covers ten things Christians don’t have to do to be close to God, such as hear God’s voice in their hearts, find God’s will for their lives, and believe their intuitions are the Holy Spirit. Presenting a time-honored approach to the gospel that is beautiful and liberating, Cary skillfully unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality to bring the real good news to Christians of all ages.

 

Phillip Cary (PhD, Yale University) is professor of philosophy at Eastern University in Pennsylvania as well as scholar-in-residence at the Templeton Honors College. He is the author of Jonah in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible and of three critically acclaimed books on the life and thought of Augustine.

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.

Ebook Special for The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns

Now through March 13, the ebook of 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 the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

2012 Book of the Year Award, Foreword Magazine

“On the basis of what is known about Genesis, its origins, and its subsequent interpretation, Enns argues in this sensitive and highly readable book that modern evolutionary science can coexist with the scriptural account of creation in Christian understanding. Writing with high respect for scripture, he cogently assembles information and perspectives to help Christians understand Genesis on its own terms and navigate the troubled passage between science and theology.”
Christian Century

 

Can Christianity and evolution coexist? Traditional Christian teaching presents Jesus as reversing the effects of the fall of Adam. However, an evolutionary view of beginnings doesn’t allow for a historical Adam, making evolution seem incompatible with what Genesis and the apostle Paul say about him. For Christians who accept evolution and want to take the Bible seriously, this presents a tension that endangers faith.

Peter Enns offers a way forward by explaining how this tension is caused not by the discoveries of science but by false expectations about the biblical texts. Focusing on key biblical passages in the discussion, Enns demonstrates that the author of Genesis and the apostle Paul wrote to ask and answer ancient questions for ancient people; the fact that they both speak of Adam does not determine whether Christians can accept evolution. This thought-provoking book reconciles the teachings of the Bible with the widely held evolutionary view of beginnings and will appeal to anyone interested in the Christianity-evolution debate, including college and seminary students in science and religion courses.

 

Peter Enns (PhD, Harvard University) is the Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He was formerly senior fellow of biblical studies for The BioLogos Foundation, an organization that explores the integration of science and Christian faith, where he wrote a regular column for their Science and the Sacred blog. He has taught at several schools, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Temple University, and Westminster Theological Seminary. Enns has authored or edited numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So and The Evolution of Adam.

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.

Ebook Special for Conversations with Poppi about God by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold

Now through March 11, the ebook of 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 the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

A Crossings Book Club Selection

“What a good premise for a book: an eight-year-old precocious child carrying on a theological conversation with her 73-year-old grandfather–not just any grandfather but a noted ‘Reverend Canon Professor . . .’ who has edited a volume on Christian dogmatics. . . . There is something here for all Christians–or skeptics–from adolescents to grandparents, who read for insight as well as whimsy.”
Evelyn Bence, FaithfulReader.com

Come and listen in as one of the world’s most respected theologians talks theology with his eight-year-old granddaughter. In Conversations with Poppi about God, Robert Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold share with us their unscripted, spontaneous talks about everything from the meaning of the Trinity to what God looks like. The result is a charming and enlightening book that reminds us all we have a lot to learn from theologians and from children. Now available in paper, Conversations with Poppi will appeal to parents, grandparents, pastors, teachers, and Christians looking for a refreshing perspective on the mysteries of Christianity.

Robert W. Jenson (DrTheol, University of Heidelberg) is former senior scholar for research at the Center of Theological Inquiry. He is the author of On Thinking the Human: Resolutions of Difficult Notions and coeditor (with Carl Braaten) of Christian Dogmatics. Jenson lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Solveig Lucia Gold attends elementary school in New York and enjoys visits to Poppi’s home in Princeton, New Jersey.

Ebook Special for Cross-Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas

Today only: the ebook of Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words by Stanley Hauerwas is $1.99 (87% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

“Hauerwas strips down the seven last sayings of Jesus to their barest essence, refusing to psychologize or proffer easy explanations for hard truths. For the third saying (‘Woman, behold thy son!’), he points out that the Jesus of the New Testament was nothing if not anti-family, and then launches into an utterly fascinating argument that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is presented as the ‘new Abraham’ throughout the Gospels and the Book of Hebrews. Many readers will find it refreshing to see a Protestant theologian recognize Mary’s unique role in salvation and in the church. One note of caution: although these essays are short and the entire book clocks in at right around a hundred pages, even serious readers will find that this is not a collection to be consumed in a single sitting. It would make excellent devotional reading for all of Holy Week, using each reflection for a full day’s rumination.”
Publishers Weekly

“Much-respected theologian Hauerwas . . . has written a brief but intensely observed discussion of the theological issues that subtend the last utterances of Jesus on the cross. Hauerwas’s theology and approach belong squarely in the mainstream tradition of Christian theology about Christ and redemption; many readers will gain profound insight from his deftly phrased, swiftly moving observations. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“A close and moving reading of each of Christ’s last sayings from the cross. . . . Don’t miss this opportunity to reflect further upon the last words of our Lord and Savior.”
—Christianbook.com

In Cross-Shattered Christ, theologian Stanley Hauerwas offers a moving reflection on Jesus’s final words from the cross. This small and powerful volume is theologically poignant and steeped in humility. Hauerwas’s pithy discussion opens our ears to the language of Scripture while opening our hearts to a truer vision of God. Touching in original and surprising ways on subjects such as praying the Psalms and our need to be remembered by Jesus, Hauerwas emphasizes Christ’s humanity as well as the sheer “differentness” of God.

Ideal for personal devotion during Lent and throughout the year, Cross-Shattered Christ offers a transformative reading of Jesus’s words that goes directly to the heart of the gospel.

Ebook Special for Christianity and the Postmodern Turn by Myron B. Penner

Now through January 5, the ebook of Christianity and the Postmodern Turn: Six Views by Myron B. Penner (editor) is only $2.99 (89% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

“Penner has assembled half a dozen fine scholars to explain and debate the issues that affect mainstream Christian thought in the wake of the postmodern turn. . . . An important contribution to Christian theology as a whole.”
—Fergus Kerr, OP, University of Edinburgh

“The value of this volume is that it demonstrates what is at stake in th[e] debate over Christianity and postmodernism.”
Christian Scholar’s Review

In our post-Cold War, post-colonial, post-Christian world, Western culture is experiencing a dramatic shift. Correspondingly, says Myron Penner, recent philosophy has taken a postmodern turn in which traditional concepts of reality, truth, language, and knowledge have been radically altered, if not discarded all together. This presents the Christian intellectual community with a unique set of challenges for articulating the gospel and fashioning a Christian worldview.

In Christianity and the Postmodern Turn, six contributors–including James K.A. Smith, John Franke, Merold Westphal, and Kevin Vanhoozer–respond to the question, “What perils and/or promises does the postmodern turn hold for the tasks of Christian thinkers?” Addressing topics such as the nature of rationality and biblical faith, the relationship of language to reality and truth, ethics, and apologetics/theological method, the book presents a variety of positions in dialogue with each other. It will be of interest to contemporary theology and philosophy students.

Myron Bradley Penner (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is pastor of Trinity International Church in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. He previously taught at Prairie College and Graduate School and served as a human development worker. He is the editor of Christianity and the Postmodern Turn and coauthor of A New Kind of Conversation.