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: 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: September 25, 2015

Cover ArtRoger Olson started a series interacting with Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy.

Having read the first several chapters, I can say now that I am intensely intrigued by Scot’s thesis. I share his concern, but right now I’m not settled about whether or not I agree fully with his idea of the Kingdom….I do not have a preconceived opinion by which I will judge Scot’s arguments or conclusions. At this moment I am not entirely satisfied with either the non-church meaning of “Kingdom of God” or identification of the Kingdom with church. So, we’ll see if Scot changes my mind (and yours).

 

You can read his introduction, part 1, and part 2.

 

 

 

The Weekly Hit List: September 11, 2015

Cover ArtJ. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, wrote A Luminous Mystery for The Banner.

When disaster hits, the sovereign God is present and active, even when things seem out of control. Yet this is a truth that we cannot embody in abstractions or easy clichés: we embody it by joining with the suffering in praying with the psalmists—joining the Spirit and Jesus Christ in hopeful lament. This is God’s world, but it’s also not the way things are supposed to be.


Quick Hits:

Rejoicing in Lament was reviewed by Harry Monroe at The Monroe Doctrine.

Kingdom Conspiracy, by Scot McKnight, was reviewed at Think Apologetics.

 

 

 

The Weekly Hit List: August 21, 2015

Cover ArtLearning for the Love of God, by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby, was reviewed at Bob on Books.

“Having worked in the collegiate ministry world for many years, I welcome this book. It is too easy for our ministries to overlook the academic aspect of the discipleship of our students….A great gift to students headed off to college

 


Quick Hits:

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, asked Why do Cancer Patients Hide Side Effects?

Jonathan Storment, at Jesus Creed, wrestled with the question “Did Gandhi do Kingdom work?” in light of Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy.

The Weekly Hit List: August 14, 2015

Cover ArtScot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy was reviewed by Steve McAlpine at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

“If one line sums up Scot McKnight’s latest, and by some accounts most controversial, book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church, it would be this:

Everything can be kingdom. And when everything is kingdom, nothing will be. (cue outraged cries)

I warmed to this book quickly. McKnight rides to the rescue of that once-incredible damsel in distress, the western church, riven as she is by assaults from without and doubts from within and gives her credibility back.”


Quick Hits:

Wesley Hill, author of Spiritual Friendship, was interviewed at Key Life.

 At Theologues, Alvin Rapien discussed politics and religion, and drew from Paul’s New Moment by John Milbank, Slavoj Zizek, and Creston Davis.

Chuck McKnight recommended Ron Sider’s Nonviolent Action in his post How Should Christians Respond to Violence? at the Faithlife Blog.

The Weekly Hit List: June 19, 2015

Cover ArtJ. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, was interviewed by Anna at An Inch of Gray.

My book is called Rejoicing in Lament with a double-sense: taking joy in rediscovering the healing balm of biblical lament, and also rejoicing in the midst of lament. I’ve not only shed tears of grief, but tears of joy in my cancer journey. Ultimately, this is a book that shows how lament can go hand in hand with gratitude and hope.

At Jesus Creed, McKnight finished his series on Wesley Hill’s Spiritual Friendship.

Love is a genuine and rugged commitment to another person, first, to be with that person, and second, to be for that person, and third, in that context those who genuinely love journey into Christlikeness. I don’t think that can happen without friendships being formed.


Quick Hits:

Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy was reviewed by T. D. Hurst at Where the Wild Things Are.

Stratford Caldecott‘s Beauty for Truth’s Sake was reviewed by Roy Peachey at Humanum.

At School of Religion, Vincent Williams reviewed A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf.

The Weekly Hit List: May 29, 2015

“Bigger than Cancer: In the Darkness, a Theologian Meets God in a New Way” by J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, appeared on RCA.org.

Right now, our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We shouldn’t expect our lives right now to look like a seamless story of victory and success. We may die a death that looks senseless. For our true lives are hidden from sight, for now.

But “when Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). In the meantime, we are freed to wrestle with God in our suffering and also rejoice in his unshakeable love in Christ, for this is our most basic identity: that we belong in body and soul, in life and in death, to our faithful savior, Jesus Christ.

Read the rest of “Bigger than Cancer” here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

WORLD Magazine recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

California Bookwatch reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Julie Golden reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Matthew Manry quoted and recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Chris Ho reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

 

 

Conciliar Post interviewed Wesley Hill: “The Positive Vocation of Celibacy: An Interview with Dr. Wesley Hill”

George Aldhizer: Your first book, Washed and Waiting, emphasized your struggle of living a celibate life. Spiritual Friendship emphasizes your hope and calling in living a celibate life. Does this contrast reflect an evolution in your thinking on your own sexual identity?

Wesley Hill: I think it does, yes. Washed and Waiting was more focused on what those of us who are gay are called to abstain from and how painful that can be. Spiritual Friendship is more focused on the “yes” of Christian discipleship for gay believers—what we called to pursue, positively.

The earlier book was more interested in painting a picture of the challenges and difficulties of being gay and Christian, while the latter is more interested in the question of vocation and calling. As Paul Evdokimov has put it, “[I]n all the cases of deprivation Scripture speaks of, grace offers a gift; out of a negative renunciation it creates a positive vocation. To renounce one thing means to be totally consecrated to another that this very renunciation allows us to realize.”

It’s the consecration that I’m more interested in now.

Read the entire interview here.

 

Other Spiritual Friendship Media:

Wesley Hill’s interview with Peter Smith for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was picked up by Salina Journal and Valley News.

Seth Crocker recommended Spiritual Friendship.

Elliot Ritzema reviewed Spiritual Friendship

 

Quick Hits:

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, was interviewed by Jonathan Merritt for Religion News Service: “Who are ‘the least of these’? Scholars say they may not be the poor.” The article was picked up by The Salt Lake Tribune and The Washington Post.

Traces of the Trinity by Peter J. Leithart was recommended and excerpted by Books at a Glance and reviewed by Nick Norelli.

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

Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster, wrote  “Remembering the Gospel with Alzheimer’s” for Her.meneutics.

Scot  McKnight continued discussing Glittering Vices by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung on Jesus Creed.

The Weekly Hit List: May 22, 2015

Jonathan Merritt interviewed J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, for Religion News Service blog On Faith & Culture.

In a classroom in Holland, Michigan, a 39-year-old man in a bowtie stands to deliver a lecture. Peeking out from behind his glasses, he surveys the eager students who have come expecting a lecture on theology. Instead, he tells them that he has just been diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer.

J. Todd Billings is the Gordon H. Girod research professor of Reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary and author of several award-winning books such as The Word of God for The People of God and Union With Christ. After being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012, Billings and his wife decided to be open with others about his condition. But they didn’t know what they would learn through the process.

The knowledge that he faces a “narrowed future” has raised fresh theological questions about life, death, and faith for Billings and taught him how to rejoice in the face of possible death. He has recorded his thoughts in a critically-acclaimed book, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling With Incurable Cancer and Life With Christ. Here we discuss what he has learned and hopes to teach others in the time he has left.

Read all of “Prominent theologian finds joy amid incurable cancer diagnosis” here.

 

Spiritual Friendship (Wesley Hill) Media:

Wesley Hill’s interview with Peter Smith for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was picked up by LaCrosse Tribune and by My San Antonio.

James Matichuk reviewed Spiritual Friendship and gave it five stars.

 

Quick Hits:

On Word on Fire, Robert Barron announced his 2 Samuel contribution to the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series, and he shared the entire introduction to his commentary.

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, appeared on White Horse Inn.

Rejoicing in Lament was recommended by Liberti Church: “This book on lament, hope, and prayer is both deeply personal and profoundly theological.”

Dennis Okholm, author of Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins, was interviewed on Jesus Creed blog.

Learning for the Love of God by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

Scot  McKnight began discussing Glittering Vices by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung on Jesus Creed.

The Weekly Hit List: May 1, 2015

The Englewood Review of Books reviewed Nonviolent Action by Ronald J. Sider.

Sider’s latest work is not a book to be read quickly. Rather, the reader is best served by engaging each story slowly and letting the lessons it contains sink in over time.

Present here are not only additional stories of successful nonviolent action, but also useful current statistics from scholars such as Gene Sharp, Erica Chenoweth, and Maria J. Stephan. The fruits of their labor are intelligently deployed by Sider to prove that even without many resources, there is no denying the success nonviolent approaches have had in the last 100 years.

Sider uses the proof of these successes to question why our society has never systematically put resources to exploring nonviolent action in any sustained or serious way.

Read the entire review here.

 

Rejoicing in Lament (by J. Todd Billings) Media:

First Things shared video of the discussion between Todd Billings and R. R. Reno from Billings’ NYC lecture and book signing event in early April.

Todd wrote “Praying in the Dark: Lament, Providence and Protest” for Perspectives Journal.

Todd appeared on Morning Express with Brock Tozer (Family Radio CHRI 99.1FM – Ontario).

 

Spiritual Friendship (by Wesley Hill) Media:

Dan Brennan reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

YALT (the CRC’s Young Adult Leadership Initiative) interviewed Wesley Hill about Spiritual Friendship.

Chris Woznicki reivewed Spiritual Friendship.

 

Quick Hits:

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was reviewed by Paul A. Nierengarten.

Scot McKnight discussed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

Traces of the Trinity by Peter J. Leithart was reviewed by Patrick Schreiner.

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, appeared at Lipscomb University April 22-23, and wrote about it here. Lipscomb University wrote about it here.

Presence and Encounter by David G. Benner was quoted by The Mennonite.