Here are twelve of the best theology books of 2018:
One of the distinctive parts of our mission here at the ERB is recommending substantial theology books that deserve to be read not only among academics, but also in churches, as we seek to discern what faithfulness to the way of Jesus looks like in our particular places amidst all the challenges of the twenty-first century.
So, in addition to our Advent calendar of 2018’s Best Books
(which will feature a few of the following books),
we offer this deeper look at the year’s best theology books.
*** What other books would you add to this list?
*** Reviewed in our Lent 2018 magazine issue
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*** Our Best Theology Book of 2018!!!
An alternative, uniquely Christian response to the growing global challenges of deep religious difference
In the last fifty years, millions of Muslims have migrated to Europe and North America. Their arrival has ignited a series of fierce public debates on both sides of the Atlantic about religious freedom and tolerance, terrorism and security, gender and race, and much more. How can Christians best respond to this situation?
In this book theologian and ethicist Matthew Kaemingk offers a thought-provoking Christian perspective on the growing debates over Muslim presence in the West. Rejecting both fearful nationalism and romantic multiculturalism, Kaemingk makes the case for a third way—a Christian pluralism that is committed to both the historic Christian faith and the public rights, dignity, and freedom of Islam.
*** Reviewed in our Advent 2018 magazine issue
*** Best Theology Book Runner-Up!
Challenging the central place that “practices” have recently held in Christian theology, Lauren Winner explores the damages these practices have inflicted over the centuries
Sometimes, beloved and treasured Christian practices go horrifyingly wrong, extending violence rather than promoting its healing. In this bracing book, Lauren Winner provocatively challenges the assumption that the church possesses a set of immaculate practices that will definitionally train Christians in virtue and that can’t be answerable to their histories. Is there, for instance, an account of prayer that has anything useful to say about a slave‑owning woman’s praying for her slaves’ obedience? Is there a robustly theological account of the Eucharist that connects the Eucharist’s goods to the sacrament’s central role in medieval Christian murder of Jews?
Arguing that practices are deformed in ways that are characteristic of and intrinsic to the practices themselves, Winner proposes that the register in which Christians might best think about the Eucharist, prayer, and baptism is that of “damaged gift.” Christians go on with these practices because, though blighted by sin, they remain gifts from God.
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