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?
We live in a distracted, secular age.
These two trends define life in Western society today. We are increasingly addicted to habits―and devices―that distract and “buffer” us from substantive reflection and deep engagement with the world. And we live in what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls “a secular age”―an age in which all beliefs are equally viable and real transcendence is less and less plausible. Drawing on Taylor’s work, Alan Noble describes how these realities shape our thinking and affect our daily lives. Too often Christians have acquiesced to these trends, and the result has been a church that struggles to disrupt the ingrained patterns of people’s lives. But the gospel of Jesus is inherently disruptive: like a plow, it breaks up the hardened surface to expose the fertile earth below. In this book Noble lays out individual, ecclesial, and cultural practices that disrupt our society’s deep-rooted assumptions and point beyond them to the transcendent grace and beauty of Jesus. Disruptive Witness casts a new vision for the evangelical imagination, calling us away from abstraction and cliché to a more faithful embodiment of the gospel for our day.
The church needs to do a better job of speaking theologically to single Christians. Challenging prevailing evangelical assumptions about “the problem” of singleness, this book explains why the church needs single people and offers a contemporary theology of singleness relevant to all members of the church. Drawing on the examples of three important figures from the history of Christianity, the book helps today’s church form a vision of life in the kingdom of God that is as theologically significant for single people as it is for those who are married.
“How did we get singleness and marriage so wrong? For the New Testament, both tell a truth about God: that the kingdom is here and that God is faithful. The loss of any honored place for singleness in Protestant churches suggests that we don’t believe the kingdom is really here. This erudite and accessible book, with its engagement with Scripture and saints and real life, is a step in the right direction. May there be many more.”
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