Archives For God

 

Rublev-Trinity

As I have been writing my book manuscript on the practice of conversation, I have been reading quite a bit on social trinitarianism, the theology rooted in the conviction that the three persons of the Trinity exist in an eternal conversation with one another. (I recognize that this perspective is not without critique, but it is a helpful way of imagining the Trinity when one wants to make a case for the importance of human conversation!) 

Here is a short, annotated reading guide to the books I have been reading.

*** What other books should I be considering?
 

[ Contemporary Trinitarian Theology ]   [ Jurgen Moltmann ]
[ Other Social Trinitarians ]   [ Critical Engagements ]

 
 

PAGE 1: Contemporary Trinitarian Theology

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A Truly Transforming Theology
 
A Feature Review of 
 

Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation
Richard Rohr
With Mike Morrell

Hardback: Whittaker House, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Amy Neftzger.
 
 
Richard Rohr’s latest book The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your Transformation is both rich and revolutionary.  It’s rich in the sense that it discusses deep theological issues about the nature and structure of the Trinity, while at the same time describing a need for a radical paradigm shift in the way modern Christians think about the Trinitarian God. The concepts outlined in the book are revolutionary not because they’re new, but rather because they challenge the mindset of our current culture and longstanding beliefs about God.

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On Reading a “Big Book”

A Review of

Paul and the Faithfulness of God

N.T. Wright

Paperback (2 vol.): Fortress Press, 2013
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

 

Reviewed by Daniel M. Yencich

 
N.T. Wright’s long-awaited treatise on the theology of Paul is a big book. Indeed: although it is one work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God (PFG hereafter) is split into two volumes and spans a mammoth 1660 pages. There is a joke about an author attaining true historical significance when the volume of writings about him surpasses the number of things he actually wrote, but Wright’s five-pound book renders it rather obvious. Beyond physical measurements, however, PFG must still be described as a “big book,” in the sense of the impact it has had and will have in New Testament scholarship, theological reflection, and Christian ministry for years to come. Wright is not always persuasive in his arguments in PFG, but his perspective is certainly interesting and, especially in evangelical circles, his voice certainly commands attention. PFG is an important work, if a bit physically unwieldy, and will challenge scholars, pastors, and interested non-specialists alike with its comprehensive vision of Christianity’s most famous apostle and the theological thought he bequeathed to history.

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I wasn’t able to get a list of new book releases to watch for posted this week, but here’s one book release this week that you won’t want to miss…
 

Our Great Big American God: A Short History of Our Ever-Growing Deity

Matthew Paul Turner

Hardback: Jericho Books, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 
*** Featured on our list of 25 Books to Watch for this fall

Our Book Trailer of the Week:

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Suffering that Transforms

A Feature Review of

Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed about God’s Abundance

Caryn Rivadeneira

Paperback: IVP Books, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Halee Gray Scott.

On September 29, Americans watched the Dow slide 778 points—the largest single day decline—like a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane just broke shore. As everyone else fled for cover in horror, my husband, Paul, and I tried walking on water. As a result of the crisis, Paul’s company, a non-profit ministry, ordered offsite workers to work from the corporate office in Laguna Beach, one of the most expensive zip codes in the country. Knowing we’d never be able to afford a home there on a ministry salary, Paul and I decided to take the money we’d saved over the years and build a life in a more affordable area. Things went well until the eve of my daughter’s first birthday, when she came down with a severe, life-threatening respiratory illness, landing her in the children’s hospital for more than a week. With our crash and burn insurance policy, that one visit cost us all our savings and put us severely in debt. Far from walking on water, we sunk. Or at least we thought we did. We felt like we’d lost everything.

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God is on the Side of the Sufferer

A Feature Review of

The Question that Never Goes Away

Philip Yancey

Hardback: Zondervan, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Julie Lane-Gay.
 
It only takes a glance at the New York Times to remind us that tragedies happen frequently.  Even on days without plane crashes and bus station bombings, we see accounts of children killed in war and actor’s suicides.  Some of us find ourselves asking God almost daily, “Why did you let this happen?”
 
Philip Yancey’s slim new volume, The Question that Never Goes Away, is his answer, written after spending countless hours alongside those directly affected by Japan’s 2011 earthquake, the Civil war in the Balkans and Connecticut’s Sandy Hook School Massacre. If ever there were people to speak credibly about the “Why?” questions, and a scrupulously truthful writer to record their answers, these are they.

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A Communal Way of Doing Theology

A Feature Review of

God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay ‘On The Trinity’
Sarah Coakley

Paperback:  Cambridge UP, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [  Kindle  ]

Reviewed by Joshua Brockway
 
Not many theologians, save those dedicated to the work of Karl Barth or John Calvin, choose to identify as systematic theologians. Few publishing houses have the ability or patience to publish extensive, multi-volume theologies in the tradition of the Institutes or Church Dogmatics. Seminaries and Universities rarely call the field systematics, but prefer the generic appellation of “Theology” so as to make space for the unique methodological approaches of their faculty.

 

It is no wonder, then, that some have said that systematics is passé. Philosophically, the early prognosis was sounded by the likes of Lyotard and Derrida. The Post-Modern assumption these two writers helped to articulate, namely that any attempt at constructing a comprehensive system, or meta-narrative is futile, has soaked into the consciousness of academics. Instead, professional theologians have turned to consider particular modes of theology. Instead, Feminist and Liberation theologians now write of contextual perspectives shaped by the cultural experiences of particular peoples. Still others seek out other arenas for their work, dividing up theological disciplines among historians, preachers, counselors, and teachers. The problem is, of course, that other theologians appear to have not received the memo.

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Painfully Aware of the Abyss

A Review of

Good God, Lousy World and Me: The Improbable Journey of a Human Rights Activist from Unbelief to Faith
Holly Burkhalter

Hardback: Convergent, 2013
Buy now:  [  Amazon  ]  [ Kindle  ]

Reviewed by Ellen Painter Dollar
 
I once read a novel in which the protagonist divided humankind into two categories: those who are always aware of the “abyss,” and those who are not. “The abyss” referred to the darkness and suffering that pervade human life, the agony that screams from newspaper headlines and whimpers in lonely corners. I immediately recognized myself as one who is painfully aware of the abyss. Holly Burkhalter, author of Good God, Lousy World & Me, is also one of us. For many years, her intimate knowledge of the world’s darkness, particularly the hideous ways that human beings can treat one another, made her an angry atheist.

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Exalting the Giver of Music

A Review of

It was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God
Ned Bustard ed.

Paperback: Square Halo Books, 2013.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Erin M. Stephens

 

If the Church is the Body of Christ, then music is its heartbeat. Music reverberates in the spirit, draws individuals together into community, and guides them in the common desire to exalt their Savior. Through music, Christians experience an inexplicable link to their Creator. Though mysterious, this interaction is a central facet of Christianity that intimately informs your relationship with God. Each follower of Christ, regardless of personal musical ability, should cultivate a God-centered understanding of music. For such an endeavor, It was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God edited by Ned Bustard is an ideal resource. In its engaging pages, thirty devout music-professionals offer their unique perspectives on music-making. Its content is accessible, its contributors authoritative, and its captivating insights universally applicable, making this book a necessary pleasure for worship leader and worshiper alike.

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David Bentley Hart

 

We are Meant to Play and Create

An Interview with David Bentley Hart,
Author of The Experience of God
(Yale UP, 2013)

by Todd Edmondson

 
Since his first book-length publication, 2003’s The Beauty of the Infinite, David Bentley Hart has established himself as one of the most exciting and eloquent voices in Christian thought. His subsequent books have explored a diverse set of concerns, and each new, eagerly anticipated release invites readers to engage more deeply with matters of faith as well as the cultural streams in which we live and move. Following the publication of his most recent work, The Experience of God, Mr. Hart was gracious enough to participate in a conversation, via email, about his work. What follows is a transcription of that conversation.

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