Archives For Theology

 

A Patient Attendance to Beauty
 
A Feature Review of 

God of Earth: Discovering a Radically Ecological Christianity.
Kristin Swenson

Paperback: WJK Books, 2016.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Alan Van Wyk
 
 

In her brief and stunningly beautiful meditation God of Earth: Discovering a Radically Ecological Christianity, Kristen Swenson proposes a rather simple theological experiment: to take seriously the Incarnation. Of course, it is never a simple thing to take a theological claim seriously; doing so does often lead to quite radical ends. Nevertheless, Swenson begins with that most basic of Christian claims: “the one eternal Creator God chose out of love to become incarnate in order to reconcile wayward human beings to God.” So no, it is not really a simple claim, but even here, in this opening, Swenson suggests a subtle shift. Taken seriously, the incarnation is no longer about The Incarnation, full stop, but about the incarnation of God; no longer about Jesus as the Incarnate, but about Jesus as the incarnation of God. And this shift opens, for Swenson, a series of questions:

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One of the great challenges of the theological academy in the twenty-first century is that it is still dominated by males. In honor of Women’s History Month, here is our recommended list of women theologians that you should be reading and talking about. We have reviewed many recent books by these theologians, and will continue to read and review their work.

NOTE: We are defining theology broadly here, to include biblical studies, ethics, etc.

See also:

Ten Essential Women Writers for Christian Readers

These theologians are arranged in alphabetical order by their last names… 
 

Sarah Coakley

Sarah Anne Coakley is an Anglican systematic theologian and philosopher of religion with interdisciplinary interests. She is the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, and Professorial Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

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This is a running list of the books that ERB editor Chris Smith has reviewed this year.

It will regularly be updated.

Some reviews linked here are snippets / adaptations of longer reviews that have appeared in the print ERB magazine or other publications…

 

TOP 3 BOOKS (SO FAR)

   

 
 


REVIEWED

(Starting with the most recent)

Feb. 22

Race & Place

David Leong

5 STARS

Review: 
How Racism Saturates the
Structures of our Daily Lives

 
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Excoriating Christendom
—and Suffering for it

 
A Feature Review of
 

Kierkegaard: A Single Life 
Stephen Backhouse

Hardback: Zondervan, 2016.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by James Dekker
 
 

In an entry of less than 300 words, the then peerless Encylopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, calls young Søren Aaby[e] Kierkegaard “delicate, precocious and morbid in temperament” (vol. 15, 788). One hundred five years later, I am sure that Kiekegaard maven Stephen Backhouse would agree, probably extending Britannica’s estimation to the maverick philosopher’s entire life.

Dying after a series of seizures in 1855 at age 42, Søren—as Backhouse calls him throughout this concise, yet full biography—was not merely precocious, but enormously productive and often acerbic in in his writing. As well, he was beset with intractable paradoxes that both attracted and repelled friends, family and colleagues. During his life he reaped few accolades and much scorn for his relentless, often slashing criticism of leading Danish literati (among them Denmark’s hitherto untouchable Hans Christian Andersen) academics, political theorists and state church leaders. After being ignored by his family pastor and erstwhile mentor, Bishop Jakob Peter Mynster, Kierkegaard added him to his phalanxes of targets. Calling Mynster a “poisonous plant . . . a colossus,” he concluded, “Great strength was required to topple him, and the person who did it also had to pay for it” (148).

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( C.S. Lewis, Kyle Strobel/Jamin Goggin, Trees, MORE )

 

99 Classics available
as 99c Audiobooks!

 
Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

  

#1:
The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It

Kyle Strobel / Jamin Goggin

*** $2.99 ***

 *** BRAND NEW book!
(released this week)

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Gentile_da_Fabriano_052

Tomorrow, January 28 is the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas…

 

In honor of the occasion, we offer an introduction to his most important work, the Summa Theologica,

This introduction was written by D.J. Kennedy, O.P. and appeared in his 1919 book, St. Thomas Aquinas and Medieval Philosophy [ Download the book in full from Google Books ]

Complete, Unabridged Kindle Edition
of the Summa Theologica for 99c!

[ BACKGROUND ]   [ OVERVIEW ]   [  ASSESSMENT ]

 
 

Background of the Book

A Summa Theologica is, broadly speaking, a compendium, summary, or manual of theology. There is not in the English language an exact equivalent of the Latin word Summa as it was used by medieval writers. Perhaps the words “Complete Manual” would best convey to people using our language the idea which was in the minds of those who invented the Latin term. We always think of a compendium, or summary, as of a book or Excerpta, in which many things are omitted, some of these being either necessary or important. In a Summa there must be no such omissions. Things may be left out which properly would find a place only in a compete elucidation and development of a subject considered in all its aspects; but the Summa must contain a statement, explanation and proof of all that is necessary for the comprehension of the subject as a whole and in all its essential parts. Some latitude is allowed in the choice of divisions, arguments and illustrations. Summae composed by different men treating the same subject may not be similar in all respects. In all cases, however, the doctrine must be complete, briefly stated, sufficiently proved, illustrated and defended. Many such books were composed in the Middle Ages, some dealing with history, some with philosophy, some with theology or kindred subjects, the best known and most important of these being the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas (see Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. Summae).

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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 Necessary Conversation 

 
A Review of

Representing Christ: A Vision For the Priesthood of All Believers
Uche Anizor and Hank Voss

Paperback: IVP Academic, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Trent Crofts

 

My first year of college involved a lot of church shopping. Oddly enough, the experience was analogous to shoe shopping. I remember thinking, “this church feels too restricting, this feels too loose, this is bland, this is flashy, this smells,” and so on and so forth. At the time, I focused on what I could get out of church—rather than what church could get out of me. I lacked vision for how believers can serve within the Church, a vision that Representing Christ provides.

Written by Uche Anizor and Hank Voss, Representing Christ provides an introduction to a necessary conversation about the priesthood of all believers, a conversation that is based on Scripture, grounded in history, and motivated for service in the Church and in the world.

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Switching Our Religion.
 
 
A Feature Review of 
 

The Market As God
Harvey Cox

Hardback: Harvard UP, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Philip Christman
 
 
 
I teach first-year English at an elite public university, which gives me a window into the hopes and anxieties of America’s luckier youth. Mostly, they’re anxious about getting into the business school. Some of them actually want to study business, which is fine, but every semester, usually several times, I talk to someone with a demonstrable gift for thinking, writing, doing good, or making art, who has convinced her- or himself that any other major would be irresponsible. They have heard from every corner that the Market will punish them if they—who by their mere presence at University of Michigan have already found their way into a social network so privileged it beggars the human imagination—do the work they want to do. They continue to feel this way even though, from several of my course readings, they have learned that the “skills gap” doesn’t really exist (it’s largely a PR move by corporations that want to offload new-hire training to our public universities), that our future is not threatened by a deluge of art history majors, and that majors have less impact on hireability than many other factors—personal connections, school prestige, work experience. Knowing all this, and in some cases dreading the boredom and enforced club-ability for which business programs are notorious, these students still choose to reroute their hopes and dreams in deference to an abstraction: the Market.

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Radner-Ephraim

Ephraim Radner’s new book, Time and the Word: Figural Reading of the Christian Scriptures,

explores the theological foundations of figural interpretation, the hermeneutic that was practiced by Christians from the earliest days of the church through the early modern period. Figural interpretation was replaced by the historical critical method that we use today, and contemporary Christians tend to look down on figural reading as an interpretive method that finds things in the text that aren’t actually there. But Radner argues that this attitude doesn’t do justice to the depth of figural reading, and he makes a compelling argument for the recovery of this ancient practice. Radner, who is a professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto, is known for work that is both rich and fresh, and this book is no exception.

Time and the Word: Figural Reading of the Christian Scriptures
Ephraim Radner

Hardback: Eerdmans, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]
 
 
Interview by Erin Zoutendam
 
 
ERB: Let’s start with what might be the hardest question. How would you define figural interpretation for people who have never heard of it before?

ER: That’s a good question, and you’re right—it is a hard question. The first thing to be said is that figural interpretation is something that the church has always done. It’s not a matter of inventing a method; it’s a matter of identifying a way that the Bible has been read and continues to be read by lots of different people. The Bible is God’s book that describes the world, the world as it actually is—not just the world as it was.

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