Ten Theology Books to Watch For – Dec. 2017

December 14, 2017 — Leave a comment

 

Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

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Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil: Theology and Practice

Christopher James

Oxford UP

 

National headlines regularly herald the decline of Christianity in the United States, citing historically low levels of confidence in organized religion, drops in church attendance, church closures, and the dramatic rise of the “Nones.” Scarcely heard are stories from the thousands of new churches and new forms of church that are springing up each year across the country. In this book, Christopher James attends carefully to stories of ecclesial innovation taking place in Seattle, Washington-a city on the leading edge of trends shaping the nation as a whole. James’s study of the new churches founded in this “post-Christian” city offers both theological reflection and pragmatic advice. After an in-depth survey- and -interview-based analysis of the different models of church-planting he encountered, James identifies five threads of practical wisdom: 1) embracing local identity and mission, 2) cultivating embodied, experiential, everyday spirituality, 3) engaging community life as means of witness and formation, 4) prioritizing hospitality as a cornerstone practice, and 5) discovering ecclesial vitality in a diverse ecclesial ecology. Stimulating, encouraging, and stereotype-shattering, this book invites readers to reconsider the narrative that portrays these first decades of the twenty-first century as a period of ecclesial death and decline, and to view our time instead as a hope-filled season of ecclesial renewal and rebirth.

 

John Wesley, Practical Divinity and the Defence of Literature (Routledge Methodist Studies Series)

Emma Salgard Cunha

Routledge

 

John Wesley (1703–1791), leader of British Methodism, was one of the most prolific literary figures of the eighteenth century, responsible for creating and disseminating a massive corpus of religious literature and for instigating a sophisticated programme of reading, writing and publishing within his Methodist Societies. John Wesley, Practical Divinity and the Defence of Literature takes the influential genre of practical divinity as a framework for understanding Wesley’s role as an author, editor and critic of popular religious writing. It asks why he advocated the literary arts as a valid aspect of his evangelical theology, and how his Christian poetics impacted upon the religious experience of his followers.

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