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
American Christians today, says Michael Barram, have a significant blind spot when it comes to economic matters in the Bible. In this book Barram reads biblical texts related to matters of money, wealth, and poverty through a missional lens, showing how they function to transform our economic reasoning.
Barram searches for insight into God’s purposes for economic justice by exploring what it might look like to think and act in life-giving ways in the face of contemporary economic orthodoxies. The Bible repeatedly tells us how to treat the poor and marginalized, Barram says, and faithful Christians cannot but reflect carefully and concretely on such concerns.
Written in an accessible style, this biblically rooted study reflects years of research and teaching on social and economic justice in the Bible and will prove useful for lay readers, preachers, teachers, students, and scholars.
A Redemptive Theology of Art develops a biblical, systematic, and practical theology of aesthetics. It begins with the roots and ontology of aesthetics (vs. “art”) and the architecture and narrative of affection and passion, their woes and their glory.
Those who would search the Bible find little support for “art” as commonly conceived in the West. The language of aesthetics, applied to the maker’s intentions, the qualities of the work, and the responses of the audience, better addresses the questions of beauty, and better suits the discussion of human actions, beliefs, and culture than the language of art does. The Bible yields more consistent and helpful answers to questions about the broader category of aesthetics than it does to questions about art; leading in turn to better questions and a more practical and theological appreciation of human affections, beauty, and delight, and the many paths by which people, including Christians, pursue them.
Using the categories and definitions from Scripture, Covington gives hope and help not only for those who labor in the arts, but for everyone who cares about the passions that motivate us. We were made for God’s delight, and, though sin and bondage plague our passions, God can shape our fun, feelings, desires, affections and aversions. Feelings are neither objective nor subjective; they are redeemable. Borrowing key ideas from other Christian writers on the arts or aesthetics, Covington explores the connection between orthodox Protestant theology and a responsible, respectful treatment of arts, artists, and all aesthetic fields of human work and speech.
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