Ten Theology Books to Watch For – Oct. 2017

October 5, 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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The Pietist Option: Hope for the Renewal of Christianity

Christopher Gehrz /
Mark Pattie III

IVP Academic

Historian Mark Noll has written that historic Pietism “breathed a badly needed vitality” into post-Reformation Europe. Now the time has come for Pietism to revitalize Christianity in post-Christendom America.

In The Pietist Option, Christopher Gehrz, a historian of Pietism, and Mark Pattie, a pastor in the Pietist tradition, show how Pietism holds great promise for the church-and the world-today. Modeled after Philipp Spener’s 1675 classic, Pia Desideria, this timely book makes a case for the vitality of Pietism in our day.

Taking a hard look at American evangelicalism and why it needs renewal, Gehrz and Pattie explore the resources that Pietism can provide the church of the twenty-first century. This concise and winsome volume serves as a practical guide to the Pietist ethos for life and ministry, pointing us toward the renewal so many long for.

The Pietist Option introduces Pietism to those who don’t know it-and reintroduces it to those who perceive it as an outdated and inward-focused spirituality, a nitpicking divisiveness, or an anti-intellectual withdrawal. With its emphasis on our walk with Jesus and its vibrant hope for a better future, Pietism connects decisively with the ideas and issues of our day. Here is a revitalizing option for all who desire to be faithful and fruitful in God’s mission.

 

Embracing Hopelessness

Miguel De La Torre

Fortress Press

 

This book will attempt to explore faith-based responses to unending injustices by embracing the reality of hopelessness. It rejects the pontifications of some salvation history that move the faithful toward an eschatological promise that, when looking back at history, makes sense of all Christian-led brutalities, mayhem, and carnage.

Hope, as an illusion, is responsible for maintaining oppressive structures. This book struggles with a God who at times seems mute, demanding solidarity in the midst of perdition and a blessing in the midst of adversity. How can the Creator be so invisible during the troubling times in which we live-times filled with unbearable life-denying trials and tribulations? The book concludes with a term De La Torre has coined in other books: an ethics para joder-an ethics that “f*cks with.” When all is hopeless, when neoliberalism has won, when there exists no chance of establishing justice, the only choice left for the oppressed is to “screw” with the structure, literally turning over the bankers’ tables at the temple. By upsetting the norm, an opportunity might arise that can lead us to a more just situation, although such acts of defiance usually lead to crucifixion. Hopelessness is what leads to radical liberative praxis.

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