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
Challenging the central place that “practices” have recently held in Christian theology, Lauren Winner explores the damages these practices have inflicted over the centuries
Sometimes, beloved and treasured Christian practices go horrifyingly wrong, extending violence rather than promoting its healing. In this bracing book, Lauren Winner provocatively challenges the assumption that the church possesses a set of immaculate practices that will definitionally train Christians in virtue and that can’t be answerable to their histories. Is there, for instance, an account of prayer that has anything useful to say about a slave-owning woman’s praying for her slaves’ obedience? Is there a robustly theological account of the Eucharist that connects the Eucharist’s goods to the sacrament’s central role in medieval Christian murder of Jews?
Arguing that practices are deformed in ways that are characteristic of and intrinsic to the practices themselves, Winner proposes that the register in which Christians might best think about the Eucharist, prayer, and baptism is that of “damaged gift.” Christians go on with these practices because, though blighted by sin, they remain gifts from God.
Lesslie Newbigin, one of the twentieth century’s most important church leaders, offered insights on the church in a pluralistic world that are arguably more relevant now than when first written. This volume presents his ecclesiology to a new generation. Michael Goheen clearly articulates Newbigin’s missionary understanding of the church and places it in the context of Newbigin’s core theological convictions. Suitable for students as well as church leaders, this book offers readers a better understanding of the mission of the church in the world today. Foreword by N. T. Wright.
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