I am increasingly convinced that in our polarized age, our most important convictions as Christians are God’s creation of all humanity and God’s redemption of all humanity.
In a recent article, ERB Contributing Editor John Wilson noted the prevalence of competing visions of the common good. This story of competing visions is nothing new, and at least as old as the story of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4). Between creation and redemption, we will have differing conceptions of how we live and move faithfully toward God’s redemption, and these conceptions will have consequences on human lives. But at all times we must remember that those whose life experiences and visions of the common good differ from our own are humans created in the image of God, who are loved by God and with whom God desires to be reconciled. Our politics and our ethics matter, but if we lose sight of the bigger picture of creation and redemption, then we have lost our way and are reduced to noisy gongs and clanging symbols.
With these thoughts in mind, I offer this list of books that re-orient us toward the bigger picture of God’s creation and redemption of all humanity. (All of these books have a particular perspective, and of course, none offers a full picture of what God is doing in creation)
Nonna Verna Harrison
What does it mean to be a human being made in the image of God? This book makes the case that the divine image can be seen in not just one or two aspects of human identity but in all of them. The author, a specialist in early Christianity, reveals the light that leading theologians of the early church shed on contemporary discussions of what it means to be human. Each chapter explores a different facet of the divine image and likeness and maps out a path that can lead toward wholeness and holiness. This fresh approach to theological anthropology brings Greek patristic theology to students in a readable fashion.