Conversations, Reading Guides, VOLUME 12

Not Yet Classics – Theology Books


Not Yet Classics Theology Books  Not Yet Classics Theology Books  Not Yet Classics Theology Books

I have been enjoying theologian Matthew Bates’s Twitter series of not yet classics, books that are neither “new nor a universally known classic,” but yet still merit our careful reading and reflection. Bates is author of the new book Gospel Allegiance, and also of Salvation by Allegiance Alone (One of our Best Books of 2017!) 

 

Taking Bates’s lead, I offer this list of theology books that are not yet classics in my estimation, yet are ones that I have read, re-read, and regularly share with others. All of these have been released in the last quarter century, and most of them within the last decade.

 
 

Not Yet Classics Theology BooksA New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology

Richard Middleton

In recent years, more and more Christians have come to appreciate the Bible’s teaching that the ultimate blessed hope for the believer is not an otherworldly heaven; instead, it is full-bodied participation in a new heaven and a new earth brought into fullness through the coming of God’s kingdom. Drawing on the full sweep of the biblical narrative, J. Richard Middleton unpacks key Old Testament and New Testament texts to make a case for the new earth as the appropriate Christian hope. He suggests its ethical and ecclesial implications, exploring the difference a holistic eschatology can make for living in a broken world.

“Richard Middleton plunges boldly into a most-treasured misreading of the Bible. He shows the way in which ‘other-worldly’ hope of ‘going to heaven’ is a total misread of gospel faith. In a demanding, sure-footed way he walks the reader through a rich deposit of biblical texts to make clear that the gospel concerns the transformation of the earth and not escape from it. Middleton summons us to repentance for such a mistaken understanding that has had disastrous practical implications. This is a repentance that he himself avows. When his book catches on, it will have an immense impact on the way in which we think and act about our common future in the gospel, a common future with important socioeconomic, political derivatives.”
Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary



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