Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in February 2021 :
* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology
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In God’s Image: An Anthropology of the Spirit
From the 2019/2020 Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh
In God’s Image describes how centering our culture on the human and divine spirit can revitalize four universally acknowledged characteristics of a thriving human existence: justice, freedom, truth, and peace. Inspired not only by religious sources, but also by scientists, philosophers, economists, and legal and political theorists, Michael Welker develops the idea of a “multimodal” spirit that generates the possibility of living and acting in the image of God.
Welker’s new approach to natural theology explains why the human and the divine spirit cannot adequately be grasped in simple bipolar relations and why the human spirit should not be reduced to the rational mind. Addressing the question What is the calling of human beings? in the context of late modern pluralistic societies, he aims at explaining to believers and non-believers alike what it means to be persons created in the image of God, moved by a spirit of justice, freedom, truth, and peace.
Power in Weakness: Paul’s Transformed Vision for Ministry
Envisioning cruciform community built on resurrection hope
After Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, he turned from coercion and violence to a ministry centered on the hope of Christ’s resurrection. In earthly terms, Paul had traded power for weakness. But—as he explained in his subsequent letters—this “weakness” was actually the key to flourishing community that is able to experience God’s transformation, restoration, and healing. What would it mean for pastors today to take seriously Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to “imitate me as I imitate Christ” and lead their congregations in this way?
Instead of drawing leadership principles and practices from the worlds of business, education, and politics—which tend to orient churches around institutional power and image maintenance—Timothy Gombis follows Paul in resisting the influence of the “present evil age” by making cruciformity the operating principle of the church. Gombis guides the reader through practices and patterns that can lead a congregation past a focus on individual salvation, toward becoming instead a site of resurrection power on earth.
|*** Which of these February 2021 theology books do you want to read first?
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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com