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Ten Theology Books to Watch For – October 2021

Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in October 2021 :

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

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God Will Be All in All: Theology through the Lens of Incarnation

Anna Case-Winters

(WJK Books)

The early Christians saw in Jesus the focus and fulfillment of the conviction that God is with us. Over time, they learned to speak of that presence in terms of divine incarnation. That one theological affirmation raises questions for practically all other Christian beliefs. If God is incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, how does that change our understanding of God’s presence in all things? What does it mean to be human if the life of God has been so intimately joined to human life? How can we say “God is with us” when there is so much suffering and evil in the world? What do we mean by “us”? Just us Christians or all of us? Just human beings or also the whole creation? If we find life in the wider cosmos, is God with them too? Looking through the lens of the incarnation, how wide is the divine embrace?

In this volume, Anna Case-Winters demonstrates that the doctrine of the incarnation of God in Christ is not simply one belief among others; it is the cornerstone on which all other Christian convictions are built. Throughout, she carefully lays out the consequences for Christian belief and Christian life of the ancient confession that in Christ, “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”


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Black Lives Matter to Jesus: The Salvation of Black Life and All Life in Luke and Acts

Marcus Jerkins

(Fortress Press)

The third evangelist makes Black-skinned people central to his claim in Luke and Acts that the gospel of Jesus is restoring the children of God. Within Luke’s literary environment, the identity of the children of God was linked to national/ethnic identity. Many Jewish texts argued for the Jews’ position as God’s children because they are bound to God by covenant; they are God’s firstborn. But there is also a more general sense within this tradition that all human beings are made in the image of God and are, thus, the children of God through Adam. In the Gospel, Luke asserts that all nations and all ethnicities, including Israel, have questionable filial status vis-à-vis God. Both Israel and the nations are restored in status as God’s children through Jesus, the Son of God.

In Acts, Luke explores the initial return of Israel and all ethnicities to God through the witness of the church empowered by the Spirit. To epitomize the return of all nations to God, Luke narrates the salvation of Black-skinned Africans. These Black lives are emphasized to signify that their representation in the church demonstrates the universal extent to which the salvation of Jesus Christ will reach. Their presence in the church is also meant to dignify their Black skin against an aesthetic bias that was prevalent in Greco-Roman views at that moment. This subversion of ethnographic bias helped Luke’s audience sustain a gospel-centered critique against the devaluation of Black life.

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