Jesus is present here and now, Christians have always affirmed. But how are we to understand his present activity in a challenging, post-Christian context? In what ways is he at work in our congregational worship, pastoral care, preaching—and even our board meetings? At a time when many feel uncertain about the future of the church, What Is Jesus Doing? brings together leading thinkers in pastoral theology, homiletics, liturgical theology, and missiology in a compelling resource for pastors and theologians. Emphasizing the reality of Jesus both as the resurrected, ascended Christ and as present and active today, the contributors consider how to recognize the divine presence and join in what God is already doing in all areas of church ministry.
With deep theological reflection, personal stories, and practical suggestions, this interdisciplinary conversation invites leaders to remember that the church is first of all God’s project, not ours—and that this truth should fill us with hope.
Evelyn Underhill famously insisted, ‘God is the interesting thing about religion.’ If theology is the discerning of what God is doing in the world and the subsequent earnest yearning to participate in that action, then this elegant and absorbing collection of essays is an admirable response to that challenge. If pastoral care means taking people a little more seriously than they take themselves, then this volume is an exemplary form of pastoral care for the church today.
—Sam Wells, vicar, St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Many of us make the mistake of speaking of Jesus in the past tense and subjunctive mood: ‘What would Jesus do if he were here now?’ This book answers another set of questions altogether: we must speak of Jesus Christ in the present tense as the living Lord, reigning, working for our transformation through the church. Andrew Purves has taught us all to speak, with Saint Paul, of the crucifixion and resurrection of our ministries. These essays represent the rich community of those gathered with a similar vision. May they find a wide and joyous readership.
—Jason Byassee, Vancouver School of Theology
This is a gem of a book, filled with outstanding essays across disciplinary divides on a topic that is at once relatively neglected and yet vital for the life of the church. Pastors, scholars, seminary students, thoughtful Christians of all kinds, prepare to have your thoughts deepened, your practices of ministry challenged and enriched, and your hope for the life and calling of the church renewed.
—Suzanne McDonald, professor of systematic and historical theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, MI
This is not just a collection of academic essays. It’s a seriesof learned meditations on one of the most breathtaking mysteries of the universe: Jesus Christ, the crucified, risen, and ascendedLord, is alive and active today among us by the Holy Spirit. If you are weary of trying to market the church and reinvent it by our human power, be encouraged. The triune God is at work through his Word and Spirit. Together, these essays encourage pastors and church leaders to make a bold move: to discern the triune God’s work and enter in, as those who belong to Christ by the Spirit. Read expectantly, with joy.
—J. Todd Billings, Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Edwin Chr. van Driel occupies the Directors’ Bicentennial Chair in Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is the author of Incarnation Anyway: Arguments for Supralapsarian Christology.