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Eerdmans Theological Studies Collection (19 vols.)

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This collection gathers bold and insightful voices in theological studies, both new and familiar. It features a robust array of resources from experts exploring topics such as the tradition of liberal theology, the reinvention of liberal Christianity in the twenty-first century, theological anthropology, stewardship, and much more. With this collection, you can deepen your knowledge of central historical theologians, as these volumes dive into the thought and works of Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Karl Barth, and Søren Kierkegaard. Discover how their theology intersects and how it is interpreted by theologians today. You’ll also be able to gain theological insights into important contemporary issues such as postcolonialism; health, medicine, and disease; and the evangelical mission.

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Resource Experts
  • Explores important issues such as bioethics, stewardship, and post-colonialism from a biblical perspective
  • Provides diverse perspectives on Karl Barth and Thomas Aquinas, and the intersection of their thinking
  • Offers perspectives on the history, tradition, and modern reinvention of liberal Christianity
  • Title: Eerdmans Theological Studies Collection
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Volumes: 19
  • Pages: 6,050
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The Logos edition of the Eerdmans Theological Studies Collection is designed to encourage and accelerate your study. These fully indexed texts enable near-instant search results for words, people, places, and ideas, while Scripture references appear on mouseover in your preferred translation. Find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the tradition of liberal theology, theological anthropology, and much more. Logos’ tablet and mobile apps let you take your study wherever you go. With the most efficient and comprehensive research tools all in one place, you can expand your study with just a few clicks.

Atonement, Justice, and Peace: The Message of the Cross and the Mission of the Church

  • Author: Darrin W. Snyder Belousek
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 684

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In this substantial study, Darrin W. Snyder Belousek offers a comprehensive and critical examination of penal substitution, the most widely accepted evangelical Protestant theory of atonement, and presents a biblically grounded, theologically orthodox alternative. Attending to all of the relevant biblical texts and engaging with the full spectrum of scholarship, Belousek systematically develops a biblical theory of atonement that centers on restorative rather than retributive justice. He also shows how Christian thinking on atonement correlates with major global concerns such as economic justice, capital punishment, “the war on terror,” and ethnic and religious conflicts. Thorough and clearly structured, this book demonstrates how a return to biblical cruciformity can radically transform Christian mission, social justice, and peacemaking.

The most comprehensive and persuasive biblical critique of penal substitution currently available (and possibly ever written). Belousek analyzes in detail virtually every nut and bolt in the edifice of penal atonement theology as it is presented in current mainstream evangelicalism and does so with the kind of exegetical precision and theological commitment necessary to command a hearing from those he critiques. This is exactly the kind of book I would like to have on my shelves so that when someone asks me, ‘What about Isaiah 53?’ or ‘What about God’s wrath?’ or ‘What about no forgiveness without the shedding of blood?’, I would know where to turn for a carefully reasoned answer.

Christopher D. Marshall, head of school, Victoria University of Wellington

Belousek’s writing is engaging and persuasive, demonstrating clear logic, theological acuity, and good organization. . . . The literature on atonement has mushroomed in the last decade, but I had not read—until now—an author who presents a coherent, constructive understanding within orthodoxy that clearly explains, not assumes, why an alternative conception to that of satisfaction-penal is better and also more faithful to Scripture. Belousek does just that.

Willard M. Swartley, professor emeritus of New Testament, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Darrin W. Snyder Belousek is lecturer in philosophy and religion at Ohio Northern University. He received his PhD in biblical and theological studies from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He is also the author of Good News: The Advent of Salvation in the Gospel of Luke.

Is Jesus the Only Savior?

  • Author: James R. Edwards
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 264

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In this timely book for believers, inquirers, and skeptics alike, James R. Edwards confronts this difficult question head-on: is Jesus the sole savior of the world? After tracing the currents of modernity from the Enlightenment to the Jesus Seminar, Edwards contends that the assumptions of the most skeptical historical-Jesus scholars are no more intellectually defensible than the claims of faith. He then assembles extensive support to show that Jesus considered himself the unique and saving mission of God to the world. Edwards devotes the second half of the book to discussing Jesus as savior in light of contemporary cultural currents, specifically addressing the thorny issues of religious pluralism, moral relativism, postmodernism, and the quest for world peace. Illustrated with real-life stories, Is Jesus the Only Savior? gives a fair hearing to twenty-first-century concerns, while upholding historic Christian faith.

Grounded in scholarship and common sense, this book lays out in brief compass why Jesus remains the only savior.

D. A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Lively and cleverly written yet carefully argued . . . I enthusiastically recommend this book to all who are interested in the truth about Jesus.

—Stephen T. Davis, Russell K Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, Claremond McKenna College

An unusual book on the question of religious pluralism . . . this valuable contribution from the pen of a New Testament scholar will assist readers looking for a defense of the historical Christian understanding of the person and place of Jesus.

I. Howard Marshall, professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

In this well-written volume, James Edwards turns his theological ship into the relativistic winds of present western intellectual culture and sails against the tide of postmodern skepticism regarding the truth value of all religious claims.

Princeton Seminary Bulletin

James R. Edwards is Bruner-Welch Endowed Professor of Theology at Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington. He is also the author of the Pillar New Testament Commentary volume on Mark and The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition.

Renewing the Evangelical Mission

  • Editor: Richard Lints
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 282

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The “culture story” of evangelicalism during the second half of the twentieth century has been well told. It is important now to think about the theological mission of the church in an ever-increasing post-Christian and postpartisan context. What is the theologian’s calling at the beginning of the third millennium? How do global realities impact the mission of evangelical theology? What sense can be made of the unity of evangelical theology in light of its many diverse voices?

This collection of essays gathers a stellar roster of evangelical thinkers with significant institutional memory of the evangelical movement, who also see new opportunities for the evangelical voice in the years ahead.


Projecting from earlier work by David Wells, Mark Noll, and Cornelius Plantinga, this important collection of essays attempts to prescribe the way forward for the disparate movement called evangelicalism. This is not the sort of book that marshals a wide swath of readers to agree with everything it says; rather, it is so consistently stimulating and provocative that no reader will agree with everything and all readers will come away with horizons enlarged and understanding deepened. Ignore this book and you will be impoverished; wrestle with it and you will be enriched.

D. A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

For several decades, evangelical scholars have engaged their tradition largely, and often brilliantly, from the vantage point of heirs taking the measure of a rich but tangled inheritance. Following the lead of David Wells, the authors in this superb volume write not as observers but as agents who seek to promote renewal through critical engagement and constructive theological response. From beginning to end, the chapters in this rich and bracing book chart a promising course for Christian witness and evangelical renewal in our global era.

—Roger Lundin, Arthur F. Holmes Professor of Faith and Learning, Wheaton College

This engaging volume outlines the most pressing issues facing evangelical identity and mission. Self-critical yet forward-looking, the contributors to Renewing the Evangelical Mission offer analyses that are not only historically and sociologically sensitive but also refreshingly theological in character. This is a fitting tribute both to the work of David Wells and to the complexity and diversity of the global evangelical movement in the twenty-first century.

—Eric Gregory, professor of religion, Princeton University

Richard Lints is Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life

  • Author: Mark Allan Powell
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 204

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Stewardship and giving are difficult concepts to live out practically, provoking questions such as: What should giving look like in our everyday lives? How do I steward money, time, and giftings well? How much is enough?

Filled with good news for followers of Jesus, Mark Allan Powell’s Giving to God shows Christians the way to a better life and a better relationship with their money—and with God. Powell presents stewardship as an act of worship, an expression of faith, and a discipline for spiritual growth. Faithful use of our time, talents, and money starts with a deep, satisfying relationship with the God to whom we belong. We can then learn, says Powell, to give gladly and generously out of our heartfelt connection with God. Informative, concise, and eminently practical—including discussion questions—Giving to God gives us resources for best using the treasures, material and otherwise, that God has given us.

The author carefully demonstrates that the gospel of stewardship is not tantamount to a divine investment or insurance policy. Citing 2 Corinthians 9:6,11, Powell notes, ‘Such rewards need not be tangible . . . those who give of their earthly treasure experience the spiritual reward of hearts increasingly drawn into the wondrous love of God.’ The meat of the text is sound teaching about this very dynamic.


This is a wonderfully readable book on a subject that ought to have priority in the thinking of not only Christians but all human beings on our much-threatened planet. Mark Powell’s prose is full of fascinating anecdotes and allusions, making it immediately accessible to the reader. But it is also based on a biblically and theologically informed wisdom that speaks to the most pressing challenges of church and society in our time.

—Douglas John Hall, lecturer in theology, McGill University

Powell has produced a fine specimen of what may be the rarest species in the genus theologica litteratura: an accessible and engaging text from a top-flight scholar, addressing a critical issue in the life of churches and individual believers.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Mark Allan Powell is a Bible scholar and theologian widely recognized for his work in spiritual formation and congregational ministries. The Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament Studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, he is the author of nearly 20 books, including Loving Jesus and the massive Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music.

Christ and Reconciliation: A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World, vol. 1

  • Author: Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
  • Series: A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 467

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In Christ and Reconciliation, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen develops a constructive Christology and theology of salvation in dialogue with the best of Christian tradition, with contemporary theology in its global and contextual diversity, and with other major living faiths. Kärkkäinen’s Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World is a five-volume project that aims to develop a new approach to and method of doing Christian theology in our pluralistic world. Topics such as diversity, inclusivity, violence, power, cultural hybridity, and justice are part of the constructive theological discussion, along with classical topics such as the messianic consciousness, incarnation, atonement, and the person of Christ. With the metaphor of hospitality serving as the framework for his discussion, Kärkkäinen engages Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism in sympathetic and critical mutual dialogue.

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen develops a vigorous understanding of Christ as reconciler that is solidly rooted in the Bible and the Christian tradition and at the same time sympathetic to contemporary insights. With awe and admiration readers of this comprehensive and lucid book will no doubt link its author’s name with Thomas, Calvin, Barth, Moltmann, and other theological luminaries. After the completion of Kärkkäinen’s five-volume project, theology will not be the same.

—Peter Phan, Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University

Kärkkäinen brings an extraordinary breadth of theological learning and sympathy to this unique project. Though his canvas is vast, his patience and care in representing the views of all he engages are exemplary. . . . I am grateful both for what this volume delivers to its readers and for all that it promises to come.

S. Mark Heim, Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology, Andover Newton Theological School

In continuous dialogue with global theology and world religions, Pentecostal theologian Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen sheds new light on trinitarian Christian faith in all its aspects. . . . Openness to all forms of contextual theology is for him not a matter of political correctness to be expressed in a footnote, but lies at the heart of his methodology. . . . Christ and Reconciliation is a must-read for all theology students.

—Peter De Mey, professor of Roman-Catholic ecclesiology and ecumenism, University of Leuven

Christ and Reconciliation demonstrates a groundbreaking project of reframing constructive and systematic theology in search of a coherent vision in post-Western Christianity: inclusive, dialogical, and hospitable.

Paul S. Chung, associate professor of mission and world Christianity, Luther Seminary

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen is professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, and docent of ecumenics at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth: An Unofficial Protestant-Catholic Dialogue

  • Editors: Thomas Joseph White and Bruce L. McCormack
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 312

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Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth, though separated by hundreds of years, are often taken as two of Christianity’s greatest theologians. This collection of essays undertakes a systematic comparison of them through the lens of five key topics: (1) the being of God, (2) Trinity, (3) Christology, (4) grace and justification, and (5) covenant and law. Under each of these headings, a Catholic portrait of Aquinas is presented in comparison with a Protestant portrait of Barth, with the theological places of convergence and contrast highlighted. This volume combines a deep commitment to systematic theology with an equally profound commitment to mutual engagement. Understood rightly and well, Aquinas and Barth contribute powerfully to the future of theology and to an ecumenism that takes doctrinal confession seriously while at the same time seeking unity among Christians.

Common theological reflection on God and the gospel, hindered by compromise and intransigence alike, is best promoted by the virtues of learning, generosity, attentiveness and charity, all of which are manifest in the distinguished essays collected in this book. They form a rare example of the demanding and much-needed art of theological diplomacy.

John Webster, professor, University of St. Andrews

It must be acknowledged that White’s brilliant introduction is alone worth the cost of the volume. Add to this an array of richly developed essays by leading Protestant and Catholic scholars, treating the central domains of theology, and one has a book that will stand as a touchstone of ecumenical dialogue for years to come.

Matthew Levering, Perry Family Foundation Professor of Theology, University of Saint Mary of the Lake

Remarkable points of convergence combine with strong disagreements throughout the dialogue of this volume. Invariably, however, the reader will find illuminating precision in the delineation of theological issues in these erudite essays. By rigorously examining and comparing Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth—the two preeminent representatives of Catholic and Reformed thought—this book makes a profound contribution to genuine ecumenical dialogue.

Hans Boersma, J.I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College

This is a delightful and stimulating book, full of careful exegesis of two of the most profound theologians ever to have written. Barth and Aquinas are often caricatured or expounded in such a way as to blunt their thought. Not here. Here their thought is at work in its fullness, and in genuine and lively debate. The result is a surprising degree of rapprochement, but also the sharpening and deepening of some old disagreements. Above all, what’s here is good theological thinking done with passion. There’s no higher praise.

Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Thought, Duke Divinity School

Thomas Joseph White is director of the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.

Bruce L. McCormack is Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Karl Barth’s Emergency Homiletic, 1932–1933: A Summons to Prophetic Witness at the Dawn of the Third Reich

  • Author: Angela Dienhart Hancock
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 372

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What does a theologian say to young preachers in the early 1930s, at the dawn of the Third Reich? What Karl Barth did say, how he said it, and why he said it at that time and place are the subject of Angela Dienhart Hancock’s book. This is the story of how a preaching classroom became a place of resistance in Germany in 1932–1933—a story that has not been told in its fullness. In that emergency situation, Barth took his students back to the fundamental questions about what preaching is and what it is for, returning again and again to the affirmation of the Godness of God, the only ground of resistance to ideological captivity. Hancock’s engaging text uniquely interprets Barth’s “Exercises in Sermon Preparation” in relation to their theological, political, ecclesiastical, academic, and rhetorical context.

The question haunts us. How would I have responded to the rise of Nazism? Angela Dienhart Hancock, with careful scholarship and thorough research, examines the thinking of the dominant theologian of the twentieth century as National Socialism emerged around him. . . . Karl Barth’s Emergency Homiletic is an ambitious, timely, and very important project.

—John Buchanan, editor, The Christian Century

On the basis of her careful and detailed research, Angela Hancock sets Barth’s ‘emergency homiletic’ in the ominous political context of Germany in the early 1930s. The result is a moving account of Barth’s efforts in his homiletics classes to liberate preaching from religious platitude and political propaganda and to present it instead as service of the living Word of God rooted in the biblical text and marked by expectancy, humility, and courage.

—Daniel L. Migliore, emeritus professor of theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

A splendid investigation of Karl Barth’s homiletic seminar in 1932–33. . . . Angela Dienhart Hancock encourages us by her precise presentation to take the duty of preaching seriously.

Eberhard Busch, professor emeritus of systematic theology, University of Göttingen, Germany

Hancock’s learned, perceptive, and compelling work adds significantly to our understanding of an important chapter of modern theology involving the twentieth century’s most important theologian.

—Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York

Angela Dienhart Hancock is assistant professor of homiletics and worship at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Theology for Liberal Protestants: God the Creator

  • Author: Douglas F. Ottati
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 377

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Theology for Liberal Protestants presents a comprehensive theology for Christians who are willing to rethink and revise traditional doctrines in face of contemporary challenges. It is Augustinian, claiming that we belong to the God of grace who creates, judges, and renews. It is Protestant, affirming the priority of the Bible and the fallibility of church teaching. It is liberal, recognizing the importance of critical arguments and scientific inquiries, a deeply historical consciousness, and a commitment to social criticism and engagement. This volume contains sections on method and creation. Ottati’s method envisions the world and ourselves in relation to God as creator, judge, and redeemer. The bulk of the book offers an in-depth discussion of God as creator, the world as creation, and humans as good, capable, and limited creatures.

Theology for Liberal Protestants is a much-needed book by a master teacher. In it Doug Ottati recovers something in danger of being lost—a systematic account of contemporary life in relation to God as creator-judge-redeemer. He succeeds admirably. . . . Engagingly written and accessible to a wide range of readers.

—Roger J. Gench, senior pastor, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church

In this stunning volume Douglas Ottati presents a historically rich and religiously nuanced account of Christian faith that decisively reorients contemporary theology. . . . This book is a treasure trove of insight into the dynamics of the Christian life. Ottati is a distinctive theological voice, and this volume establishes him as one of the foremost theologians working today. It should be widely read, carefully pondered, and deeply treasured.

—William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Chicago Divinity School

If you’ve ever feared that American liberal theology was down for the count, you’ll be cheered by Douglas Ottati’s careful and accessible work. Drawing on distinctive themes from Augustinian, Protestant, and liberal traditions, Ottati puts forward a robust and unapologetic liberal theology in the Reformed tradition.

Rebekah Miles, professor of ethics and practical theology, Southern Methodist University

By situating humans within the larger contexts of ‘cosmic ecology’ and ‘cosmic passage,’ and ultimately in the context of God, Ottati’s Theology for Liberal Protestants: God the Creator constructs a humbling yet inspiring theocentric vision of the cosmos and human life. This is a remarkable and much-needed contribution to systematic theology.

—Douglas J. Schuurman, professor of religion, St. Olaf College

For professional theologians, clergy, and laity alike, this book is an invaluable resource. . . . The deep and broad erudition on display is impressive. But equally noteworthy is Ottati’s continuous attention to the practical and ethical dimensions of theological ideas and their ultimate purpose to aid in the nurture and promotion of piety. Highly recommended.

—Dawn DeVries, John Newton Thomas Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Presbyterian Seminary

An intellectually rich and utterly compelling constructive liberal theology. Addressing real problems associated with the term ‘liberal,’ Ottati provides a groundbreaking alternative to many caricatures of liberal theology as he draws upon a vast array of classic and modern theologians to expand our theological imagination.

—Mary McClintock Fulkerson, professor of theology, Duke Divinity School

Douglas F. Ottati is Craig Family Distinguished Professor of Reformed Theology and Justice at Davidson College in North Carolina. He is the author of several other books including Jesus Christ and Christian Vision and Hopeful Realism: Reclaiming the Poetry of Theology.

Reinventing Liberal Christianity

  • Author: Theo Hobson
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 340

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In this provocative book, Theo Hobson addresses the current crisis of liberal Christianity. In past years liberal Christianity challenged centuries of authoritarian tradition and had great political influence. It played a major role in the founding of the United States and gave rise to the secular liberalism that we take for granted. But liberal Christianity today is widely dismissed as a watering-down of the faith, and more conservative forms of Christianity are increasingly dominant. Can the liberal Christian tradition recover its influence?

Hobson puts forth a bold theory about why liberal Christianity collapsed and how it can be reinvented. He argues that a simple revival is not possible, because liberal Christianity consists of two traditions—a good tradition that must be salvaged and a bad tradition that must be repudiated. Reinventing Liberal Christianity untangles these two traditions with a fascinating survey of Christian thought from the Reformation to the present and, further, aims to transform liberal Christianity through the rediscovery of faith and ritual.

Theo Hobson is as well qualified as anyone to set about the task of reinventing liberal Christianity. In this remarkable, wise, and incisive book he sets about that task with outstanding skill, presenting us with an accessible and arresting argument that is as compelling as it is convincing.

Martyn Percy, honorary canon, Salisbury Cathedral

This is an ambitious work that deals with central issues in contemporary public life and does so by delving into past and present theological debates. . . . It covers a wide range of sources, theological and secular, spanning the modern period, and Hobson’s style, as ever, combines clarity, boldness, and a certain dispatch with a good grasp of the material.

—George Pattison, canon, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Hobson presents a lively, timely, theologically informed, and historically grounded argument for the compatibility of a sacramental Christianity with the traditions of the liberal state.

—David Martin, emeritus professor of sociology, London School of Economics

For Christians who appreciate living in a liberal state and despair at ‘postliberal’ theology’s easy dismissal of it, this book is a delight. It argues for a robust version of liberal Christianity that affirms the communal and cultic aspects of Christianity, but does not neglect the individual and the institutions that protect his or her freedom.

—Linda Woodhead, professor, Lancaster University

A provocative and brilliantly written attempt to rejuvenate liberal Christianity against its many despisers. Equally well-read in the history of liberal politics and in theology, Hobson presents a nuanced account of a series of complex developments in church and state. In his wide-ranging analysis he articulates a humane form of liberalism that roots liberal politics and its greatest achievement, the secular state, in critical theology. Unlike many liberals, however, Hobson does not maintain a vague rationalism or deism but emphasizes the importance of religious and cultic practice. This is an uncompromising book about the indispensable relationships between liberalism and religion, and it poses a deeply needed challenge to theologians of all stripes.

Mark D. Chapman, reader in modern theology, University of Oxford

Theo Hobson is a British theologian and journalist. He earned his PhD in theology from Cambridge and has written for The Guardian, The Spectator, and the Times Literary Supplement.

Being Promised: Theology, Gift, and Practice

  • Author: Gregory A. Walter
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 124

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Promise, along with gift, is among the predominant metaphors in the Western Christian tradition for describing God’s gracious actions. Being Promised argues that promise is itself a kind of double gift—one when the promise is given, one when it is fulfilled—and analyzes the power, time, and place of God’s promise. Gregory Walter offers a theologically rich analysis of promise, anthropological and phenomenological reflection on gift exchange, and a critical appreciation of other theological appropriations of gift to support his argument. Walter clarifies the phenomenon of promise as gift and shows its theological, hermeneutical, and ethical significance.

The title Being Promised works both ways: How does promising work? And what sort of being does promise open? Gregory Walter takes us through the intertwining postmodern problems of promise and gift with a penetrating eye and with patient teasing and tweaking. An amazing achievement.

Robert W. Jenson, senior scholar for research, Center for Theological Inquiry

Gregory Walter’s Being Promised is brilliant. Drawing on analyses of gift exchange from cultural anthropology and phenomenology, it provides a theological account of promise as gift that moves beyond speech-act theory. Centered on God’s promise in the crucified Jesus, it not only uncovers the phenomenon of promise as gift, but also considers its power, being, and time, how it interacts with the plurality of life’s circumstances, and the place of this promise in the body of Christ and in the neighbor. After reading this book, you will never again speak glibly about hospitality or forgiveness.

—Lois Malcolm, associate professor of systematic theology, Luther Seminary

The dimension of promise has not been adequately mapped in contemporary theological discussions on gift. Gregory Walter accomplishes a detailed topology of this phenomenon, relating biblical promises to the overarching issues of hospitality and recognition. Being Promised demonstrates vividly the relevance of doctrinal theology for current anthropological debates.

Risto Saarinen, professor of ecumenics, University of Helsinki

Gregory A. Walter is associate professor of religion at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota.

Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics and Life

  • Author: Stanley Hauerwas
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 269

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In this book, Stanley Hauerwas explores the significance of eschatological reflection for helping the church negotiate the contemporary world. In part one, “Theological Matters,” Hauerwas directly addresses his understanding of the eschatological character of the Christian faith. In part two, “Church and Politics,” he deals with the political reality of the church in light of the end, addressing such issues as the divided character of the church, the imperative of Christian unity, and the necessary practice of sacrifice. End, for Hauerwas, has a double meaning—both chronological end, and end in the sense of “aim” or “goal.” In part three, “Life and Death,” Hauerwas moves from theology and the church as a whole to focusing on how individual Christians should live in light of eschatology. What does an eschatological approach to life tell us about how to understand suffering, how to form habits of virtue, and how to die?

Reading Hauerwas is like walking in on a family argument. You don’t always know when and how the fight started, but you can’t take your eyes off it, you’re galvanized by the energy in the room, you suddenly find the fight is about things you’ve always been troubled by—and you sure as hell will stay rooted to the spot until you see how the argument comes out. Stanley Hauerwas writes unputdownable theology—because he believes in a God who will never put us down until it’s clear how our story comes out.

—Samuel Wells, visiting professor, King’s College London

This book represents the mature thought of one of the most creative and insightful thinkers of our time. Here we see Hauerwas grappling with the difficulties caused by the positions his obedience to Jesus Christ has compelled him to take. Those who think they already know what Hauerwas has to say should read this book and rediscover the restless Hauerwas, whose thought is always straining forward to what lies ahead.

—William Cavanaugh, professor of theology, DePaul University

Readers of Approaching the End will not find Hauerwas’ ‘last word’ on any of the topics that he has addressed in his many books. Rather, he offers readers wise and provocative first words about topics in Christian eschatology that invite further engagement. First-time Hauerwas readers are likely to be surprised to encounter the unstinting rigor of a Christian theologian who dares to think about last things while looking squarely at the prospect of his own death. Longtime readers will be struck that Hauerwas continues to challenge us to rethink what it means for Christians to affirm that ‘God is making all things new.’

—Michael Cartwright, dean for ecumenical and interfaith programs, University of Indianapolis

Once again the master brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old—I shall return to these essays with gratitude for their grace and insight.

—Fergus Kerr, honorary fellow, University of Edinburgh

Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University. Among his many books are Resident Aliens, A Community of Character, Living Gently in a Violent World, and A Cross-Shattered Church.

Eros and Self Emptying: The Intersections of Augustine and Kierkegaard

  • Author: Lee C. Barrett
  • Series: Kierkegaard as a Christian Thinker
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 428

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In this book—the first volume in the Kierkegaard as a Christian Thinker series—Lee Barrett offers a novel comparative interpretation of early church father Augustine and nineteenth-century philosopher-theologian Soren Kierkegaard.

Though these two intellectual giants have been paired by historians of Western culture, the exact nature of their similarities and differences has not been probed in detail. Barrett demonstrates that on many essential theological levels Augustine and Kierkegaard were more convergent than divergent. Most significantly, their parallels point to a distinctive understanding of the Christian life as a passion for self-giving love. In this engaging text, Barrett argues that approaching Kierkegaard through the lens of Augustine enables us to identify the theme of desire for fulfillment in God as much more central to Kierkegaard’s thought than previously imagined.

What has Hippo to do with Copenhagen? In this superb study Lee Barrett displays how, for all of their differences, Augustine and Kierkegaard unexpectedly share a vision of the Christian life as a journey circling around two central themes: the heart’s restless desire-filled journey to God and God’s self-emptying journey to the individual. . . . Barrett’s command of each thinker’s writings, historical context, and reception is complete. . . . Best of all, he shows how reading both Augustine and Kierkegaard as rhetorical and dialectical thinkers challenges us to rethink traditional Catholic and Protestant binary oppositions. The result is an important contribution not only to studies of Augustine and Kierkegaard but also to constructive Christian theological reflection.

—David J. Gouwens, professor of theology, Brite Divinity School

One could hardly ask for a finer or more highly nuanced treatment of the convergences and divergences, both direct and indirect, between Augustine and Kierkegaard than Barrett has given us in this rich comparative study of these two great theologians of love.

—Sylvia Walsh, scholar in residence, Stetson University

Lee Barrett has done a great service to the scholarly community in providing this study of the relationship between Augustine and Kierkegaard. His attention to the pastoral purpose of their respective writings has yielded a theologically astute and wonderfully insightful account of the commonalities and divergences between these two great thinkers. Readers of Augustine and of Kierkegaard will surely benefit from Barrett’s study, but so too will anyone interested in what the Christian journey of faith involves.

—Murray Rae, professor, University Otago

Lee C. Barrett is the Mary B. and Henry P. Stager Professor of Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the Abingdon Pillars of Theology volume on Kierkegaard and coeditor of the two-volume work Kierkegaard and the Bible.

Inspired: The Holy Spirit and the Mind of Faith

  • Author: John R. Levison
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 260

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Eugene Peterson calls Jack Levison “the clearest writer on the Holy Spirit that I have known.” In this book, Levison speaks a fresh prophetic word to the church, championing a unique blend of serious Bible study and Christian spirituality. With rich insight, he shows Christians of any church or denomination how they can take the Spirit into the grit of everyday life. Levison argues for an indispensable synergy between spontaneity and study, ecstasy and restraint, inspiration and interpretation. Readable and relevant, winsome and wise, Levison’s Inspired sets a bold agenda for today’s church that will replace quick-fix spiritualities with a vibrant, durable experience of the Holy Spirit.

This book on the place of the Holy Spirit in the church and the Christian life is a tour de force. Jack Levison is, in my experience, the most competent scholar and clearest writer on the Holy Spirit that I have known. But he is far more than a scholar; he is a Christian who is passionate to bring biblical clarity and understanding to the church worldwide. . . . I have been on the lookout for colleagues like this as I have worked to counter the dichotomizing of the church over Holy Spirit issues. Levison has become for me the major voice, thoroughly scriptural and non-combative, in this company.

Eugene Peterson, emeritus professor of spiritual theology, Regent College

Levison here gives us a brilliant line of argument that is lucidly and almost affectionately delivered—brilliant in that it scintillates with insight after insight and connection after connection, lucid in that Levison writes with the simplicity and directness of genuine authority, and affectionate in that he approaches both his content and us as his readers with the warmest regard. Beyond all that, ‘An Agenda for the Future of Pneumatology,’ which serves as the concluding section of Inspired, should be required reading for every thoughtful Christian today.

Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the Religion Department, Publishers Weekly

Jack Levison probably considers himself neither a prophet nor the son of one. Yet he does what prophets do—identify the presence and activity of the spirit of God in the world and then discern with remarkable clarity the implications such work can and should have for our future. Inspired, aptly titled, will not only inform readers about the spirit but activate, nurture, and enable a spirit-filled way of life, learning, and virtue.

—Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University

John R. Levison is professor of New Testament at Seattle Pacific University. His other books include Filled with the Spirit, and Fresh Air. He is also the founding editor of the series Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

The Nonviolent God

  • Author: J. Denny Weaver
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 316

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This bold new statement on the nonviolence of God challenges long-standing assumptions of divine violence in theology, the violent God pictured in the Old Testament, and the supposed violence of God in Revelation. In The Nonviolent God J. Denny Weaver argues that since God is revealed in Jesus, the nonviolence of Jesus most truly reflects the character of God. According to Weaver, the way Christians live—Christian ethics—is an ongoing expression of theology. Consequently, he suggests positive images of the reign of God made visible in the narrative of Jesus—nonviolent practice, forgiveness and restorative justice, issues of racism and sexism, and more—in order that Christians might live more peacefully.

Those who would claim that the God worshiped by Christians justifies violence—either the violence of war or that of racism, sexism, or economic exploitation—will now have to contend with this richly textured book by Denny Weaver. . . . Makes the compelling claim that the God of Jesus does not deal with the world by violence and thus neither should humanity.

—Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, professor of theology, Chicago Theological Seminary

All those who seek biblical and theological grounding for a God who resists cultures of guns, violence, and war will be profoundly nourished by this careful, revelatory study of the nonviolent God revealed in Jesus Christ and his story.

—Rita Nakashima Brock, founding co-director of the Soul Repair Center, Brite Divinity School

Powerful, insightful, and practical. . . . Denny Weaver doesn’t downplay the violent strand that runs throughout Scripture, but he compellingly argues that nonviolence lies at the heart of Jesus’ revelation of God and that this understanding of God is far more prevalent in Scripture than most Western Bible readers realize. Not all will agree with Weaver, but the profound challenge he presents in this book is one that every follower of Jesus needs to wrestle with.

Gregory A. Boyd, senior pastor, Woodland Hills Church

J. Denny Weaver is professor emeritus of religion at Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio. His other books include The Nonviolent Atonement and Defenseless Christianity: Anabaptism for a Nonviolent Church.

God the Revealed: Christology

  • Author: Michael Welker
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 346

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“God revealed himself in Jesus Christ!” Christian faith has confessed and proclaimed this message for nearly two thousand years. But what does it really mean? In God the Revealed, Michael Welker delves into this declaration and shows how it offers genuine insight into Christian faith. He asks “Who is Jesus Christ for us today?” and approaches the answer from five different angles—the historical Jesus, the Resurrection, the Cross, the reign of Christ, and eschatology. Uniquely, Welker argues for the need to place historical Jesus research in a Christology and proposes a “Fourth Quest” for the historical Jesus.

This is the study many have been waiting for—the mature thought of a leading scholar, weaving together insights from historical studies, biblical material, doctrinal developments, confessional convictions, philosophical arguments, cultural observations, and contemporary experiences in a creative way—and responding to Bonhoeffer’s question: who is Jesus Christ for us today? There is nothing available that can be quite compared to this wide-ranging study, rethinking the presence of the living Christ in the light of current debates on the resurrection, cross, and office of the historical Jesus. Given Michael Welker’s international repute, this translation will certainly be studied and discussed in many classrooms throughout the world.

—Dirk J. Smit, professor, University of Stellenbosch

Welker helps make Jesus Christ come alive for us today by tackling the many theological challenges that obstruct recognition of God in our midst. In the process he offers a wonderfully complex account of our encounter with God in Christ in all its polyphonic and multidimensional reality. A compelling and wise book.

—Kathryn Tanner, Frederick Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale Divinity School

After several books about the Holy Spirit and the creation, Michael Welker here presents a systematic Christology. He builds bridges between classical and contemporary issues, offering new insights on revelation, the cross, the resurrection, and the reign of the exalted Christ. Welker’s multicontextual perspective will inform and inspire Christians from all denominations.

Risto Saarinen, professor of ecumenics, University of Helsinki

Michael Welker is professor and chair of systematic theology and executive director of the Research Centre for International and Interdisciplinary Theology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His other books include The Spirit in Creation and New Creation: Science and Theology in Western and Orthodox Realms and What Happens in Holy Communion?

Prophetic Rage: A Postcolonial Theology of Liberation

  • Author: Johnny Bernard Hill
  • Series: Prophetic Christianity Series (PCS)
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 189

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In this book Johnny Bernard Hill argues that prophetic rage, or righteous anger, is a necessary response to our present culture of imperialism and nihilism. The most powerful way to resist meaninglessness, he says, is refusing to accept the realities of structural injustice, such as poverty, escalating militarism, genocide, and housing discrimination. Hill’s Prophetic Rage is interdisciplinary, integrating art, music, and literature with theology. It is constructive, passionate, and provocative. Hill weaves through a myriad of creative and prophetic voices of protest—from Jesus to W. E. B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and President Barack Obama—as well as multiple approaches, including liberation theology and black religion, to reflect theologically on the nature of liberation, justice, and hope on contemporary culture.

This book is a powerful and prophetic expression of the new generation of freedom fighters. . . . Don’t miss it!

—Cornel West, professor of philosophy and Christian practice, Union Theological Seminary

Prophetic Rage is, quite simply, THE book in black theology for which many of us have been waiting. In this eminently readable work Johnny Hill accomplishes what so many have given a nod to but not substantively dealt with in the field of theology—constructing a theology that not only takes seriously the suffering of black people but uses the creativity of their own tradition to do so.

—Stephen G. Ray Jr., Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Lays the foundation for a postcolonial liberation theology and prophetic rage against such continuing forms of injustice as racism, poverty, militarism, violence, nihilism, materialism, imperialism, mass incarceration, and more. Seminarians, clergy, and laypersons concerned about justice will find this book to be a most useful guide for their social thought and action.

—Peter J. Paris, emeritus professor of Christian ethics, Princeton Theological Seminary

This ambitious text from Hill . . . capitalizes on the fiftieth anniversary of the watershed March on Washington and the reelection of President Barack Obama as opportunity for reflection on how theologians and Christians consider—or fail to consider—notions of empire and nihilism.

Publishers Weekly

Johnny Bernard is associate professor of philosophy and religion at Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina. A dynamic voice for justice, reconciliation, and human rights in America, he is also the author of The First Black President: Barack Obama, Race, Politics, and the American Dream.

Flourishing: Health, Disease, and Bioethics in Theological Perspective

  • Author: Neil Messer
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 256

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We use such words as “health,” “disease,” and “illness” all the time without stopping to consider exactly what we understand by them. Yet their meanings are far from straightforward, and disagreements over them have important practical consequences in health care and bioethics. In this book, Neil Messer develops a distinctive and innovative theological account of these concepts. He engages in earnest with debates in the philosophy of medicine and disability studies and draws on a wide array of theological resources including Barth, Bonhoeffer, Aquinas, and recent disability theologies. By enabling us to understand health in the wider perspective of the flourishing and ultimate destiny of human beings, Messer’s Flourishing sheds new light on a range of practical bioethical issues and dilemmas.

In this lively and informative book Neil Messer demonstrates his intellectual alacrity by engaging in a careful and thoughtful way with some of the most pressing issues facing those in the health caring professions. . . . His achievement is to produce a critical framework for thinking through difficult and highly charged bioethical problems and illustrating this by close attention to particular examples, drawn from particular medical cases and disability studies. . . . Flourishing deserves to be widely read, not just by specialists in theological bioethics, but also by health practitioners and other health professionals.

Celia Deane-Drummond, professor of theology, University of Notre Dame

Perplexity over the nature of health, disease, and illness lies behind many of the most intractable debates in contemporary medicine. In this attractive and consistently well-judged exploration of the nature of human flourishing, Neil Messer draws from Barth and Aquinas to give a decisively theological account which nevertheless richly integrates a range of philosophical and scientific insights. It is an impressive work, and will be an invaluable reference-point for future work in theological bioethics.

—Robert Song, professor, Durham University

Neil Messer’s Flourishing offers an informed, balanced, and thoughtful theological approach to health, disease, and disability. It offers a fair-minded and nuanced analysis that will interest experts in health care ethics. His constructive proposal is based on a carefully worked out version of teleological ‘Barthian Thomism’ that combines speculative creativity with practical compassion.

—Stephen J. Pope, professor, Boston College

Neil Messer is professor of theology at the University of Winchester, UK, and a minister of the United Reformed Church. His previous books include Respecting Life: Theology and Bioethics and Selfish Genes and Christian Ethics.

The Human Being: A Theological Anthropology

  • Author: Hans Schwarz
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 416

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This overview of Christian anthropology by Hans Schwarz uniquely emphasizes three things: (1) the biblical testimony, (2) the historical unfolding of Christian anthropology through the centuries, and (3) the present affirmation of Christian anthropology in view of rival options and current scientific evidence. Schwarz begins by elucidating the special place occupied by human beings in the world, then ponders the complex issue of human freedom, and concludes by investigating humanity as a community of men and women in this world and in the world beyond. While maintaining a strong biblical orientation, Schwarz draws on a wide range of resources, including philosophy and the natural sciences, in order to map out what it means to be human.

Schwarz’s Human Being will interest anyone who is concerned with how in the face of fascinating scientific insights we can intelligently talk today about human sinfulness, human freedom, and human beings as children of the God who created us.

With a teacher’s wisdom and deep learning worn lightly, Hans Schwarz discusses biblical, theological, and scientific perspectives on human life. The Human Being is a wonderfully clear presentation of Christian theology, covering all the main points and never failing to present a contemporary perspective on what it means to be human.

Alan G. Padgett, professor of systematic theology, Luther Seminary

This theological anthropology is a remarkable accomplishment. Hans Schwarz has given us a true interdisciplinary work that deals with every possible dimension and topic that one hopes to find in such a volume. . . . Scholars and students will find this book a rich and exciting resource.

—J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, professor of theology and science, Princeton Theological Seminary

‘Christians are Easter people living from and toward that Easter experience of a new creation,’ Schwarz concludes. The anticipation of new creation makes life as a human being exciting and joy-filled. In this detailed and comprehensive theological description of the human person-in-community, Schwarz prophesies that we are who we are because of God’s future.

—Ted Peters, distinguished research professor of systematic theology, Pacific Lutheran University

What does it mean to be human? With his usual encyclopedic coverage of current and historical knowledge, Schwarz addresses this question from a theological perspective incorporating material from biblical studies as well as the life and social sciences while addressing the challenging questions of sustaining human community today. Very readable and accessible.

—Ernest Simmons, professor, Concordia College

Hans Schwarz is professor of systematic theology and contemporary theological issues at the University of Regensburg, Germany.

The Tradition of Liberal Theology

  • Author: Michael Langford
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 176

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Many of the early apologists, including Justin Martyr and Origen, presented a defense of the Christian faith that sought to combine the message of the Gospels with respect for the kind of rationality associated with Socrates and his followers. Michael Langford argues that, despite many misunderstandings, the term “liberal theology” can properly be used to describe this tradition. Langford’s Tradition of Liberal Theology begins with a historical and contemporary definition of “liberal theology” and identifies eleven typical characteristics, such as a nonliteralist approach to interpreting Scripture, a rejection of original guilt, and the joint need for faith and works. Langford then gives vignettes of thirteen historical Christian figures who personify the liberal tradition. Finally, he explores some contemporary alternatives to liberal theology—fundamentalism, the Catholic magisterium, Karl Barth’s theology—and presents a rational defense of the tradition of liberal theology.

Michael Langford is professor emeritus of philosophy and bioethics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His previous books include A Liberal Theology for the Twenty-First Century: A Passion for Reason and Unblind Faith.


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