When it comes to politics, Christians today seem lost and confused. Many Christians desire to relate their faith to politics but simply don’t know how. This book exists to equip the reader to apply Christianity to politics with both grace and truth, with both boldness and humility.
“One Nation Under God is a thoughtful, readable primer on Christian political engagement. This book is rooted firmly in biblical authority and gospel depth. Anyone seeking to make sense out of the Christian’s place in the civic order will benefit.”–Russell Moore
Edited by David Platt, Daniel L. Akin, and Tony Merida, this new commentary series, projected to be 48 volumes, takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition.
This book provides a student-level overview of the foundational elements necessary to grasp textual criticism of the New Testament, also addressing such issues as canonical formation and translation theory. Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts cover a range of topics related to New Testament textual criticism, including appropriate definitions, the canon, the manuscripts of the New Testament, and the best methodologies for determining the original reading when manuscripts disagree. They also provide a history of the various editions of the New Testament with a how-to guide for using and understanding them.
“Because of the complexity of the field of textual criticism, most introductions are either to detailed or too basic. This exceptional volume by Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts provides a welcome balance between these two extremes, introducing students to all the critical issues without overload them with unnecessary detail. It also covers topics that most introductions overlook, such as the development of the New Testament canon and modern English translations. For anyone looking for a balanced, thorough, and yet readable introduction to textual criticism, this is it.”–Michael Kruger
After a flurry of heated debates in the mid-twentieth century over the relationship between faith and history, the dust seems to have settled. The parties have long since dispersed into their separate camps. The positions are entrenched and loyalties are staked out. This first volume in the New Explorations in Theology is a deliberate attempt to kick up the dust again, but this time as a constructive development of what is now being called “apocalyptic theology.” Samuel Adams argues that any historiography interested in contributing to theological knowledge must take into consideration, at a methodological level, the reality of God that has invaded history in Jesus Christ. He explores this idea in critical dialogue with the writings of New Testament historian and theologian N. T. Wright, whose work has significantly shaped the current conversation on this problem. The Reality of God and Historical Method is a fresh, bold and interdisciplinary exploration of the question: How is it possible to say that a particular historical person is the reconciliation of the world?
“N. T. Wright is widely recognized to be the most influential Christian thinker since C. S. Lewis and a leading biblical scholar recently wrote that ‘he may well be the most widely read and influential New Testament scholar of all time’! Despite this, there has been limited engagement with his theological methodology and suppositions. This impressive monograph combines academic scholarship of a high order with penetrating theological insight to provide a level of critical engagement with Wright’s approach that we have not yet witnessed. Adams draws on the immense strengths in Wright’s program while offering critical yet constructive theological engagement of a kind that significantly advances the discussion of his work. As such it is an outstanding theological introduction to what Wright is seeking to accomplish that should also inspire and challenge biblical scholars and theologians to examine the interface between their work and the essential affirmations of the Christian faith. Not only should this book prove invaluable to academics and students alike, but its lucidity and eloquence should also make it accessible to a wider audience. Highly recommended!”–Alan J. Torrance
For many people, the word “theology” evokes something dry, academic, irrelevant and disconnected from the everyday concerns of life. We surely would not say that about God, so why is our talk about God any different? In this engaging and accessible introduction, Keith Johnson takes a fresh look at theology. He presents the discipline of theology as one of the ways we participate in the life of the triune God. Without suggesting it should be removed from the academy, Johnson argues that theology has to be integrally connected to the traditions and practices of the church. If academic theology is to be genuinely theological, then it has to be carried out in obedience to Jesus Christ and in service to the church. Unlike other introductions, Theology as Discipleship avoids the usual overview of doctrines according to the creed, which traditionally move from the Trinity to eschatology. Johnson instead explains the content of theology by describing the Christian life―being in Christ, hearing God’s Word, sharing the mind of Christ. Theology not only leads to discipleship, but is itself a way of following after Christ in faith.
“In Theology as Discipleship, Keith Johnson invites readers to inhabit a rich theological landscape as followers of Christ. Johnson’s book overflows with wisdom and joy as he shows how Christians of all vocations are called to live in union with Christ, being reshaped by God’s Word through the Spirit. This refreshing book is a wonderful theological companion for disciples of Jesus Christ.”–J. Todd Billings
In recent decades a new movement has arisen, bringing the conceptual tools of analytic philosophy to bear on theological reflection. Called analytic theology, it seeks to bring a clarity of thought and a disciplined use of logic to the work of constructive Christian theology. In this introduction to analytic theology for specialists and non-specialists alike, Thomas McCall lays out what it is and what it isn’t. The goal of this growing and energetic field is not the removal of all mystery in theology. At the same time, it insists that mystery must not be confused with logical incoherence. McCall explains the connections of analytic theology to Scripture, Christian tradition and culture, using case studies to illuminate his discussion. Beyond mere description, McCall calls the discipline to a deeper engagement with the traditional resources of the theological task.
“Analytic theology has quickly established itself as an important, dynamic research program in contemporary theology. But until now it has had no introductory text. Not only has Thomas McCall provided a stellar volume for just this purpose, he also makes a contribution to the theological literature by showing that analytic theology is not merely philosophical theology masquerading as systematic theology―it is a truly theological theology. This is a clear, well-written and compelling work that is sure to be of great interest to a wide readership.”–Oliver Crisp
Rarely does a new theological position emerge to account well for life in the world, including not only goodness and beauty but also tragedy and randomness. Drawing from Scripture, science, philosophy and various theological traditions, Thomas Jay Oord offers a novel theology of providence―essential kenosis―that emphasizes God’s inherently noncoercive love in relation to creation. The Uncontrolling Love of God provides a clear and powerful answer to the problem of evil, the problem of chance, and how God acts providentially in the world.
“A much-discussed option on the contemporary theological scene is so-called open theology. Working within the framework of open theology, and with some truly horrendous examples of evil constantly in mind, Thomas Oord develops a fresh and original doctrine of providence, the central thesis of which is that it belongs to God’s nature to offer to creatures non-controlling, other-empowering love. Anyone who subsequently writes about providence will have to engage Oord’s cogently argued and lucidly presented account.”–Nicholas Wolterstorf
Evangelicalism has long been a hotly disputed label, and what counts as evangelical theology is often anyone’s guess. Is evangelicalism a static bounded set defined by clear doctrinal limits, or is it a dynamic centered set without a discernible circumference? In this inaugural volume in the Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture, Kevin Vanhoozer and Daniel Treier present evangelical theology as an “anchored” set, rooted in the Trinity. In response to increasing evangelical fragmentation, Theology and the Mirror of Scripture offers a clarion call to reconceive evangelical theology theologically by reflecting on the God of the gospel as mirrored in Scripture. Such “mere” evangelical theology will be an exercise in Christian wisdom for the purpose of building up the fellowship of saints.
“This is not just another book about evangelicalism―its fissures, successes, designs and contusions. Rather, it is a proposal for doing mere evangelical theology―mere as genuine, not minimal―one that draws on the wisdom of the entire Christian tradition. Well-written and clearly argued, this book offers a compelling way forward for the evangelical church today.”–Timothy George
God’s mission needs movement leaders. Jesus pioneered something completely new in human history―a dynamic missionary movement intent on reaching the world. His mission is as clear and as relevant today as in the days of the early church: to make disciples everywhere, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded. But the potential of the church remains untapped. What does it take to lead movements that successfully carry out this mission? In Pioneering Movements, Steve Addison identifies what it takes to follow Jesus’ example. Building on his previous books Movements That Change the World and What Jesus Started, he reveals the apostolic qualities and behaviors of biblical, historical, and contemporary pioneers who can guide church and ministry leaders today. This is a book for those who are called to embrace the mission-driven work that Jesus and his disciples began―making disciples of all nations, in all places.
“The history of global missions is rich and encouraging. Even in this complex age we can learn a great deal from those who have gone before. In Pioneering Movements, Steve Addison provides us with a compelling reminder of the important role godly leaders play in the proliferation of the gospel for God’s glory. Addison’s book is both instructive and inspirational.”–Ed Stetzer
Go and do. Jesus commands it, and the world needs it. Word and deed go together. One without the other is not enough. We follow Jesus into all the world, and we follow his example in all we do. Mission mobilizer Paul Borthwick shows how proclamation and demonstration of the gospel go hand in hand. God gives us the Great Commission, Matthew 28’s call to go wherever Jesus sends us, making disciples and proclaiming good news to all nations. And we become people of his Great Compassion, Matthew 25’s vision for treating others as we would treat Jesus himself, caring for the needy and living justly. Borthwick offers practical ways for us to live out the Great Commission and Great Compassion in every sphere of our lives. Holistic discipleship means learning and looking, praying and giving, welcoming the stranger, simplifying our lives and standing with and for others on God’s behalf. Small steps can make a big difference in the mission of God. Will you answer the call?
When Christians have same-sex attraction, how should the church respond? Pastor Ed Shaw experiences same-sex attraction, and yet he is committed to Scripture and the church’s traditional position of fidelity in heterosexual marriage and celibacy in singleness. In this honest book, he shares his pain in dealing with these issues, but at the same time shows us that obedience to Jesus is ultimately the only way to experience life to the full. He shows that the Bible’s teaching seems unreasonable not because of its difficulties, but because of missteps that the church has often taken in its understanding of the Christian life. We have been shaped by the world around us and urgently need to re-examine the values that drive our discipleship. Only by doing this in the light of the Bible can we make sense of its call on the lives of those who are attracted to their own sex.
“Same-Sex Attraction and the Church is a must-read for all Christians. Pastor Shaw lives out what it means to apply faith to the facts of unwanted, unchosen and sometimes unshakable same-sex attraction. This powerful book meets readers at the heart level, manifesting a positive understanding of the sacrifices of the Christian life. And because it is so disarmingly positive about the Christian art of dying to self, it sings a clarion call shedding new light on this sacred truth: the real gospel imparts a will-influencing, heart-changing light into the souls of men and women and the community that we create together. . . . I love this book.”–Rosaria Butterfield
In the wake of the American Civil War, freed people of color who had either worshipped with their former masters or observed their faith privately now enjoyed a measure of freedom and self-determination. Baptist ranks swelled as new converts joined the faithful in building new churches, organizing mission and educational societies, and openly exercising their faith. In short, it was a rich, diverse experience that merits further inquiry. The essays in Between Fetters and Freedom explore a number of issues bearing on post-Civil War African American Baptists. With limited resources at their disposal, precisely what did freedom mean? Would African American Baptist organizations be recognized as legitimate by white peer organizations? What sort of internal stress would African American organizations face as they gained traction in the black community, and what sort of stress would a rapidly changing culture place on those organizations and the people who made them what they were? Through it all, preachers and lay people alike wondered how their voices would be heard above the din. As the title suggests, emancipation inaugurated a time of freedom. True, the Civil War ended slavery and African American Baptists are no longer in fetters, but the War did not eradicate racism. Arguably, even in well-defined religious circles complete freedom remains tinged with uncertainty and in some respects unfulfilled.
Throughout the history of the church, many excellent books have been written addressing the theological significance of Christian identity. Such works have delineated important doctrines such as adoption, justification, and sanctification. While these studies of being “in Christ” have been fruitful, and numerous, they have often neglected one of the most useful tools in understanding Christian identity, namely, the use of metaphor. A search of Scripture reveals that Jesus and his apostles frequently utilized images from everyday life to illustrate spiritual truths about our identity. In this fresh work, Knowing Who You Are invites the reader to explore eight lesser-known images of Christian identity found in the New Testament. Among others, the author investigates how being a Christian is like being a boxer in ancient Corinth, a citizen in Philippi, a farmer in Galilee, and a sheep in a flock. This engaging assessment of first-century images will draw the reader in and leave them challenged, encouraged, and often surprised as they discover afresh what it means to be ”Christian.”
”Gill serves as an able tour guide, walking us through eight aspects of identity presented to us in the Scriptures. This helpful and easy-to-digest book not only helps us understand the many metaphors the Bible uses to tell us who we are and how we should live, it implants in us a longing to live that way.”–Nancy Guthrie