According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Books of the Year

Jesus Creed Books of the Year
January 1, 2012

An article in The Atlantic on writers and their books, an article well worth your read, sets the right tone for our annual list of Books of the Year. That article in The Atlantic appeared on one of the days I was clearing out my library. I’ve already packed up more than fifteen boxes of books — and some of these boxes are big honkin’ boxes — and probably have another fifteen to go. I came to this conclusion: for nearly every book that gets put on a shelf one has to be taken off. But this post is about Books of the Year.

These are my choices, and I have no claim to have seen even all of the most important books or to have read adequately in all fields, so go ahead and make your own recommendations. I’m woefully unread this year on Old Testament books, so nominate some books.

At the end of this post (after the jump) I will announce my Book of the Year.

J.J. Collins, D.C. Harlow, The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism
Timothy George, gen. ed., The Reformation Commentary on the Bible

New Testament:
N.T. Wright, The Kingdom New Testament
James D.G. Dunn, Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels
Morna Hooker, Holiness and Mission
J. Beilby, Paul Rhodes Eddy, Justification: Five Views
Craig Keener, Miracles
Rodney Reeves, Spirituality according to Paul

Hans Boersma, Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry
M. Volf, Allah: A Christian Response
Theresa Latini, The Church and the Crisis of Community
Roger Olson, Against Calvinism, and Michael Horton, For Calvinism
Alan Padgett, As Christ Submits to the Church

The Cape Town Commitment

Eugene Peterson, Pastor: A Memoir. [Kris and I were gone for a week and I haven't "checked" my list for some time, but somehow I forgot to put this book on the original list. This book was my rival to Christian Smith's book for Book of the Year.]
Kara Powell, Sticky Faith
John Dickson, Humilitas
The Collected Sermons of Fred Craddock

Church History:
Michael McClymond, Gerald McDermott, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards
John Fea, Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?

Science and Faith:
Richard F. Carlson and Tremper Longman III, Science, Creation and the Bible
Karl Giberson and Francis Collins, The Language of Science and Faith
Deborah B. and Loren D. Haarsma, Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (This is a new version of their book reviewed a few years ago, now aimed at a general Christian audience.)

Current Trends:
D. Fitch, The End of Evangelicalism
Brad Wright, Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World
Christian Smith, Lost in Transition

World Issues:
Carolyn Custis James, Half the Church
Lee Camp, Who is My Enemy? Questions Christians Must Face about Islam and Themselves

Rob Bell, Love Wins

Jesus Creed Book of the Year

Christian Smith, The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture. In spite of being panned by a few notable evangelicals, Smith is one of America’s finest scholars of evangelicalism, knows theology, and has poked populist evangelicalism in the eye — both eyes in fact. He has laid down a challenge that must be met: How to read the Bible in a way that does not lead to pervasive pluralism but leads to conclusions on which we can agree enough to say “Thus saith the Lord.” Until that happens, we’ve got too many lone rangers claiming “Thus saith the Lord.” What good is it to say we’ve got the very Word of God if we can’t agree on what the Word says?

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