BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 30, 2015

Cover ArtMathew Sims, at Grace for Sinners, reviewed James K. A. Smith’s Imagining the Kingdom.

I cannot recommend Imagining the Kingdom highly enough. It’s a much needed corrective for the Church especially in our current climate where secular liturgies often are more formative. Christians have failed to tell and live our story in a way that’s believable and affective.

At Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight reflected on Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation by Matthew Levering.

Nate Claiborne reviewed Reformed Catholicity, by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

At Books at a Glance, Adam Darbonne reviewed Reading the Historical Books by Patricia Dutcher-Walls.

Jackson Watts, at the Helwys Society Forum, reviewed Beth Felker Jones’ Practicing Christian Doctrine.

Adonis Vidu’s Atonement, Law, and Justice was review at Pastor Dave Online.

Gary Ridley, at Send U, reviewed Effective Intercultural Communication by A. Scott Moreau, Evvy Hay Campbell and Susan Greener.

Nijay Gupta, at Crux Sola, is looking forward to Mikeal Parsons’ Paideia commentary on Luke.

Justin Taylor shared Thomas Schreiner’s reflections in The King in His Beauty on seeing the Trinity in Genesis 1:26.

At Lingering in Love, Ian McConnell has been working through Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker, and Bonhoeffer’s eight theses on youth work. Read posts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

The Gospel Coalition shared 8 Lessons from the School of Prayer, an excerpt from D. A. Carson’s Praying with Paul.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – August 15, 2014

Cover ArtBruce Ellis Benson, author of Liturgy as a Way of Life, was interviewed by Alvin Rapien at The Poor in Spirit.

“What is liturgy? Probably the simplest way of answering that is that it all about how we live our lives. We have routines; we have ways of doing things; we have things that are essential to our lives. How we order our lives has to do with what we value. So, far from being just some kind of thing that “liturgical churches” do, liturgy is something that we cannot help but do on a daily basis.”

The Verbum Blog interviewed Mary Healy and Peter Williamson, editors of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series and authors of the volumes on The Gospel of Mark and Ephesians. Read part one and part two of their discussion.

Hoon Lee, at Exploring Church History, reviewed Timothy Wengert’s Reading the Bible with Martin Luther.

At Panorama of a Book Saint, Conrade Yap reviewed Encountering the Book of Romans by Douglas Moo.

Conversations in Faith reviewed Reading the Historical Books by Patricia Dutcher- Walls.

The Books & Culture Podcast discussed J. Richard Middleton’s forthcoming A New Heaven and a New Earth.

Thomas Schreiner’s The King in His Beauty was reviewed by David Maas for RBL.

Joshua Torrey, at Grace for Sinners, reviewed Clayton Jefford’s Reading the Apostolic Fathers.

Marc Cortez listed Practicing Christian Doctrine by Beth Felker Jones in his post The Best Theology Books from the First Half of 2014.

At Brief Inquisition? Michael Hansen reflected on James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

James Skillen, author of The Good of Politics was interviewed about the conflicts in Iraq, Gaza, and Ukraine by the Christian Courier.


Already and Not-Yet – an Excerpt from Practicing Christian Doctrine

The following is an excerpt from Practicing Christian Doctrine, by Beth Felker Jones.


Christian eschatology is about the future, but it is also about the present. The practice of eschatology is not only something removed from us, far away in time. The kingdom of God is a future that we long for, but it is also already breaking into the world.

This double aspect of eschatology is widely recognized by biblical scholars and theologians, who sometimes talk about it as an eschatological tension between the already and the not-yet.

Cover ArtThe “already” of eschatology is the present-tense reality that began with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and continues right up to the present moment. The “not-yet” of eschatology is the future-tense reality of the kingdom come in fullness, visibility, and power.

The whole of Christian life and doctrine is practiced in this tension, between the already and the not-yet of the kingdom. In that tension, we have the present-tense mission of proclaiming the “good news of the kingdom,” making Christ known “throughout the world,” as we look forward to the day when “the end will come” (Matt. 24:14). We live and work between the first and second comings of Christ, between the manger in Bethlehem and the marriage feast of the New Jerusalem.

….When eschatology neglects that future, we are opened to the danger of equating the church with the kingdom and to the pitfalls of hubris, overconfidence, and confusing human achievement, pride, and power with holiness. When eschatology loses sight of the future, we are vulnerable to one more version of works righteousness, succumbing to the false belief that it is our job to make the kingdom happen. We may be deceived into trading the kingdom of grace for the kingdoms of this world, or we may end in despair when our human efforts at kingdom building fall short.

Paul, knowing that the fullness of hope is yet to come, thus practices an eschatological reservation, acting in the knowledge that something is always reserved for the not-yet. The eschatological reservation trains us in a posture of present humility, humility required by our confidence in the future.

©2014 by Beth Felker Jones. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


For more information on Practicing Christian Doctrine, click here.