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We're all going to die. Yet in our medically advanced, technological age, many of us see death as a distant reality--something that happens only at the end of a long life or to other people. In The End of the Christian Life, Todd Billings urges Christians to resist that view. Instead, he calls us to embrace our mortality in our daily life and faith. This is the journey of genuine discipleship, Billings says: following the crucified and resurrected Lord in a world of distraction and false hopes. Drawing on his experience as a professor and father living with incurable cancer, Billings offers a personal yet deeply theological account of the gospel's expansive hope for small, mortal creatures. Artfully weaving rich theology with powerful narrative, Billings writes for church leaders and laypeople alike. Whether we are young or old, reeling from loss or clinging to our own prosperity, this book challenges us to walk a strange but wondrous path: in the midst of joy and lament, to receive mortal limits as a gift, an opportunity to give ourselves over to the Lord of life.
This book, the first on these topics, addresses the problem of finding an ellipsoid to represent a large set of points in high-dimensional space, which has applications in computational geometry, data representations, and optimal design in statistics. The book covers the formulation of this and related problems, theoretical properties of their optimal solutions, and algorithms for their solution. Due to the high dimensionality of these problems, first-order methods that require minimal computational work at each iteration are attractive. While algorithms of this kind have been discovered and rediscovered over the past fifty years, their computational complexities and convergence rates have only recently been investigated. The optimization problems in the book have the entries of a symmetric matrix as their variables, so the author's treatment also gives an introduction to recent work in matrix optimization.* Provides historical perspective on the problems studied by optimizers, statisticians, and geometric functional analysts.* Demonstrates the huge computational savings possible by exploiting simple updates for the determinant and the inverse after a rank-one update.* Highlights the difficulties in algorithms when related problems are studied that do not allow simple updates at each iteration.* Gives rigorous analyses of the proposed algorithms, MATLAB codes, and computational results.
At the age of thirty-nine, Christian theologian Todd Billings was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable cancer. In the wake of that diagnosis, he began grappling with the hard theological questions we face in the midst of crisis: Why me? Why now? Where is God in all of this? This eloquently written book shares Billings's journey, struggle, and reflections on providence, lament, and life in Christ in light of his illness, moving beyond pat answers toward hope in God's promises. Theologically robust yet eminently practical, it engages the open questions, areas of mystery, and times of disorientation in the Christian life. Billings offers concrete examples through autobiography, cultural commentary, and stories from others, showing how our human stories of joy and grief can be incorporated into the larger biblical story of God's saving work in Christ.
Ghost thriller starring Justin Theroux and Julie Delpy. An urban family leaves city life behind for the confines of rural New England. Little do they know that their new home once belonged to the Keyes family, a clan who experienced the tragic loss of their daughter some 250 years ago. Tonight, she returns...
"Celebrating the Lord's Supper," says award-winning author and theologian J. Todd Billings, "can change lives." In this book Billings shows how a renewed theology and practice of the Lord's Supper can lead Christians to rediscover the full richness and depth of the gospel. With an eye for helping congregations move beyond common reductions of the gospel, he develops a vibrant, biblical, and distinctly Reformed sacramental theol-ogy and explores how it might apply within a variety of church contexts, from Baptist to Presbyterian, nondenominational to Anglican. At once strikingly new and deeply traditional, Remembrance, Communion, and Hope will surprise and challenge readers, inspiring them to a new understanding of-and appreciation for-the embodied, Christ-disclosing drama of the Lord's Supper.
Accomplished theologian J. Todd Billings recovers the biblical theme of union with Christ for today's church, making a fresh contribution to the theological discussion with important applications for theology and ministry. Drawing on Scripture and the thought of figures such as Augustine, Calvin, Bavinck, and Barth, Billings shows how a theology of union with Christ can change the way believers approach worship, justice, mission, and the Christian life. He illuminates how union with Christ can change the theological conversation about thorny topics such as total depravity and the mystery of God. Billings also provides a critique and alternative to the widely accepted paradigm of incarnational ministry and explores a gospel-centered approach to social justice. Throughout, he offers a unique and lively exploration of what is so amazing about being united to the living Christ.
The vicious Mexican cartel war boils over into the Big Bend in the explosive new novel from the author of The Far Empty and High White Sun. In the Mexican borderlands, a busload of student protesters is gunned down in broad daylight, a violent act blamed on the Nemesio cartel. But its aging leader, Fox Uno, sees the attack for what it is: another salvo in the long-running battle for control of Nemesio itself; perhaps by a rival cartel, or maybe someone closer to home... Across the Rio Grande, Sheriff Chris Cherry and his deputies America Reynosa and Danny Ford find themselves caught in Fox Uno's escalating war with the recent discovery of five dead men at the river's edge. But when El Paso DEA agent Joe Garrison's own Nemesio investigation leads him into the heart of the Big Bend, he's not ready to accept the cartel leader's retreat or defeat. Not only does he suspect a high-profile drug task force in a neighboring county is corrupt, he can't shake lingering doubts about the loyalty and motives of the young deputy, Ame Reynosa. And he won't let Sheriff Cherry ignore them either. In this pitiless land it's kill or be killed, where everyone will make one final bloody stand to decide the fate of Nemesio, the law in the Big Bend, and most of all, the future of America Reynosa.
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