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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.
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.
This book fills a real need for pastors and students. Though there is currently a large body of material on the theological interpretation of Scripture, most of it is highly specific and extremely technical. J. Todd Billings here provides a straightforward entryway for students and pastors to understand why theological interpretation matters and how it can be done. / A solid, constructive theological work, The Word of God for the People of God presents a distinctive Trinitarian, participatory approach toward reading Scripture as the church. Billings's accessible yet substantial argument for a theological hermeneutic is rooted in a historic vision of the practice of scriptural interpretation even as it engages a wide range of contemporary issues and includes several exegetical examples that apply to concrete Christian ministry situations.
J. Todd Billings and I. John Hesselink have compiled an essential collection of essays for the study of John Calvin's theology. Leading Calvin scholars examine the early and late reception-history of Calvin's fundamental teachings, including reflections on the contemporary possibilities and limitations in developing Calvin's thought.
Contributors include Timothy Hessel-Robinson, Michael S. Horton, Mark Husbands, David Little, Suzanne McDonald, Jeannine E. Olson, Sue A. Rozeboom, and Carl R. Trueman.
Can Christians and churches be both catholic and Reformed? In this volume, two accomplished young theologians argue that to be Reformed means to go deeper into true catholicity rather than away from it. Their manifesto for a catholic and Reformed approach to dogmatics seeks theological renewal through retrieval of the rich resources of the historic Christian tradition. The book provides a survey of recent approaches toward theological retrieval and offers a renewed exploration of the doctrine of sola scriptura. It includes a substantive afterword by J. Todd Billings.
Is the God of Calvin a fountain of blessing, or a forceful tyrant? Is Calvin's view of God coercive, leaving no place for the human qua human in redemption? These are perennial questions about Calvin's theology which have been given new life by Gift theologians such as John Milbank, Graham Ward, and Stephen Webb. J. Todd Billings addresses these questions by exploring Calvin's theology of 'participation in Christ'. He argues that Calvin's theology of 'participation' gives a positive place to the human, such that grace fulfils rather than destroys nature, affirming a differentiated union of God and humanity in creation and redemption. Calvin's trinitarian theology of participation extends to his view of prayer, sacraments, the law, and the ecclesial and civil orders. In light of Calvin's doctrine of participation, Billings reframes the critiques of Calvin in the Gift discussion and opens up new possibilities for contemporary theology, ecumenical theology, and Calvin scholarship as well.
"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.
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