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Blog Book Tour

Philip Clayton and Harvey Cox both have new books out and they are taking them out on tour. One of the blog tour stops will be here, but as you can see below they will be making their rounds over the next month until they wrap things up in Montreal at the American Academy of Religion‘s annual meeting. There they will be joined by an illustrious panel including Eric Gregory, Bruce Sanguin, Serene Jones, Frank Tupper, and Andrew Sung Park to share a ‘Big Idea’ for the future of the Church. These ‘Big Ideas’ will be video taped and shared, so be on the look out for live footage from the last night of the tour.

Philip’s new book is Transforming Christian Theology for Church & Society and Harvey’s is The Future of Faith. Both are worth checking out at one of the many tour stops. I’ll be posting my review of Clayton’s book once I receive it and get a chance to read it.

Joseph Weethee , Jonathan Bartlett, The Church Geek, Jacob’s Cafe, Reverend Mommy, Steve Knight, Todd Littleton, Christina Accornero, John David Ryan, LeAnn Gunter Johns, Chase Andre, Matt Moorman, Gideon Addington, Rachel Marszalek, Amy Moffitt, Josh Wallace, Jonathan Dodson, Stephen Barkley, Monty Galloway, Colin McEnroe, Tad DeLay, David Mullens, Kimberly Roth, Tripp Hudgins, Tripp Fuller, Greg Horton, Andrew Tatum, Drew Tatusko, Sam Andress, Susan Barnes, Jared Enyart, Jake Bouma, Eliacin Rosario-Cruz, Blake Huggins, Lance Green, Scott Lenger, Dan Rose, Thomas Turner, Les Chatwin, Joseph Carson, Brian Brandsmeier, J. D. Allen, Greg Bolt, Tim Snyder, Matthew L. Kelley, Carl McLendon, Carter McNeese, David R. Gillespie, Arthur Stewart, Tim Thompson, Joe Bumbulis, Bob Cornwall

This Tour is Sponsored by Transforming Theology DOT org!

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. The first question that comes to my mind, based solely on the HarperCollins summary of Cox’ book, is whether he indeed has a Lake Wobegone view of the Early Church. As a Mennonite, I love idealizing the early church as much as anyone, but the publishers’ summary makes Cox look hopelessly naive.

    October 26, 2009
    • I’m not actually going to be reviewing the Cox book, but based on the publisher’s summary I would have to agree with you Michael. I get very suspicious of neat divisions like the ones in the summary. They almost invariably suggest that there is some kind of inevitable evolution of faith from initial purity through a period of corruption and degeneracy and then slowly back onto an increasingly spiritual and anti-institutional trajectory. As you suggest, history has never been that neat and tidy.

      (I didn’t realize you were part of the Menno-tribe!)

      October 26, 2009
      • Indeed! I am in the ironic position of having grown up and been baptized in Mennonite churches, but having no Mennonite blood (which should be irrelevant, I realize), no relatives that are Mennonite, nor currently attending a Mennonite church. So I’m not sure if I’m a ‘real’ Mennonite. But I think I think like a Mennonite – does that count?

        If you read An und fur sich at all, you might find the recent post “The task of the theologian” an interesting conversation partner for reviewing Clayton’s book.

        October 26, 2009
      • I think we can make room for someone who thinks they think like a Mennonite in the club 🙂

        Thanks for the link, Michael. Certainly an interesting perspective to keep in mind as I read this book.

        October 26, 2009
  2. Paul Johnston #

    ‘specially when everybody knows the arc spirals ever upward until Wittenburg…so Michael, what wrong with hopeless naivete?….no really…….what?

    October 26, 2009
    • Actually, I don’t think everything spirals upward until Wittenburg, either.

      October 26, 2009
  3. Ken #

    I read the introduction and first chapter of Clayton’s book at the link you provided.

    I don’t agree with his epiphany that university and seminary theologians need to be more practical and less academic. I think the right function of most academic theologians is the critique or analysis of theology, past and present. A few academic theologians have enough brilliance to change theology or offer something new, but most do not. Like in science, a few set the paradigms and the rest mop up – fill in details, test and analyze. In my experience, most academic theologians fail at the difficult work of creative analysis. Instead, they do what Clayton has decided to do – preach to seminary students and the world and try to sell more of their books in the process. They, and Clayton, like everyone else, it seems, want to change the world and to get rich doing it. It would be better for them to help the students closely read the great works of theology.

    October 27, 2009
    • Well, truth be told you’ve already read more of this book than I have Ken! I’m waiting for the hard copy to arrive (I don’t like reading on the computer screen for too long). I certainly would agree that students would be well served being introduced to the classics of theology. I think theology for its own sake (i.e., with no immediate “practical” value) is still a legitimate pursuit – at the very least it’s not illegitimate. Human beings are drawn to and have the capacity for all kinds of pursuits, after all. There’s no reason “academic” theology shouldn’t be one of them. Having said that, I think that the best theology is doxological in character.

      I suppose I’ll get a chance to find out just what Mr. Clayton thinks shortly…

      October 27, 2009

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