Well, new to me, anyway. I'm excited about reading three new titles I just recieved from IVP, as well as one on the way from Fortress Press:
Roger Olson is a regular contributor at the Think Tank, which, most recently, featured his article concerning the future of Evangelicalism. My personal interest in a more irenic and Spirit-filled interaction between the various corners of evangelicalism naturally stimulated interest in The Mosaic of Christian Belief. I've been looking forward to reading something of a more "editorial' style, and Olson's discussion of the various continuities and discontinuities which beset Christian theologies seems like it'll satiate both my desire to investigate this topic and my craving for a more conversational style. If it turns out to be as engaging as I'd hoped, I may end up reading the companion volume as well!
John Stott says on the back cover, "I defy anybody to emerge from exposure to this book unscathed. In fact, my advice to would-be readers is "Don't! Leave the book alone!" - unless you are willing to be shocked, challenged, persuaded and transformed." That's some superlative praise from a highly respected churchman! I have to admit that I'm a little less excited to bite into this one, since my reading to date on the topic of social justice has had an overamped ideological "prophetic call" devoid of a "feet in the dirt" kind of instruction as to how I can contribute to God's kingdom plan in this area. Nonetheless, I trust that Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen will offer some helpful insight!
I confess that I've never heard of Veli-Matti Karkkainen - but I've yet to read a single volume entirely devoted to an ecclesiological survey, and I figured that this might be a good place to start. The table of contents detail the figures Karkkainen intends to deal with, and include notable figures such as Hans Kung, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jurgen Moltmann, Miroslav Volf and Leslie Newbigin. He also expands his discussion of the topic to include a wider international perspective, with considerations of Asian, Latin American and African perspectives. After having read An Introduction to Ecclesiology I hope to have a stronger grasp on the contemporary scene in this important area of theological consideration.
Of the four books, I'm looking forward to reading this one the most. The Economy of Grace was featured in an interview with Kathryn Tanner I happened to catch on InterFaith Voices (NPR). I was fascinated with the idea of a practicable theological economics centrally focused around the concept of grace. What I heard in the interview echoed Yoder's sketches of Jubilee abundance with the attempt at a more detailed, practical outworking. Since questions of neighbor love inescapably involves economics, and the system we imbibe and within which we participate necessarily rewards injustice, a theological conversation with capitalistic ideologies seems as though it should be an invetible challenge of the Church. Here's hoping the conversation doesn't descend into a baptized socialism . . .