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Thomas Gardner in Christianity and Literature

March 7th, 2012 by admin

Jordan Cofer reviews Gardner's John in the Company of Poets: The Gospel in Literary Imagination with words like fascinating, unique, innovative, compelling, and thought provoking.  These all describe the careful, interpretive nature of Gardner's book, which takes readers through the Gopsel of John with a literary lens.

As Gardner explicates the gospel, readers are able to understand Jesus' ministry.  However, while some readers may pick up this study strictly for analysis of selected poems, Gardner argues that it is impossible to divorce these poems from their biblical counterpart.  Of course, this turns out to be a good thing, since Gardner's close-reading of the gospel is extremely enlightening.  As both a scholar and a poet, he provides unique insight into the Gospel of John.  As a scholar, he gives a very thorough and researched reading of the gospel.  Yet as a poet, Gardner demonstrates that "poets are our best readers," as he is able to breath life into the most tired passages of the gospel...

One of the biggest praises from Christianity and Literature is that John in the Company of Poets is a readable and engaging study, which ditches the "academicese." Find the full review in Christianity and Literature, Autumn 2011 61.1.

Liberalism Without Illusions is "Delightfully Readable"

March 7th, 2012 by admin

Chris Evans's Liberalism Without Illusions was recently reviewed in The Journal of Religion.  Below is an excerpt explaining how his book helps readers to understand liberal theology for what it is:

Evans begins by clarifying his understanding of liberal theology as the form of Christian theology that is committed to developing a culturally engaged articulation of Christianity, that strives to interpret the Bible in ways consistent with contemporary scientific and socioscientific worldviews, and that seeks justice in history. In his first chapter, Evans describes the current situation of American liberal Christianity, including attention to the popular stereotypes of liberal theology and the declining membership in the mainstream Protestant denominations associated with the liberal theological project. He avoids an alarmist tone—liberal Christianity is not, in fact, dead or dying—while nevertheless persuasively suggesting that there are good reasons to be concerned about liberal Christianity’s future. Even while liberal theology flourishes in universities and seminaries, those who care about the future of either Christianity or the United States have reason to share Evans’s concern about what might happen if Christianity in this country largely rejects the tasks of coming to terms with science and working for greater justice.

To read the whole article, click here.

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