I wrote a chapter “Land, Exile and the Spirit of God: Rebuilding Selves in a Globalized World” in a new book, Always Being Reformed edited by David H. Jensen.
This book emerged from the Inaugural Clarence N. and Betty B. Frierson Distinguished Scholars’ Conference at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary held in April 2014. So honored to be invited to attend the conference and be part of this book project. Many thanks to Dean Jensen.
One of the most persistent slogans of Reformed theology is that it is “reformed and always being reformed” But what does this slogan mean? This volume gathers thirteen essays written by a younger generation of Reformed theologians who teach and write on five different continents, who together offer this work in Christian systematic theology. Unlike many other works of Reformed theology, however, this book is framed by pressing contextual issues and questions (instead of traditional loci). Each chapter engages classical doctrine, but does so through the lens of contemporary, lived experience in particular contexts. The result is not a theology where doctrines are “applied” to contexts, but an approach where doctrine and context mutually shape one another. The contributors take seriously the notion that theology is “always being reformed” and is always partial, ever on the way–hence it requires conversation partners beyond the Reformed family of faith. The result is a study in Reformed theology that is thoroughly ecumenical.
Endorsements & Reviews
“No one who reads and ponders this collection of probing and engaging essays will be able to doubt the continuing vitality and real importance of Reformed theology in our time. Jensen is to be commended for bringing together some daring and cutting-edge theological minds whose creative work embodies the spirit of a classical tradition that requires of its adherents the willingness to be reformed ever anew.” —Paul E. Capetz, Associate Dean and Professor of Historical Theology, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
“Variety is one of the greatest, yet sometimes more contested, even lamented, gifts of the Reformed branch of the Protestant Reformation. The diversity of confessional perspectives within the Reformed movement has led to struggles over its identity while this same movement has produced some of the greatest theologians and biblical scholars in the church’s history. Indeed, as Always Being Reformed demonstrates, there is a connection between the plurality of confessions in the Reformed movement–which assumes its respect for particular contexts and historical moments–and the theological fecundity of the movement. This book also shows that the most creative period of the Reformed movement’s history may not be behind it. Drawing on a wide variety of distinguished Reformed scholars, this book breathes new life into conversations that threatened to grow stale. And, in so doing, it offers this historic Protestant movement yet another opportunity to look forward.” –Michael Jinkins, President, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; Author of The Church Transforming: What’s Next for the Reformed Project?
“This book is a stunning resource. In engaging essays, theologians from around the world reflect on the historical influence and current struggles of Reformed Christianity. More powerfully still, they illuminate the flexible strength of Reformed theology, as well as its vibrant future in the global church.”–Shannon Craigo-Snell, Professor of Theology, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; Author of The Empty Church: Theater, Theology, and Bodily Hope (Oxford, 2014)
David H. Jensen is Academic Dean and Professor in the Clarence N. and Betty B. Frierson Distinguished Chair of Reformed Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His research focuses primarily on the interconnections between Christian theology and daily life. Among his previous books are God, Desire, and a Theology of Human Sexuality (2013) and 1 and 2 Samuel (2015).