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Calvin, Participation, and the Gift By J. Todd Billings (Assistant Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary)

Calvin, Participation, and the Gift
by J. Todd Billings (Assistant Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary)

In Stock
£92.99
Is John Calvin's view of God coercive, leaving no place for the human in redemption? J. Todd Billings explores Calvin's theology of `participation in Christ', arguing that for Calvin grace fulfils nature. Billings reframes the critiques of Calvin in the Gift discussion, opening up new possibilities for contemporary theology as well.
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Calvin, Participation, and the Gift Summary


Calvin, Participation, and the Gift: The Activity of Believers in Union with Christ by J. Todd Billings (Assistant Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary)

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.

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Calvin, Participation, and the Gift Reviews


An attentive, stimulating interaction with Calvin's corpus, informed by the scholarly literature and bestowing upon it fresh insights into Calvin's theology at every turn. * James R. A. Merrick. The Journal of Theological Studies *
Well-written and well researched... raise[s] important questions regarding the role of union with Christ in Calvin's theology. * John V. Fesko, Orthodox Presbyterian Church *
Calvin's theology of participation, according to Billings, has theological, biblical and ecclesial promise. If you are interest in participation and Calvin, this is clearly the place to come, and his insight into contemporary issues make this volume a relevant, thoughtful and probing account of Calvin's theology. * Kyle Strobel, Theology Forum *
...With this work Billings has made a major contribution to Calvin studies...This is a work of clarity and sanity, and displays Billings' thorough familiarity with Calvin's insights on the development of Calvin's theology, the sources of his thought, and offers an utterly convincing way to read his theology. * Myk Habets Pacific Journal of Baptist Research *
This is a valuable study of what is an important though much neglected theme of Calvin's. It should be read by all with an interest in Calvin's theology. * Anthony N. S. Lane, London School of Theology *
In the best sense, this is a work of deep theological recollection: with a view to rescuing Reformed theology from its Zwinglian captivity, it restores an appreciation for the catholicity of the Reformed tradition. In the course of defending Calvin against his radically orthodox despisers, Todd Billings carefully and persuasively articulates a vision of Calvin's theology as a source for contemporary constructive theology. And one could hope that the rich vision of sacramental participation he so deftly describes might trickle down into Reformed practice. Billings invites us to imagine how different our Reformed churches might be if they were actually "Calvinist." * James K. A. Smith, Calvin College *
This fine study by Todd Billings gives us fresh ways of looking at a familiar figure. Lucidly written, meticulous, precise and extremely well-informed, Billings' discussion of participation, that ancient Pauline category, opens the door both to new historical and constructive insights. An indispensable study for students of Calvin, historians of Christian thought and theologians of the Gift. * Kevin Madigan, Harvard Divinity School *
I know of no other monograph that offers such a comprehensive view of the theme of participation in Calvin's work. Billings makes a persuasive case for the central importance of this motif in the Reformer's thought. This is an erudite yet very readable book. * Don Compier, Graceland University *
I warmly recommend Billings' book as a serious piece of scholarly research that is not afraid to tackle some of the more popular theological schools of thought in a manner that is respectful, thoughtful and analytically powerful. Billings is the first to systematically analyse Calvin's theology of participation. He manages to pull together a Calvinian doctrine of participation which can stand on its own strength and which presents a genuine, and in decisive ways original, contribution to Calvin research. Any further critique of of Calvin's theology as based on coercion or violence will have to give an account of Billings' masterful scholarship. * Hans Boersma, Regent College *
Billings has broadened our understanding of Calvin as one for whom God's grace and our faithful response form two parts of a whole... The bottom line is that this book matters. * Julie Canlis, Theology in Scotland. *
This lucid and well-written book throws down a significant challenge to those concerned with the project of theology. ... It is not possible in a short review to do justice to the sophistication of Billing's careful reading of Calvin. * Bruce Gordon, Scottish Journal of Theology *

About J. Todd Billings (Assistant Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary)


J. Todd Billings is Assistant Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary.

Table of Contents


1. Calvin, Participation, and the Problem of the Gift in Contemporary Thought ; 2. Calvin's Doctrine of Participation: Contexts and Continuities ; 3. The Development of Calvin's Language of 'Participation in Christ' ; 4. Participation in Christ: The Activity of Believers in Prayer and the Sacraments ; 5. Participation and the Law: God's Accommodation to Humanity so that Humanity may be Accommodated to God ; 6. The Promise of Calvin's Theology of Participation

Additional information

GOR010305361
Calvin, Participation, and the Gift: The Activity of Believers in Union with Christ by J. Todd Billings (Assistant Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary)
J. Todd Billings (Assistant Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary)
Changing Paradigms in Historical and Systematic Theology
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Oxford University Press
2007-11-15
232
0199211876
9780199211876
Winner of Winner of a 2009 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise.
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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