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New Publication: Reconsidering Arminius

I wasn’t expecting it to be released until December, as the Abingdon and Amazon pages note, but just yesterday a copy of Reconsidering Arminius appeared on my desk, courtesy of our cataloging librarian here at the Claremont School of Theology. Sometimes Christmas does come early!

This volume was co-edited by me, Keith D. Stanglin, and Mark H. Mann, and it pulls together conference papers, as well as later/additional contributions. The conference was entitled Rethinking Arminius and was held in 2012. I’ll append an abstract below.

The theology of Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius has been misinterpreted and caricatured in both Reformed and Wesleyan circles. By revisiting Arminius’ theology, the book hopes to be a constructive voice in the discourse between so-called Calvinists and Arminians.

Traditionally, Arminius has been treated as a divisive figure in evangelical theology. Indeed, one might be able to describe classic evangelical theology up into the 20th century in relation to his work: one was either an Arminian and accepted his theology, or one was a Calvinist and rejected his theology. Although various other movements within evangelicalism have provided additional contour to the movement (fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, etc.), the Calvinist-Arminian “divide” remains a significant one. What this book seeks to correct is the misinterpretation of Arminius as one whose theology provides a stark contrast to the Reformed tradition as a whole. Indeed, this book will demonstrate instead that Arminius is far more in line with Reformed orthodoxy than popularly believed, and show that what emerges as Arminianism in the theology of the Remonstrants and Wesleyan movements was in fact not the theology of Arminius, but rather a development of and sometimes departure from it.

This book also brings Arminius into conversation with modern theology. To this end, it includes essays on the relationship between Arminius’ theology and open theism and Neo-Reformed theology. In this way, this book fulfills the promise of the title by showing ways in which Arminius’ theology–once properly understood–can serve as a resource of evangelical Wesleyans and Calvinists doing theology together today.

Brepols’ autumn publication brochure

Brepols’ Autumn 2013 list of forthcoming publications includes my first book. I’m getting excited! The Cahiers de Biblia Patristica has a fairly simple cover design and doesn’t include any artwork. This blog seems like a nice place to supplement a piece of art that is discussed in the book. The Rabbula Gospels, composed ca. 586 CE in Syria, contains the earliest extant illustration of the crucifixion. It also seems to convey one of the most notable and influential tropes found in early Christian interpretation, namely, John Chrysostom’s trope that Jesus and the bandit saw each other “with the eyes of faith”. For a detailed exploration of this trope and its afterlife in homilies and art, you’ll have to read the book when it is published this November. In the meantime, I’ll leave it to you to see and decide whether Chrysostom’s trope was in the mind of the artist who gave us this illustration.

-mgb

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6th cent. 586 Rabula Gospel Crucifixion half page color