Too Good To Be True released 2/28

New Book Cover 1My first book of sermons, Too Good to Be True, is now published by Christian Alternative and is available through Amazon and good bookstores like Hearts & Minds Books.  The book features a foreword by Peter Rollins and an afterword by Thomas Altizer, and the opening essay, “Pentecosting: Preaching the Death of God,” is an edited and expanded form of my presentations at last year’s Subverting the Norm 2 and AAR/North American Paul Tillich Society conferences.

The sermons loosely follow the lectionary; a few sermons that have been previewed here at AUFS; and two were published separately in Knights Templar Magazine last year.

If you’re interested, the ebook sells for less than $5, so I hope you will find it to be a good value.

All in all, this is a book that wouldn’t have been possible without my association with this blog, without a larger platform for preaching, so thank you to Adam and Brad for supporting me here.  I am grateful to Pete and Tom for their support of the project, and to Bruce Epperly, Clayton Crockett, and Phil Snider for writing endorsements for the book.  And thanks to Christian Alternative, especially Trevor Greenfield, for supporting the project.

I am hoping that a second book following year B of the lectionary, The Death of Oz, will find a publisher.

As for getting back into the swing of the blog, some of you may know I was on a Holy Land pilgrimage recently and I am looking forward to showing you some of my experiences, observations, and photos.  I am continuing to work on a few projects, most importantly a work on a Girardian interpretation of Freemasonry titled Murdered between the Altar and the Temple and a project on Confirmation practices, with the working title Confirmation: Where Gods Go to Die.

Similarly, I have a few upcoming speaking engagements…

March 15, public presentation on the Holy Land, 9 AM, St. Paul’s UCC, Dallastown, PA

March 20, Progressive Youth Ministry Conference, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL

April 27, on intergenerational worship with children and The Synaptic Gospel, Gettysburg UCC Association Ministerium,

May 16, UCC Theological Summit, Dallastown, PA

June 14, panel on Confirmation practices, Penn Central UCC Annual Conference, Susquehanna University (PA)

July 9-12, time TBA, UCC Mid-Atlantic Regional Youth Event (PA)

September 25, tentative, presentation on the Holy Land, Hermit Commandery, Lebanon, PA

6 thoughts on “Too Good To Be True released 2/28

  1. Would this perhaps serve as a passable introduction to Death of God Theology? I find it utterly confusing. Coupled with the higher power requirement for masonry and it’s doubly confusing.

  2. Shameonme, it’s important to remember that death of God theologies aren’t “atheistic” in the sense of a complete rejection of theism, but it is a rejection of classical and traditional theisms of Christendom. So they are atheistic in the sense of rejecting other theisms that pass themselves off as “Christian.” Altizer, for example, proposes a new kind of metaphysics around the central metaphor of the death of God, which is in some ways a surprisingly consistent systematic theology. There is a “God” for Altizer but this God is no longer transcendent but an enfleshed immanence. For Vahanian, on the other hand, the critique is more about how God-talk and even the word “God” becomes an invitation for idolatry for contemporary Christians. So, like Tillich proposed, atheism becomes a tool for Christian theology.

    My opening essay in the book, titled “Pentecosting,” I am being told serves as an introduction, but it is really meant to be an introduction to how these ideas can applied to church life, specifically in preaching.

    I have always said that Lissa McCullough’s essay in her edited book Thinking Through the Death of God is the best introduction to Altizer out there. Trevor Greenfield’s Introduction to Radical Theologies offers a very English take on it.

    Regarding the higher power requirement in masonry, this is one of the things I am working through in that project. Namely that the function of the ‘lodge’ is this liminal-ritual space that provides the canvass to do the work of the kingdom without invoking specific doctrine beyond belief in a deity, the kind of “being (a) multiplicity” which Keller, for example, proposes. And further, a similar theistic move toward the enfleshment of deity, as in Altizer, occurs in much of the hermetic interpretation of Freemasonry. (While not Altizeran, this move is more Lurianic in nature, but it’s worth pointing out the similarities between Altizer and Luria’s metaphysics.) Part of what I have already published of this ongoing project is part of one chapter, which takes a Girardian interpretation of the violence of masonic ritual, namely, the re-enactment of a murder by one’s new brethren, and how this functions as what I propose be called “the new Zechariah,” who, Luke 11 identifies as “from the blood of Abel…was murdered between the altar and the temple.”

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