Accomplished theologian J. Todd Billings recovers the biblical theme of union with Christ for today's church, making a fresh contribution to the theological discussion with important applications for theology and ministry. Drawing on Scripture and the thought of figures such as Augustine, Calvin, Bavinck, and Barth, Billings shows how a theology of union with Christ can change the way believers approach worship, justice, mission, and the Christian life. He illuminates how union with Christ can change the theological conversation about thorny topics such as total depravity and the mystery of God. Billings also provides a critique and alternative to the widely accepted paradigm of incarnational ministry and explores a gospel-centered approach to social justice. Throughout, he offers a unique and lively exploration of what is so amazing about being united to the living Christ.
J. Todd Billings (ThD, Harvard University Divinity School) is Gordon H. Girod Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of numerous articles and two award-winning books, including Calvin, Participation, and the Gift: The Activity of Believers in Union with Christ, which received a 2009 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise.
Introduction 1. Salvation as Adoption in Christ: An Antidote to Today's Distant yet Convenient Deity 2. Total Depravity in Sin, Total Communion in Christ: How the Bondage of the Will Mirrors a Theology of Salvation as Communion 3. Encountering a Mystery in Union with Christ: On Communion with the Incomprehensible God 4. The Gospel and Justice: Union with Christ, the Law of Love, and the Lord's Supper 5. Ministry in Union with Christ: A Constructive Critique of Incarnational Ministry Conclusion