Friday, September 10, 2010

Letters to a Young Calvinist

In a couple of weeks I expect to finally get my hands on a copy of my new book, Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition. My most "popular" book to date (nary a footnote to be found!), it's a little collection of epistles written to a young friend (and my younger self) who's caught a taste of the Reformed tradition through the "Calvinism" of the young, restless, and Reformed movement. And its an invitation to discover the wide, deep riches of the Reformed tradition--to appreciate that this is a big house with many rooms.

Brazos, as usual, has done a great job with the design, and I'm hopeful that this might find readers beyond academic environs. I'm working on a bit of a "book tour," hoping to take advantage of some engagements that will already put me in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Manhattan this coming year, along with an author event here in Grand Rapids. (If you think there might be interest in a reading/talk/signing in your area, let me know and we'll see what we could do.) I'm also hoping to develop a webpage of resources connected to the book, and even toying with the idea of joining Facebook (though I hope my "better angels" will win out on that one).

Here are some of the endorsements for the book:

"My friend Jamie Smith is never boring. Most of the time I cheered 'Amen!' as I read these letters, but even when I disagreed, I appreciated Jamie's model of charity and humility as well as conviction. In the midst of all the encouraging energy of the 'New Calvinism' movement, it is also important to say that being Reformed is more than TULIP. These are rewarding and creatively written letters for all of us."--Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary California

"I wish there had been a Jamie Smith to write letters like these to me when I was a young Calvinist. But, hey, I'm glad to get them today! This is a wise and delightfully written portrayal of a robust Calvinism for the twenty-first century."--Richard J. Mouw, president and professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Although Letters to a Young Calvinist may not please everyone in the Reformed camp (it is a big and diverse family after all), Jamie Smith has done a fabulous job articulating a winsome and engaging account of the depth, splendor, and joy of the Reformed tradition. I found much of what I hold dear about Calvinism reaffirmed in these interesting letters and at the same time was delighted to learn new insights that got me excited about the tradition all over again. I hope this book introduces a whole new generation to the richness of the Reformed understanding of the faith."--Jim Belcher, author, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional

"James K. A. Smith winsomely steps into one of the most fascinating conversations in contemporary evangelicalism--the surprising resurgence of Calvinism among younger Christians. Letters to a Young Calvinist is thoughtful, nuanced, provocative, relational, and informed. No one will agree with everything here, but what I appreciated most was Smith's careful insistence that there's much more to being theologically Reformed than believing in the famous (and fabulous!) five points of Calvinism. He shows that the Reformed tradition is covenantal and cosmic in scope, big and bright in scale, doctrinal and devotional in spirit. A thoroughly engaging read!"--Tullian Tchividjian, pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.; author, Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels

"Letters to a Young Calvinist is a splendid book that speaks to both head and heart, counseling the 'young, restless, and Reformed' toward growth into a wider and deeper Reformed tradition. . . . [T]he journey with Smith into the spacious and expansive Reformed tradition is well worth the ride. This wise and witty book is a delight to read!"--J. Todd Billings, associate professor of Reformed theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan