Monday, September 02, 2013

New Book: "Discipleship in the Present Tense"

Cover image by Madison Smith
I'm happy to share the news that my new book, Discipleship in the Present Tense: Reflections on Faith and Culture is now available from Calvin College Press, Amazon, and hopefully your local bookseller. (A Kindle version is also available for just $7.99, and an Apple iBook version will be available soon.)

Think of this book as "James K.A. Smith, without all the footnotes."  Well, there are a few footnotes.  But this book is really a collection of my more popular articles, essays, reviews, interviews, and op-eds from the last few years (sort of a sequel to The Devil Reads Derrida, without the daunting, off-putting title).  My hope is that the book is an accessible read for those who might find Desiring the Kingdom or Imagining the Kingdom still a tad intimidating.  

The book includes reflections on theology, church, worship, and Christian education but also poetry, parenting, politics, and the prosperity gospel.  It also includes some of my reviews of authors like James Davison Hunter, D.A. Carson, and my saucy review of Brent McCracken's Hipster Christianity (the chapter is called "Poser Christianity").  Check out the Table of Contents [pdf].

Here are a few of the endorsements, for which I'm grateful:

Few people are as qualified as James K. A. Smith to write a book on the intersection of faith and culture. Whenever he speaks, I listen. In this book, you’ll find winsome but profound essays on following Jesus in the 21st century. Read it and be challenged.
— Jonathan Merritt
faith and culture writer; author of A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars

Delivering profound insight in stunningly lucid prose, Smith focuses on the importance of both imagination and embodiment, not only in worship and education, but also through the arts. Drawing attention to beauty in architecture, poetry, and music, as well as through sacramental practices, Smith celebrates "creational abundance," which he beautifully presents as our "culture-making mandate."
— Crystal Downing
Distinguished Professor of English and
Film Studies, Messiah College

Anything by James K.A. Smith is required reading for Christians wanting to winsomely engage culture.  He brings philosophy to the street--putting it to work on the great questions of our time.
— Gabe Lyons
Founder, Q Ideas; author of The Next Christians

Discipleship in the Present Tense reflects on the intersections of faith and culture in our contemporary world. "Intersections" may bring to mind two roads meeting at right angles, with stop signs. The intersections in this book are more like freeway cloverleafs: the traffic keeps moving. Suggestion: start at the end, with two interviews that are real conversations, not perfunctory Q&As. Then pick and choose, tapas-style, from the tasty selection of essays.
— John Wilson
editor, Books & Culture