Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry

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9780802865427: Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry
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Surveying the barriers that contemporary thinking has erected between the natural and the supernatural, between earth and heaven, Hans Boersma issues a wake-up call for Western Christianity. Both Catholics and evangelicals, he says, have moved too far away from a sacramental mindset, focusing more on the "here-and-now" than on the "then-and-there." Yet, as Boersma points out, the teaching of Jesus, Paul, and St. Augustine -- indeed, of most of Scripture and the church fathers -- is profoundly otherworldly, much more concerned with heavenly participation than with earthly enjoyment.

In Heavenly Participation Boersma draws on the wisdom of great Christian minds ancient and modern -- Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, C. S. Lewis, Henri de Lubac, John Milbank, and many others. He urges Catholics and evangelicals alike to retrieve a sacramental worldview, to cultivate a greater awareness of eternal mysteries, to partake eagerly of the divine life that transcends and transforms all earthly realities.

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About the Author:

Hans Boersma holds the J. I. Packer Chair in Theology atRegent College in Vancouver, B.C. His books includeNouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology: AReturn to Mystery and Violence, Hospitality, andthe Cross: Reappropriating the Atonement Tradition,which won the 2005 Christianity Today Book Award intheology/ethics.

Review:

David Lyle Jeffrey
— Baylor University
"Hans Boersma makes a superb contribution to evangelical theological reflection in this well-designed book, and it goes a long way to drawing us back from the brink of a fashionable evangelical tendency to reductive historicism. His re-situation of the doctrine of the Incarnation in its historic sacramental language and thought opens up the way to a deeper understanding of the truths of faith that evangelicals and Catholics alike seek to comprehend and nurture."

Robert Louis Wilken
— University of Virginia
"Theology at its best, says Hans Boersma, is less interested in comprehending the truth than in participating in it. Skillfully marshalling passages from the church fathers and medieval theologians and drawing judiciously on contemporary evangelical and Catholic thinkers, Boersma shows that theology is not primarily an intellectual enterprise but a spiritual discipline by which one enters into the truth and is mastered by it. Though this 'sacramental tapestry,' as he calls it, is as old as the church, it is refreshing to have it presented anew in this engaging book."

American Theological Inquiry
"Starts a timely conversation about reform within evangelical Christianity."

Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care
"I wholeheartedly suggest this book for seminary classrooms in spiritual formation and to every thinker who is engaging questions of spiritual formation."

Bibliotheca Sacra
"This is a book that is well worth reading as it provides an important background for and corrective to a missing component in contemporary theological reflection."

Reviews in Religion and Theology
"Boersma's book serves as a valuable contribution to the bourgeoning evangelical reflection on the church fathers and medieval theologians."

Theological Studies
"The reader will learn much about the development of eucharistic theology as well as the movement of nouvelle théologie."

Catholic Library World
"A brilliant and novel reconsideration of discovering spiritual realities alive in our mundane world."

First Things
"A promised sign of evangelical theology seeking to root itself more deeply in the tradition of the Church."

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