Item description for To Share in the Body: A Theology of Martyrdom for Today's Church by Craig Hovey & Samuel Wells...
Overview In modern-day America, it is hard for Christians to imagine ever dying for their faith. And yet in To Share in the Body, author Craig Hovey challenges Christians to view martyrdom not as relegated to the past or to remote parts of the world but rather as having profound implications for Christian witness today. By examining the Gospel of Mark's recurring theme of martyrdom, Hovey argues that martyrdom is a critical aspect of the Gospel, and therefore crucial to how the church today remembers martyrs and understands Christian discipleship. Hovey examines questions such as: Was Jesus a martyr? What makes martyrs witnesses? And what is wrong with a "martyr complex"? Written by an up-and-coming theologian, To Share in the Body is fresh, creative, and accessible. It will be a valuable resource for scholars, students, members of the clergy, and laypeople interested in better understanding contemporary Christian witness. All readers will emerge with a better appreciation that the witness of martyrs is not isolated to a select few but rather crucial to shaping the Christian life we all share.
Publishers Description In modern-day America, it is hard for Christians to imagine ever dying for their faith. And yet in "To Share in the Body," author Craig Hovey challenges Christians to view martyrdom not as relegated to the past or to remote parts of the world but rather as having profound implications for Christian witness today. By examining the Gospel of Mark's recurring theme of martyrdom, Hovey argues that martyrdom is a critical aspect of the gospel and therefore crucial to how the church today remembers martyrs and understands Christian discipleship. Written by an up-and-coming theologian, "To Share in the Body "provides engaging theological reflection that will benefit not only scholars and students of theology but also anyone interested in understanding a biblical view of martyrdom. The book also includes a foreword by Samuel Wells.
From Publishers Weekly Western Christians may feel safe from being called to die for their faith, but Hovey (adjunct professor at the University of Redlands and Fuller Theological Seminary) explores the Gospel of Mark to find evidence that every church is meant to be a martyr-church. For Hovey, all Christians [should] refuse to relegate the threat of martyrdom to the fringes of history or remote parts of the globe. A martyr-church is one in which members acknowledge the essential opposition of the church to the world and the possibility that they, too, may die in Christian witness. In a dense theological inquiry, Hovey uses the events in Mark to demonstrate that martyrdom is an inextricable feature of the Christian message. Hoveys inaccessible writing doesnt draw on the lived experiences of actual Christians in danger or analyze the differing relations between the church and the principalities and powers around the world. By not engaging nonspecialist readers or considering the real-life contexts of martyrdom, Hovey has probably limited his books appeal to fellow theologians. (Feb.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews To Share in the Body: A Theology of Martyrdom for Today's Church by Craig Hovey & Samuel Wells has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 12/10/2007 page 52
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Studio: Brazos Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.52" Width: 5.74" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2008
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 158743217X ISBN13 9781587432170
Availability 0 units.
More About Craig Hovey & Samuel Wells
Craig Hovey (PhD, University of Cambridge) is assistant professor of religion at Ashland University and the author of several books. He lives in Yucaipa, California.
Craig Hovey currently resides in the state of New York. Craig Hovey was born in 1958.
Craig Hovey has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about To Share in the Body: A Theology of Martyrdom for Today's Church?
Challenging but worth the effort Aug 15, 2008
In the interest of full disclosure, Dr. Craig Hovey is a personal friend of mine. However, please do read what I have to say.
This is a challenging and thought-provoking book that explores in detail what it means to "take up your cross and follow Jesus." The gospel of Mark, which is used as a starting point, was written for what Dr. Hovey calls the "martyr-church:" a body of believers that sought to proclaim the gospel of Christ in the midst of a world that tried to silence and oppose it. Those who ultimately gave their lives in service of the gospel we call "martyrs." Dr. Hovey readily acknowledges that the threat of martyrdom for those of us who live in the "Christian" West is likely small, but he does not let us off the hook so easily. Instead, his book argues convincingly that "The virtues necessary to be a martyr are no different from the virtues necessary to be a faithful Christian. This means that martyrdom is not a special calling for a select few, but the commitment of every Christian and the responsibility of every church. Even though not every individual Christian will be killed, there is no way to distinguish those who will be killed from those who will not. Even though not every Christian will be remembered as a martyr, every church that locates its identity in the cross is obligated to cultivate the virtues necessary to enable all of its members to die for the cause of Christ. Every Christian is a member of a martyr-church." (pg 60)
Clearly, this book is not an easy read. Though it is a short 150 pages, its message is profound and dense with meaning. Chapter 1 is a reflection on baptism as a means of initiation into a martyr-church. Chapter 2 reflects on the call to follow a living Jesus into a wonderful and terrifying unknown, trusting the "results" to God. Chapter 3 reflects on the transfiguration as recorded in Mark 9. Dr. Hovey shows that the glory revealed in the transfiguration is much different than the glory we would expect and explores the danger of trying to encapsulate and "explain" a mystery such as the transfiguration. Chapter 4 reflects on how we, like the disciples in the garden, misunderstand that the call to follow Jesus into glory is a call to follow into suffering: even the suffering of the cross. Chapter 5 is a reflection on the crucifixion: not an attempt to explain it, but a meditation on the glory and mystery of the cross. Chapter 6 reflects on the ending of the gospel of Mark, including why Mark doesn't let us "see" the risen Christ but leaves us with a cliffhanger in 16:8. The final chapter explores martyrdom and promise, arguing against viewing martyrdom as a means to an end but instead as a gift from God.
This is the best kind of theology book: one that marries piercing intellect with radical faithfulness to challenge the reader into deeper discipleship.
New perspective May 19, 2008
Hovey writes for those who are serious readers, scholars in particular, and requires careful reading. However, it is worth the read and the careful reflection required. His thesis is new enough that one cannot and should not swallow it whole, but to take time to digest and absorb.