The other week I drew attention to some esoteric difference between Dispensational Theology, Covenant Theology and Christocentric Theology. Now, given the launch of Jesus Manifesto this week, I thought it might be timely to draw attention to how theological themes can practically manifest in book titles. Here’s some examples:
Reformed Influenced / Covenant Theology
Desiring God – John Piper
The Holiness of God – R.C. Sproul
The Prodigal God – Tim Keller
Anabaptist Influenced / Christocentric Theology
Notice the differences? I hope so, because they’re pretty obvious I reckon. The authors influenced by Covenant Theology show a distinct preference for God, godliness and holiness as keywords. It reflects their theological emphasis on the sovereignty of God and the pursuit of Godliness.
By way of contrast the authors influenced by Christocentric Theology show a distinct preference for Jesus, discipleship, politics and radical (wild, untamed, dissident, etc) as keywords. It reflects their theological emphasis on the lordship of Christ and the pursuit of Christlikeness.
Now, this is not to suggest that Covenant authors don’t write about Jesus or that Christocentric authors don’t write about God, for they both write about both. But their starting points are different and their word selection reflects their starting points. Christocentric authors tend to work from the particular to the general, from the historical to the transhistorical, from Jesus to God. It’s why they all love N T Wright, the Jesus historian. Covenant authors tend to work from God to Jesus … and that’s why they don’t like N T Wright … and see activism against injustice as an optional extra.