If you’re appreciative of the practical theological work that Australian Robert Banks has produced you’ll appreciate the recently published book of essays written and published in honour of his 65th birthday. The book is titled The Bible and the Business of Life edited by Simon Holt and Gordon Preece.
Banks has been a long-time and much appreciated influence, through books, essays, and lectures, on my Jesus-following life. Standout essays for me were those grouped under the headings: Ecclesiology and Everyday Life (the other section was Exegesis – essays by James D. G. Dunn, Stephen C. Barton, & Peter Marshall were OK but not standout):
John Drane – Community, Mystery and the Future of the Church (I’ll blog some quotes from this shortly)
Simon Carey Hot & Brenda Southerland Holt – Verandas and God: A Personal Reflection on Spirituality and the Built Environment. (These two always write wonderfully. This essay centers on Melbourne and housing and is brilliantly evocative. I loved it).
R. Paul Stevens – All are Called: The Universal Vocation of the People of God.
Miroslav Volf – Dancing For God: Challenges Facing Theological Education Today.
Gordon Preece – Vocation in a Post-vocational World: The meaning, De-meaning and Re-meaning of Work.
Richard Higginson – More than a Servant: A Fresh Look at the Leadership of Jesus.
Robert K. Johnston – Seeing God in the Movies: Monsters Ball & the Book of Ecclesiastes (this essay is developed, along with others, in his latest book – Useless Beauty: Ecclesiastes though the Lens of Contemporary Film).
It’s a great little book which I very much recommend. The reflections on Robert, his life, and influence are insightful for those of us who haven’t physically shared the journey with him (as have many of the essayists, at various stages).
Most of the essays seem (as far as I could tell) to have been written for this publication and because its essays are standalone it can be readily “dipped” into when you feel the urge and a particular topic or author resonates.