God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians for the Anxious Church
Elaine A. Heath, the new dean of Duke Divinity School, has written a book providing the ancient wisdom the apostle Paul presented to the Galatians to expand their view of God and the mission of the church in hopes of helping Christians today face a similar cultural challenge.
The book, God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians for the Anxious Church, will be published July 1 by Upper Room Books.
In the book, Heath shows how Paul led the Galatians through a massive cultural shift in which they had to radically expand their ideas of who God is, who they were, and God's mission for the church. He was able to lead them through this time of great change because of his encounter with the risen Christ on the Damascus road, an experience in which his view of God was completely upended.
Today Christianity is undergoing a cultural shift just as challenging as the situation confronting Paul and the Galatians, Heath contends. As many churches decline, congregations and pastors feel uncertain and anxious about how to continue their mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
In the new book, she extends an invitation to Christians to broaden their view of God by moving beyond the walls of buildings and programs to become a more diverse church than they have ever imagined. While deeply honoring tradition, Heath calls the church to boldly follow the Holy Spirit's leadership into the future.
Each chapter of the book has reflection questions for small-group discussion, which enables the book to be used for leadership development over several weeks or months.
Heath began her tenure July 1 as dean of the Divinity School and professor of missional and pastoral theology after most recently serving as the McCreless Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Austin, Texas.
She is the author of numerous books and monographs. Her scholarly work integrates systematic, pastoral, and spiritual theology in ways that bridge the gap between academy, church, and world. Her research interests focus on evangelism and spirituality, evangelism and gender, the new monasticism, and emergence in church and in theological education.