Christianity's Surprise: A Sure and Certain Hope

C. Kavin Rowe
Abingdon Press
Published Year: 
Cover of C. Kavin Rowe's book 'Christianity's Surprise'

C. Kavin Rowe, the George Washington Ivey Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, has written a new book on the need to recover the surprise of Christianity from its earliest beginnings to help chart a course for witness today.

The new book, Christianity's Surprise: A Sure and Certain Hope, was published by Abingdon Press in October. In the book, Rowe argues that at its beginnings Christianity was surprising, powerful, creative, and world-shaking, but Christianity today in the West has too often become familiar, common, and expected—losing its power to surprise and transform.

In the book, Rowe describes our societal amnesia and ignorance of what Christianity originally was and what it still can be. He contends that by asking the same fundamental questions as the early Christians, we can rediscover the surprising power of Christianity in our midst.

Focusing on the surprise of the gospel message takes one into the heart of what it is to understand Christianity at all, Rowe explains, and thus what it is to remember and relearn the life-giving power and witness that went with being Christian at the beginning. This remembering and relearning can, in turn, surprise us all over again and chart a course for witness today.

Rowe, who is also the associate dean of the faculty at the Divinity School and a former Fulbright Scholar, is the author of three other books: One True Life: the Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions (Yale University Press, 2016), World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco-Roman Age (Oxford University Press, 2009), and Early Narrative Christology (de Gruyter, 2006, reprint, Baker Academic, 2009). He has published multiple scholarly articles, co-edited two books, serves on the editorial board of several international peer-review journals, and frequently writes articles for Faith & Leadership online magazine.

Read an interview with Dr. Rowe about his new book.