Virtuous Friendship Book

Hi Everybody,

Pfeiffer MAPT grads and profs, August 2018
It is always such a great joy to share in my students' graduations, as I did with these great MAPT folks last August. Did you know that teaching can be considered a very special type of friendship? Theology professors are especially blessed. We get to see our students grow and mature spiritually, develop friendships with one another and with us, and increase their intellectual ability and pastoral skills.

I am especially lucky because my scholarship is on the topic of friendship. I am so excited to share that I have completed and submitted drafts for my forthcoming book with Cascade Press (Wipf and Stock). The title of the book is Virtuous Friendship: The New Testament, Greco-Roman Friendship Language, and Contemporary Community. I am expecting the book to come out at some point this winter.

Here is a brief description from the back cover of the book.

Why do so many feel so lonely today? Are our friendships in breakdown mode, or are they just changing? Why are we burdened with the creeping sense that our communities are falling apart? Sociologists report that in recent decades the number of Americans who have no one in whom to confide may have tripled. Likewise, church attendance, participation in local clubs and groups, even the number of times we invite one another over to supper are all in decline. Meanwhile some of us have more “friends” than ever on social media. The question of friendship, its definition, virtue, and quality, is not a new one to the church or the culture in which Christianity was birthed. Greco-Roman ethicists were fascinated by the virtue of friendship. Taking a cue from Jesus, the New Testament authors transformed Greco-Roman friendship notions to express visions of Christian community that were spiritually fulfilling, sustainably flourishing, and socially just. This book traces the New Testament transformation of friendship in specific passages in Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, Philippians, and James, and connects them to contemporary issues and cutting edge experiments in Christian community. It is New Testament Theology for the twenty-first century.

The book is aimed at an educated lay audience. In spite of the long title, I don't think the book itself will be long or difficult to read for most. I hope readers encounter substantial questions about friendship, community, and how to read the New Testament in innovative ways. 

The book is ideal for a Bible study series. I would be available to speak in your congregation and lead your church through portions, or even all of the book. I will be developing power-point slides, study questions, and other materials for these purposes.

If you or your congregation might be interested, please contact me via my email. 



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