Surveying the barriers that contemporary thinking has erected between the natural and the supernatural, between earth and heaven, Hans Boersma issues a wake-up call for Western Christianity. Both Catholics and evangelicals, he says, have moved too far away from a sacramental mindset, focusing more on the here-and-now than on the then-and-there. Yet, as Boersma points out, the teaching of Jesus, Paul, and St. Augustine indeed, of most of Scripture and the church fathers is profoundly otherworldly, much more concerned with heavenly participation than with earthly enjoyment. In Heavenly Participation Boersma draws on the wisdom of great Christian minds ancient and modern Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, C. S. Lewis, Henri de Lubac, John Milbank, and many others. He urges Catholics and evangelicals alike to retrieve a sacramental worldview, to cultivate a greater awareness of eternal mysteries, to partake eagerly of the divine life that transcends and transforms all earthly realities. Hans Boersma makes a superb contribution to evangelical theological reflection in this well-designed book, and it goes a long way to drawing us back from the brink of a fashionable evangelical tendency to reductive historicism. His re-situation of the doctrine of the Incarnation in its historic sacramental language and thought opens up the way to a deeper understanding of the truths of faith that evangelicals and Catholics alike seek to comprehend and nurture. David Lyle Jeffrey Baylor University Theology at its best, says Hans Boersma, is less interested in comprehending the truth than in participating in it. Skillfully marshalling passages from the church fathers and medieval theologians and drawing judiciously on contemporary evangelical and Catholic thinkers, Boersma shows that theology is not primarily an intellectual enterprise but a spiritual discipline by which one enters into the truth and is mastered by it. Though this sacramental tapestry, as he calls it, is as old as the church, it is refreshing to have it presented anew in this engaging book. Robert Louis Wilken University of Virginia
Heavenly Participation by H Boersma was published by Alban Books Ltd in March 2011 and is our 50155th best seller. The ISBN for Heavenly Participation is 9780802865427.