Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church” as Want to Read:
Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Accomplished theologian J. Todd Billings recovers the biblical theme of union with Christ for today's church, making a fresh contribution to the theological discussion with important applications for theology and ministry. Drawing on Scripture and the thought of figures such as Augustine, Calvin, Bavinck, and Barth, Billings shows how a theology of union with Christ can ch ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Baker Academic
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Union with Christ, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Union with Christ

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 244)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Garry Geer
This book isn't perfect, but it came along at a great time for me. I've been reading a fair amount on the Union with Christ from other authors. Billings did a great job in teasing out some of applications without really stretching the text. He had a far more organic view on revelation and sanctification as it related to union with Christ.
Jul 17, 2015 Lisa is currently reading it
This was very enlightening:
"In this parable, the day-laborer working in the countryside recognizes the high and exalted place of the emperor. an occasional encounter with the emperor would be delightful - enough so that the laborer could keep his own comfortable life, keep his friends, keep his identity, yet have it embellished by the honor of the emperor. 'A little favor- that would make sense to the laborer.'"

"But what if the emperor wants to make him his own son? The prospect of adoption in t
Kessia Reyne
Here Billings attempts a "theology of retrieval" with Reformed thinkers of the past, reframing, as the subtitle indicates, theology and mission in the theme of "union with Christ." This idea of union with Christ used to be much more prominent than in modern-day thinking, and reflects the "in Christ" motif prevalent in the New Testament.

I appreciated many of Billings' insights, particularly his beautiful exposition of adoption into Christ in the first chapter. His defense of "extensive [total] d
Anthony Rodriguez
The first three chapters were terrific reading. Chapter four was surprising in its turn to more practical matters but ultimately very good. I found chapter five overly long and seemed to be a particular issue that probably mattered more to the author than most readers (the terminology of "incarnational ministry"). It was a good point, but took up too much space for such a small book. Overall, I enjoyed this book. I'd actually probably give it 3.5 stars, but why not just round up?
Robert D. Cornwall
This is a a Reformed exposition of the doctrine of union with Christ by a professor at Western Theological Seminary in Michigan. Billings seeks to use the image of "union with Christ" as a way of understanding how we as Christians might be engaged with God in the work of redemption, a work that is entirely in the hands of God, but through union Christians can engage in this work of grace. This is a deeply reformed book, rooted in Calvin and Barth. Those in the missional community may want to att ...more
Roy Howard
Billings employs a creative theology of retrieval to address current concerns in the practice of ministry. Union with Christ becomes the focal reality - real participation in living union with the living Christ - that changes the conversation around such topics as incarnational ministry, social justice and the Lord’s Supper, and missional practices. He offers a sharp critique of "Modern Therapeutic Deism" and offers an alternative perspective that brings John Calvin's theology to life in astonis ...more
David Luke
A stimulating read on the theme of union with Christ examining it from a biblical, theological and missiological perspective. A little laboured in places but very provocative.
Kylie Hetherington
Billings in his theology of retrieval of the great and mysterious doctrine of Union with Christ, not only retrieves a fulsome theology of Union, he liberates Calvin from cliches and challenges some of Western evangelical sacred cows like the notion of incarnational ministry. It is a thought provoking read on the two-fold grace of salvation and sanctification and how that should, according to Billings work it's way into community, justice and ministry. Worth the read!
Billings has given us a strong example of the fruits of a theology of retrieval. By recovering past theologies from Calvin, Ursinus, Junius, Barth, and the Belhar Confession, he helps the reader view contemporary theological debates with new eyes. In an age that can't hold God's closeness and God's incomprehensibility together, Chapter 3 ("On Communion with the Incomprehensible God") is worth the price of the book alone. Highly recommended!
Review forthcoming, as soon as I have access to a keyboard that isn't a phone

Here it is:
Alex Houston
Todd Billings covers a subject that should shape the Christian's life, this is a major doctrine that is sadly neglected in much of the Church. Who we are in Christ is an implication of the gospel that needs to be focused on every day.
Ben Duncan
The author wants to "retrieve" a more robust place of union with Christ in the theological formulations of Reformed Christianity. This book is not a bad book, but it is tedious.
Robbyn Abedi
I'd give it 3.5 stars if an option. A good but not great read on the fullness of Union with Christ. Regardless, a good starting point.
Hannah Gourley
started out enjoying it...wandered too far into uninteresting topics
Ryan marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2015
Jenny marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
Dan marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2015
Nicole added it
Jun 18, 2015
James Valcore
James Valcore marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2015
Daniel is currently reading it
Jun 06, 2015
Mitchel Lee
Mitchel Lee is currently reading it
Apr 27, 2015
David W.
David W. is currently reading it
Apr 06, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community
  • The Person of Christ (Contours of Christian Theology, #7)
  • Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction
  • Far as the Curse Is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption
  • The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything
  • Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts
  • Given for You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper
  • Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith
  • A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology
  • The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God
  • Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants
  • What is the Mission of the Church?: Making sense of social justice, Shalom and the Great Commission
  • What's So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?
  • The Gospel Commission: Recovering God's Strategy for Making Disciples
  • Living in God's Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture
  • The Creedal Imperative
  • Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship
  • Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind
J. Todd Billings (ThD, Harvard University Divinity School) is Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several books, including the Christianity Today Book Award Winner Union with Christ and Calvin, Participation, and the Gift, winner of a 2009 John T ...more
More about J. Todd Billings...
Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ The Word of God for the People of God: An Entryway to the Theological Interpretation of Scripture Calvin, Participation, and the Gift: The Activity of Believers in Union with Christ Calvin's Theology and Its Reception: Disputes, Developments, and New Possibilities Reformed Catholicity: The Promise of Retrieval for Theology and Biblical Interpretation

Share This Book