For a Better Worldliness is not only a statement of Abraham Kuyper’s and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theological concept and historical practice of discipleship. It is also—and perhaps more importantly—a call to engage in the fullness of the Christian life here and now. While this book goes to great efforts to establish sound historical and theological insights specifically in regards to Kuyper and Bonhoeffer, there is a strong underlying current that these particular insights deeply matter to the life of discipleship in the world today.
History shows us that discipleship is not a singular journey; because of Jesus Christ it is not a description of one set path with one set of guidelines. A disciple can be a prime minister who unabashedly and successfully campaigned on his Calvinistic principles, just as he can be a participant in a coup d’état launched against a tyrant, leading to the disciple’s own imprisonment and death. Jesus Christ calls—whether to the height of political office, or to the dank prison cell, or (more likely for us) to somewhere in between.
“In this eminently readable text, Himes skillfully weaves robust theological concepts with the compelling historical narratives of Bonhoffer and Kuyper to develop a holistic exploration of discipleship as ‘theology in action’. Written with the precision of a scholar, the clarity of an educator, and the heart of a practitioner, Himes offers a rich portrait of discipleship with implications for Christ-followers in the 21st century. Highly recommended!”
“Brant Himes’s For a Better Worldliness is one of the most intriguing books I’ve run across in a long time. While remaining thoroughly academic and well-researched, it bridges two popular theologians into the relevant sphere of public discipleship and social concern. This ‘discipleship’ is grounded in God’s revelation, manifest in the reality of Jesus Christ, and refined through actions of belief and obedience. Thin theology leads to thin ministry; so, a comprehensive theology of discipleship has the potential to prepare individuals and communities to discern and respond to God’s unique calling on their lives. Bonhoeffer and Kuyper are perfect guides for a discipleship that makes a profound difference for the world. Enjoy!”
“It is intriguing to bring Abraham Kuyper and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in conversation with each other, as Brant Himes does. Whatever their differences—Himes does not neglect them—he convincingly presents them as two proponents of a theology and a Christianity that should serve the common good. In doing so, he sheds new light on both Kuyper and Bonhoeffer and deepens the dimensions of the discipleship we are called to. The book is a must read for all who are engaged in the present discussion about church and society.”