Books by Joe R. Jones


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A Grammar of Christian Faith


A Grammar of Christian Faith

A Grammar of Christian Faith is a two-volume set that aims to confront the widespread disarray in the language and practices of Christian faith today. As a 'grammar,' it explains how Christian faith provides special ways of speaking and acting that make sense of human life by giving it meaning, practicality, and hope. It advances the thesis that learning how to speak Christian language in worship and life is crucial to learning how to be a Christian. Rather than supposing that Christian language and theology need continual updating in order to be relevant to the world, Jones urges the church to recover anew how Christian concepts and understanding are intended to form Christian life in all its rich depths.

Construing theology as confessional theology in the context of the church, Jones understands the church as that liberative and redemptive community called into being by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to witness in word and deed the triune God for the benefit of the world. The full range of doctrinal themes that are deemed essential to the witness of the church are explored, including clear explanations of why they are essential and how they are to be understood. In pursuit of a truthful and beneficial witness of the church, the work centers on a trinitarian understanding of God, in which God freely and lovingly interacts with the world as Creator, Reconciler, and Redeemer. The work throughout affirms the belief that the gracious triune God is the Ultimate Companion who will redeem all creation.


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A Lover’s Quarrel: A Theologian and His Beloved Church


A Lover’s Quarrel: A Theologian and His Beloved Church

Joe Jones, a retired and well-known systematic theologian, confesses he has a lover’s quarrel with the church. In wide-ranging

writings mostly dating since 2006, he forthrightly argues for a theologically sound understanding of the church. And he pursues a

multi-faceted critique of the feckless ways in which actual churches—ministers and laity—balk and betray their rightful calling to

witness in word and deed to God. He is especially critical of the practical ways in which congregations become no more than

mirror images of their sociopolitical milieu, whether to the right or to the le. Hence the quarrel, trenchantly pursued in major

essays, blogs, and spiritual reections on his own past. But it remains crystal clear to Jones in his learned and profound confession

that it is his beloved church with which he quarrels and about which he still has extravagant hopes. A Lover’s Quarrel is a book

appropriate for ministers and laity, students and professors, and learned skeptics.


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On Being the Church of Jesus Christ in Tumultuous Times


On Being the Church of Jesus Christ in Tumultuous Times

This collection of essays, sermons, and prayers urges the church today to "be the sort of community that sustains a vigorous and continuing conversation within itself as to who has called it into being, to whom it is responsible, and what it is called to be and to do." Jones reminds the church that it is an alternative political community called into being by the Gospel. This collection explores what it means to be such an alternative community in "tumultuous times," in times when it is tempting to look to the world for answers, and to confuse loyalty to the nation-state with loyalty to God. A theme throughout all the writings is that "the church is the necessary context for becoming and being a Christian."


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