The Pursuit of Safety: A Theology of Danger, Risk, and Security, By Jeremy Lundgren
The Pursuit of Safety
  • Length: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: October 01, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0801
  • ISBN: 9781514008010

*affiliate partner

What does it mean to pursue safety in the Christian life?

Safety is among the most important concerns of human life: we pursue it instinctively and go to great lengths to avoid danger or harm. However, the category of safety has received surprisingly little focused theological reflection. Important questions for the church have gone unanswered: How do secular understandings of safety shape our imaginations? How can Christians navigate the tension of pursuing safety as a creational good in light of the eschatological aims of discipleship?

In this volume in IVP Academic's Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture series, theologian Jeremy Lundgren provides a constructive theological analysis of safety. After addressing the conceptual development of safety and risk through premodern, early modern, and late modern settings, he gives practical guidance to the contemporary church on how to faithfully engage with the pursuit of safety in the present day.

Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture, edited by Daniel J. Treier and Kevin J. Vanhoozer, promotes evangelical contributions to systematic theology, seeking fresh understanding of Christian doctrine through creatively faithful engagement with Scripture in dialogue with church tradition.

"Jeremy Lundgren's remarkably rich theology of safety offers Christians today a gateway into true Christian freedom. It is often hard to decide whether the modern world is safer than ever before or saturated with frightening risks earlier generations could never have imagined. Helpfully locating our experiences by tracing their historical genesis, Lundgren shows us how we came to be constantly bombarded by safety messages and risk warnings. What might it look like to live with confidence in Christ in such a cultural context? Christians living in developed nations today cannot afford to ignore the ways in which safety has become the idol of our time. Lundgren's work offers a long-overdue account of what true Christian freedom looks like in a world where we are constantly told that we are at risk."

Brian Brock, professor of moral and practical theology at the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy, King's College, University of Aberdeen

"Socrates noted that it's impossible to avoid all risk, even in an ideal city, and especially in raising children. Our loss of such ancient wisdom has left us fearful, obsessed with safety, and cut off from the benefits that responsible risk can bring. In this deeply researched and expertly written book, Lundgren tells the story of this loss and outlines a courageous and hopeful theology of safety for all who confess themselves to be upheld by the fatherly hand of God."

Rob Price, associate professor of theology at the Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"What difference does the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as Christians' conformation to this pattern of life play in our pursuit of safety? We often order our lives around the desire to maintain a sense of security, loading it with moral weight. In this book, Jeremy Lundgren deftly situates concepts of safety, risk, and harm within the redemptive narrative and the call to pursue a life ordered to the cross. Paying careful attention to the text of Holy Writ and offering numerous helpful conceptual distinctions along the way, this book is a theological masterclass well worth reading."

Daniel Lee Hill, assistant professor of Christian theology at Baylor University

"Modern society is littered with 'signposts of safety.' From delivery packages and children's toys to roadways and hallways, there are inevitably warning signs looming nearby designed to keep us 'safe.' In this volume, Lundgren provides the reader with both apt descriptions of our supposedly ordered modern lives and biblically rich, theologically deep instructions on wisely navigating them as disciples of Jesus. May we all attend to the signpost of the cross—the best indicator of true safety—and find wholeness, soundness, and health (i.e., safety) in Jesus."

Ty Kieser, assistant professor of theology at Criswell College

"Jeremy Lundgren has produced the right kind of theology book: insightful theory with an eye toward helping the life of the church. The Pursuit of Safety has uncomfortably confronted how I might be idolizing safety due to a misguided doctrine of creation, lopsided theological anthropology, or distorted view of God. Take a risk and read this book!"

Kevin Wong, assistant professor of theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary



Part I: Signposts of Safety in the Modern Landscape
1. Tokens of Safety
2. The Form and Status of Safety Today

Part II: Sources of Danger Through the Ages
3. Humanity against the Gods: Premodern Risk
4. Humanity against Nature: Early Modern Risk
5. Humanity against Itself: Late Modern Risk

Part III: Avoiding Harm in a Fallen World
6. Grasping the Future: Probabilities and the Promises of God
7. Ordering Creation: Technology, Idols, and the Cross of Christ
8. Guiding Action: Procedures, Forgiveness, and the Advantage of Wisdom

Part IV: Living and Dying Under the Lordship of Christ
9. Discipleship and the Demands of Safety
10. Putting Safety in Its Place



You May Also Like

Jeremy Lundgren (PhD, Wheaton College) is director of Nicolet Bible Institute and coordinator of the MA in Biblical and Theological Studies program at Wheaton College.