Theology Remixed: Christianity as Story, Game, Language, Culture, By Adam C. English

Theology Remixed

Christianity as Story, Game, Language, Culture

by Adam C. English

Theology Remixed
  • Length: 208 pages
  • Published: October 04, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 3874
  • ISBN: 9780830838745

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Jesus didn't give his followers a fixed set of statements defining everything they needed to know about the kingdom of God in a neat package. Rather he told stories, made comparisons, drew contrasts. He talked of a mustard seed, of yeast and of a hidden treasure to communicate some of the most important truths of the faith.

Jesus didn't fall back on parables because he lacked the right words. Parables were the exact way Jesus intended to communicate. What pictures or analogies today can give us greater understanding of the Christian faith? Adam English finds fresh insight in four: Christianity as story, game, language, culture.

Christianity is like a story with scenery, characters and plots. It's like a language with vocabulary, grammar and conversation. It's like a game with rules and players, goals and equipment. It's like a culture with a distinct way of living, working, playing and loving. No one analogy is complete, but all offer new windows of appreciation for the faith.

English gives us a fresh representation of Christian theology that is neither modern nor postmodern, but in dialogue with both in order to articulate what we believe. Here is a book for those who want to grasp Christianity more fully and authentically in a way that illuminates our contemporary cultural context and enables us to make a compelling response.

"Theology Remixed by Adam English is a timely book, (re)introducing classic Christian thought to many readers who might otherwise be unfamiliar with it. And, for those like me who revel in the rich treasury of Christian theology, it's like a rewarding conversation with old friends."

Tony Jones, theologian-in-residence, Solomon's Porch, and author of The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community (

"Theology Remixed is an attempt, and a successful one, to imagine new paths that lead us to very ancient truths. By expanding the analogies of language, story, game and culture, English shows us how Christians today might participate more fully in what God is doing in the world. His combination of rigorous scholarship and profoundly practical wisdom makes this an accessible, thought-provoking work. This is an excellent introduction to, and an example of, how to do theology."

Elizabeth Newman, professor of theology and ethics, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

"Adam English mixes it up in this engaging treatment of Christianity, drawing deeply from church history and tradition to explore theology's useful analogues in story, game, language and culture. Theology Remixed blends careful scholarship with insights from popular culture and personal experience to craft a compelling vision of the Christian faith as God's good news for the world in our time and every time."

Debra Dean Murphy, assistant professor of religion, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and author of Teaching That Transforms: Worship as the Heart of Christian Education

"If you want a theology book packed full of footnotes and words Webster doesn't know, then this book is not for you. English makes the Christian tradition sing! Theology Remixed is a robust and accessible invitation to a thoughtful and living faith. It not only offers a refreshing vision of theology but repeatedly works every abstract idea down to the daily life of a disciple. English remixes theology beyond the old battle lines by offering a more beautiful and compelling alternative. This is a book too good to miss!"

Tripp Fuller, host of the Homebrewed Christianity podcast, Ph.D. student at Claremont Graduate University and minister of youth at Neighborhood Church of Palos Verdes, California

"The church today exists in an often bewildering situation: attacked from without and dispirited within. In a time when the normal patterns of thinking about the faith ring hollow for many, Adam English offers the church ways of recovering the deep wisdom of the Christian tradition. He does so with a helpful mixture of astute theology, pastoral sensitivity and an unfailingly irenic spirit. Wearing his erudition lightly, English proves himself a trustworthy guide through a range of large and perplexing ideas and issues. Along the way, he models the wisdom of the faith he commends."

Philip E. Thompson, Sioux Falls Seminary, South Dakota

"This is a good work! I found myself saying 'Amen!' repeatedly as I read through the text. In a cultural moment marked by the white heat of the polemical new atheism, English offers a most appropriate response: a passionate, discursive witness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In so doing, he bears witness to what Stanley Hauerwas has called an essential task of ministry: to teach the language called Christian so as to speak Christian rightly. Reading Scripture and tradition with charity and cherishing its wisdom, English wonderfully employs a pedagogical strategy of using four analogies (story, game, language, culture) to offer an invigorating and faithful understanding of Christian faith and life. His discussion of Christianity as game is inventive and most illuminating for a culture obsessed with sports and gaming; the discussion of Christianity as language is worth the price of admission. Written in an accessible style, this timely book is a small catechism of the Christian faith which can guide preachers and teachers, in the service of the triune God, to help those they serve know how to speak Christian."

Mark S. Medley, associate professor of theology, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky


1 To What Shall I Compare It?
Part I: Christianity As Story
2 Christianity as Story
3 Christianity as Story: Creations and Catastrophes
4 Christianity as Story: Reconciliation
5 Christianity as Story: Endings and Beginnings
Part 2: Christianity As Language
6 Christianity as Language: Language Training
7 Christianity as Language: Learning a New Tongue
8 Christianity as Language: Making Substitutions
Part 3: Christianity As Game
9 Christianity as Game
10 Christianity as Game: Players
11 Christianity as Game: Equipment
12 Christianity as Game: Reading Rules
Part 4: Christianity As Culture
13 Christianity as Culture
14 Christianity as Culture: The Worshiping Colony
15 Christianity as Culture: Cultivating the Harvest
16 On Behalf of New Things
Name Index
Scripture Index


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Adam C. English

Adam C. English (PhD, Baylor University) is an associate professor in the department of religion and philosophy at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. He has published articles and book reviews in Christian Ethics Today, Perspectives in Religious Studies, and the Journal of Church and State. English is an ordained minister in the Baptist tradition and the author of The Possibility of Christian Philosophy (Rutledge, 2007).