By Marissa Postell
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – What do you picture when you think of a holy person? Do you think of unsmiling faces or high-achieving intellectuals? Do you associate closeness with God and greater knowledge of the things of God with dour people in pews or lofty sounding conversations?
In his new book, “Fruitful Theology: How the Life of the Mind Leads to the Life of the Soul” releasing Aug. 30, 2022, Ronni Kurtz explores how theology can help reorient the Christian’s life toward the fruit of the Spirit and how a right contemplation of God can lead to right living for God.
“I am convinced a head full of truth ought to lead to a heart full of love and hands full of care,” Kurtz said. “Beholding God will indeed lead to transformation. As our mind’s eye gets a clearer picture of who He is and what He’s done, we’ll not remain the same. In fact, contemplating God will bring about a transformation from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18) until we ultimately are in glory where our faith is turned to sight and we will behold Him unlike ever before.”
Both lay people who may be intimidated by theology and academics who may be exhausted by theology have seen it weaponized or politicized in an us-vs-them culture war. But theology was never intended to be a tool to belittle others and elevate self. Instead, the heart of theology is right worship of God and right love for our neighbors.
Focusing on the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, Kurtz evaluates how Christians who fix their minds on the things of God (and all things in relation to Him) aren’t performing a mere intellectual stunt. Rather, they’re engaging in the process of producing fruit and becoming more Christlike.
“Throughout the book, we look at different truths in the Christian faith to show how focusing our minds on these things will transform us into the kind of people who demonstrate the vital fruit of the Spirit,” Kurtz said.
Kurtz explains every person is a theologian whether they realize it or not. The question is: Will you be a good theologian? As Kurtz explores each of the fruits of the Spirit, he breaks down barriers and helps the reader understand how accessible theology can be and how it impacts his or her Christian walk.
“I hope this short book is a reminder that theology isn’t an end in itself,” Kurtz said. “When theology is instead used as a means to the triune God, it can be a buffet of gladness.”
Marissa Postell is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.
About Ronni Kurtz
Ronni Kurtz (PhD, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an assistant professor of Theology at Cedarville University. Before moving to Ohio, Ronni was a pastor in Kansas City, Missouri, for seven years where he also taught theology at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College. He is also the author of “No Shadow of Turning: Divine Immutability and the Economy of Redemption.”
About B&H Publishing Group
B&H Publishing Group, an imprint of Lifeway Christian Resources, is a team that believes Every Word Matters. We seek to provide intentional, biblical content that positively impacts the hearts and minds of people, cultivating lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ. We publish (print and digital) in the trade, church and academic markets, as well as the CSB translation.
About Lifeway Christian Resources
In operation since 1891, Lifeway Christian Resources is one of the leading providers of Christian resources, including Bibles, books, Bible studies, Christian music and movies, Vacation Bible School, and church supplies, as well as camps and events for all ages. Lifeway is the world’s largest provider of Spanish Bibles. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Lifeway operates as a self-supporting nonprofit.