Craig Keen is a professor at Azusa Pacific University. Formerly, he was a professor at Olivet Nazarene University and Trevecca Nazarene University. He is an ordained deacon in the Church of the Nazarene. He seems most influenced by Soren Kierkegaard, John Wesley, and post-structuralists such as Derrida and Levinas. Stanley Hauerwas, who wrote the book's foreword, has referred to him as the best theologian nobody knows. Hopefully that begins to change.
The book "The Transgression Of The Integrity Of God" is a collection of various addresses and essays. Some are theologically dense others read more like a reflection or even a homily. They are divided into three sections: metaphysics, creaturehood and teaching holiness.
What he has to say and how he has to say it is remarkable. I can't remember ever reading a book of theology that caused me to pray without ceasing, weep, groan longingly or pump my fist in exaltation. His words - or maybe more appropriately to the God to whom his words testified - led me to those reactions.
In short, I hope this book becomes required reading in schools of theology and seminaries. More than that, I hope it helps all who read to love like God loves.
I've copied a few of my Kindle highlights. Here's the link
- Whatever we mean when we say “God,” our speaking must emerge out of following the crucified man Jesus into the darkness of hell with such audacious hope that we can only now live by continually receiving the gift of new life that comes by the Holy Spirit’s work of resurrection
- The ministry of Jesus is not about the restoration of the status of a vindictive, abstractly just God. It is about the outgoing love of the God he calls “Abba.”
- It is because the resurrected Jesus has not gotten better that he is the savior. Were his resurrection his healing, were he in his appearance before Thomas a human being without wounds, were the sin that he became blotted out, were his name that is now above every name no longer the debased name, then he would be the savior only of those healed, unscathed, and sinless, only of those who have gotten better; the debased, the sinner, the wounded would be left to rot. But this is not what happens.
- To be hallowed, to be separated to God, is to be separated to the God who in love has already gone and is already on the way precisely to what one has been liberated out of. Thus to be separated to God, to be holy, is to be separated with God to those whom God loves, the unholy
- “But [heaven] is not an ‘other’ world, different from the one God has created and given to us. It is the same world, already perfected in Christ, but not yet in us.”
- what the church is sent to offer is Christ, the food of the world. It offers that food not as a product to be owned, but as a life and freedom into which to enter
- Jesus is so abandoned to the coming of God that he comes to be inseparable from it. Everything he is and does is an adventure out into the coming of God. He goes where God’s reign goes. God’s reign goes where he goes. So, if while reading the Gospels you ever wonder where it is that God’s reign is breaking out, just watch where Jesus is going.
- If where Jesus goes God goes to reign, then “the kingdom of God,” “the reign of God” breaks out on the bloody hill outside the gates of Jerusalem that dark Friday.