Published April 2018
Theology matters - to our lives, and to the life of the world.
Martin Luther wrote: “Faith takes hold of Christ and has Him present, enclosing Him as a ring encloses a gem.” We hold faith as we seek to know Christ better, exploring Christian doctrines and deepening our understanding of their relevance to our day-to-day lives. Faith holds us as we respond to Christ’s calling, negotiate life’s challenges, and join in the work of bringing in God’s kingdom.
This introduction to Christian theology shows how various understandings of particular doctrines play out in relation to the way we live our lives. It explores the content of core Christian doctrines and celebrates the “so what?” of each. Using theological literature and Scripture, but also current events, sociology, fiction, and movies, Rigby shows that theology is key to how we come to understand and negotiate our world. Holding Faith contends that some approaches to Christian doctrine are preferable to others, making persuasive arguments for creative ways of believing that can enliven our lives, and the life of the world. Theology has relevance because it can stymie or transform. How will we hold our faith?
“Cynthia Rigby has written an accessible and lucid book of theological reflection for today’s believers, seekers, and doubters. This is no small feat. The book succeeds in the daunting challenges of presenting Christian theology with clarity and completeness, with commitment and generosity. It is an admirable text for theology students, pastors, and all those interested in understanding more deeply their faith and life.”
Leanne Van Dyk, President and Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA
"This is an extraordinary book. Cynthia Rigby is a Reformed theologian, a minister, and a teacher. All of these gifts are evident in Holding Faith, as Rigby offers an eloquent introduction to Christian theology that is academically rich, pastorally sensitive, and profoundly accessible. She does not make theology accessible by watering it down, but rather by explaining it with compelling clarity. Holding Faith is perfect for seminarians, pastors, church groups, and curious souls; for those who are new to Christianity and those who have been studying and living Christian faith their entire lives. It will be an enormous blessing to those who teach theology and those who preach the gospel."
Shannon Craigo-Snell, Professor of Theology, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
"Cindy Rigby's is a timely, necessary, and accessible voice in theological discourse, not only for those who together comprise Christendom but also for those who are curious enough about what Christian doctrines offer by way of challenge, critique, and comfort in our increasingly distracted, fractious world. Holding Faith is a prophetic, priestly, and pastoral defense of a faith tradition that historically contributed to this oppressive state of affairs - yet undoubtedly remains rife with redemptive possibility - for individuals, communities, nations, the cosmos. In its pages, Rigby provides church folks, people of other faiths, seminarians, and inquisitive "nones" with a "thoughtful place" to search out our private and corporate relationships to the God whom the doctrines signify, however imperfectly."
JoAnne Marie Terrell, Associate Professor of Theology, Ethics, and the Arts, Chicago Theological Seminary
"For those of us who teach theology, it’s rare to find a text that is accessible to those with no previous exposure to theology while also introducing readers in deep and expansive ways to major doctrinal teachings. But Rigby has managed to accomplish both here. This is a profoundly personal and invitational approach to thinking theologically in ways that demonstrate the relevance of ancient teachings for our world today. And it is also a serious engagement with the biblical text, a vast array of historical and contemporary theological voices, poetry, literature, film, and more—this introduction to theology will empower readers to hold onto faith in new and exciting ways."
Deanna A. Thompson, Professor of Religion at Hamline University, St. Paul, MN