ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the inclusion of the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of VTS, and Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D., the Clinton S. Quin Professor of Christian Ethics, in Church Publishing Inc.’s Little Books of Guidance
The three chapters of Markham’s Why Suffering?: A Little Book of Guidance
attempt to provide a gentle exploration of how we can respond to a complex issue that has baffled and bothered humanity throughout the ages: Why does a good, all-powerful, and loving God permit evil and suffering? The opening chapter examines the challenge in some depth, while the two additional chapters set forth a Christian response that is grounded in the disclosure of God in Christ on the cross.
Markham became dean and president of VTS in 2007. With degrees from King's College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Exeter, he is also the author of several major works including Engaging with Beduizzaman Said Nursi (Ashgate, 2008), An Introduction to Ministry: A Primer for Renewed Life and Leadership in Mainline Protestant Congregations (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), Faith Rules (Church Publishing Inc., 2016), and most recently Lectionary Levity: The Use of Humor in Preaching (Church Publishing Inc., 2017).
We think of holy people as spiritual seekers, but holiness is more than being in touch with the holy. What is holiness all about? What is wholeness of life? What are practices of love? What is spirituality all about? What is worship all about? Life, according to Sedgewick in What Does it Mean to Be Holy Whole?: A Little Book of Guidance
, is not a series of experiences or a search for increasing novelty. Rather, there is a more fundamental desire to be whole which characterizes our human experience. This is what Christian faith is all about. It takes practice. It takes community. It takes time. It is a life of loss and love, lament, and joy. And, in short, this is what holiness is about: It is a way of life Christians call grace and salvation.
has served as academic dean of VTS, where he has taught Christian ethics for more than two decades. Previously, he taught at Seabury Western Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books including Preaching What We Practice
, with David Schlafer, (Morehouse, 2007), The Christian Moral Life
(Eerdmans, 1999, Seabury, 2nd ed. 2008), and Sex, Moral Teaching, and the Unity of the Church: A Study of the Episcopal Church
(Morehouse, 2014). He has served on numerous boards and agencies of the Episcopal Church and earned a doctorate from Vanderbilt University.
Little Books of Guidance help the reader find answers to life's big questions. Concise, authoritative, and affordable, these books allow one to grasp the essentials in less than an hour. Aside from Markham and Sedgwick, other authors include Thomas G. Long, Keith Ward, and Rowan Williams. There are currently eleven books in this series, with more scheduled to come this spring.