One book has already been released in regards to the Coronavirus and the Christian response. Now another is to be released next week.
The first was Coronavirus and Christ, written by John Piper. The book description is as follows:
On January 11, 2020, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reportedly claimed its first victim in the Hubei province of China. By March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization had declared a global pandemic. In the midst of this fear and uncertainty, it is natural to wonder what God is doing.
In Coronavirus and Christ, John Piper invites readers around the world to stand on the solid Rock, who is Jesus Christ, in whom our souls can be sustained by the sovereign God who ordains, governs, and reigns over all things to accomplish his wise and good purposes for those who trust in him. What is God doing through the coronavirus? Piper offers six biblical answers to that question, showing us that God is at work in this moment in history.
The second comes from Walter Brueggemann entitled Virus as a Summons to Faith. The description:
Why bother with the interpretive categories of biblical faith when in fact our energy and interest are focused on more immediate matters? The answer is simple and obvious. We linger because, in the midst of our immediate preoccupation with our felt jeopardy and our hope for relief, our imagination does indeed range beyond the immediate to larger, deeper wonderments. Our free-ranging imagination is not finally or fully contained in the immediacy of our stress, anxiety, and jeopardy. Beyond these demanding immediacies, we have a deep sense that our life is not fully contained in the cause-and-effect reasoning of the Enlightenment that seeks to explain and control. There is more than that and other than that to our life in God’s world!
I even now see that John Lennox just released his own work a couple of days ago: Where Is God in a Coronavirus World? It’s description states:
We are living through a unique, era-defining period. Many of our old certainties have gone, whatever our view of the world and whatever our beliefs. The coronavirus pandemic and its effects are perplexing and unsettling for all of us. How do we begin to think it through and cope with it?
In this short yet profound book, Oxford mathematics professor John Lennox examines the coronavirus in light of various belief systems and shows how the Christian worldview not only helps us to make sense of it, but also offers us a sure and certain hope to cling to.
None of the three are a long read, Piper’s being 112 pages, Brueggemann’s 90 pages and Lennox’s weighing in at 64 pages. My own tendencies would believe that Brueggemann shall offer the better insights to our current pandemic predicament. Nevertheless, I wanted to post about these three books from three leading Christian thinkers from differing fields and faith perspectives.
Three things are clear to me:
1) The government of the United States in particular is populated in way too great measure by evil people who are actively seeking to use the epidemic to kill off those who, to put it delicately, do not have a sufficiently positive view of them, by attempting to ensure that they do not have access to the care they need to survive the epidemic. In other words, their supposed incompetence is not a bug – it is a feature;
2) Those who insist on violating evidence-based quarantine, social distance and hygiene rules because of their worship of human authorities (not to mention their own selfish desires) are opening the door for God to exact judgment on them for their idolatry.
3) Surviving the epidemic will involve, among other things, taking the dictum “Come out from them and be separate!” to a whole new level.