As God’s chosen people, the ancient Israelites regularly encountered God in rituals rooted in the memories of Passover, the exodus, and Mount Sinai. These practices of remembering God’s deliverance and presence were ultimately fulfilled in Jesus and passed on to the church. In Transforming Encounters, John Mark Hicks examines ancient Israel’s practices to show how God met and transformed Israel in these encounters. Today, through baptism, the worship assembly, and the Lord’s Supper, the church experiences God’s transforming power as she looks backward to her spiritual ancestors and forward as she awaits Jesus’s return.
John Mark has written books on each of these subjects, as many of our subscribers will know. This book gathers together the best insights from all of his work on these topics and condenses them into a useful format for small groups and class study, as well as personal growth. This book will enrich your church's understanding of these fundamental Christian practices. You can purchase the book via Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions, and from the CCS online store.
Watch this video of John Mark Hicks introducing his book:
See what others are saying about this book:
As one who sat at the feet of Dr. Hicks during his teaching career, this book reminded me of many things I appreciated about his classes. Transforming Encounters is a study of Scripture that engages the trajectories of both testaments along with historical theology. Readers will be challenged to be better disciples when prompted to think about God’s activity in the assembly, in baptism, and at the Lord’s Table. Even as the contrast between “altar/table” or the definition of certain terms (sacrament, worship) might challenge some, this study serves as a gentle and helpful correction for those who have underestimated the blessing of our encounters with God.
—Doug Burleson, PhD, Lectureship Director, Assistant Dean of College of Biblical Studies, Freed-Hardeman University, Henderson, Tennessee
Encountering the triune God. Proclaiming and experiencing the gospel. Committing to lives of authentic discipleship. For Hicks, this is what baptism, the worship assembly, and the Lord’s Supper are all about. This is the kind of study that, combined with prayerful application, can deepen faith and transform the local church.
—Mark E. Powell, PhD, Dean and Professor of Theology, Harding School of Theology, Memphis, Tennessee
After a lifetime of teaching, preaching, writing about, and practicing baptism, assembly, and the Lord’s Supper, John Mark Hicks offers yet another gift to the church in this book. He skillfully explores these sacramental practices through Scripture’s story of redemption—in the life of Israel, Jesus Christ, and the church. Biblical, approachable, and readable, this book is a call to return to the basics of church life, to elevate our understanding of these means of grace, and to expect a transformative encounter with the God who has called us into his eternal fellowship. Every Christian congregation and believer will benefit from this study.
—Keith Stanglin, PhD, Director, Center for Christian Studies, Austin, Texas; Professor of Historical Theology, Harding School of Theology, Memphis, Tennessee
Scripturally rich and pastorally insightful, this book provides accessible yet profound insights into baptism, the Lord's Supper, and church assembly as tangible means of grace in believers’ lives. Its contents will intrigue those who were initially drawn to these practices as commands, yet want to understand their import beyond a transactional register; it will equally tantalize those who embrace these acts as sacramental mysteries of the faith, but long to press further into their biblical and practical significance. Best of all, Hicks’ study of these “transforming encounters” offers an analogous opportunity to its readers, inviting us deeper into the story, love, and life of the Triune God.
—Lauren Smelser White, PhD, Assistant Professor of Theology, College of Bible and Ministry, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee