— Union Theological Seminary
"Peter Heltzel is a jazz-infused theologian par excellence! Don't miss this gem of a book."
— Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
"Jazz musicians can improvise because they are so rooted in musical traditions, because they know the standards so well. This grounding allows for the freedom to create something that is both continuous with the past and open to a new future. Theology, claims Peter Heltzel, should be like improvisational jazz — various traditions coming together in an ongoing continuity that is always new. In Resurrection City Heltzel performs just this kind of theology. Deeply grounded in Scripture, history, music, and the struggle for justice, Heltzel improvises a prophetic Christian theology of hope. Both scholarly and accessible, Resurrection City is a virtuoso performance."
— Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"This is an informative, provocative, and timely book — a gift to the church as it seeks the shalom of the city."
George E. Lewis
— Columbia University
"Heltzel's extraordinary theology prophetically re-imagines the future of Christianity through improvisation, the lifeblood of creative music around the world, enacting a clarion call to assembly that exhorts us toward a spiritual practice affirming the twinned imperatives of justice and love."
J. Kameron Carter
— Duke University Divinity School
"Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and the notion of 'Resurrection City,' Peter Heltzel, a leading thinker of his generation of American evangelicals, presents here arguably the most cogent theological engagement with race and the American evangelical world available today, even as he locates his engagement within a wider frame — a vision for an evangelicalism of the future. This, Heltzel lyrically argues, will be an evangelicalism that dares to love as God loves. It is a jazz-inflected, musical evangelicalism — an evangelicalism that engages its past, that negotiates the present with improvisational verve (the inspiration here is John Coltrane's sermonic anthem A Love Supreme), and that consequently can receive the future. I heartily recommend this book."
"A highly creative contribution that brings together conversations around missional church, racial and social justice, and postcolonial hermeneutics. As an academic, pastor, community organizer, musician and poet, Heltzel offers a rare book that will inspire Christians to re-envision the church as a community of hope and justice."
Choice (American Library Association)
"This work draws heavily on themes from liberation and black theologies. . . . Heltzel challenges the contemporary church to take up this historic message in the contemporary context and to engage in the struggle for justice and social reform articulated in these prior voices. Recommended."
Books & Culture
"Heltzel offers a new book that inspires hope amid troubled times. . . . It pulsates with both the prophetic rage and redemptive joy that Heltzel finds in the Bible and especially its central figure, the Jewish Jesus. . . . To read Resurrection City is to hear the jazzy theological ruminations of a white man resurrected by the black freedom struggle and the Occupy Movement."