Good Lookin' Out: Imitating God in Christ

Jason Hood's new book, Imitating God in Christ, is set to release in June of this year. I am more excited about this book than any other book releasing in 2013. Its gon' be good! It is also much needed. There is a great neglect of the theme of imitation in Evangelical circles, especially Reformation ones, but this teaching is all over the place in the New Testament.

To get a taste of Hood's writing and to get a feel for the neglect of this aspect of New Testament teaching, read his fantastic article, "The Cross in the New Testament," here.

Here is some info from the publisher:

Should we imitate Jesus?

Some Christians answer with a cheerful "Yes," seeing it as the sum of the Christian life. Others believe we should rely on the work of Christ alone, throwing off any hint of the moralism or "works righteousness" they associate with imitating Jesus.

Jason Hood takes us on a tour of what the Bible has to say about imitating Jesus. He draws our attention to what Paul told the Corinthians he taught "everywhere in every church." And after following the theme throughout the New Testament, he looks at it from a historical and contemporary perspective.

The result is the recovery of a biblical pattern for life—one that challenges the assumptions of those who excessively fear moralism as much as it challenges the assumptions of those who embrace it. Here is a reliable theological foundation for imitating Jesus today, a crucial first step toward the renewal of biblical discipleship.

Table of Contents:


Part I: What Paul Taught Everywhere
1. Idols of God
2. Imitators of God
3. Priests of God
4. Participating in the Work of God

Part II: Imitating Jesus
5. The True Human, the Gospel, and the Gospels
6. Ambassadors, Apprentices, and Agents
7. Family Resemblance and Paternity Tests
8. Resurrection and Imitation
9. The Holy Spirit
10. The Apostle of Imitation
11. The Jesus Mirrors

Part III: Imitating the Saints
12. A Community of Imitation
13. Objections, Obstacles, and Presuppositions for Imitation

Part IV: Imitation Yesterday and Today
14. Imitation for Today's Left, Right, and Center
15. A History of Imitation


"Jason Hood has given the Reformed and evangelical communities--and indeed all Christians--an extraordinary gift in this book on imitation as a practice that is at the heart of Christian existence. It is well researched but highly readable, theologically deep as well as spiritually uplifting, prophetic without being preachy. It seeks to overcome the unfortunate divides in certain circles between Jesus as Savior and Jesus as example, and between imitation and participation. I recommend it strongly both for its biblical theology and for its spirituality."
—Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary's Seminary & University, Baltimore

"The long lost discipline of the imitatio Christi is persuasively and poignantly recaptured here by Jason Hood. Through a panoramic survey of Scripture, Hood shows us that imitation is the highest form of adoration. He challenges Christians to truly live as Jesus, not with cheesy clichés or with theological shallowness, but in cruciformed likeness to the Lord Jesus. But beware! This book will disturb folks from the lethargy of a mediocre spirituality, and rightly so!"
—Michael Bird, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

"Radical grace cannot be reductive grace. Jason Hood reminds us that any account of the new creation in Christ must attend to the call to imitate God in Christ. Jesus was the faithful one--the true human who trusted his Father to the bitter end, who ministered in the power of the Spirit and who gave himself sacrificially for the life and flourishing of others, even his enemies--and we are called to follow him in all these ways. Jesus is not only our substitute, but he is also the shape of the human in the new creation. Imitating God in Christaddresses these issues with clarity, insight and faithfulness."
—Michael Allen, Kennedy Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

"In an accessible and engaging book, Hood invites us to reconsider an important biblical theme--imitation of God in Christ. Focusing on three spheres--imitation of the God of Israel, imitation of the incarnate Christ and imitation of the saints--Hood demonstrates that imitation is not limited to a handful of passages in the Gospels and Paul. To the contrary, it represents a pervasive theme in Scripture.Imitating God in Christ is not merely an exercise in biblical theology. One of the great strengths of this book is the way Hood draws attention to contemporary distortion of Scriptural teaching on imitation (e.g., a false dichotomy between Jesus as example and Jesus as savior) and offers helpful correctives."
—Keith E. Johnson, director of theological education, Campus Crusade for Christ, author of Rethinking the Trinity and Religious Pluralism

"Jason Hood has that rare ability to combine scholarly thinking with clear and approachable writing. The footnotes are rich and the dialogue is fresh and compelling. Imitating God in Christ is a message we desperately need to hear today! The pendulum of knowing and obeying is swinging wildly across the Christian spectrum, but Hood has found the plumb line by taking seriously the Word of God. I am excited to see the fruit of this book in the kingdom of God."
—David Arthur, CEO of Precept Ministries

"In this very readable and accessible book Jason Hood provides not only an introduction but even more, a biblical theology of imitation. Hood situates his discussion thoughtfully in the context of the broader themes of the image of God, sanctification and discipleship, while rightly calling us to rediscover the key biblical idea of following the example of Jesus and his disciples. I hope this book will continue to stimulate this important discussion."
—Jonathan T. Pennington, associate professor of New Testament, Southern Seminary

"Jason Hood, in this well-written and well-crafted volume, has presented readers with a powerful and persuasive call to reconsider what it truly means for Christians to be imitators of God in Christ. Hood calls for the church to recover the important and oft-neglected scriptural teaching regarding the historical practice of imitation in order to bring about authentic Christ-centered discipleship and cross-shaped sanctification. In doing so, he winsomely points his readers toward renewal, faithfulness, Christlikeness and godliness, not as a grueling duty, but as a delightful destiny. I am hopeful for and enthusiastic about Hood's proposal and pray that it receives the wide readership and response it deserves."
—David S. Dockery, president, Union University