To understand ourselves as priests, we have to look past contemporary images of clergy. Biblical scholar Andrew Malone takes us from Adam and Eve serving as priests in the garden to the Levitical priesthood serving in the tabernacle, and ultimately to Jesus, our Great High Priest. We see how the church, through its union with Christ, represents God to the world and the world to God. This is biblical theology at its best.
Edward T. Welch
At its heart, biblical priesthood inhabits the space between God and his creation, facilitating proximity between them. Through Jesus, all God’s people can enjoy God’s presence and participate in Christ’s priestly work of mending this disjointed world. In short-but-substantial chapters, Welch offers a great introduction to priesthood in the Bible and how it applies to us today, especially at the individual and devotional level.
Robert Farrar Capon
Nobody helps us see priesthood as part of our original human vocation quite like Capon, the great writer and Episcopal priest. We were created to “make oblation” of people, places, things, and time. This means taking something of particular worth or wonder (including ourselves) and offering it back to God in gratitude. This book blends Christian spirituality, theological analysis of culture, and contemplative prayer.
R. Paul Stevens
The phrase priesthood of all believers has often been invoked to mobilize the laity for the work of the church or reframe our paid work as sacred service. Stevens offers a more integrated priestly vision. This book lays out our sacred summons, every day of the week, to offer up the whole of our lives for the sake of others and to the praise of God’s glory.
This Pulitzer Prize–winning book, though not about priesthood, provides a window into Dillard’s priestly activity in nature. Dillard spends a year in a secluded Virginia cabin, captivated by the world around her. Like Adam naming creatures in the garden, or Old Testament priests making oblation of the firstfruits as an act of praise and thanksgiving, she gives voice to creation’s praises and laments.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more