J. Gordon McConville’s forthcoming Being Human in God’s World recently received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. They called it “scholarly, accessible, and beautifully written,” and “a work of literature to be savored.”
“I wrote this book because I know personally the pain of not merely not knowing whether God exists, but not knowing what the word ‘God’ is supposed to mean. For many people whom I knew during my childhood, ‘God’ has just as much meaning as ‘the Great Pumpkin’.”
“I’m not suggesting we need less thinking; my point is that we need more than thinking. And we need to think carefully about the limits of thought (I tried to tease this out in the opening of Imagining, with a hat tip to Proust). That’s not a paradox; that’s intellectual honesty.”
“In 1900 religionists—people following and studying religions—assumed Islam would become the religion of Africa. They were wrong. They thought Christianity would remain strong in the West. They were wrong. They assumed Christianity would continue to look Mainline, Catholic, and Orthodox. They were wrong: Pentecostalism was not even a concept at the time.
Historians were wrong because they and politicians were progressive; they thought everything would get better and better. The Russian Revolution, Armenian genocide, and the Great War put all those ideas to bed.”
“Dalferth’s work here is to be lauded, as it exemplifies contemporary scholarship of the first order. With an acute awareness of the past, Dalferth yet skillfully operates within and seeks to advance the present social and theological milieu.”
“Perhaps the best book on hermeneutics yet written!”
“Truly a tour de force of the many methodologies, historical precedents, and disciplines that are wrapped up in the process of interpreting the Bible.”
Exegetical Tools also featured two posts on specific aspects of Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics, Craig Bartholomew’s Philosophy of History Drawn from the Old Testament Worldview and Eight Guidelines for a Trinitarian Hermeneutic.
“The appetite for these stories was huge. People wanted to learn about their heroes’ adventures, and they wanted to feel close to those heroes and even seek their aid.”
“On the whole, Covenant, Community, and the Spirit is a satisfying exploration of and meditation on the essence and ends of the Church, approached through the lens of pneumatology, and positioned within the broader economy of God’s redemptive grace. It will challenge students and laypeople, refresh pastors, and edify all. If it sounds like I’m gushing – well it’s because I am.”
“A valuable tool for anyone who has taken one year of Greek or one who is a little rusty and wants to return to one’s first love. The format is easy to follow and the examples are good at illustrating points discussed in the book. For someone who has kept their Greek and uses it on a daily basis, I find chapter six alone is worth the price of the book…If you are learning Greek or use Greek daily, this is a book worth having on your shelf and working through.”
“An excellent introduction to the task of biblical interpretation….Bartholomew has produced a volume that is both comprehensive and readable, and his hermeneutical vision captures the essence of biblical revelation well….This is a monumental achievement in the field of biblical interpretation and the pastor, teacher or student would do well in referring to it often.”
In From Nature to Creation, Wirzba invites the reader to develop “an imagination for the world as created, sustained, and daily loved by God” (3). Few Christians would argue that we ought not to have such an imagination — nearly all Christians confess such a belief. So, the problem is, then, living as if that is true.
The Pastor as Public Theologian, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan was featured in Hearts & Minds Bookstore’s Best Books of 2015 – Part One, and From Nature to Creation by Norman Wirzba was featured in Part Two.
In my humble judgment, Reformed Catholicity: The Promise of Retrieval for Theology and Biblical Interpretation, written by Michael Allen and Ref21’s own Scott Swain, deserves book of the year status. Allen and Swain present a vision for Protestant engagement with the Church’s past and the saints that populate that past that every evangelical Christian really should read.
Crucified and Resurrected is a lovely, meticulously-argued, challenging work that resists simplistic pronouncements. One can only slowly work through it and leave notes in the margins. Readers will be fully rewarded for their efforts.