New Release: A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation

Cover ArtRecent decades have witnessed a renaissance of theological interpretation. Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas bring together a team of specialists to articulate a multifaceted vision for returning rigorous biblical interpretation to the context of the church.

Developed by the internationally recognized Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar, this book is designed to bring clarity and unity to the enterprise of theological interpretation. It positively integrates multiple approaches to interpreting the Bible, combining academic rigor with pastoral sensitivity for professors, students, and church leaders.

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“Interest in theological interpretation of Scripture has occasioned several explanatory introductions, commentaries on both Testaments, a dictionary, a journal, and now a manifesto. Accompanying the twelve-point manifesto are an equal number of essays that exposit and further explore each article. This multiauthor work may now be the best starting place from which to understand the rise, nature, methods, and aims of this ancient-future proposal for reading the Bible in and for the church in order to hear God’s address to his people.”—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“This book marks an unexpected development—a significant advance—in the theological interpretation of Scripture. Here we find a wide range of scholars, from across the ecumenical spectrum, each demonstrating how Scripture can and should be read and understood in the context of the church, the canon, and the great tradition. Such a canonical and ecclesial approach exhibits considerable explanatory power. The authors present the book as a manifesto. May it soon become a movement.”—Scott Hahn, Mundelein Seminary

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Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He founded the internationally recognized Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar and is the author of several books.

Heath A. Thomas (PhD, University of Gloucestershire) is dean of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and professor of Old Testament at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He serves as the chair of the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar.

For more information on A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation, click here.

New Release: Christian Dogmatics

This one-volume introduction to systematic theology draws deeply on the catholic and Reformed heritage to present the major doctrines of the Christian faith, displaying the power of theological retrieval for the church’s renewal. Leading Reformed theologians offer the “state of the question” on standard theological topics and engage in both exegetical and historical retrieval for the sake of theological analysis.

Christian Dogmatics represents the exciting new theological trajectory of Reformed catholicity and will serve professors and students in systematic theology or Christian doctrine courses well. It will also be of interest to pastors and church leaders.

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Cover ArtContents
Introduction  Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain
1. Knowledge of God  Michael Allen
2. Holy Scripture  Kevin J. Vanhoozer
3. Divine Attributes  Michael Allen
4. Divine Trinity  Scott R. Swain
5. Covenant of Redemption  Scott R. Swain
6. Creation out of Nothing  John Webster
7. Providence  John Webster
8. Anthropology  Kelly M. Kapic
9. Sin  Oliver D. Crisp
10. Incarnation  Daniel J. Treier
11. The Work of Christ Accomplished  Donald Macleod
12. The Work of Christ Applied  Richard Gaffin
13. The Law of God and Christian Ethics  Paul T. Nimmo
14. The Church  Michael Horton
15. Sacraments  Todd Billings
16. Kingdom of God  Michael Horton
Indexes

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“This book is a significant contribution to Christian doctrinal theology….I expect it to have a wide usefulness in the years ahead.”—George Hunsinger, Princeton Theological Seminary

“An important contribution to the ongoing renewal of Reformed dogmatics in the ecumenical context of our time.”—Gerald Bray, Beeson Divinity School

“A scholarly yet readable synthesis that both anchors and vivifies the intelligence of the Christian faith.”—Henri A. G. Blocher, Faculté Libre de Théologie Evangélique

“A stellar lineup of established and emerging Reformed theologians.”—Suzanne McDonald, Western Theological Seminary

“Every chapter repays careful reading and reflection.”—Stephen R. Holmes, University of St. Andrews

“In providing a set of resources for the wider church, the volume is characterized by lucid, patient, and temperate exposition of key themes.”—David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh

“This is a gift to the entire church: the solidity, maturity, resourcefulness, and sagacity of these chapters provide theologians from all confessions with a statement of Christian doctrine from an identifiably Protestant perspective.”—Fred Sanders, Biola University

“An outstanding collection on Reformed dogmatics from some of the sharpest minds in the contemporary business.”—Ivor J. Davidson, University of St. Andrews

“No one will fail to be challenged, edified, and spurred on to further study of Scripture with the help of our theological forebears.”—David VanDrunen, Westminster Seminary California

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Michael Allen (PhD, Wheaton College) is associate professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.

Scott R. Swain (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of systematic theology and academic dean at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Allen and Swain coauthored Reformed Catholicity.

For more information on Christian Dogmatics, click here.

New Release: The Lost Letters of Pergamum, 2nd edition

Cover ArtTransported two thousand years into the past, readers are introduced to Antipas, a Roman civic leader who has encountered the writings of the biblical author Luke. Luke’s history sparks Antipas’s interest, and they begin corresponding. As Antipas tells Luke of his reactions to the writing and of his meetings with local Christians, it becomes evident that he is changing his mind about them and Jesus. Finally, a gladiatorial contest in Pergamum forces difficult decisions on the local Christians and on Antipas.

While the account is fictional, the author is a highly respected New Testament scholar who weaves reliable historical information into a fascinating story. Bruce Longenecker is able to mix fact and fiction to offer a fresh, engaging, and creative way to learn about the New Testament world. This updated edition, now with improved readability and narrative flow, will bring the social and political world of Jesus and his first followers to life for many students of the Bible.

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Praise for the First Edition

“Longenecker provides, by means of an informative and delightful fiction, a remarkably clear and accurate picture of Christian existence in the eastern Mediterranean world of the first century. One comes away from this book—a ‘historical novel’ in the best sense—both charmed and informed. It is a thoroughly delightful read, from which both beginners and experts will profit.”—Paul J. Achtemeier, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia

“Longenecker’s Letters present in a fascinating and compelling way the contexts of Second Temple Judaism and Greco-Roman urban life. And the narrative he weaves is not only believable but also engaging, both academically and personally.”—Joel B. Green, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Bruce Longenecker brings early Christianity to life. The characters are vivid and believable, and they introduce the reader to a rich historical and cultural context….This book is both a delight to read and a reliable guide to the beginnings of Christianity.”—Frederick J. Murphy, College of the Holy Cross

“A savvy and creative introduction to the New Testament world, disguised as a collection of ‘lost’ letters between Luke and several well-positioned members of Roman society. The genius of the book lies in its fusion of current New Testament scholarship with a very plausible, personal narrative….Anyone hunting for a reliable, if not always comfortable, guide to the dangerous world of first-century Roman Christianity should be glad these papers were finally ‘discovered.’”—Bruce Fisk, Westmont College

“This fictional correspondence is not true, but it certainly could have been. Longenecker writes a very engaging account of several characters who, in their different ways, came to experience and respond to the risen Jesus Christ through Luke’s narrative.”—Stanley E. Porter, McMaster Divinity College

“This book is a creative and enjoyable story that is true to much of what we know about early Christianity in its environment. The narrative both teaches and engages the imagination as to how events in late first-century Pergamum might have happened.”—Carolyn Osiek, Brite Divinity School

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Bruce W. Longenecker (PhD, University of Durham) is professor of religion and W. W. Melton Chair of Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Thinking through Paul, The Cross before Constantine, and Philippians and Philemon in Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament.

For more information on The Lost Letters of Pergamum, click here.

New Release: The Church

Cover ArtRenowned evangelical theologian Gerald Bray provides a clear and coherent account of the church in biblical, historical, and theological perspective. He tells the story of the church in its many manifestations through time, starting with its appearance in the New Testament, moving through centuries of persecution and triumph, and discussing how and why the ancient church broke up at the Reformation.

Along the way, Bray looks at the four classic marks of the church—its oneness, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity—and illustrates how each of these marks has been understood by different Christian traditions. The book concludes with a look at the ecumenical climate of today and suggests ways that the four characteristics of the church can and should be manifested in our present global context.

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“Solid, shrewd, and most thorough, this superlative survey of God’s people on earth past and present will be a boon not only for seminarians but also for many more of us besides. It is a truly outstanding performance.”—J. I. Packer, Regent College

“Here is a fresh overview of the church and its history, theology, and current challenges in today’s world. Gerald Bray is an ordained evangelical Anglican, but he writes with such great sympathy and wisdom that this telling of the church’s story will edify the Lord’s people everywhere.”—Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School

“Anyone who wonders whether ecclesiology matters—or even where it came from, in all its present diversity—should read this book.”—John L. Thompson, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Comprehensive in scope, ecumenical in tone, orthodox in confession, and insightful from beginning to end….I suspect it is destined to become the go-to classic for an overview of Protestant ecclesiology.”—Bryan Litfin, Moody Bible Institute

“I know of almost no one else who could write a book like this. Gerald Bray’s unique global-mindedness and catholic awareness are put on full display in this analysis of the development of the church throughout the ages and across the continents.”—Michael Allen, Reformed Theological Seminary

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Gerald Bray (DLitt, University of Paris-Sorbonne) is research professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama; distinguished professor of historical theology at Knox Theological Seminary; and director of research at Latimer Trust, Oak Hill College, London. A prolific author, he has written many books, including God Is Love, God Has Spoken, The Doctrine of God, and Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present. Bray is a minister in the Church of England and serves as editor of the Anglican journal Churchman.

For more information on The Church, click here.

New Release: Proofs of God

Cover ArtLeading theologian Matthew Levering presents a thoroughgoing critical survey of the proofs of God’s existence for readers interested in traditional Christian responses to the problem of atheism. Beginning with Tertullian and ending with Karl Barth, Levering covers twenty-one theologians and philosophers from the early church to the modern period, examining how they answered the critics of their day. He also shows the relevance of the classical arguments to contemporary debates and challenges to Christianity.

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“A splendid survey; ideal for students and for the intellectually curious of every vocation. Levering fits an enormous range of information in a small space without any sacrifice of detail or clarity.”—David Bentley Hart, author of The Experience of God

“This is the best kind of book: intellectually serious, lucid, and covering a topic of great importance and perennial interest….For a reliable depiction of the Christian enterprise of thinking about reason and the question of God’s existence, this is the book to read.”—Paul J. Griffiths, Duke Divinity School

“A careful, scholarly treatment of the history of attempts to argue for and against the existence of God.”—C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University

“Matthew Levering’s panoramic, well-documented Proofs of God is a wonderfully insightful and wisely argued defense of theistic proofs.”—Paul Copan, Palm Beach Atlantic University

“An indispensable point of entry into the seminal texts on God and his existence. No philosophy or theology bookshelf should be without this gem.”—Michael G. Sirilla, Franciscan University of Steubenville

“In this extremely helpful book, Matthew Levering offers what is perhaps the best contemporary historical overview of the major positions on the subject of natural knowledge of God.”—Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP, Thomistic Institute, Washington, DC

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Matthew Levering (PhD, Boston College) is the James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology at Mundelein Seminary, University of Saint Mary of the Lake, in Mundelein, Illinois. He previously taught at the University of Dayton. Levering is the author of numerous books, including The Theology of Augustine, Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation, and Ezra & Nehemiah in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series.

For more information on Proofs of God, click here.

New Release: The Patient Ferment of the Early Church

Cover ArtHow and why did the early church grow in the first four hundred years despite disincentives, harassment, and occasional persecution? In this unique historical study, veteran scholar Alan Kreider delivers the fruit of a lifetime of study as he tells the amazing story of the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

Challenging traditional understandings, Kreider contends the church grew because the virtue of patience was of central importance in the life and witness of the early Christians. They wrote about patience, not evangelism, and reflected on prayer, catechesis, and worship, yet the church grew—not by specific strategies but by patient ferment.

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“Alan Kreider has done it again. Here he utilizes his immense grasp of early Christian sources, texts, and scholarship to illuminate for us the virtue of Christian patience and its formative nature in articulating an approach to worship and life. Highly recommended.”—Maxwell Johnson, University of Notre Dame

“At a time when many scholars interpret the rise of Christianity in terms of power, Kreider provides a refreshing and warranted scenario of early Christian growth from the ‘inside.’ Although this approach is admittedly harder to document, the reader is invited to discover the slower and more subtle processes that have been neglected in arguments for the rapid rise of Christianity. Herein one will find a means to better balance the scholarly dialogues prevalent today.”—D. H. Williams, Baylor University

“Lively and insightful….Kreider has the rare ability to read ancient sources from a fresh perspective and to see the growing pains of ancient churches in a way that benefits from—and illuminates—modern pastoral insight. The Patient Ferment of the Early Church is a marvelous and inspiring book.”—Kate Cooper, University of Manchester

“In this remarkable book, Alan Kreider refocuses our attention on patience, the cardinal virtue of the early church’s witness, with rich attention to how this was cultivated in worship and catechesis. The allure and beauty of a patient people is something a triumphalist church forgot. I can’t imagine a more timely history for the church in our secular age.”—James K. A. Smith, Calvin College

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Alan Kreider (PhD, Harvard University) is professor emeritus of church history and mission at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. For many years he lived in England, where he was director of the London Mennonite Centre and later director of the Centre for Christianity and Culture at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. Kreider has authored several books.

For more information on The Patient Ferment of the Early Church, click here.

New Release: Sacred Tradition in the New Testament

Cover ArtLeading biblical scholar Stanley Porter critiques the state of research regarding the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament and sacred traditions. He provides needed orientation for readers interested in New Testament references to themes such as “son of man” and “suffering servant” as well as the faith of Abraham and the Passover.

Porter explains that examining scriptural traditions is fundamental to understanding central ideas in the New Testament regarding Jesus. He sheds light on major themes in New Testament Christology and soteriology, offering fresh, constructive proposals.

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“In critical dialogue with recent scholarship, Porter clarifies the tricky methodological issues of how the New Testament cites, alludes to, and echoes scriptural texts. His insightful but provocative findings about the use of certain traditional texts and images by early Christians and by Jesus himself will no doubt stimulate further significant scholarly debate.”—Harold W. Attridge, Yale Divinity School

“Porter leads us into a fresh and stimulating understanding of the New Testament’s appropriation of the sacred traditions of Israel’s Scriptures. This is more than just another book on the New Testament’s use of the Old….This is a book that deserves, and will reward, a thoughtful reading.”—Donald A. Hagner, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Stanley Porter’s Sacred Tradition in the New Testament brings much-needed nuance and definition to a very important phenomenon in New Testament literature, especially with reference to the popular but often ill-defined term intertextuality….Anyone interested in the topic will want to engage this carefully researched and well-written book.”—Craig A. Evans, Houston Baptist University

“Ranging more widely than traditional treatments of the Old Testament in the New, Porter’s study illustrates the broad role such traditions played in shaping the way Jesus was understood by New Testament authors and in shaping Jesus’s own self-understanding. This is a significant contribution on much-debated issues.”—Stephen Westerholm, McMaster University

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Stanley E. Porter (PhD, University of Sheffield) is president, dean, professor of New Testament, and Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Worldview at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. He has authored or edited dozens of books, including How We Got the New Testament and Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament.

For more information on Sacred Tradition in the New Testament, click here.

New Release: The Fourfold Gospel

Cover ArtThis groundbreaking approach to the study of the fourfold gospel offers a challenging alternative to prevailing assumptions about the creation of the gospels and their portraits of Jesus. How and why does it matter that we have these four gospels? Why were they placed alongside one another as four parallel yet diverse retellings of the same story?

Francis Watson, widely regarded as one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our time, explains that the four gospels were chosen to give a portrait of Jesus. He explores the significance of the fourfold gospel’s plural form for those who constructed it and for later Christian communities, showing that in its plurality it bears definitive witness to what God has done in Jesus Christ. Watson focuses on reading the gospels as a group rather than in isolation and explains that the fourfold gospel is greater than, and other than, the sum of its individual parts.

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The Fourfold Gospel displays all the virtues that readers have come to expect from one of the finest biblical interpreters of our day: depth and breadth of learning, exegetical prowess, clarity of argument, and sure theological judgment, all in the service of the truth of the gospel.”—John Webster, University of St. Andrews

“What does it mean, theologically speaking, that we have four canonical gospels? Drawing on sources as diverse as Ezekiel’s vision and Eusebius’s canons, Francis Watson’s reflection on this question is as astonishingly fresh as it is deeply grounded in the church’s traditions. Not for specialists only, The Fourfold Gospel is rich and richly rewarding.”—Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Baylor University

“The contributions of Francis Watson are always innovative and incisive, and this book, which will win a large readership, is no exception. With his unrivaled ability to combine expert historical knowledge with interpretive acuity, he is like the ideal scribe in Matthew, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”—Dale C. Allison Jr., Princeton Theological Seminary

“The old cliché about John’s gospel is that it is like a sea in which a child may paddle or an elephant swim. The same could be said of this marvelous book, which makes an excellent introductory book for students while also brimming with both astute historical detective work and elegant and thoughtful (and sometimes moving) exegesis that is illuminating for the expert.”—Simon Gathercole, University of Cambridge

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Francis Watson (PhD, University of Oxford) is Research Chair in Biblical Interpretation at Durham University in Durham, England. He previously taught at the University of Aberdeen and at King’s College London. Among his numerous works are the critically acclaimed Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith; Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles: Beyond the New Perspective; and Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective.

For more information on The Fourfold Gospel, click here.

New Release: Paul as a Problem in History and Culture

Cover ArtAs one of the most significant figures in the history of Western civilization, the apostle Paul has influenced and inspired countless individuals and institutions. But for some, he holds a controversial place in Christianity.

From antiquity, Paul has been criticized for deviating from the way, the truth, and the life of Jesus. The nineteenth century saw an increasing number of thinkers give credit to Paul for assuming a formative role in Christianity—more formative, even, than Jesus. In the twentieth century, intellectuals and cultural leaders claimed to follow Jesus over Paul.

In Paul as a Problem in History and Culture, Patrick Gray explores why many people have been wary of Paul and what such criticisms reveal about the church, the broader culture, and ourselves.

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“Many scholars write only for other scholars, and some experts are adept at writing for more general audiences, but only a few can write well with both audiences in mind. Patrick Gray is one of those rare scholars, and his book on reactions to Paul through the centuries is a gem that merits the attention of all readers interested in early Christianity’s most controversial apostle.”—John T. Fitzgerald, University of Notre Dame

“With much erudition, eloquence, and wit, Patrick Gray sets forth a fascinating two-thousand-year history of anti-Paulinism. Citing both scholarly and popular sources, he exposes the various (and at times bewildering) attitudes, assumptions, and motivations that lie behind the virile dislike of the apostle to the gentiles. This book will challenge both friends and foes of Paul to reflect critically on the relationship between Paul and the one he proclaimed as Messiah and Lord.”—Thomas D. Stegman, SJ, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

“Every Paul scholar knows that Paul has always been controversial, but I wager that few know the breadth and depth of the animus toward him surveyed by Patrick Gray….Sure to be a great discussion starter.”—Mark D. Given, Missouri State University

“An insightful and accessible overview of the negative reception of the apostle Paul, from the Corinthians to Kazantzakis. An important contribution is the way in which Gray steers a reasonable middle course amid choppy, polemical waters. This book has great potential for sparking lively discussion in a classroom setting.”—David L. Eastman, author of Paul the Martyr

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Patrick Gray (PhD, Emory University) is associate professor of religious studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the author of Opening Paul’s Letters and has coedited several books, including Teaching the Bible through Popular Culture and the Arts.

For more information on Paul as a Problem in History and Culture, click here.

Coming Soon – James K. A. Smith’s You Are What You Love

We are thrilled that James K. A. Smith’s You Are What You Love will be released in just a few days from our sister division, Brazos Press.

In the video below, Smith explains how his new book relates to Desiring the Kingdom and his cultural-liturgies project.

You can learn more at www.JamesKASmith.com, and if you pre-order before April 5 you can join a private online Q&A with James K. A. Smith.