BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 8, 2016

Cover ArtAncient Christian Worship by Andrew McGowen, and Reformed Catholicity by Michael Allen and Scott Swain, were recommended in Reformation 21’s 2015 End of Year Review of Books.

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.

A Vision for Preaching, by Abraham Kuruvilla, won an Editor’s Choice award in Preaching Today’s 2016 Book Awards.

Exploring Catholic Theology, by Bishop Robert Barron, was reviewed at Stuart’s Study.

At the Ligonier blog, Keith Mathison included Craig Keener’s Acts: An Exegetical Commentary in his post My 5 Favorite Theology Reads of 2015.

Cover ArtIngolf Dalferth’s Crucified and Resurrected was reviewed at Tabletalk Theology.

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.

Alvin Rapien at The Poor in Spirit also reviewed Crucified and Resurrected.

The Accordance blog recommended Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek.

Spiritual Companioning by Angela Reed, Richard Osmer, and Marcus Smucker, was reviewed by Joshua Valdez.

Zack Ford, at Longing for Truth, reviewed An Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication by Quentin Schultze and Diane Badzinski.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – December 18, 2015

Cover ArtOur congratulations to Craig Keener, whose four volume Acts: An Exegetical Commentary won a Christianity Today 2016 Book Award in the Biblical Studies category. Craig spent many years bringing this set to completion, and it is gratifying to see that effort acknowledged.

Keener is a scholar with gifts that come along once every century, and here we see them employed in full force. Words like encyclopedic, magisterial, and epic come to mind when you examine 4,000 carefully argued pages on every aspect of the Book of Acts. Nothing like this has ever been done—and it’s doubtful that anything like it will be done for a long time. Keener has a grasp of the ancient world like few scholars anywhere, but he also has a heart for the church and its mission

Also, congrats to Alistair Stewart and R. W. L. Moberly, whose The Original Bishops and Old Testament Theology appeared on the Jesus Creed Books of the Year list.

At Euangelion, Michael Bird recommended Gospel of Glory by Richard Bauckham.

The Pastor as Public TheologianCover Art, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, won in the Ministry category of the TGC Editors’ Picks: Top Books of 2015.

“This book was a key factor this past year in renewing an important (and ongoing) conversation about the nature of the pastoral office. Vanhoozer and Strachan seek to restore the vision of the Reformers and their Puritan ancestors of the pastorate as an office primarily defined by theology. The pastor must not see himself fundamentally as a counselor or motivator, but as a man called to mediate the transcendent truth of God to the people of God so they might live all of life to the glory of God.”

Scott Sunquist’s The Unexpected Christian Century was reviewed by Robert Cornwall.

Aaron at AJ Cerda reviewed David Wilhite’s The Gospel According to Heretics.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – May 15, 2014

Cover ArtAt Acts and More, Steve Walton reviewed Jesus against the Scribal Elite, by Chris Keith.

“If Professor Chris Keith is substantially right (and I am persuaded that he is), there is an important factor to add into our reconstructions of why Jesus was opposed by the educated Jewish elite, and that is that he acted and spoke in ways which challenged their exclusive hold on the right to teach and, especially, to interpret Scripture.”

RJS, at Jesus Creed, has been reflecting on J. Richard Middleton’s The Liberating Image in the posts No Text is an Island, and The Artistry of Creation, Cosmic Temple, and Imago Dei.

Conrade Yap reviewed Models for Biblical Preaching, edited by Haddon Robinson and Patricia Batten.

At the ACT3 Network John Armstrong discussed Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom’s Is the Reformation Over?

Byron Borger, at Hearts & Minds, recommended Liberating Tradition by Kristina LaCelle-Peterson.

Kevin DeYoung recommended Darrell Bock’s BECNT volume on Acts, and Craig Keener’s multi-volume commentary on Acts.

 

Baker Academic Library: Acts 2:1-4

Acts 2:1-4 (NIV):
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Craig Keener, Acts Vol. 1, pp. 793-94:

Yet Luke reports the Pentecost experience not merely as a matter of historical interest but because for him it set the normative pattern for the church. THis is not to say that all the phenomena of Pentecost would be repeated on subsequent occasions (he never reports the wind or fire again) but to contend that, for Luke, the church’s experiences was (or should be) pervasively charismatic; as Richard Hays puts it, it was to be not so much an expression of “early catholicism” as of “early pentecostalism” [Hays, Moral Vision, 135].

The Pentecost experience is repeated (Acts 4:31-35), including beyond Jerusalem for other groups (8:15-17; 10:44-47; 19:6), suggesting that it is paradigmatic. As Luke repeats the Cornelius story and Paul’s conversion each three times, emphasizing key turning points for the Gentile mission, he repeats glossolalia (a sign useful for Luke’s emphasis on cross-cultural speech, 1:8) three times (2:4; 10:46; 19:6). But whereas the other repetitions allude back to a key event, the repetition of this sign from the Pentecost narrative evokes that narrative through a repeated experience. Luke thus treats the Pentecost experience as paradigmatic (as in 2:38-39).

G.K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, pp. 594-95:

The appearance of “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3) is an expression of the coming Spirit that reflects a theophany. But more can be said: it appears to be a theophany associated with the descending divine presence of the heavenly temple. A number of considerations point to this.

The report that “there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind” (Acts 2:2), and that there appeared “tongues of fire” calls to mind the typical theophanies of the OT. God appeared in these theophanies with thunderous noise and in the form of fire. The first great theophany of the OT was at Sinai, where “God descended on it in fire” and appeared in the midst of loud “voices and torches and a thick cloud” and “fire”. Sinai was the model theophany for most later similar divine appearances in the OT, and to some degree God’s coming at Sinai stands in the background of the Spirit’s coming at Pentecost.

Mikeal Parsons, Acts (PAIDEIA), pp. 37 -38:

What is the nature of the miracle recorded here in Acts 2:1-4? The coming of the Spirit is joined by two manifestations: a noise in the sky, like a strong blowing wind (2:2), and divided tongues (that looked) like fire (2:3). In describing the event as accompanied by these natural phenomena, Luke is echoing the theophany scenes of the OT, in which God’s presence is accompanied by similiar signs (Exod 19:16; Judg 5:4-5; cf. Ps 18:7-15; 29:3-9).

Luke is also using the rhetorical strategy of ekphrasis, that is, employing language that appeals as much to the eye as to the ear. Theon defines ekphrasis as “bringing what is portrayed clearly before the sight.” What is portrayed could be “of persons and events and places and periods of time” (Prog. 118, trans. Kennedy 2003, 45). An ekphrasis of an event could include a description of “war, peace, a storm, famine, plague, an earthquake” (Prog. 118, trans. Kennedy 2003, 45) […] The function of ekphrasis or ekphrastic language in a narrative is often to draw attention to the significance of the even thus described for the overarching argument of the narrative (Krieger 1992, 7). Such is certainly the case with the use of ekphrastic language in Luke and Acts, in which vivid language is used at key moments in the life of Jesus. […] The ekphrastic language in the Pentecost scene underscores the continuity between the founder of the “Way” and his followers. Significant events in Jesus’ life and ministry were depicted in language that appealed to the eye more than the ear. The beginning of the disciples’ “public ministry” described in similarly vivid language, marking the disciples’ reception of the Holy Spirit.

Darrell Bock, Acts (BECNT), p. 99:

These disciples begin to speak in ἑτέραις γλώσσαις (heterais glossais), which refers to other languages, as verse 8 makes clear. In the OT, the expression appears in Isa. 28:11 LXX in the singular. This one-step understanding differs from the description in 1 Corinthians, where two steps (utterance and interpretation) are required for understanding. In Acts this speaking of tongues in foreign languages is done as the Spirit gives them utterance (so also Jervell 1998: 133-34). The term for “utterance” (ἀποφθέγγεσθαι, apophthengesthai) is relatively rare, appearing only three times in the NT, all in Acts (2:4, 14; 26:25), and six times in the LXX (BDAG 125; 1 Chron. 25:1 [positively of prophecy]; Ps. 58:8 [59:7 Eng.]; Mic. 5:11 [5:12 Eng.]; Zech. 10:2; Ezek. 13:9, 19; five of these six uses are negative, of lies or false prophets). Peter will explain in verses 17-18 that all have received the pouring out of the Spirit as an indication of the arrival of God’s promised new era (see also Luke 3:15-17, where the Spirit’s coming points to the presence of the Messiah, another point Peter makes in Acts 2:36).