BA Books & Authors on the Web – April 24, 2015

Cover ArtDouglas Moo’s BECNT volume on Galatians was reviewed at RBL by Roy Ciampa (here) and by Richard Manly Adams Jr. (here).

Douglas Moo has done all readers of Paul a favor in producing this well-executed commentary. Moo follows in a long tradition of historical-critical commentaries on this confusing letter, but he stands above his predecessors due to the clarity of his writing, the comprehensiveness of his conversation, and the conviction of his reading.

This Strange and Sacred Scripture, by Matthew Schlimm, was reviewed by Guy Williams at The Seedbed Blog and Joan Nienhuis at Book Reviews from an Avid Reader.

At Jesus Creed, RJS reflected on Walter Moberly’s treatment of the Shema in Old Testament Theology.

In the latest edition of Themelios, Walter McConnell III reviewed Developing a Strategy for Missions by J. D. Payne and John Mark Terry

Also in Themelios, David Setran and Chris Kiesling’s Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood was reviewed by Benjamin Espinoza.

At Euangelion, Michael Bird shared a quote on The Bastardization of Sola Scriptura from Michael Allen and Scott Swain’s Reformed Catholicity.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – October 17, 2014

Cover ArtLawrence Osborn, at Theosblog, reviewed Basil of Caesarea by Stephen Hildebrand.

“Basil of Caesarea was one of the key theologians of the early Church. As such, he is well known to contemporary students of theology, but often only in a fragmentary way and often only as a theologian. In this detailed and lucid introduction to Basil’s life and thought, Stephen Hildebrand has integrated those fragments to give us a rounded picture of the man and his thought.”

Stanley Porter’s How We Got the New Testament was reviewed by George P. Wood.

Chris Ho, at the Young Restless and Reformed Blog, reviewed For the Glory of God by Daniel Block.

Peter Enns, author of Inspiration and Incarnation, shared a quote from God’s Word in Human Words by Kenton Sparks.

Robert Sylvester, at the Spirlaw blog, reflected on Roger Lundin’s Beginning with the Word.

Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, by David Setran and Chris Kiesling, was discussed at The Humanitas Forum.

Brian Sandifer reflected on Dale Kuehne’s Sex in the iWorld.

Nijay Gupta, at Crux Sola, is looking forward to the release of Peter Oakes’ Paideia commentary on Galatians.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – February 28, 2014

Cover ArtAt The Englewood Review of Books, Tim Høiland reviewed Reading a Different Story by Susan VanZanten.

“Ultimately, VanZanten is an apologist for ‘Christian cosmopolitanism.’ She wants believers’ allegiances to transcend geopolitical borders. Specifically, she wants us to read widely and well in order to better love God and to love our neighbors, both near and far. While she specifically appeals to her colleagues in academia, the principle applies to the rest of us just as well.”

J. Ryan Parker, at Pop Theology, reviewed Personal Jesus by Clive Marsh and Vaughn Roberts.

Thomas Schreiner’s  The King in His Beauty was reviewed by Lindsay Kennedy at My Digital Seminary.

Chris Kiesling, co-author with David Setran of Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, wrote the article “Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood: Christian Formation and Discipleship” for Catalyst.

Nijay Gupta reflected on a quote about simplicity and complexity from Donald Hagner’s The New Testament.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 24, 2014

Cover ArtJonathan Pennington, author of Reading the Gospels Wisely, was interviewed by Matthew Montonini at New Testament Perspectives.

James K.A. Smith wrote a response to the recent critique of Imagining the Kingdom published in Books & Culture.

Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books included Imagining the Kingdom by James K. A. Smith,  God’s Good World by Jonathan R. Wilson, and Why Study History? by John Fea in his Hearts & Minds Best Books of 2013 – Part One.

Hearts & Minds Best Books of 2013 – Part Two included Journey toward Justice by Nicholas Wolterstorff, Teenagers Matter by Mark Cannister, and Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.

At RBL, Teresa Okure reviewed The Christ of the Miracle Stories by Wendy Cotter.

Jackson Watts, of the Helwys Society Forum, reviewed Christian Philosophy by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen.

John Walker reviewed Thomas Guarino’s Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine, at Freedom in Orthodoxy.

At Unsettled Christianity, Joel Watts reviewed Lee McDonald’s The Story of Jesus in History and Faith.

John Cook and Robert Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew was reviewed by Brian LePort, at Near Emmaus.

Scott Klingsmith reviewed James Ware’s Paul and the Mission of the Church for the Denver Seminary blog.

Nijay K. Gupta’s post New Testament Scholarship: 50 Books Everyone Should Read (Part 1: Gospels), included Miracles by Craig Keener.

Postliberal Theology and the Church Catholic, edited by John Wright, and Another Reformation by Peter Ochs, were reviewed by Joseph Mangina for The Living Church.

Our monthly newsletter, E-Notes, was released this week.


eBook Special

Through Thursday, January 30, the eBook of Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony Siegrist, and Daniel Umbel is available for $3.99 (86% off) at participating retailers, including:

Barnes & Noble

BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 10, 2014

Dr. David Gowler started A Chorus of Voices, a blog which chronicles his writing of a forthcoming book on the reception history of the parables.

“[T]he “meaning” of the parables does not reside alone in the creative genius of Jesus and/or the Gospel authors; it exists in a relation between creator and contemplators. We stand, therefore, on the shoulders of centuries of conversations; our own interpretations are never independent of the reception history of these parables”

Cover ArtNijay Gupta listed Donald Hagner’s The New Testament, and Walter Moberly’s Old Testament Theology, as two of the Best Biblical Studies Books of 2013.

Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood by David Setran and Chris Kiesling, and Imagining the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith, made the College Transition Initiative’s Top 10 Books of 2013.

The Aqueduct Project interviewed Jonathan Pennington about his book Reading the Gospels Wisely.

Bob Trube at the InterVarsity Emerging Scholars blog reviewed James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom here, and Imagining the Kingdom here.

Larry Hurtado discussed The Apostolic Fathers ed. Michael W. Holmes, and Clayton N. Jefford’s Reading the Apostolic Fathers, in a post about publications on the Apostolic Fathers.

At Servants of Grace, Dave Jenkins reviewed The King In His Beauty by Thomas Schreiner.

Daniel Siedell’s God in the Gallery inspired Derek Rishmawy’s theological reflection on the modern art collection at LACMA.


eBook Special

Through Thursday, January 16, the eBook of Steven Mathewson’s The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative is available for $3.99 (84% off) at participating retailers, including:

Barnes & Noble

BA Books & Authors on the Web – November 1, 2013

Cover ArtAt Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight reviewed Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony Siegrist, and Daniel Umbel.

“I consider this book a successful challenge to the ruling paradigm that sees a major shift in Bonhoeffer from his idealism of Discipleship to a realist posture in Ethics….I no longer think Bonhoeffer made a tragic mistake in entering into the conspiracy and so shifted from his pacifism because I’m not convinced he entered into the conspiracy. Bonhoeffer may well have sustained his pacifism.”

At Reformation21, Jonathan Huggins reviewed Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.

Ryan Brymer reviewed James K.A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?, for

In his post “Holy Communion, Culture, & Vocation“, Gene Veith reflected on a quote from James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

Tim Challis featured Tremper Longman’s Proverbs volume from the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series, in his Best Commentaries on Proverbs list.

At Thoughts on Theology, Andy Naselli recommended The World of the New Testament, edited by Joel Green and Lee McDonald.

Alan Padgett, author of As Christ Submits to the Church, will be lecturing at Thrive.

Moody Radio recently hosted two interviews with John Fea about his book Why Study History? You can listen here, and here.


eBook Specials

Today only, Friday November 1, the Commentary on Revelation eBook by Robert Gundry is available free at participating retailers, including:



Barnes & Noble


BA Books & Authors on the Web – October 11, 2013

Cover ArtAt Christianity Today, David Neff recently spoke with Ron Sider about his recent book, The Early Church on Killing, in an interview titled “Were the Church Fathers Consistently Pro-Life?

Why should we care what the writers of those first three centuries say?

I don’t think that what the early church in the first few centuries said and did is the final norm for Christians today. Our decisive norm is biblical revelation. Nevertheless, I think we need to take seriously what the Christians in the first three centuries thought Jesus was saying. They were much closer to him in time than we are, and there is reason to think they would have had a pretty good understanding of what he meant. Therefore, given that every single Christian text we have on killing from the first three centuries, whether war, capital punishment, or abortion, says that Christians don’t do that, and with some frequency they say that’s because of what Jesus said and did, I think Christians today ought to listen to them with some seriousness.

Also at CT, Neff interacted with Sider’s The Early Church on Killing in his article “Why Don’t We Find Bloodshed Repugnant Anymore?”

Doug Moo was interviewed about writing his new Galatians commentary by Lindsay Kennedy at My Digital Seminary.

The Christian Century’sTake & Read” recommendations for New Testament books included Seven Events That Shaped the New Testament World, by Warren Carter, A Peaceable Hope, by David Neville, and the Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters, edited by Marion Ann Taylor and Agnes Choi.

Rick Wadholm Jr. at the I Heart Barth blog recommended Bonhoeffer the Assassin?

At Words on the Word, Abram K-J studied Luke 17 with the help of Darrell Bock’s BECNT volumes.

Jim Kane reviewed Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.

Heath Henwood reviewed Rebirth of the Church, by Eddie Gibbs.

At The Anxious Bench, Miles Mullin reviewed Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity, by Robin Jensen.


eBook Specials

Today only, Friday October 11, the Commentary on Romans eBook by Robert Gundry is available free at participating retailers. Learn more here.

The Sources of Spiritual Decline, an Excerpt from Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood

The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.


The Sources of Spiritual Decline

The marginalization of spiritual formation among emerging adults is of course a function of many variables, but a few stand out as central to this age group.

Cover ArtFirst, there are a host of new distractions emerging at this time of life that can easily de-center faith commitments. Because emerging adults are often living independently for the first time, there are a number of new life skills required in their attempt to “stand on their own two feet.”  While tasks such as setting up bank accounts, paying bills, registering for classes, studying for exams, writing research papers, learning to get along with roommates, and preparing for job interviews may seem fairly commonplace to older adults, emerging adults can find them quite overwhelming.

Though the cultivation of the spiritual life may still remain important in a theoretical sense, these other tasks can appear more urgent on a daily basis. In addition, since completion of these tasks often generates immediate feedback and both financial and psychological (identity-related) rewards, it is easy to see why they might rise to higher levels on the emerging adult priority scale. As one study summarizes, “Emerging adulthood brings with it a host of responsibilities (e.g., work, school) and opportunities (e.g., increased autonomy) that simply and subtly crowd out religious participation.”

In his analysis of younger emerging adults in the year after high school graduation, Clydesdale largely confirms this perspective. Most of these individuals, he suggests, spend the bulk of their time and energy on “daily life management,” juggling personal relationships, personal gratifications, and personal economics. In such a context, he suggests, faith commitments are placed in a “lockbox,” stowed away for safekeeping until later in life. These emerging adults may maintain their religious beliefs, but they are unlikely to cultivate personal faith practices if these interfere with their other life concerns.

As he notes, “Teens view religious faith and practice as largely irrelevant to this stage in their life cycle. Religion is something they did as ‘kids’ and something they will probably do again as ‘adults.’ But, for now, teens tune out religion—at the very moment when they make decisions that can affect the rest of their lives and during the very time when they are individually establishing patterns of everyday living.”  Referring back to the Higher Education Research Institute study, he notes, “I do concur that most teens are on a quest during their first year out, but that quest is to successfully navigate interpersonal relationships and manage everyday life (like eating, working, attending class, doing laundry, and having a little fun). Religious and spiritual identities are peripheral to that quest and stowed in an identity lockbox for a later point in the life cycle.”

Because religion does not seem applicable to the all-consuming flow of daily life, faith is set to the side and rarely engaged, critically examined, or applied to the decisions and practices of life. According to Clydesdale, faith is neither “abandoned” nor “pursued,” but rather “safely stowed.”

©2013 by David Setran and Chris Kiesling. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

To read more from this excerpt click here.

For more information on Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, click here.

David Setran, Why We Wrote Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood

“Why We Wrote Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood

by David Setran

Chris and I were inspired to write this book because of our desire to see emerging adults flourish in Christ. As professors, we work with college and graduate students on a daily basis. We have taught classes related to college and young adult ministry for the past fifteen years, and we have also worked in a variety of college ministry settings. If anything, our sense of the importance of this life stage has only grown. Through the book, we hope to equip those with influence in emerging adults’ lives—college and young adult ministers, professors, pastors, para-church workers, student development professionals, chaplains, parents, relatives, and friends.

Most of us recognize at an intuitive level that the years between 18 and 30 are extremely pivotal. During this era of the lifespan, many select a college, move away from home for the first time, develop a growing sense of giftedness and vocational potential, make independent financial decisions, establish or reject church commitments, forge new friendships, and edge toward singleness, engagement, marriage, and/or parenting. These years also mark a crucial stage for developing a worldview amid a wide array of competing alternatives. Many of the choices made in these areas shape the contours of identity for the rest of the lifespan, serving as gateways to future meaning, lifestyle, and mission.

Cover ArtNot only this, but these tasks are now unfolding in a decidedly different context. Traditional adult milestones of leaving home, completing an education, landing a job, getting married, and having children are all happening at later ages. These changes, according to many psychologists and sociologists, have actually paved the way for a new phase of the lifespan. In 2000, psychologist Jeffrey Arnett posited a new stage—”emerging adulthood”—to describe the growing chasm between adolescence and the completion of these adult markers. The unprecedented freedom of this time is undoubtedly exciting for many, but the absence of clear social and developmental scripts also tends to foster anxiety for those who lack the mentoring so necessary during this time of transition.

Despite the critical importance of these tasks, resources for those working with collegians and young adults are hard to come by. Books related to Christian education and spiritual growth tend to focus on children and youth. Those books that do address this age group typically provide either academic research or practical ministry methods.

With this book, we are hoping to bridge this gap, providing a “practical theology” for college and young adult ministry that combines important scholarship, a Christian theological vision, and attentiveness to concrete application. We provide chapters on some of the most critical issues in emerging adulthood: spiritual formation, identity, church involvement, vocation, morality, relationships and sexuality, and mentoring. In each area, we describe present reality as a starting point for understanding the forces shaping the contemporary transition to adulthood. We also seek to interpret these conditions, specifying some of the key factors underlying these trends. Finally, turning to scripture, theology, and other academic disciplines, we provide Christian perspectives on these issues and delineate key postures and practices to facilitate formation in these areas.

In the end, we are hoping to offer a Christian formational vision for what it means to be formed “into adulthood” at this life stage. So we ask the following questions: What are the unique opportunities and challenges that emerging adulthood provides for the process of spiritual formation? How can emerging adults enter deeply into processes of formation that will serve as gateways to lives of growing faithfulness and conformity to the image of Christ? How can mentors shepherd emerging adults as they construct paths of meaning, purpose, and mission in these formative years?

As we addressed the various emerging adult issues, one thing that became quite clear was that the skewed perspectives adopted by many emerging adults in these areas are often the result of flawed pictures of adulthood reinforced by our culture (and, at times, by local churches as well). For example, some emerging adults see this stage as a self-absorbed search for freedom and self-fulfillment, with unbounded exploration. Finally removed from the strictures imposed by parents and authority figures, they are liberated to do what they please while avoiding the responsibilities that will come later in life. Others view adulthood as a search for self-sufficient independence. Rooted in a growing confidence in their abilities, this image embraces autonomy as the key to adult status, elevating the self-made individual as the model.

In the book, we hope to provide a third way. Christian spiritual formation in emerging adulthood cuts against the grain of self-absorption, pointing instead to a life of costly discipleship marked by personal and cultural investment. At the same time, such formation also cuts against the grain of the autonomous, self-sufficient adulthood that “stands on one’s own,” pointing instead to a life of humble dependence on God and interdependence with others. Such a life resists the childishness of self-absorption and the autonomy of self-sufficiency by seeking a posture of self-surrender, the adult capacity to give oneself away. The growing competence, identity, and responsibility of adulthood become places of wonder and gratitude for God’s provision, continued reliance on his grace, and loving stewardship of his gifts for others’ good and for his glory. We hope the book inspires and equips many as they embrace the joyful privilege of walking alongside emerging adults in this journey!


David P. SetranDavid P. Setran (PhD, Indiana University) is associate professor of Christian formation and ministry at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of The College “Y”: Student Religion in the Era of Secularization.

Chris A. KieslingChris A. Kiesling (PhD, Texas Tech University) is professor of human development and Christian discipleship at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and has served in campus ministry settings.

For more information on Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, click here.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – August 23, 2013

Through August 29, you can get 46% off the Baker Academic Biblical Studies Bundle from Logos Bible Software. This collection contains 85 volumes, which provide insight into the historical, cultural, social, religious, literary, and theological contexts of the Old and New Testaments.

Cover ArtAt NT Exegesis, Brian Renshaw reviewed the new Paideia commentary on James and Jude, by John Painter and David DeSilva.

“I would highly recommend this commentary to both students and pastors. Any student or pastor that is beginning their study in either one of these books would be well advised to read through this commentary at the start of their study to be able to adequately grasp the books as a whole.”

Phillip Long reviewed Jonathan Pennington’s Reading the Gospels Wisely, for Themelios.

Robert Cornwall reviewed God’s Good World, by Jonathan Wilson, at Ponderings on a Faith Journey.

Derek Melleby recommends Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.

James K.A. Smith, author of Imagining the Kingdom, was interviewed on the White Horse Inn blog Out of the Horse’s Mouth.

Dayton Hartman reviewed Classical Christian Doctrine, by Ronald Heine.