BA Books & Authors on the Web – November 6, 2015

Cover ArtNorman Wirzba, author of From Nature to Creation, was interviewed at Jesus Creed.

“How we name things determines how we are going to relate to them. I don’t treat a “weed” the same way as I treat a “flower” even though both are plants. If the world is a “store” we will position ourselves as consumers. If the world is God’s “creation,” and we appreciate what that name means, then we will have to position ourselves in unique ways.”

Also, From Nature to Creation was reviewed by Alvin Rapien at The Poor in Spirit.

Mike Penza shared his favorite quotes from The Pastor as Public Theologian, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan.

Derek Rishmawy attended the recent Center for Pastor Theologians’ conference, and reflected on the messages of Baker Academic authors Peter Leithart, James K.A. Smith, and Kevin Vanhoozer.

Cover ArtKhaled Anatolios’ Retrieving Nicaea was reviewed at Marginalia.

“Along the way, as Anatolios directs, the reader proceeds beyond the coherence of Nicaea to its beauty and truth. In this refusal to separate doctrine and spirituality, action and reflection, Retrieving Nicaea provides a lasting contribution to both church and academy.”

Mike, at Brave Daily, reflected on the 10th anniversary of Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns, and the new updated edition.

Handbook of Religion, edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott, was reviewed at Sojourner Theology.

Cover ArtJames K.A. Smith was interviewed at The Living Church.

Could you briefly describe your own academic trilogy?
Desiring the Kingdom (2009) is an overview account of human beings as liturgical animals, so reading culture liturgically. Also, what would Christian education look like? Imagining the Kingdom (2013) covers how worship works. Awaiting the King (2017), its working title, will focus on political theology. If the body of Christ is the outpost of the city of God, how does that shape us for political engagement? How does it also relativize our tendency to partisan ideologies? I want to rewrite Augustine’s City of God for the 21st century. Augustine’s analysis of the Roman Empire is liturgical and so he’s looking at the rites of Rome.”

BA Books & Authors on the Web – May 29, 2015

Cover ArtByron Borger, at Hearts & Minds Books, featured Leisure and Spirituality by Paul Heintzman.

Thank goodness for the great “engaging culture” series from Baker Academic, and for this long-awaited, just released new volume….I think this book is nothing short of magisterial, and stands, at this point, as the definitive Christian book in the field. There is simply nothing like it on the market, and it should appeal to any number of readers.

James K.A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism was reviewed by Renea McKenzie at Thinking Through Christianly.

Thomas Schreiner reviewed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution for The Gospel Coalition.

We see the virtues of Gathercole’s scholarship in this stimulating work. Defending Substitution makes precise distinctions and carefully attends to Scripture. Gathercole’s use of primary sources is always illuminating, and his parallels to noble deaths in classical literature are particularly helpful.

CHOICEconnect reviewed The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, edited by Khaled Anatolios.

Allen Mickle, at Books at a Glance, reviewed Jeffrey Weima’s 1-2 Thessalonians BECNT volume.

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament is probably, in this reviewer’s opinion, one of the best series based upon the Greek text available. Baker released their newest, 1-2 Thessalonians by Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary) and it is a welcome addition.

The Gospel of John, by Francis Martin and William Wright, was reviewed by Will Duquette at Cry Wolf.

Jim Fowler reviewed Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell.

Chris Tilling is organizing a Syndicate symposium to discuss Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism, edited by Christopher Hays and Christopher Ansberry.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – March 13, 2015

Cover ArtJonathan Pennington’s Reading the Gospels Wisely was featured at The Pneuma Review.

Rarely do I read a book that ‘reads me’ so well. I highly recommend this text, especially for those who have been fed a cold diet of higher-critical books and methods. We must develop a “posture” or “habitus” because, “Our goal in reading Scripture is not merely to understand what God is saying … but to stand under his Word” (137).

Byron Borger, at Hearts and Minds, recommended God’s Good World by Jonathan Wilson, God’s Wider Presence by Robert Johnston, and A New Heaven and a New Earth by J. Richard Middleton.

At First Things, John Wilson recommended Mark Noll’s From Every Tribe and Nation as a stand out book in 2014.

The 1-2 Thessalonians BECNT volume by Jeffrey Weima was reviewed at Diglotting.

Nate Claiborne reviewed Adonis Vidu’s Atonement, Law, and Justice.

At The Scriptorium Daily, Fred Sanders reflected on Khaled Anatolios’ discussion of philanthropia in Retrieving Nicaea.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 9, 2015

Cover ArtDerek Rishmawy, at The Gospel Coalition, explains “Why You Should Read Bavinck.”

“Bavinck’s accomplishment in the Dogmatics is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The expansive, nuanced, and deeply trinitarian theological vision is both intellectually challenging and spiritually nourishing. I anticipate turning to these volumes regularly in the years to come.”

Reviews

Walter Moberly’s Old Testament Theology was reviewed at Euangelion.

Craig Blomberg reviewed A Peaceable Hope by David Neville, as well as The King in His Beauty by Thomas Schreiner, for the Denver Journal here and here.

Nate Claiborne reviewed Exploring Psychology and Christian Faith, by Paul Moes and Donald Tellinghuisen.

Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite was reviewed at CHOICE connect.

At Discovering the Mission of God, Ed reviewed Understanding Christian Mission by Scott Sunquist.

Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker was reviewed at Diglotting.

Michael Philliber, at Deus Misereatur, reviewed The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, edited by Khaled Anatolios.

Best Of

As 2014 came to a close, quite a number of Baker Academic titles were featured in “Best of” posts.

Galatians and Christian Theology, edited by Mark Elliott, John Frederick, Scott Hafemann and N.T. Wright, was named as one of “The Top (Mockingbird) Theology Books of 2014.”

At Crux Sola, Nijay Gupta listed Chris Keith’s Jesus Against the Scribal Elite, Galatians and Christian Theology, Jeffrey Weima’s 1-2 Thessalonians, and Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth among the “Best New Testament Academic Books of 2014.”

Women in the World of the Earliest Christians by Lynn Cohick, Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society edited by Susan Holman, Scripture and Tradition by Edith Humphrey, The Economy of Desire by Daniel Bell, and Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich by Helen Rhee were all in Alvin Rapien’s “Top 10 Books of 2014.”

The Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2014” featured Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology, by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler, and A. J. Swoboda.

At Reformation 21, Michael Allen and Scott Swain’s Reformed Catholicity, Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution, Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan’s The Pastor as Public Theologian, and Richard Bauckham’s Gospel of Glory were noted as “New & Noteworthy Books in 2015.”

Elsewhere

Scot McKnight reflected on Alistair Stewart’s The Original Bishops in the post “Paul and the Economic Justice Vision of Jesus“, and Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth led to his discussion “Revolution in Eschatology Today?

Andrew McGowan, author of Ancient Christian Worship, wrote “Incarnation and Epiphany: How Christmas became a Christian Feast” for ABC Religion and Ethics.

 

Eucharist and Trinity – an Excerpt from The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church

The following is an excerpt from The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, edited by Khaled Anatolios.

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Cover Art

As we, from the vantage point of contemporary eucharistic theology, look back to what was happening from Jesus’s apparent practice of open table fellowship up to the theologically nuanced eucharistic prayers that were taking shape by the beginning of the fifth century, we become aware of an extraordinary theological development.

The earliest eucharistic prayers in Didache 9 and 10 were, by later standards, not only prechristological but also, to a large extent, binitarian rather than trinitarian. To the extent that we can conclude anything from meager historical evidence, this situation apparently lasted until well into the third century, when Origen became the first to point out the specific role of the Holy Spirit in the unfolding of the eucharistic event.

In sum, the historical evidence suggests not only an apparent wide diversity of eucharistic practice and praying but also the absence of any original form of the epiclesis.

However, by the end of the fourth century—when the earlier practice of relatively extemporaneous eucharistic praying had been replaced by the recitation of carefully crafted “set” eucharistic prayers, in which, in contrast to apparent pre-Nicene practice, Jesus’s words of institution also now held a central place.

….The Eucharist was an ecclesial event. Its purpose was, as became increasingly clear (and as Augustine later put it), the transformation of the participants into the ecclesial body of Christ.

The transformation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, seen as the means and ground of this transformation of the participants, while expressed with varying degrees of explicitness in various of these prayers, was not an issue that had to be argued about. The Eucharist itself was not a battleground.

This held true at least until the end of the fifth century, when Pope St. Gelasius felt free to assume what was basically a theory of eucharistic consubstantiation in his fight against the (for him much more threatening) Monophysite denial of the two natures of Christ.

©2014 by Khaled Anatolios. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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For more information on The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, click here.

New Release: The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church

Cover ArtIn this volume, a noted theologian brings together an ecumenical roster of leading scholars to explore trinitarian faith as it is concretely experienced in the life of the church.

Drawing upon and fostering renewed interest in trinitarian theology, the contributors–including Brian E. Daley, John Behr, and Kathleen McVey–clarify the centrality of trinitarian doctrine in salvation, worship, and life.

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“This book brings together an all-star cast of theologians to explain the role of the Holy Trinity in the life of the church. It also represents the very best of Eastern Orthodox ecumenism. No one interested in the doctrine of the Trinity can afford to overlook this work.” – George Hunsinger, Princeton Theological Seminary

“Anatolios has gathered an excellent array of scholars to explore various contours of this most profound mystery of the Christian faith. And they start where they should, with Christian liturgy, for it is out of the experience of worship–of baptism, of meditation on the Scriptures, of Eucharist–that the trinitarian faith of Christians is rooted, is experienced, is savored.” – William Harmless, SJ, Creighton University

“For those seeking to answer the question of how our life in the church and the world grows out of our faith in the Trinity, this book–written by scholars who have listened carefully to those in the early church who were most concerned to make this connection–provides food for deep thought and reflection. It is a pleasure to recommend it.” – Donald Fairbairn, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“Convinced that ressourcement opens the path to a revitalized trinitarian theology, the authors trace the connections between liturgy, Scripture, theology, and spirituality in patristic literature, offering fresh readings of major figures, in the face of which conventional truisms fall away..” – William P. Loewe, Catholic University of America

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Khaled Anatolios (PhD, Boston College) is professor of historical theology in the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He is the author of Retrieving Nicaea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine, Athanasius: The Coherence of His Thought, and the Athanasius volume in Routledge’s Early Church Fathers series. Anatolios was named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2011-2012. He is also on the steering committee of the Boston Colloquy in Historical Theology and on the board of directors of the Pappas Patristic Institute at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

For more information on The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, click here.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – December 8, 2014

Cover ArtAt The Christian Century, Greg Carey reviewed Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite.

“Keith writes with the charm of an excellent classroom teacher: always clear, occasionally hip, and sometimes a little geeky. Any reader who has completed a basic curriculum in the Gospels will enjoy this book, while professional scholars will recognize immediately that Keith is a primary contributor to academic debates. He has earned a reputation as an influential emerging voice in historical Jesus research and an expert on ancient literacy.”

Also reviewing Jesus against the Scribal Elite was Brian LePort.

John Piper reviewed Mark Noll’s From Every Tribe and Nation.

At Reformedish, Derek Rishmawy reviewed Atonement, Law, and Justice by Adonis Vidu.

George P. Wood reviewed Rediscovering an Evangelical Heritage by Donald Dayton with Douglas Strong.

Conrade Yap, at Panorama of a Book Saint, reviewed The Church according to Paul by James Thompson.

At First Things, Peter Leithart reflected on The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, edited by Khaled Anatolios.

The Englewood Review of Books recommended Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth.

At the Bible Gateway Blog, Jonathan Petersen interviewed David Bauer about his book (together with the late Dr. Robert Traina), Inductive Bible Study.

Mark Kiessling, at the LCMS Leader Blog, interviewed Andrew Root and discussed his new book, Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

 

Baker Academic Library: The Doctrine of the Trinity

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, abridged, p. 230:

For the Christian church. the doctrine of the Trinity was the dogma and hence the mystery par excellence. The essence of Christianity–the absolute self-revleation of God in the person of Christ and the absolute self-communication of God in the Holy Spirit–could only be maintained, the church believed, if it was grounded int he ontological Trinity. To defend Scripture’s teaching, the church found it necessary to use language that went beyond Scripture, a practice condemned by Arians and their post-Reformation and modern counterparts but always defended by Christian theology. Christian theological reflection on Scripture has every right to move freely beyond the exact language of Scripture to draw warranted inferences from it. These two are authoritative. In fact, theological reflection on Scripture is not even possible without the freedom to use extrabiblical terminology. Their use is not designed to introduce new–extrabiblical or antibiblical–dogmas but, on the contrary, to defend the truth of Scripture against all heresy. They exercise a primarily negative function, marking the boundary lines within which Christian thought must proceed in order to preserve the truth of revelation.

Steven Boyer and Christopher Hall, The Mystery of God, p. 121:

God is not just tri-personal; he is expansively, creatively tri-personal. The triunity of God is something taht unfolds and opens out, not something that curves in and closes down on itself. God’s intrinsic relational completeness, the unimaginable eternal intimacy between the Father and the Son in the Spirit, does not exclude other relations; it is instead the ground of other relations. The unquenchable divine joy that makes creation unnecessary also makes creation possible in the first place, for the love of Father, Son, and Spirit is in no way threatened or imperiled by flowing out beyond itself into a created world. […] God is love, and creation itself is a wholly free outpouring of that love, in generous, gratuitous, open-handed bounty, a bounty that is infinitely hospitable not because it needs us but simply because it is itself.

Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed., pp. 366-67:

Although we cannot fully see how these two contrasting conceptions [oneness of God; threeness of God] relate to each other, theologians are not the only ones who must retain two polarities as they function. In order to account for the phenomena of light, physicists have to hold both that it is waves and taht it is quanta, little bundles of energy as it were, yet logically it cannot be both. As one physicist put it: “On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we think of light as waves; on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, we think of it as particles of energy.” Presumably, on Sundays physicists do not concern themselves with the nature of light. One cannot explain a mystery, but can only acknowledge its presence.

Khaled Anatolios, Retrieving Nicaea, pp. 6-7:

The use of analogies has been pervasive in the history of Christian reflection on the divine Trinity. But, going beyond skirmishes over which analogy is most adequate, one has to question the whole approach in which analogies become the primary location of trinitarian meaning. When the meaning of trinitarian doctrine is located principally in some particular creaturely analogue, it becomes separable from other aspects of the Christian mystery. Instead of trinitarian meaning being embedded in the whole nexus of Christian faith, it tends to be reduced to the features of the analogue itself. One can after all espouse “relationality” or wonder at the mind’s differentiated unity in the acts of knowing and willing without actually confessing and worshiping the Triune god as Father, Son, and Spirit. In that case, one could capture the meaning of trinitarian doctrine without ever subscribing to Christian faith. At the very least, the doctrine of the Trinity is then in danger of becoming simply another item in the list of Christian beliefs. Thus a Christian would be someone who believes that God created the world from nothing, that Jesus arose from the dead, and that God is in some way like a shamrock leaf (or human consciousness, or human relationships). Surely Rahner is right: the meaning of trinitarian doctrine must have a more intrinsic connection to the structure and texture of the whole of Christian life and faith.