BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 12, 2015

Cover ArtBrian Walsh, at Empire Remixed, reviewed J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth, and used James K. A. Smith’s Imagining the Kingdom to work out how Middleton’s reimagining of eschatology might reshape Christian practice.

For Smith, the most foundational concrete practice is worship. The true story will only shape our perception of the world and transform our character if we learn it “by heart,” at “a gut level.”…And here we see the most powerful contribution of A New Heaven and a New Earth. In this exercise in biblical theology, Richard has powerfully, comprehensively and convincingly opened up the normative shape of the Christian story.

Mike Kibbe, at For Christ and His Kingdom, reviewed The World of the New Testament, edited by Joel Green and Lee McDonald.

Also, The World of the New Testament was reviewed John J. Pilch by and Kathleen E. Mills at RBL.

The World of the New Testament is a comprehensive resource for understanding the various contexts of the New Testament writings, especially for those who may be less familiar with the context of the New Testament. Particularly noteworthy is the breadth of subject matter covered and the annotated bibliography at the end of each essay.

The forthcoming Using and Enjoying Biblical Greek, by Rodney Whitacre, was highlighted by Matthew Montonini at New Testament Perspectives.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – February 20, 2015

Cover ArtIntroducing Evangelical Ecotheology, by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler, and A. J. Swoboda, was reviewed on Odd Is The New Normal.

What this book does, in its amazing depth of research, is gather together thousands of years of theology and tradition into a single place…You can tell that this book was coauthored by teachers (good teachers) in their ability to organize and present such complicated material in a manner that is approachable and enlightening.

Bob on Books reviewed Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation by Matthew Levering.

Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu, co-authors of Our Global Families, wrote a guest post for A. J. Jacobs’ Global Family Reunion.

At Transpositions, Brett Speakman reviewed Jonathan Wilson’s God’s Good World.

Jordan Hillebert, at Reformation 21, reviewed Atonement, Law and Justice by Adonis Vidu.

At Pursuing Veritas, Jacob Prahlow reviewed Thomas O’Loughlin’s The Didache.

Asbury Journal reviewed The Story of Jesus in History and Faith by Lee Martin McDonald, Understanding Christian Mission by Scott Sunquist, Christian Philosophy by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen, Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory by Markus Bockmuehl, and The End of Apologetics by Myron Penner.

At Solidarity Hall, John Medaille wrote Pop Culture and Total War, a reflection on Daniel Bell’s The Economy of Desire.

Andrew Root, author of Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker, was interviewed on Dr. Bill Maier Live.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – September 5, 2014

Cover ArtDaniel Block, author of For the Glory of God, was interviewed about recovering a biblical theology of worship on the Janet Mefferd Show.

At Freedom in Orthodoxy, Johnny Walker reviewed War and the American Difference by Stanley Hauerwas.

Zambian Economist reflected on Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Journey toward Justice.

James Pate, at James’ Ramblings, reviewed Caryn Reeder’s The Enemy in the Household.

Joey Cochran shared a quote from Clayton Croy’s Prima Scriptura.

The Deeper Waters Podcast discussed the formation of the canon with Lee McDonald, author of The Biblical Canon and The Canon Debate.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 20, 2014

Cover ArtAt RBL, John J. Pilch reviewed The World of the New Testament, edited by Joel Green and Lee McDonald.

“This is an excellent resource that in general succeeds in its aim to provide information about the cultural, social, and political contexts of the New Testament. Though the perspective is intentionally and explicitly evangelical, the contributors present the complexity of their particular issues frankly and honestly.”

In World Magazine, Makoto Fujimura recommended Daniel Siedell’s God in the Gallery, and David Greusel recommended The Space Between by Eric Jacobsen.

Kirk Miller shared a quote about the right and wrong ways to use a commentary, from Tremper Longman’s Old Testament Commentary Survey.

Darrell Bock, author of Jesus According to Scripture, was interviewed by Books at a Glance.

Markus Bockmuehl, author of Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory, has been appointed as the Dean Ireland’s Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture at Keble College, Oxford.

A number of Baker Publishing titles were proclaimed winners of the 2014 Word Awards, including:


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:

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BA Books & Authors on the Web – November 8, 2013

Cover ArtThis month’s Christianity Today cover article “How Lewis Lit the Way to Better Apologetics” is taken from Michael Ward’s essay in Imaginative Apologetics.

“Lewis’s conversion was sparked (humanly speaking) by a long nighttime conversation with J. R. R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. They were discussing Christianity, metaphor, and myth. In a letter to Arthur Greeves (dated October 18, 1931), Lewis recounted the conversation. It is clear that questions of meaning—that is to say, of imagination—were at the heart of it.

At that point, Lewis’s problem with Christianity was fundamentally imaginative. ‘What has been holding me back . . . has not been so much a difficulty in believing as a difficulty in knowing what the doctrine meant,’ he told Greeves. Tolkien and Dyson showed him that Christian doctrines are not the main thing about Christianity. Instead, doctrines are translations of what God has expressed in ‘a language more adequate: namely the actual incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection’ of Christ.”

Jonathan Watson at the Logos Academic Blog interviewed Michael Allen, author of Justification and the Gospel.

Larry Hurtado briefly reviewed Craig Keener’s first two volumes on Acts.

Don Garlington reviewed Warren Carter’s Seven Events That Shaped the New Testament World, for RBL.

At Near Emmaus, Brain LePort reviewed The World of the New Testament, edited by Joel Green and Lee McDonald.

Byron Borger reviewed Journey toward Justice by Nicholas Wolterstorff, for the Hearts & Minds blog.

At For Christ and His Kingdom, Jordan Barrett reviewed Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology, 3rd edition.

Amanda MacInnis recommended The Suffering and Victorious Christ, by Richard Mouw and Douglas Sweeney.

Trent Nicholson reviewed Why Study History?, by John Fea.

Also, John Fea wrote an article titled “Here’s why we’re losing our democratic soul” for PennLive.

Brian at Right Lane Reflections reviewed Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith.

At NT Exegesis, Brian Renshaw reviewed the Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters, edited by Marion Ann Taylor and Agnes Choi.

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:



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BA Books & Authors on the Web – October 18, 2013

Cover ArtAt Credo Magazine, Lucas Bradburn reviewed The King in His Beauty by Thomas Schreiner.

“When it comes to a book claiming to be a biblical theology, what could be more of a commendation than saying that it helped me understand the theology of the Bible better? Not only this, but The King in His Beauty also gave me a glimpse of what the future holds for all those who place their trust in Jesus Christ— a glorious encounter with the majesty of the King of kings and Lord of lords.”

M. Miller at Academics reviewed Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony Siegrist, and Daniel Umbel.

Carl Raschke, author of GloboChrist and The Next Reformation, asked “Was Paul Really a Political Theologian?” at The Other Journal.

At Words on the Word, Abram K-J shared the post “Highlights in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT (Stein, Jobes, Köstenberger).” reviewed The Story of Jesus in History and Faith, by Lee McDonald.

At Christianity Today, Brett McCracken listed Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A Smith as one of the Top 5 Influences on his new book, Gray Matters.


eBook Specials

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

History and the Historical Jesus – an Excerpt from The Story of Jesus in History and Faith

The following is an excerpt from The Story of Jesus in History and Faith, by Lee McDonald


Cover ArtModern historical assumptions present a significant challenge to biblical perspectives. Jürgen Moltmann agrees as he concludes: “In face of the positivistic and mechanistic definition of the nature of history as a self-contained system of cause and effect, the assertion of a raising of Jesus by God appears as a myth concerning a supernatural incursion which is contradicted by all our experience of the world.” When viewed from the perspective of modern historical assumptions, miraculous events are regularly classified as myth or legend, but not reality.

Contemporary theologians must determine whether there are limitations in modern historical methodology and whether there are real events of the past that are simply not discernible through this methodology. Those who confess that Jesus has been raised from the dead, the quintessential affirmation of the Christian faith, must wrestle with the complexity of the relationship between history and faith. The Gospel writers, and indeed all New Testament writers, were interested in the story of Jesus, in what he did or said, and they also acknowledged that Jesus cannot be understood apart from the Easter faith that they proclaimed.

The resurrection of Jesus is the presupposition for Jesus becoming the object of Christian preaching. Long ago, George Ladd aptly addressed the problem:

“The critical historian, as historian, cannot talk about God and his acts in the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Parousia; for although such events occur within the history of our world, they have to do not merely with the history of men, but with God in history; and for the historian as historian, the subject matter of history . . . is man. Therefore the historical-critical method has self-imposed limitations which render it incompetent to interpret redemptive history.”

The New Testament writers affirm God’s activity in history and supremely in his activity in the story of Jesus’ life and fate. There is a theological as well as historical way to understand and appropriate that activity today, and I will return to this topic at the end of this volume, but for now, we will ask about ways that biblical scholarship in modern times describes the distinction between “the historical Jesus” and “the Christ of faith.”

©2013 by Lee Martin McDonald. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


For more information on The Story of Jesus in History and Faith, click here.

New Release: The Story of Jesus in History and Faith, by Lee McDonald

Cover ArtMany books are available on the historical Jesus, but few address issues that are critically central to Christian faith—namely, Jesus as resurrected Lord, Christ, and Son of God. This comprehensive introduction to the study of the historical Jesus brings together two critically important dimensions of the story of Jesus: what we can know about him in his historical context and what we can responsibly claim about his significance for faith today.

In, The Story of Jesus in History and Faith, leading New Testament scholar Lee McDonald examines key aspects of the story of Jesus, from his birth to his resurrection, and introduces the central issues and approaches in the study of the historical Jesus. He also considers issues of faith, taking account of theological perspectives that secular historiography cannot address.


“Lee Martin McDonald writes with skill, insight, and spiritual energy….This book is highly recommended for classes and all who find Jesus’ story riveting and compelling.” — James H. Charlesworth, Princeton Theological Seminary

“[P]erhaps the best technical survey of Jesus research now in print. It is at once exhaustively thorough, painstakingly fair, and enormously readable. This is simply a great book that will serve scholars and students alike.” — Gary Burge, Wheaton College and Graduate School

“Careful reading of this book will profit believers and skeptics alike. I am pleased to recommend it.” — Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College

“[A] wide-ranging compendium of useful information on the study of the historical Jesus, including an account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that engages the major critical issues…..This is vintage McDonald.” — Stanley E. Porter, McMaster Divinity College

“McDonald has picked up the gauntlet thrown down by David F. Strauss in the nineteenth century, effectively challenging his two dichotomies: that the Jesus of history must be divorced from the Christ of faith, and that the historicity of the Fourth Gospel is decimated by that of the Synoptics.” — Paul N. Anderson, George Fox University

“McDonald surveys the broad range of issues and sources in historical Jesus research in a way that is irenic toward all sides. Rather than pursuing a partisan line he writes as an independent observer and yet with sensitivity to the scholars with whom he disagrees.” — Craig Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary


Lee Martin McDonald (PhD, University of Edinburgh), before his retirement, was professor of New Testament studies and president of Acadia Divinity College. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Biblical Canon, and coeditor of The Canon Debate (with James Sanders), and The World of the New Testament (with Joel Green). He lives in Mesa, Arizona.

For more information on The Story of Jesus in History and Faith, click here.