BA Books & Authors on the Web – July 15, 2016

Cover ArtJ. Gordon McConville’s forthcoming Being Human in God’s World recently received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. They called it “scholarly, accessible, and beautifully written,” and “a work of literature to be savored.”

The Patient Ferment of the Early Church, by Alan Kreider, was featured at the Mennonite World Review.

Nijay Gupta, at Crux Sola, reviewed Francis Watson’s The Fourfold Gospel.

Reformed Catholicity, by Michael Allen and Scott Swain, was discussed at Exploring Church History.

Western Seminary’s Transformed blog reviewed Gospel of Glory by Richard Bauckham.

Benjamin Gladd and Matthew Harmon, authors of Making All Things New, were interviewed at Books at a Glance.

Patrick Gray’s Paul as a Problem in History and Culture was reviewed at Exploring Church History.

Craig Keener was interviewed by The Aqueduct Project about his book Miracles and the credibility of the New Testament accounts.

Interpretation: Right Reception – an Excerpt from Christian Dogmatics

The following is an excerpt from Kevin Vanhoozer’s chapter “Holy Scripture” in Christian Dogmatics, edited by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

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The interpretation of the Bible—the way readers receive and act in response to it—is also part of the domain of God’s Word. To be sure, it is possible to read the Bible “like any other book,” yet Scripture, unlike every other book, is a set-apart (i.e., holy) vehicle of triune discourse and therefore requires special treatment: “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).

Cover ArtWe cannot describe what it is to read Scripture rightly as if human agents were able to understand triune discourse simply through the employment of their natural abilities. Readers are sinners who “by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom. 1:18).

Readers too are, therefore, part of the economy of triune discourse (what God says to someone). The Creator of heaven and earth does not speak futilely into the air but effectively into human hearts and minds. The reader’s role in the economy is not to author Scripture or to confer authority on it but rather to receive and revere it as the Word of Christ, giving thanks for it with others in the church and letting it dwell in the core of their being in order gradually to conform them to Christ, its subject matter.

The goal of interpretation is to create right-minded and right-hearted readers who will rejoice in the truth, not least by willingly participating in it. The reader’s place in the economy of communication is to perform or live out the reality held out by the biblical text: fellowship with God or, in a word, communion.

©2016 by Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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For more information on Christian Dogmatics, 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.

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 – May 15, 2015

Cover ArtScott Swain was interviewed at Logos Reformed about his recent book with Michael Allen, Reformed Catholicity.

Protestants tend to be leery of church confessions, especially when it comes to biblical interpretation, and to believe that the individual’s private judgment about the interpretation of the biblical text is the final court of appeal for theology.

We believe the modern approach to sola scriptura rests upon an unbiblical anthropology and an unbiblical ecclesiology and thus seek to relocate sola Scriptura within the context of a more biblical understanding of humanity and the church.

Also, Michael at Philomythois reflected on the distinction between Sola Scriptura and Solo Scriptura in light of Reformed Catholicity.

Austin Reed, at Reformed Forum, reviewed George Hunsinger’s Reading Barth with Charity.

Pheme Perkins’ First Corinthians volume in the Paideia series was reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III for RBL.

Publishers Weekly took note of James Thompson’s The Church According to Paul receiving the 2015 Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy, as well as the forthcoming release of The Gospel According to Heretics by David Wilhite.

At ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, Paul D. Adams discussed The Lure of Buddhism and Harold Netland‘s Christianity and Religious Diversity.

J. Richard Middleton, author of A New Heaven and a New Earth, took part in a discussion on Creation, Violence, and the God of the Old Testament, hosted by the Westminster Theological Centre.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – May 1, 2015

Cover ArtThe Church according to Paul by James Thompson received the 2015 Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy.

We were in unanimous agreement that it is a great resource for working pastors. It is superlative of the best work coming out of biblical studies, because it is not written simply for the academy’s ivory tower but for the sake of the church.

Dave Hershey reviewed James K.A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Relativism?

Jennifer Guo reviewed Reformed Catholicity by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

Spencer Robinson, at Spoiled Milks, reviewed Frank Thielman’s BECNT volume on Ephesians.

Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek and John Dobson’s Learn New Testament Greek were recommended at Credo Magazine.

Stephen Hildebrand’s Basil of Caesarea was reviewed by Blair Smith at Reformation 21.

Gloria Furman, at The Gospel Coalition, is reading The King in His Beauty by Tom Schreiner, Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper, and A New Testament Biblical Theology by G. K. Beale.

D. A. Carson was interviewed on Point of View about his new book Praying with Paul, which Point of View also reviewed.

Rob Johnston, author of God’s Wider Presence, was invited to give a series of lectures on faith and culture at Dallas Theological Seminary. You can find the videos here.

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 – March 27, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Catrin H. Williams reviewed Francis Moloney’s Love in the Gospel of John.

Moloney not only argues convincingly for the pervasiveness of the love theme within John’s narrative, but he demonstrates the crucial importance of this theme for understanding the Gospel’s message about the relationship between God, Jesus and believers. Those interested in John’s theology will, as a result, gain much from reading this valuable study.

Also at RBL, Stephen J. Andrews reviewed The Character of Christian Scripture by Christopher Seitz.

Daniel Block’s For the Glory of God and Doug Moo’s BECNT volume on Galatians were both named as finalists in Bible Reference category of the 2015 Christian Book Awards.

Todd Scacewater, at Exegetical.Tools, reviewed Reading Koine Greek by Rodney Decker.

At Panorama of a Book Saint, Conrade Yap reviewed Created for Community, by Stanley Grenz and Jay Smith.

Michael Philliber reviewed First, Second, and Third John by George Parsenios.

Response magazine featured an article by Jeffrey Overstreet about A Compact Guide to the Whole Bible, by Robert Wall and David Nienhuis.

Two articles, In Defense of Proof-Texting by Brandon Smith and Catholic and Always Reforming at Glimpses Elsewhere, engaged with Reformed Catholicity by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

Access Evangelical Covenant Church is hosting a book launch party for Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu’s Our Global Families.

 

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

Cover ArtAndrew McGowan’s Ancient Christian Worship was reviewed by Jacob Prahlow at Pursuing Veritas.

McGowan superbly introduces the first centuries of Christian worship and does so in a relatively comprehensive and easy-to-engage manner. Ancient Christian Worship thus comes highly recommended to anyone studying early Christianity or Christian worship, and will be beneficial for anyone wanting an introduction to early Christian faith and practice more broadly. This truly is a masterful work and one that I look forward to engaging for many years to come.

Ancient Christian Worship was also reviewed by Early Christian Archives and CHOICE connect.

Michael Allen and Scott Swain discussed Reformed Catholicity at the Reformed Forum.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of Journey toward Justice, was interviewed by Ken Wytsma.

At Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight reflected on Matthew Levering’s Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation, and how tradition shapes our reading of Scripture.

D. A. Carson’s Praying with Paul was reviewed by Michael Cooper at Servants of Grace, and recommended by Andy Naselli.

Preaching Magazine named For the Glory of God by Daniel Block, and Handbook of Religion edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland and Gerald McDermott, among “The Year’s Best Books for Preachers.”

Peter Enns announced the forthcoming 10th Anniversary Edition of Inspiration and Incarnation.

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

Cover ArtThe Englewood Review of Books reviewed From Every Tribe and Nation by Mark Noll.

Noll’s memoir of discovery calls our attention to the infinitely larger story of global Christianity. May it inspire us to appreciate and share God’s heart for his people whom he is gathering to himself from every tribe and nation.

At Crux Sola, Nijay Gupta reviewed Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek, and reflected on evangelism and community in light of James Thompson’s The Church According to Paul.

Reformed Catholicity, by Michael Allen and Scott Swain, was reviewed by Mark Gignilliat at Reformation 21, and by Patrick Schreiner at Ad Fontes.

Library Journal reviewed Charles Farhadian’s forthcoming Introducing World Religions, and Handbook of Religion, edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott.

Jeffrey Weima’s BECNT volume on 1-2 Thessalonians was reviewed at the Young Restless Reformed Blog.

At Blogging Theologically, Aaron Armstrong reflected on the first volume of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics.

Conrade Yap, at Panorama of a Book Saint, reviewed Mark Noll’s From Every Tribe and Nation.

Shelby Etheridge reviewed Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker for The Presbyterian Outlook.

At The Living Church, George Sumner reviewed Understanding Christian Mission by Scott Sunquist.

Drew Trotter reviewed Robert Johnston’s God’s Wider Presence for the Consortium of Christian Study Centers.

A Farewell with Thanks from the Church and Postmodern Culture blog.

Daniel Block, author of For the Glory of God, recently gave a lecture on worship at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.