BA Books & Authors on the Web – May 6, 2016

Cover ArtMichael Allen and Scott Swain, as editors of Zondervan’s Common Places blog, interviewed James K. A. Smith about his Cultural Liturgies series.

“I’m not suggesting we need less thinking; my point is that we need more than thinking. And we need to think carefully about the limits of thought (I tried to tease this out in the opening of Imagining, with a hat tip to Proust). That’s not a paradox; that’s intellectual honesty.”

Defending Substitution by Simon Gathercole, and Galatians by Peter Oakes, appeared in the latest Regent’s Review.

On Up For Debate! Myron Bradley Penner, author of The End of Apologetics, discussed his arguments against apologetics with William Lane Craig.

Matthew Schlimm was interviewed at On Script about his recent book, This Strange and Sacred Scripture.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – May 22, 2015

Cover ArtNijay Gupta, at Crux Sola, reviewed Jeffrey Weima’s BECNT volume on 1-2 Thessalonians.

This is the most thoroughly-researched, soundly-argued evangelical academic commentary to date, and it will serve students and pastors well for a very long time. Weima has spent a lifetime researching these letters and there is hardly a soul in the world…who knows these letters and the history of their study better.

Paul Heintzman’s Leisure and Spirituality was reviewed by Andrew Spencer at Ethics & Culture, Conrade Yap at Panorama of a Book Saint, Casey Hough at The Renewed Church, and Nate Claiborne.

Fred G. Zaspel, at Books at a Glance, reviewed Defending Substitution by Simon Gathercole.

Defending Substitution is a text that will sharpen understanding of this vital doctrine. It is easily accessible for Christian readers generally, but it is a book pastors and teachers especially will read to great profit. When we preach that “Christ died for us! Christ died for our sins!” we desperately want to be clear. And for that clarity Gathercole has rendered a wonderful service to the church.

Defending Substitution was also reviewed by James at Thoughts, Prayers & Songs, and Simon Gathercole was interviewed on The Christian Humanist Podcast.

At An Accidental Blog, Steve Bishop reviewed the recent Paideia volume on Galatians by Peter Oakes.

The Washington Book Review reviewed Matthew Schlimm’s This Strange and Sacred Scripture.

The Brookside Institute recommended Encountering the New Testament by Walter Elwell and Robert Yarbrough, and The Drama of Scripture by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen.

Justin Taylor shared Albert Mohler’s recommended books list for Preaching Magazine, with Daniel Block’s For the Glory of God and Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott’s Handbook of Religion taking the top spots.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – April 17, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Walter Moberly’s Old Testament Theology was reviewed by Trent Butler (here) and Wilhelm Wessels (here).

This is a book that exudes so much knowledge about matters pertaining to the Hebrew Bible and wisdom about life that it should be read by academics, theologians, seminary teachers, and also ministers in the Christian tradition.

There were a number of reviews and reflections on Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker this week, including: The Heavy Laden Bookshelf, Relevant Magazine, Lutheran Confessions, Youth Front, and an interview at Premier Youthwork.

At Crux Sola, Nijay Gupta reviewed Peter Oakes’ new Paideia commentary on Galatians.

Let me say, as someone who has read every single word of this fine volume, that it is a “must-have.”

James, at Thoughts, Prayers & Songs, reviewed God’s Wider Presence by Robert Johnston.

Andrew McGowan’s Ancient Christian Worship was reviewed by Lee Jefferson at Marginalia and by Larry Hurtado.

Reading the Historical Books by Patricia Dutcher- Walls was reviewed at Conversation in Faith.

Books at a Glance shared an excerpt from D.A. Carson’s Praying with Paul.

James K. A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Relativism? and J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth made the sort list for this year’s Word Awards.

 

A Gospel Revealed by God – an Excerpt from Galatians

The following is an excerpt from the Paideia commentary on Galatians, by Peter Oakes.

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Having castigated the Galatians for turning away to another (unreal) gospel, Paul now begins the first major argument of the letter. It is conveyed by means of a narrative. He seeks to demonstrate that his gospel came not from a human source but directly from God.

As with his claim to divine authority in 1:1, Paul has an unstated advantage in his argument. The Galatians were converted through Paul’s gospel, so they are not going to dismiss it as fantasy. To them it is substantial and valuable. Paul’s opponents have presumably acknowledged its value to some extent, but then went on to present a further message, which they saw as carrying a higher authority than that of Paul, and which called for some modification to the behavior that the Galatians had learned from him.

Paul counters that his gospel came by revelation from God. It could not be trumped by a message backed by even the highest human authority. The passage begins with a disclosure formula, “I declare to you.” The information Paul gives this way in his letters tends to become the basis for persuading the hearers to some action or attitude (cf. 2 Cor. 1:8; Phil. 1:12). Galatians 1:11–12 also echoes verse 1.

Paul’s commission, and now his gospel message, are not from a human source but from God, through Christ. Verses 11–12 set the agenda. However, the outworking of the agenda has a rather unexpected shape. Instead of moving directly to recounting the revelation (1:16) and Paul’s lack of early contact with other Christian leaders (1:16–22), he spends time first on his life “in Judaism” and his persecution of the church (1:13–14). His change from persecutor to preacher is celebrated in 1:23–24.

This unexpected arrangement of the passage allows Paul to speak not only of the fact of the revelation but also of the degree of impact that the revelation had on him. This adds strength to his argument for the validity of the revelation.

©2015 by Peter Oakes. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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For more information on Galatians, click here.

New Release: Galatians

Cover ArtIn this volume, respected New Testament scholar Peter Oakes offers a translation and reading of Galatians as presenting a gospel of unity in diversity in Christ. He shows that Paul treats the Galatians’ possible abandonment of his gospel as putting at stake their fidelity to Christ.

As with other volumes in the Paideia series, this volume is conversant with contemporary scholarship, draws on ancient backgrounds, and attends to the theological nature of the text. Students, pastors, and other readers will appreciate the historical, literary, and theological insight offered in this practical commentary.

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“This excellent commentary sets Paul’s letter effectively within its historical context, finely illuminates the text while well illustrating and contributing to the range of discussion on the letter within contemporary scholarship.” – James D. G. Dunn, Durham University

“Peter Oakes has delivered the goods in his much-anticipated Galatians commentary. Despite the many difficult passages in Galatians, Oakes provides a judicious and magisterial treatment of the text.” – Michael F. Bird, Ridley College

“Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Paul’s social world, Peter Oakes here offers a fresh reading of Galatians that is historically secure, exegetically precise, and theologically relevant. Oakes masterfully filters the best of current scholarship in an accessible form, adding many original insights of his own.” – John M. G. Barclay, Durham University

“Oakes combines a deep grasp of the ancient social context, a close familiarity with the exegetical issues, and an insightful identification of contemporary theological questions that are impacted and provoked by this potent Pauline letter.” – Philip Esler, University of Gloucestershire

“In this eminently readable and erudite commentary, Peter Oakes guides the reader through the text and argument of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians with careful exegesis and theological sensitivity.” – Martinus C. de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Peter Oakes (DPhil, University of Oxford) is Greenwood Senior Lecturer in the New Testament at the University of Manchester in Manchester, England. He is the author of Reading Romans in Pompeii: Paul’s Letter at Ground Level and Philippians: From People to Letter, and has contributed to many books. He is also the editor of Rome in the Bible and the Early Church and the coeditor of Torah in the New Testament.

For more information on Galatians, click here.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – April 3, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Bálint Károly Zabán reviewed John Cook and Robert Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew.

On the whole, the kernel of the book is very well and carefully written but equally impressively designed. With its focus on especially pragmatics, the textbook delves into a subject sometimes avoided by other grammars—a joy to read, a joy to use, and a joy to teach from!

Also at RBL, Darian Lockett reviewed the Paideia commentary on James and Jude, written by John Painter and David A. deSilva.

CHOICEconnect reviewed Early Christianity in Contexts edited by William Tabbernee (here), as well as Handbook of Religion edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott (here).

Andy Naselli recommended Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek.

Daniel Block’s For the Glory of God was reviewed at Spoiled Milk.

Engaging the Christian Scriptures, by Andrew E. Arterbury, W. H. Bellinger Jr., and Derek S. Dodson, was reviewed at the Young Restless Reformed Blog.

At Network, Greg Sinclair reflected on religious diversity in light of Our Global Families by Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu.

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series was recommended by The Frederick Faith Debate.

At Euangelion, Michael Bird shared a quote from Peter Oakes’ Galatians commentary.

Nijay Gupta, at Crux Sola, interviewed Mikeal Parsons about his recent Paideia commentary on Luke.

At Comment Magazine, James K. A. Smith shared two work-in-progress excerpts from his forthcoming third volume in the Cultural Liturgies series, Beyond “Creation” and Natural Law and Rethinking the Secular, Redeeming Christendom.

 

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.