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

Cover ArtAt Reformedish, Derek Rishmawy discussed the virtue of charitable reading in light of George Hunsinger’s Reading Barth with Charity.

“Principles of moral interpretation such as that of charity have become all the more pressing to adopt and practice as our internet age has pressed even more of our communication to be textually-mediated. We are constantly reading, interpreting, and engaging with the texts of other authors, other citizens of language like ourselves. If we fail to practice charity in interpretation, one of our most socially and morally formative practices, it can’t help but bleed out into other areas of our thought and life.”

The Pastor as Public Theologian, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, was reviewed at AJ Cerda.

Ian Panth, at Pop Christ, continued his review of Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns.

James K.A. Smith – author of numerous books, including Imagining the Kingdom, Who’s Afraid of Relativism? , and the forthcoming You are What You Love from Brazos Press – will be speaking at the Desiring the Kingdom conference and the Center for Pastor Theologians.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – August 21, 2015

Cover ArtAt The Englewood Review of Books, Ben Simpson reviewed Leisure and Spirituality by Paul Heintzman.

“While Heintzman’s work focuses on leisure, he presents his research against the backdrop of work as it is understood within the current milieu, creating a relief. In this respect, Heintzman is like the sages of Issachar (1 Chron. 12:32) a person who knows and understands the times, offering the church knowledge that can equip us to live faithfully as disciples of Jesus.”

James, at Thoughts, Prayers, & Songs, reviewed Harold Netland’s Christianity and Religious Diversity.

At RBL, Judith Lieu reviewed The Original Bishops by Alistair Stewart.

“In this closely argued and exegetically analytical study, Alistair C. Stewart (who, publishing as Stewart-Sykes, has an impressive record as a patristic scholar) presents a vigorous rebuttal of what he describes as the “consensus” position concerning the origin of the threefold order of episkopoi (bishops), presbyters (elders), and deacons.”

George Hunsinger’s Reading Barth with Charity was reviewed at Diglotting.

Also at Diglotting, a review of 2 Corinthians by George Guthrie.

Tony Reinke shared an excerpt from The Pastor as Public Theologian, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan.


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

Cover ArtAt The Jesus Blog, Chris Keith shared two recent reviews of his Jesus against the Scribal Elite as well as the latest news about a symposium interacting with his book.

“Keith begins with the sources as they are, and explains the conflicting memories regarding Jesus’ scribal literacy from the fact that a scribal-illiterate member of the manual-labour class presumed to function as an authoritative teacher. Keith argues persuasively that this in itself would have been sufficient to lead to all sorts of questions and conclusions about his scribal-literacy and authority, and to bring him into direct conflict with the scribal elite.”

Lindsay Kennedy, at My Digital Seminary, reviewed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution.

At Thoughts, Prayers & Songs, James reviewed Reading Barth with Charity by George Hunsinger.

“An important scholarly book for clarifying Barth’s theology. No doubt the revisionists named by Hunsinger will make a response which will further the debate.”

Matthew Schlimm’s This Strange and Sacred Scripture was reviewed at Brave Daily.


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 8, 2015

Cover ArtAt Jesus Creed, RJS discusses Israel’s election in light of Walter Moberly’s Old Testament Theology.

Moberly reflects on this election of Israel by God and the sense of wonder and devotion to God that it should bring to the people. God’s election of Israel reflects his love of Israel and this is an end in itself. “It is justified in the way that love is justified – and love is its own justification. … Fundamentally, however, love transcends rationalizations.”

Justin Taylor, at The Gospel Coalition, shared quotes on Apocalyptic Literature and What It Says that We Gather from James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

At Lonely Vocations, Matthew Forrest Lowe reviewed A New Heaven and a New Earth by J. Richard Middleton.

James, at Thoughts, Prayers & Songs, reviewed Matthew Schlimm’s This Strange and Sacred Scripture.

Galatians and Christian Theology, edited by Mark Elliott, Scott Hafemann, N. T. Wright, and John Frederick, was reviewed at Intelmin Apologetics.

CHOICE connect reviewed Robert Johnston’s God’s Wider Presence.

Conrade Yap, at Panorama of a Book Saint, reviewed Praying with Paul by D.A. Carson.

Chris Woznicki shared a quote on Trinity and Election from George Hunsinger’s Reading Barth with Charity.

Andrew McGowan, author of Ancient Christian Worship, was interviewed on the Aqueduct Project’s GOD Talks podcast.


Jesus Christ the Electing God – an Excerpt from Reading Barth with Charity

The following is an excerpt from Reading Barth with Charity, by George Hunsinger.


Cover ArtA major reason why Barth insists that Jesus Christ is the Subject of election is that he wants to rectify a problem in the tradition. He wants to overcome the view—found in virtually all medieval and Reformation sources—that posits Jesus Christ as merely the object of election.

For Barth, Jesus Christ is not merely its object nor can he be relegated (as with Calvin) merely to the “executive” branch. As the second “person” of the Trinity, the eternal Son (in union with Jesus of Nazareth) belongs (with the Father and the Holy Spirit) to the “legislative” branch in God’s pretemporal decision of election.

“In [Jesus Christ],” writes Barth, “we have to do not merely with elected man but with the electing God” (II/2, 108). Jesus Christ is the electing God and the elected man in one. “The name of Jesus Christ has within itself the double reference: the One called by this name is both very God and very man. Thus the simplest form of the dogma may be divided at once into the two assertions that Jesus Christ is the electing God, and that he is also elected man” (II/2, 103). In the mystery of his one divine-human reality, Jesus Christ is the Subject of election as God and the object of election as man.

Barth enters an important clarification:

We have laid down and developed two statements concerning the election of Jesus Christ. The first is that Jesus Christ is the electing God. This statement answers the question of the Subject of the eternal election of grace. And the second is that Jesus Christ is elected man. This statement answers the question of the object of the eternal election of grace. Strictly speaking, the whole dogma of predestination is contained in these two statements. (II/2, 145)

Jesus Christ is the Subject of election in an internally differentiated way. He is its Subject not only as God but also as man, but first and primarily as God. “As we have to do with Jesus Christ,” writes Barth, “we have to do with the electing God” (II/2, 54). Or again, “Jesus Christ . . . in his own person is himself the God who freely elects and then acts towards the creature, the One behind and above whom there is no other God and no other election. . . . Christ is the electing God” (II/2, 68).

The tradition was right to see that the man Jesus is the object of election but wrong to forget that by virtue of the hypostatic union he is also and primarily the electing God.

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


For more information on Reading Barth with Charity, click here.

New Release: Reading Barth with Charity

Cover ArtKarl Barth and his legacy have dominated theology circles for over a decade. In Reading Barth with Charity George Hunsinger, a world-renowned expert on Barth’s theology, makes an authoritative contribution to the debate concerning Barth’s trinitarian theology and doctrine of election.

Hunsinger challenges a popular form of Barth interpretation pertaining to the Trinity, demonstrating that there is no major break in Barth’s thought between the earlier and the later Barth of the Church Dogmatics. Hunsinger also discusses important issues in trinitarian theology and Christology that extend beyond the contemporary Barth debates. This major statement will be valued by professors and students of systematic theology, scholars, and readers of Barth.


“George Hunsinger has mastered the rare art of combining passion with clarity, and polemics with charity….I would not be surprised if it turned out to be a modern classic.” – Joe Mangina, University of Toronto

“A spirited, rigorous, and comprehensive presentation of the traditionalist tenet that Barth considered God’s antecedent trinitarian perfection to be the ground for the divine acts of creation and election.” – Khaled Anatolios, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

“A major contribution to Barth studies, and at the same time a rigorous, lucid introduction to Barth’s theology for nonspecialists.” – Martha Moore-Keish, Columbia Theological Seminary

“An authoritative and accessible guide to the disputed questions of Barth’s theology, especially his doctrine of the Trinity and election and his account of divine action. Highly recommended!” – Paul L. Gavrilyuk, University of St. Thomas

“Hunsinger presents a careful and deliberate analysis of Barth’s Church Dogmatics and stresses that for Barth, God is the one who loves in freedom. Hunsinger argues convincingly that God’s relation to the world stands in correspondence to and is a repetition of God’s Trinity.” – Christiane Tietz, , University of Zurich


George Hunsinger (PhD, Yale University) is Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of two critically acclaimed works on Barth’s theology–Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth and How to Read Karl Barth: The Shape of His Theology–and author of the much-discussed The Eucharist and Ecumenism. Hunsinger served as director of the Princeton Theological Seminary’s Center for Barth Studies from 1997 to 2001 and has been president of the Karl Barth Society of North America since 2003. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he was a major contributor to the new Presbyterian catechism.

For more information on Reading Barth with Charity, click here.

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

Cover ArtAt First Things, Phillip Cary reviewed Reading Barth with Charity by George Hunsinger.

Like all great theologians, Barth stands under the judgment of the tradition, even as he inspires us to new thinking within it. By his resolute insistence on knowing God only in the Word of Christ, Barth reinvigorates a distinctively Protestant witness within the tradition, which those who love orthodoxy would be ill advised to ignore.

Paul Adams, at ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, shared part one and part two of his review of J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth.

At Exegetical.Tools, Warren Campbell reviewed Galatians and Christian Theology, edited by Mark Elliot, Scott Hafemann, N. T. Wright, and John Frederick.

James, at Thoughts, Prayers, and Songs, reviewed Bryan Litfin’s Early Christian Martyr Stories.

Allen Mickle reviewed Praying with Paul by D. A. Carson.

Micha Bales reflected on sustainability and ecological catastrophe in light of Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler, and A.J. Swoboda.

Timothy George interviewed Mark Noll about his new memoir, From Every Tribe and Nation.

Richard Hess, co-editor of Ancient Israel’s History, wrote How to Judge Evidence for the Exodus for Mosaic Magazine.

At Bible History Daily, Andrew McGowan, author of Ancient Christian Worship, asked if Jesus was truly a radical and inclusive host.