BA Books & Authors on the Web – August 15, 2014

Cover ArtBruce Ellis Benson, author of Liturgy as a Way of Life, was interviewed by Alvin Rapien at The Poor in Spirit.

“What is liturgy? Probably the simplest way of answering that is that it all about how we live our lives. We have routines; we have ways of doing things; we have things that are essential to our lives. How we order our lives has to do with what we value. So, far from being just some kind of thing that “liturgical churches” do, liturgy is something that we cannot help but do on a daily basis.”

The Verbum Blog interviewed Mary Healy and Peter Williamson, editors of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series and authors of the volumes on The Gospel of Mark and Ephesians. Read part one and part two of their discussion.

Hoon Lee, at Exploring Church History, reviewed Timothy Wengert’s Reading the Bible with Martin Luther.

At Panorama of a Book Saint, Conrade Yap reviewed Encountering the Book of Romans by Douglas Moo.

Conversations in Faith reviewed Reading the Historical Books by Patricia Dutcher- Walls.

The Books & Culture Podcast discussed J. Richard Middleton’s forthcoming A New Heaven and a New Earth.

Thomas Schreiner’s The King in His Beauty was reviewed by David Maas for RBL.

Joshua Torrey, at Grace for Sinners, reviewed Clayton Jefford’s Reading the Apostolic Fathers.

Marc Cortez listed Practicing Christian Doctrine by Beth Felker Jones in his post The Best Theology Books from the First Half of 2014.

At Brief Inquisition? Michael Hansen reflected on James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

James Skillen, author of The Good of Politics was interviewed about the conflicts in Iraq, Gaza, and Ukraine by the Christian Courier.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – April 11, 2014

Cover ArtAt The Tentative Apologist, Randal Rauser interviewed Peter Enns about Scripture, inerrancy, and his book Inspiration and Incarnation.

“[T]here is no better guide in the process of re-examination than Peter Enns, Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University. Beginning with the publication of his book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, Professor Enns has emerged as a leading progressive evangelical voice, challenging conservative Christians everywhere to rethink what they’ve been taught about the Bible.”

Justin Taylor recommended the forthcoming Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin, edited by Hans Madueme and Michael Reeves.

Douglas Connelly, at The Englewood Review of Books, reviewed Timothy Wengert’s Reading the Bible with Martin Luther.

Nate Claiborne began to engage with Who’s Afraid of Relativism? by James K. A. Smith

Constance Cherry, author of The Special Service Worship Architect, was interviewed at The Threshing Floor.

Robin Jensen  was interviewed by Anglican Review with Michael Porter about her book Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity.

Byron Borger recommended James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

Larry Hurtado announced the release of Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite.

The Weakness of Scripture – an Excerpt from Reading the Bible with Martin Luther

The following is an excerpt from Reading the Bible with Martin Luther, by Timothy Wengert.


Cover ArtFor the most part, Philip Melanchthon, Luther’s right-hand man in Wittenberg, did not generally appreciate the oppositions inherent in the theology of the cross. He did not consider paradox a legitimate theological category and treated it instead as a rhetorical one. But in one respect, Melanchthon embraced this notion and developed what could be called an ecclesiology of the cross.

In the face of the powerful claims by his papal opponents to apostolic succession, greater numbers, and a bigger army, Melanchthon pointed to the weak first-century church, which included Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah, and the shepherds. Their witness was not a powerful word but a weak one, filled with cultural and social weaknesses, to be sure, but also pointing to weak believers in the crucified Christ. So, for Melanchthon and Luther, the church itself was hidden in weakness, visible only in its marks of Word, sacraments, and suffering.

The same weakness both Luther and Melanchthon celebrated in the church is also true for Scripture. It is a weak book from all external and internal signs, proclaiming a weak God coming in the dust—visibly hidden in weakness. And that very weakness is its strength, for that is the way God comes to us in this book: humble and lowly, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, not with lofty words of wisdom but in weakness and trembling.

©2013 by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


For more information on Reading the Bible with Martin Luther, click here.

New Release: Reading the Bible with Martin Luther, by Timothy Wengert

Cover ArtIn Reading the Bible with Martin Luther, prominent Reformation historian Timothy Wengert introduces the basic components of Luther’s theology of the Bible and examines his contributions to present-day biblical interpretation.

Wengert addresses key points of debate regarding Luther’s approach to the Bible that have often been misunderstood, including biblical authority, the distinction between law and gospel, the theology of the cross, and biblical ethics. He argues that Luther, when rightly understood, offers much wisdom to Christians searching for fresh approaches to the interpretation of Scripture.


“Wengert shows his mastery of Luther with this study of the Reformer’s biblical interpretation. Here we read Scripture with Luther and move beyond fundamentalistic and liberal perspectives. We encounter fresh approaches to authority, method, interpretation, and the practice of scriptural interpretation with Luther’s biblical ethics. This is a fine work, engaging basic issues and providing a rediscovery of insights that are poised to awaken the academy and the church.” – Donald K. McKim, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther

“Wengert’s remarkable skill as pastoral theologian and theologian for pastors is evident as he applies Luther’s insights on proclaiming the gospel to issues such as biblical authority, the domestication of texts by both fundamentalists and liberals, relating the Old Testament to the New, the ‘canon within the canon,’ the ‘New Perspective on Paul,’ biblical ethics, and the general modern penchant to try to understand rather than ‘stand under’ biblical texts….Required reading for preachers of all denominations!” – Carter Lindberg, Boston University School of Theology

“Martin Luther’s faith journey took him deep into the Scriptures, looking for God. Timothy Wengert lifts up Luther’s most essential discoveries in that search and offers them to scholars and seekers alike as a guide to reading the Bible. Ironically, the guide does not keep us from getting lost in the Bible but rather draws us deeper into the ‘foolishness’ and ‘weakness’ of Scripture, where we may well discover in faith the truth of who is seeking whom.” – Roy Riley, former bishop of the New Jersey Synod, ELCA

“Wengert’s exposition of Luther is passionate, practical, and provocative–a marvelous exercise in theological and historical spring-cleaning in which long-standing half-truths and caricatures about Luther are exposed and discarded…. In the context of today’s Protestant Christianity, Luther emerges as an iconoclast and a maverick, as well as a huge risk-taker and a pastoral presence likely to bring no easy comfort either to liberals or to conservatives. Not everyone will agree with every move Luther made, but everyone ought to ponder what Luther taught about reading the Bible and how he truly lived the Word of God not just on paper but throughout his own life and ministry.” – John L. Thompson, author of Reading the Bible with the Dead

“Wengert leads readers into Luther’s study and directs their reading of Scripture though Luther’s law/gospel hermeneutics, assessing from a specific, twenty-first-century North American perspective how the Reformer’s Christ-centered delivery of the biblical message functions. Wengert challenges contemporary students of the Bible to find its authority and message by letting the text master them rather than through their own attempt to master God’s Word.” – Robert Kolb, Concordia Seminary


Timothy J. Wengert (PhD, Duke University) is Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor, Reformation History, at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has authored or edited twenty books, including The Book of Concord (2000 translation, coedited with Robert Kolb). He received the Melanchthon Prize from the city of Bretten, Germany (Melanchthon’s birthplace), for contributions to the field of Reformation scholarship and has written over one hundred articles. He is also associate editor for the Lutheran Quarterly and has pastored churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

For more information on Reading the Bible with Martin Luther, click here.