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.

 

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 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.

 

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

Cover ArtJonathan Pennington’s Reading the Gospels Wisely was featured at The Pneuma Review.

Rarely do I read a book that ‘reads me’ so well. I highly recommend this text, especially for those who have been fed a cold diet of higher-critical books and methods. We must develop a “posture” or “habitus” because, “Our goal in reading Scripture is not merely to understand what God is saying … but to stand under his Word” (137).

Byron Borger, at Hearts and Minds, recommended God’s Good World by Jonathan Wilson, God’s Wider Presence by Robert Johnston, and A New Heaven and a New Earth by J. Richard Middleton.

At First Things, John Wilson recommended Mark Noll’s From Every Tribe and Nation as a stand out book in 2014.

The 1-2 Thessalonians BECNT volume by Jeffrey Weima was reviewed at Diglotting.

Nate Claiborne reviewed Adonis Vidu’s Atonement, Law, and Justice.

At The Scriptorium Daily, Fred Sanders reflected on Khaled Anatolios’ discussion of philanthropia in Retrieving Nicaea.

 

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.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 16, 2015

Cover ArtByron Borger, at Hearts & Minds Books, named J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth as 2014’s Best Book Of Biblical Studies.

“What a book!…There is no doubt in my mind that this book is urgently needed — among evangelicals and mainline folks alike — to be fully clear about God’s promises of new creation, and how this vision of a restored Earth can animate and sustain our efforts for cultural reform now. Richard is an excellent Biblical scholar and has worked on this serious volume for years; the endorsements have been robust and exceptional, and early readers report it is nearly life-changing.”

Also in his Best Books of 2014 post, Borger gave a double award (Best New Contribution to Bonhoeffer Studies and Best Youth Ministry Book) to Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker by Andrew Root, and an honorable mention to From Every Tribe and Nation by Mark Noll and Reading a Different Story by Susan VanZanten.

At The Hump of the Camel, Jon Garvey reviewed A New Heaven and a New Earth.

RJS continued to discuss Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth in the post “The End of the World” at Jesus Creed.

J. Richard Middleton wrote “God’s Bringing Creation to Its Glorious Destiny” for The High Calling.

Chris Woznicki reviewed Reformed Catholicity, by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

At First Things, Peter Leithart reflected on the discussion of Reinhold Hutter in Reformed Catholicity.

Reformed Catholicity was listed in The Aquila Report’s New & Noteworthy Books in 2015.

At Panorama of a Book Saint, Conrade Yap reviewed Effective Intercultural Communication by A. Scott Moreau, Evvy Hay Campbell, and Susan Greener.

Christopher Skinner, at Crux Sola, reviewed Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite.

Daniel Gullotta reviewed Ancient Christian Worship by Andrew McGowan.

Elodie Ballantine Emig reviewed Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek for the Denver Journal.

At Theosblog, Lawrence Osborn reviewed Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler, and A. J. Swoboda.

At The Jesus Blog, Anthony LeDonne named Dale Allison’s Constructing Jesus as the best Jesus book of the 2010’s.

Robert Johnston, author of God’s Wider Presence, was interviewed in Tehelka Magazine.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – November 7, 2014

Cover ArtIn the latest issue of Biblotheca Sacra, Glenn Kreider reviewed James K.A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Relativism, which he “highly recommended,” and Kreider also reviewed Imagining the Kingdom.

“This is an excellent book, a profound theological evaluation of worship. It should be required reading for every pastor or minister, especially those who lead worship.”

Jacob Prahlow, at Pursuing Veritas, reviewed The Church According to Paul by James Thompson.

Hans Madueme, coeditor of Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin, was interviewed by Phillip Newman at Covenant College.

At KFUO, Andrew Root was interviewed about his new book Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

Brett David Potter, at The Other Journal, reflected on Bruce Ellis Benson’s Liturgy as a Way of Life.

At ἐνθύμησις, Jacob Cerone began a series on Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek.

At Euangelion, Michael Bird announced Simon Gathercole’s forthcoming Defending Substitution.

Byron Borger, at Hearts & Minds Books, is excited to read God’s Wider Presence by Robert Johnston.

C.S. Lewis and the “stab of Joy” – an Excerpt from God’s Wider Presence

The following is an excerpt from God’s Wider Presence, by Robert Johnston.

——–

Cover ArtAs Lewis continued through his teenage years, he became a conflicted atheist—that is, he maintained that God didn’t exist but confessed that he was angry at God because of that. There also continued those moments of ecstasy, that stab of Joy, when he was sick with desire, that sickness which was “better than health” (119).

Lewis relates how he steeped himself in Wagnerian music and in Norse and Celtic mythology—all things “Northern.” But though he added detail to detail, Joy could not be produced. His greedy impatience to snare it seemed to scare it away.

However, Lewis then happened upon the imaginative world of George MacDonald’s Phantastes. I quote him:

In one sense the new country was exactly like the old. I met there all that had
already charmed me in Malory, Spenser, Morris, and Yeats. But in another sense
all was changed. I did not yet know . . . the name of the new quality, the bright
shadow that rested on the travels of Anodos. I do now. It was Holiness. . . . It
was as though the voice which had called to me from the world’s end were now
speaking at my side. It was with me in the room, or in my body, or behind me. If
it had once eluded me by its distance, it now eluded me by proximity—something
too near to see, too plain to be understood, on this side of knowledge. (179–80)

This Joy, for Lewis, was inseparable from MacDonald’s story. And while his previous experiences of Joy had seemed totally detached from his “ordinary” life, this time Joy’s bright shadow came out of the book and into his real world, “transforming all common things and yet itself unchanged. Or more accurately, I saw the common things drawn into the bright shadow. . . . That night my imagination was, in a certain sense, baptized; the rest of me, not unnaturally, took longer” (181).

©2014 by Robert K. Johnston. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

——–

For more information on God’s Wider Presence, click here.

New Release: God’s Wider Presence

Cover ArtWhat are we to make of those occasional yet illuminating experiences of God’s presence that occur outside both church and Scripture? In God’s Wider Presence, senior theologian Robert Johnston explores how Christians should think theologically about God’s wider revelatory presence. The book offers a robust, constructive biblical theology of general revelation, rooting its insights in the broader Trinitarian work of the Spirit.

Drawing in part from the author’s theological engagement with film and the arts, the book helps Christians understand personal moments of experiencing God’s transcendence and accounts for revelatory experiences of those outside the believing community. It also shows how God’s revelatory presence can impact our interaction with nonbelievers and those of other faiths.

——–

“From one of the world’s leading scholars on theology and film comes something new and thought provoking: a lucid and insightful exploration of God’s wider Presence….Bringing together historical, biblical, and contemporary examples, this book provides a significant contribution to a wide range of discussions about discerning the divine throughout the world.” – Jolyon Mitchell, University of Edinburgh

“Robert Johnston’s reconsideration of general revelation moves the discussion light years beyond the sterile binaries–objective/subjective, propositional/experiential, salvific/damning, and the like–that have debilitated constructive thinking in this arena over the last hundred years….This is a new starting point for twenty-first-century theological reflection.” – Amos Yong, Fuller Theological Seminary

“[Johnston’s] argument for a more expansive understanding of revelation will get Christians of many traditions thinking and talking together in new ways: about the arts, about their cultural habits and the significance of those habits, and about their approach to other religious traditions. It deserves a wide readership.” – Clive Marsh, University of Leicester

——–

Robert K. Johnston (PhD, Duke University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he has taught for over twenty years. He is the coeditor of both the Engaging Culture and the Cultural Exegesis series and is the author or coauthor of several books, including Reel Spirituality, Reframing Theology and Film, and Finding God in the Movies.

For more information on God’s Wider Presence, click here.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – October 3, 2014

Cover ArtAt Books & Culture, Brett Beasley reviewed Robert Johnston’s forthcoming book God’s Wider Presence.

Johnston succeeds in carefully analyzing our transcendent experiences while preserving their unpredictability. He shows that, while we can usefully talk about God’s wider presence—we can muse over it like a scientist might muse over a Lichtenberg Figure created by a bolt of lightning—we can’t tame it; where and when it strikes will always surprise us.

At First Things, Peter Leithart reflected on Atonement, Law, and Justice by Adonis Vidu.

Chris Woznicki reviewed Atonement, Law, and Justice.

Eric Covington, at The Two Cities, reviewed Daniel Block’s For the Glory of God.

Also reviewing For the Glory of God were Michael Philliber at Deus Misereatur, and TheGuffmanSmoketh who shared this video review.

From Every Tribe and Nation, by Mark Noll, was recommended by Byron Borger at Hearts & Minds Books.

Aaron, at wrestlinginspiredfaith, reviewed Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker by Andrew Root.

David Haines reviewed Matthew Levering’s The Theology of Augustine.

At Grace for Sinners, Joshua Torrey reviewed The Original Bishops by Alistair C. Stewart.