BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 19, 2015

Cover ArtAt First Things, Peter Leithart discussed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution.

“Gathercole finds a common theme running through alternatives to substitutionary conceptions of atonement: They emphasize the cosmic and oppressive power of Sin, but downplay the role of specific acts of sin—sins—in Paul’s theology.”

Justin Mihoc and Joshua Mann reviewed the second volume of Craig Keener’s commentary on Acts for RBL.

“[Acts: An Exegetical Commentary] has already become, and will certainly remain for a long time, a standard reference work in Acts studies. His encyclopedic opus is certainly to be praised and valued by scholars as the most extensive study of sociorhetorical exegesis of Acts.”

Johnny Walker, at Freedom in Orthodoxy, reviewed Matthew Levering’s Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation.

“Wonderful in its clarity and in its breadth of engagement with contemporary positions and proposals. His own account deserves a wide-hearing and will be something of a bench-mark I’m sure for Catholic account of the role of Church and Scripture in God’s self-witness to the world.”

Larry Hurtado reviewed Early Christianity in Contexts, edited by William Tabernee.

“For readers who might want to push out their own frontiers of knowledge of early Christianity, this book will be a gold mine.”

Also, Early Christianity in Contexts was reviewed by Peter Head at Evangelical Textual Criticism.

Herman Bavinck’s Essays on Religion, Science, and Society was reviewed by Dayton Hartman at For the Gospel.

The Bonhoeffer Center reviewed Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, by Stanley Porter, was reviewed at The Washington Book Review.

Peter Williamson, author of Ephesians and Revelation in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, was interviewed at Catholic Bibles.

Finally, congrats to J. Richard Middleton, whose A New Heaven and a New Earth won the Word Award for the category of Biblical Studies.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – May 29, 2015

Cover ArtByron Borger, at Hearts & Minds Books, featured Leisure and Spirituality by Paul Heintzman.

Thank goodness for the great “engaging culture” series from Baker Academic, and for this long-awaited, just released new volume….I think this book is nothing short of magisterial, and stands, at this point, as the definitive Christian book in the field. There is simply nothing like it on the market, and it should appeal to any number of readers.

James K.A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism was reviewed by Renea McKenzie at Thinking Through Christianly.

Thomas Schreiner reviewed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution for The Gospel Coalition.

We see the virtues of Gathercole’s scholarship in this stimulating work. Defending Substitution makes precise distinctions and carefully attends to Scripture. Gathercole’s use of primary sources is always illuminating, and his parallels to noble deaths in classical literature are particularly helpful.

CHOICEconnect reviewed The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, edited by Khaled Anatolios.

Allen Mickle, at Books at a Glance, reviewed Jeffrey Weima’s 1-2 Thessalonians BECNT volume.

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament is probably, in this reviewer’s opinion, one of the best series based upon the Greek text available. Baker released their newest, 1-2 Thessalonians by Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary) and it is a welcome addition.

The Gospel of John, by Francis Martin and William Wright, was reviewed by Will Duquette at Cry Wolf.

Jim Fowler reviewed Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell.

Chris Tilling is organizing a Syndicate symposium to discuss Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism, edited by Christopher Hays and Christopher Ansberry.

 

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.

 

Substitution in 1 Corinthians 15:3 – an Excerpt from Defending Substitution

The following is an excerpt from Defending Substitution, by Simon Gathercole.

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Thus far we have seen the standard model, the norm according to which a person dies for his or her own sin(s). Alongside that, however, is the “aberration” that departs from the rule, namely, that of the suffering servant who dies for the sins of others. This aberration is picked up in Paul. There are two stages in the logic here: (1) Jesus died because of the sins of others, and (2) because he has done that, he thereby saves others from the consequence of sin.

Cover ArtReturning to Isaiah 53 and its connection with Paul, we have already begun to note that 1 Corinthians 15:3 is so similar to Isaiah 53 in various ways that it is easy to see a continuity of ideas. Like the servant, Christ died for the sins of others. The point in 1 Corinthians 15:3 is not that the death of Jesus was historically or legally caused by the sins of others in the sense that they killed him through their persecution. Paul includes the Corinthians in the “our” here, and so any sense in which the formula may have contained, in a Jewish-Christian context, an acknowledgment of legal responsibility for the death of Jesus is now absent.

Jesus’s death is for Paul a theological consequence of sins rather than a straightforwardly historical one. By “theological” here I mean something that cannot be explained merely in terms of historical causation, for instance, Jesus dying as the result of the judicial verdicts of Herod, Pilate, and others. It is caused by others in another sense, however. Christ’s death for sins is theological because the divinely ordained consequence of sins is always death.

….Clearly the sins in question are not Christ’s own but those of others. As a result, his death is clearly one that comes through his standing in the place of others. This comes out again in the alternation of the third-person singular with the first-person plural: “he died for our sins.” The default Old Testament position would be “he died for his sins” or “we died for our sins.” The miracle of the gospel, however, is that he died for our sins.

In sum, the death that is the theological consequence of sins came to him in our place. And it is precisely in his death in consequence of our sins that he takes them in our place and thereby deals with them. “For sins,” then, means both as a result of sins and—therefore also—to deal with those sins. Because he has borne sins, we will not; because he has carried our sins and their theological consequence, we will not.

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

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For more information on Defending Substitution, click here.

New Release: Defending Substitution

Cover ArtIn recent decades, the church and academy have witnessed intense debates concerning the concept of substitutionary atonement. Many have taken issue with the concept, claiming that it promotes bloody violence, glorifies suffering and death, and inevitably amounts to divine child abuse. On the other hand, others have defended penal substitution, arguing that the concept plays a pivotal role in classical Christian doctrine.

In this volume, world-renowned New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole offers an exegetical and historical defense of the traditional substitutionary view of the atonement. Gathercole provides critical analyses of various interpretations of the atonement and places New Testament teaching in its Old Testament and Greco-Roman contexts, demonstrating that the interpretation of atonement in the Pauline corpus must include the concept of substitution.

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“Gathercole draws on a range of classical as well as biblical sources to argue that for Paul, at least, the notion of substitution remained central….This book will give new energy to the ongoing discussion.” – N. T. Wright, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

“By careful and lucid analysis of key passages, Simon Gathercole shows that this view has deep roots both in Paul’s texts and in his Jewish and Greco-Roman cultural heritage.” – Francis Watson, Durham University

“This is a work all those interested in the atonement will want to read and engage. It is certainly a book I shall be recommending to my students.” – Oliver Crisp, Fuller Theological Seminary

“These learned and lucid lectures use the prism of modern disputes to take us to the heart of Pauline teaching on the cross. I highly commend it.” – Mark Dever, Capitol Hill Baptist Church

“A model of scholarly clarity and sobriety.” – Stephen Westerholm, McMaster University

“I warmly recommend this revival of a classic argument…Here is an eminently accessible point of reference for future exegetical, theological, and, indeed, ecumenical engagement with St. Paul on the death of Christ.” – Markus Bockmuehl, Oxford

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Simon Gathercole (PhD, University of Durham) is senior lecturer in New Testament studies in the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge and Fellow and director of studies in theology at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. A leading British New Testament scholar, he has written hundreds of articles and several groundbreaking volumes, including The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; The Gospel of Judas: Rewriting Early Christianity; The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas; and The Gospel of Thomas: Introduction and Commentary. He is also coauthor of How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature–A Response.

For more information on Defending Substitution, click here.

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

Cover ArtDerek Rishmawy, at The Gospel Coalition, explains “Why You Should Read Bavinck.”

“Bavinck’s accomplishment in the Dogmatics is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The expansive, nuanced, and deeply trinitarian theological vision is both intellectually challenging and spiritually nourishing. I anticipate turning to these volumes regularly in the years to come.”

Reviews

Walter Moberly’s Old Testament Theology was reviewed at Euangelion.

Craig Blomberg reviewed A Peaceable Hope by David Neville, as well as The King in His Beauty by Thomas Schreiner, for the Denver Journal here and here.

Nate Claiborne reviewed Exploring Psychology and Christian Faith, by Paul Moes and Donald Tellinghuisen.

Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite was reviewed at CHOICE connect.

At Discovering the Mission of God, Ed reviewed Understanding Christian Mission by Scott Sunquist.

Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker was reviewed at Diglotting.

Michael Philliber, at Deus Misereatur, reviewed The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church, edited by Khaled Anatolios.

Best Of

As 2014 came to a close, quite a number of Baker Academic titles were featured in “Best of” posts.

Galatians and Christian Theology, edited by Mark Elliott, John Frederick, Scott Hafemann and N.T. Wright, was named as one of “The Top (Mockingbird) Theology Books of 2014.”

At Crux Sola, Nijay Gupta listed Chris Keith’s Jesus Against the Scribal Elite, Galatians and Christian Theology, Jeffrey Weima’s 1-2 Thessalonians, and Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth among the “Best New Testament Academic Books of 2014.”

Women in the World of the Earliest Christians by Lynn Cohick, Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society edited by Susan Holman, Scripture and Tradition by Edith Humphrey, The Economy of Desire by Daniel Bell, and Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich by Helen Rhee were all in Alvin Rapien’s “Top 10 Books of 2014.”

The Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2014” featured Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology, by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler, and A. J. Swoboda.

At Reformation 21, Michael Allen and Scott Swain’s Reformed Catholicity, Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution, Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan’s The Pastor as Public Theologian, and Richard Bauckham’s Gospel of Glory were noted as “New & Noteworthy Books in 2015.”

Elsewhere

Scot McKnight reflected on Alistair Stewart’s The Original Bishops in the post “Paul and the Economic Justice Vision of Jesus“, and Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth led to his discussion “Revolution in Eschatology Today?

Andrew McGowan, author of Ancient Christian Worship, wrote “Incarnation and Epiphany: How Christmas became a Christian Feast” for ABC Religion and Ethics.

 

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.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – September 12, 2014

Cover ArtFaith & Leadership featured Take it from Bonhoeffer — there is no ‘Christian youth’, from Andrew Root’s forthcoming Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

“To label the young ‘Christian youth,’ Bonhoeffer believes, is to make faith bound not in their humanity and the eschatological work of Christ, not in the wrestling of their being, but in this episodic time of ‘special privilege’ created by culture. Faith becomes a fashion, a particular, distinct period during which you are loyal to something before moving on to something else.

Your ‘Christian-ness’ is bound in your ‘youthfulness.’ Once youthfulness fades with age or new lifestyle commitments, so too can ‘Christian.’ ‘Christian’ was an adjective you used to describe your high school days. As you outgrow the privileged space (especially the youth group), as you outgrow your youth, you outgrow ‘Christian.’”

Also, I Read Too Much shared a pre-release review of Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

Jarvis Williams reviewed Douglas Moo’s Galatians BECNT volume for Books at a Glance.

Dennis Hamm, S.J, author of the Philippians, Colossians, Philemon volume in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (CCSS), was interviewed by the Center for Catholic Thought.

Daniel Keating’s CCSS volume on First and Second Peter, Jude was reviewed at RBL by Abson Joseph.

Antonius, at Stages of Prayer, reviewed the Acts of the Apostles volume of the CCSS, by William Kurz, SJ.

Adam Kurihara reflected on the mall and Apple in light of James K. A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

Nick Nowalk, at The Strange Triumph of the Lamb, shared a quote on holiness and mission from The Drama of Scripture, by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen.

At The Gospel Coalition, Gavin Ortlund interviewed Bryan Chapell, author of Christ-Centered Preaching.

Chris Woznicki, at Think Out Loud, is looking forward to forthcoming Baker Academic titles from Michael Allen and Scott Swain, Matthew Levering, Simon Gathercole, and Christopher Seitz.