BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 22, 2016

Cover ArtNorman Wirzba’s From Nature to Creation was reviewed at Theology Forum.

In From Nature to Creation, Wirzba invites the reader to develop “an imagination for the world as created, sustained, and daily loved by God” (3). Few Christians would argue that we ought not to have such an imagination — nearly all Christians confess such a belief. So, the problem is, then, living as if that is true.

In case you missed it, Gracy Olmstead reviewed From Nature to Creation for Christianity Today.

At Jesus Creed, RJS examined J. Richard Middleton’s discussion of judgment and apocalyptic literature in A New Heaven and a New Earth.

9Marks reviewed Defending Substitution, by Simon Gathercole.

The Pastor as Public Theologian, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan was featured in Hearts & Minds Bookstore’s Best Books of 2015 – Part One, and From Nature to Creation by Norman Wirzba was featured in Part Two.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – December 18, 2015

Cover ArtOur congratulations to Craig Keener, whose four volume Acts: An Exegetical Commentary won a Christianity Today 2016 Book Award in the Biblical Studies category. Craig spent many years bringing this set to completion, and it is gratifying to see that effort acknowledged.

Keener is a scholar with gifts that come along once every century, and here we see them employed in full force. Words like encyclopedic, magisterial, and epic come to mind when you examine 4,000 carefully argued pages on every aspect of the Book of Acts. Nothing like this has ever been done—and it’s doubtful that anything like it will be done for a long time. Keener has a grasp of the ancient world like few scholars anywhere, but he also has a heart for the church and its mission

Also, congrats to Alistair Stewart and R. W. L. Moberly, whose The Original Bishops and Old Testament Theology appeared on the Jesus Creed Books of the Year list.

At Euangelion, Michael Bird recommended Gospel of Glory by Richard Bauckham.

The Pastor as Public TheologianCover Art, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, won in the Ministry category of the TGC Editors’ Picks: Top Books of 2015.

“This book was a key factor this past year in renewing an important (and ongoing) conversation about the nature of the pastoral office. Vanhoozer and Strachan seek to restore the vision of the Reformers and their Puritan ancestors of the pastorate as an office primarily defined by theology. The pastor must not see himself fundamentally as a counselor or motivator, but as a man called to mediate the transcendent truth of God to the people of God so they might live all of life to the glory of God.”

Scott Sunquist’s The Unexpected Christian Century was reviewed by Robert Cornwall.

Aaron at AJ Cerda reviewed David Wilhite’s The Gospel According to Heretics.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – December 4, 2015

Cover ArtJustin Taylor, at Between Two Worlds, introduced Scott Sunquist’s The Unexpected Christian Century.

“The third great transformation took place in the twentieth century, a great reversal . . . .

It was certainly a reversal in that the majority of Christians—or the global center—moved from the North Atlantic to the Southern Hemisphere and Asia.

But it was also a reversal in that Christianity moved from being centered in Christian nations to being centered in non-Christian nations. Christendom, that remarkable condition of churches supporting states and states supporting Christianity, died. The idea of Christian privilege in society was all but killed. And yet the religion seemed stronger than ever at the end of the twentieth century.”

At Western Seminary’s Transformed blog, Tim Harmon reviewed Mapping Modern Theology, edited by Kelly Kapic and Bruce McCormack.

Andrew Spencer, at Ethics and Culture, reviewed David Wilhite’s The Gospel according to Heretics.

Cover ArtThe Pastor as Public Theologian, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, was reviewed at Books at a Glance.

“This is a volume that should be read by seminary faculty and administrators and used to shape their curriculum. It should find its way into the hands of many students at seminaries and Bible colleges…Finally, it should be read by pastors as a call to do the hard work of thinking theologically in order to equip the saints for the good works prepared in advance for them by God.”

Brian LePort recommended Dale Allison’s Constructing Jesus.

Thomas Schreiner summarized Magnifying God in Christ for Books at a Glance.

 

Why Pastor-Theologians Should Read Fiction

Cover ArtThe Gospel Coalition shared 4 Reasons Pastor-Theologians Should Read Fiction, from Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachen’s  The Pastor as Public Theologian.

“C. S. Lewis put it best when he spoke of the ‘enlargement of our being,’ observing: ‘In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself.’ Lewis raises a crucial point. It’s most important that pastor-theologians get ‘out’ of themselves and learn to see things from other points of view. To love others we’ve got to be able to put ourselves in their place.

The great poets and storytellers often write about universal themes: quests for happiness, tragic loss, love in all its permutations, and so forth. Flannery O’Connor’s short stories teach us to look for grace in unexpected places (e.g., in the grotesque). Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov contains one of the most insightful probings of the problem of evil.”

You can read the rest here.

Also of note, The Pastor as Public Theologian was a featured review at The Englewood Review of Books.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – November 6, 2015

Cover ArtNorman Wirzba, author of From Nature to Creation, was interviewed at Jesus Creed.

“How we name things determines how we are going to relate to them. I don’t treat a “weed” the same way as I treat a “flower” even though both are plants. If the world is a “store” we will position ourselves as consumers. If the world is God’s “creation,” and we appreciate what that name means, then we will have to position ourselves in unique ways.”

Also, From Nature to Creation was reviewed by Alvin Rapien at The Poor in Spirit.

Mike Penza shared his favorite quotes from The Pastor as Public Theologian, by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan.

Derek Rishmawy attended the recent Center for Pastor Theologians’ conference, and reflected on the messages of Baker Academic authors Peter Leithart, James K.A. Smith, and Kevin Vanhoozer.

Cover ArtKhaled Anatolios’ Retrieving Nicaea was reviewed at Marginalia.

“Along the way, as Anatolios directs, the reader proceeds beyond the coherence of Nicaea to its beauty and truth. In this refusal to separate doctrine and spirituality, action and reflection, Retrieving Nicaea provides a lasting contribution to both church and academy.”

Mike, at Brave Daily, reflected on the 10th anniversary of Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns, and the new updated edition.

Handbook of Religion, edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott, was reviewed at Sojourner Theology.

Cover ArtJames K.A. Smith was interviewed at The Living Church.

Could you briefly describe your own academic trilogy?
Desiring the Kingdom (2009) is an overview account of human beings as liturgical animals, so reading culture liturgically. Also, what would Christian education look like? Imagining the Kingdom (2013) covers how worship works. Awaiting the King (2017), its working title, will focus on political theology. If the body of Christ is the outpost of the city of God, how does that shape us for political engagement? How does it also relativize our tendency to partisan ideologies? I want to rewrite Augustine’s City of God for the 21st century. Augustine’s analysis of the Roman Empire is liturgical and so he’s looking at the rites of Rome.”

BA Books & Authors on the Web – October 30, 2015

Cover ArtAt Syndicate Theology you can read reflections on Jesus against the Scribal Elite from Dagmar Winter, Tobias Hägerland, Christopher Skinner, and Jason Lamoreaux, along with responses from Chris Keith.

“Chris Keith’s book, Jesus against the Scribal Elite, defends the claim that two factors are intimately related, namely a) Jesus’ status as an illiterate teacher and b) his conflict with scribal authorities. This is to say that conflict arose between Jesus and the scribal elite because of “how various groups within Second Temple Judaism would have perceived Jesus, a scribal-illiterate carpenter, upon his occasionally occupying the position of a scribal-literate authority” (155).”

Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution was reviewed by D. A. Carson at Reformation 21.

At Ponderings on a Faith Journey, Robert Cornwall reviewed From Nature to Creation by Norman Wirzba.

David Wilhite’s The Gospel according to Heretics was reviewed at Tabletalk Theology and recommended by Erik Raymond at The Gospel Coalition.

The Christian Humanist interviewed Kevin Vanhoozer about The Pastor as Public Theologian.

 

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 – September 25, 2015

Cover ArtThe Pastor as Public Theologian, By Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, was reviewed by Dave Jenkins at Servants of Grace.

“This is an excellent book, one that should be read by Bible college and seminary students preparing for ministry. This book would also be good for new pastors to read to learn more about the work they’ve been entrusted with. I highly recommend this book and believe it will help new and seasoned pastors to learn more about the important conversation that is occurring about pastor ministry and how it is a theological office.”

The Pastor as Public Theologian was also reviewed by Andrew Spencer at Ethics and Culture.

Matthew Schlimm’s This Strange and Sacred Scripture was reviewed at The Presbyterian Outlook.

Bob on Books reviewed Defending Substitution by Simon Gathercole.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – September 18, 2015

Cover ArtGuy Davies, at Exiled Preacher, reviewed The Pastor as Public Theologian by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan.

“I’d recommend that all aspiring and serving pastors give this book a thoughtful and prayerful read. If the pastor as public theologian is a lost vision, this well written and passionately argued book certainly makes a grand attempt at reclaiming it.

Anything that helps pastors to minister what is in Christ more effectively must be good for us, the people whom we have been called to serve, and the world that so desperately needs to hear the life-transforming message of the gospel.”

At Panorama of a Book Saint, Conrade Yap reviewed Matthew Schlimm’s This Strange and Sacred Scripture.

Cover ArtScot McKnight, at Jesus Creed, discussed Andrew McGowan’s treatment of the Eucharist in Ancient Christian Worship.

“Banquets, a common term for early Christian meals, were common: ‘Groups bound by kinship and by professional, social, religious, or ethnic ties celebrated such meals together to create and express their identity and their beliefs when need or opportunity for celebration arose.’”

Austin McCann reviewed Youth Ministry in the 21st Century, edited by Chap Clark.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – September 11, 2015

Cover ArtAt The Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor shared Kevin Vanhoozer’s 55 Theses on Pastors as Public Theologians from The Pastor as Public Theologian.

“Why does the church need pastor-theologians? What are pastor-theologians for? Our answer, in brief, is that pastor-theologians are gifts from the risen Christ, helps in building Christ’s church, especially by leading people to confess, comprehend, celebrate, communicate, commend to others, and conform themselves to what is in Christ.”

At The Jesus Blog, Anthony Le Donne recommended Jesus among Friends and Enemies, edited by Chris Keith and Larry Hurtado.

Cover ArtStanley Porter’s How We Got the New Testament was reviewed by Jacob Prahlow at Pursuing Veritas.

“Highly recommended to anyone interested in learning more about the history of the New Testament. Not only do the contents of this book offer valuable observations for those seeking to better understand the New Testament and early Christianity, but How We Got the New Testament also addresses penetrating issues at the heart of all Christian faith.”

Mike Boling, at Servants of Grace, reviewed Defending Substitution by Simon Gathercole.

Alvin Rapien, at The Poor in Spirit, reviewed Christian Scharen’s Fieldwork in Theology.

Fieldwork in Theology will hopefully influence many to rethink their approach to research, society, and individuals around them.”