Archives For Scripture

 

Enter to win a copy of this fascinating new book!

 
We’re giving away THREE copies of:

Paul: A Biography
N.T. Wright

Hardback: HarperOne.
Giveaway copies provided by the publisher… 
 
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Who Are You Talking To, Greg?

A Review of

The Genius of One:
God’s Answer for Our Fractured World
Greg Holder

Paperback: NavPress, 2017

Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Fred Redekop
 
 

Greg Holder is the pastor of the Crossing, a large multi-site church in St.Louis, Missouri. He was first on the Elder team there and has now been the pastor for 20 years. He preaches in jeans and seems to be a very engaging speaker at the church. The church website says:

Greg challenges us to consider pertinent historical and linguistic details in Scripture, without missing an opportunity to weave in humor and personal stories. He brings ancient truths of Scripture to light in fresh ways, while calling those from an unlikely mix of spiritual backgrounds to love as they have been loved.

Holder has written some children’s Bible story books, a book (along with Chris Seay and Rick McKinley) on bringing simplicity back to Christmas called the Advent Conspiracy, and most recently a book titled The Genius of One: God’s Answer for Our Fractured World, which I had the pleasure of reviewing. Holder’s style is concise and readable. As the title says, the book is about bringing the church together, to work with Christ as a unified body of believers. Holder writes, “Loving those who in these uncertain times, we must — and here’s the point of the book — love one another too”(x).  So, the premise of Holder’s book is quite simple.

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A Delightful Journey
into the Scriptural Story
 
A Review of 

Scripture and Its Interpretation:
A Global, Ecumenical Introduction to the Bible

Michael Gorman, Ed.

Hardback: Baker Academic, 2017.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Chuck Sackett
 
 
In the introduction, Gorman identifies the limits imposed on a volume with such a broad subtitle. He readily admits that this work will be an overview at best. But, he also indicates something of his dream for the book at the end of the introduction when he uses the analogy of a library. He acknowledges that Scripture, like a library, may raise questions, invite you into a new world, and proposes interpretative approaches you’ve not considered. He concludes, “We hope to point you in the direction of some of these interesting questions, answers, and perspectives” (xxii).
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Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

    

Church in Ordinary Time: A Wisdom Ecclesiology

Amy Plantinga Pauw

Eerdmans
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An Obsession With Gaining
and Keeping Power

A Review of 

The Beginning of Politics:
Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel.
Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes.

Hardback: Princeton UP, 2017.
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Reviewed by James Honig

 

My Sunday School memories of the David stories are full of heroics. David, the cheeky adolescent who slew a giant.  David, the brilliant warrior who pillaged the pagan Philistines. David, the great King who made God’s people into a great power. David the poet who wrote so many of the psalms, giving testimony to his strong and reliable faith.

In seminary, while David was still an icon of godly leadership, his dalliance with Bathsheba was also used as a cautionary tale for would-be pastors “not to get yourselves in trouble.” I still remember the lessons from David’s life and leadership that Eugene Peterson extracted from the pages of First and Second Samuel in Leap Over a Wall. In all of it, David was lifted up as a godly man after whom one could model one’s life.

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Who is the Holy Spirit?
 
A Review of

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit: God’s Perfecting Presence in Creation, Redemption, and Everyday Life
Michael Horton

 
Hardback: Zondervan, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Alicia Brummleler
 
 
Recently, while discussing the final paper for her senior Faith and Culture class, my daughter posed a question that I think many Christians have wondered at different points. Mom, what is the role of the Holy Spirit?

Often, there is an ease and comfort with which we discuss the role and attributes of the Father and the Son. But when we mention the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves, well, pausing and perhaps struggling to find the right words to describe who he is. As Michael Horton, the author of Rediscovering the Holy Spirit: God’s Perfecting Presence in the Creation, Redemption, and Everyday Life (Zondervan, 2017) aptly acknowledges, “Who exactly is the mysterious third person of the Trinity? Why does he seem to posses less reality or at least fewer descriptive features than the Father and the Son?” (13).

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Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

   

The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary

Jonathan Pennington

Baker Academic
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Jesus, Messiah of the Poor

 

A Feature Review of

Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor
Liz Theoharis

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  

 

Reviewed by Joseph Johnson

 

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared in his famous speech “A Time to Break Silence” that, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” I think these words, challenging as they are, express the conviction that undergirds the efforts of Liz Theoharis in her timely new book, Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor. Her contention is that Matthew 26:11, one of the most influential passages on poverty in Scripture, has often been twisted out of context in order to give red-lettered justification for viewing poverty as inevitable and pitting Jesus in opposition to the poor (13, 97). In her eyes, these conclusions have obviously damaging consequences.

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The Surprising Nature of Scripture.
 
A Review of

Preaching the Luminous Word: Biblical Sermons and Homiletical Essays
Ellen Davis 

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]

 

Reviewed by Joseph Johnson
 

This Book was Featured as one of 
Our Best Books of 2016

 
Near the beginning of Preaching the Luminous Word, Ellen F. Davis describes herself as “an exegete who teaches Old Testament and preaches, in that order” (xxiv). I’m grateful for that. It means the sermons gathered together in these pages are born out of a love for exegesis and attentive theological study, and it allows her to open up the unendingly rich and surprising world of Scripture in ways that invite her hearers and readers to slow down and linger with the text. Though her main academic background is in the Old Testament, Davis’s sermons in this volume reflect her engagement over the years with both the Old and New Testaments, delivered on a variety of occasions and in the midst of the seasonal rhythms of the Church’s liturgical calendar.

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Radner-Ephraim

Ephraim Radner’s new book, Time and the Word: Figural Reading of the Christian Scriptures,

explores the theological foundations of figural interpretation, the hermeneutic that was practiced by Christians from the earliest days of the church through the early modern period. Figural interpretation was replaced by the historical critical method that we use today, and contemporary Christians tend to look down on figural reading as an interpretive method that finds things in the text that aren’t actually there. But Radner argues that this attitude doesn’t do justice to the depth of figural reading, and he makes a compelling argument for the recovery of this ancient practice. Radner, who is a professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto, is known for work that is both rich and fresh, and this book is no exception.

Time and the Word: Figural Reading of the Christian Scriptures
Ephraim Radner

Hardback: Eerdmans, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]
 
 
Interview by Erin Zoutendam
 
 
ERB: Let’s start with what might be the hardest question. How would you define figural interpretation for people who have never heard of it before?

ER: That’s a good question, and you’re right—it is a hard question. The first thing to be said is that figural interpretation is something that the church has always done. It’s not a matter of inventing a method; it’s a matter of identifying a way that the Bible has been read and continues to be read by lots of different people. The Bible is God’s book that describes the world, the world as it actually is—not just the world as it was.

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