Archives For Theology

 

This is a running list of the books that ERB editor Chris Smith has reviewed this year.

It will regularly be updated.

Some reviews linked here are snippets / adaptations of longer reviews that have appeared in the print ERB magazine or other publications…

 

TOP 3 BOOKS (SO FAR)

   

 
 


REVIEWED

(Starting with the most recent)

Feb. 22

Race & Place

David Leong

5 STARS

Review: 
How Racism Saturates the
Structures of our Daily Lives

 
Continue Reading…

 

Excoriating Christendom
—and Suffering for it

 
A Feature Review of
 

Kierkegaard: A Single Life 
Stephen Backhouse

Hardback: Zondervan, 2016.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by James Dekker
 
 

In an entry of less than 300 words, the then peerless Encylopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, calls young Søren Aaby[e] Kierkegaard “delicate, precocious and morbid in temperament” (vol. 15, 788). One hundred five years later, I am sure that Kiekegaard maven Stephen Backhouse would agree, probably extending Britannica’s estimation to the maverick philosopher’s entire life.

Dying after a series of seizures in 1855 at age 42, Søren—as Backhouse calls him throughout this concise, yet full biography—was not merely precocious, but enormously productive and often acerbic in in his writing. As well, he was beset with intractable paradoxes that both attracted and repelled friends, family and colleagues. During his life he reaped few accolades and much scorn for his relentless, often slashing criticism of leading Danish literati (among them Denmark’s hitherto untouchable Hans Christian Andersen) academics, political theorists and state church leaders. After being ignored by his family pastor and erstwhile mentor, Bishop Jakob Peter Mynster, Kierkegaard added him to his phalanxes of targets. Calling Mynster a “poisonous plant . . . a colossus,” he concluded, “Great strength was required to topple him, and the person who did it also had to pay for it” (148).

Continue Reading…

 

Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( C.S. Lewis, Kyle Strobel/Jamin Goggin, Trees, MORE )

 

99 Classics available
as 99c Audiobooks!

 
Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

  

#1:
The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It

Kyle Strobel / Jamin Goggin

*** $2.99 ***

 *** BRAND NEW book!
(released this week)

Continue Reading…

 

Gentile_da_Fabriano_052

Tomorrow, January 28 is the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas…

 

In honor of the occasion, we offer an introduction to his most important work, the Summa Theologica,

This introduction was written by D.J. Kennedy, O.P. and appeared in his 1919 book, St. Thomas Aquinas and Medieval Philosophy [ Download the book in full from Google Books ]

Complete, Unabridged Kindle Edition
of the Summa Theologica for 99c!

[ BACKGROUND ]   [ OVERVIEW ]   [  ASSESSMENT ]

 
 

Background of the Book

A Summa Theologica is, broadly speaking, a compendium, summary, or manual of theology. There is not in the English language an exact equivalent of the Latin word Summa as it was used by medieval writers. Perhaps the words “Complete Manual” would best convey to people using our language the idea which was in the minds of those who invented the Latin term. We always think of a compendium, or summary, as of a book or Excerpta, in which many things are omitted, some of these being either necessary or important. In a Summa there must be no such omissions. Things may be left out which properly would find a place only in a compete elucidation and development of a subject considered in all its aspects; but the Summa must contain a statement, explanation and proof of all that is necessary for the comprehension of the subject as a whole and in all its essential parts. Some latitude is allowed in the choice of divisions, arguments and illustrations. Summae composed by different men treating the same subject may not be similar in all respects. In all cases, however, the doctrine must be complete, briefly stated, sufficiently proved, illustrated and defended. Many such books were composed in the Middle Ages, some dealing with history, some with philosophy, some with theology or kindred subjects, the best known and most important of these being the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas (see Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. Summae).

Continue Reading…

 

Rublev-Trinity

As I have been writing my book manuscript on the practice of conversation, I have been reading quite a bit on social trinitarianism, the theology rooted in the conviction that the three persons of the Trinity exist in an eternal conversation with one another. (I recognize that this perspective is not without critique, but it is a helpful way of imagining the Trinity when one wants to make a case for the importance of human conversation!) 

Here is a short, annotated reading guide to the books I have been reading.

*** What other books should I be considering?
 

[ Contemporary Trinitarian Theology ]   [ Jurgen Moltmann ]
[ Other Social Trinitarians ]   [ Critical Engagements ]

 
 

PAGE 1: Contemporary Trinitarian Theology

Continue Reading…

 

A Necessary Conversation 

 
A Review of

Representing Christ: A Vision For the Priesthood of All Believers
Uche Anizor and Hank Voss

Paperback: IVP Academic, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Trent Crofts

 

My first year of college involved a lot of church shopping. Oddly enough, the experience was analogous to shoe shopping. I remember thinking, “this church feels too restricting, this feels too loose, this is bland, this is flashy, this smells,” and so on and so forth. At the time, I focused on what I could get out of church—rather than what church could get out of me. I lacked vision for how believers can serve within the Church, a vision that Representing Christ provides.

Written by Uche Anizor and Hank Voss, Representing Christ provides an introduction to a necessary conversation about the priesthood of all believers, a conversation that is based on Scripture, grounded in history, and motivated for service in the Church and in the world.

Continue Reading…

 

Switching Our Religion.
 
 
A Feature Review of 
 

The Market As God
Harvey Cox

Hardback: Harvard UP, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Philip Christman
 
 
 
I teach first-year English at an elite public university, which gives me a window into the hopes and anxieties of America’s luckier youth. Mostly, they’re anxious about getting into the business school. Some of them actually want to study business, which is fine, but every semester, usually several times, I talk to someone with a demonstrable gift for thinking, writing, doing good, or making art, who has convinced her- or himself that any other major would be irresponsible. They have heard from every corner that the Market will punish them if they—who by their mere presence at University of Michigan have already found their way into a social network so privileged it beggars the human imagination—do the work they want to do. They continue to feel this way even though, from several of my course readings, they have learned that the “skills gap” doesn’t really exist (it’s largely a PR move by corporations that want to offload new-hire training to our public universities), that our future is not threatened by a deluge of art history majors, and that majors have less impact on hireability than many other factors—personal connections, school prestige, work experience. Knowing all this, and in some cases dreading the boredom and enforced club-ability for which business programs are notorious, these students still choose to reroute their hopes and dreams in deference to an abstraction: the Market.

Continue Reading…

 

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.

Continue Reading…

 

A Truly Dialogical Space

 
A Feature Review of 
 

The Mission of the Church:
Five Views in Conversation

Craig Ott, Ed.

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Joe Davis.
 
 
 
In The Mission of the Church, Craig Ott facilitates an energizing, informative, and mutually enriching dialogue on how the church participates with God’s work in, for, and with God’s creation. Five contributors participate in this dialogue: Stephen Bevans representing a Roman Catholic tradition, Darrell Guder representing mainline Protestants, Ruth Padilla Deborst representing Latin American evangelicals, Edward Rommen representing an Eastern Orthodox tradition, and Ed Stetzer representing North American evangelicals. Each contributor provides their own perspective and then responds to the other four perspectives. I write this review as a North American evangelical raised in Stetzer’s tradition, but trained academically in Padilla Deborst’s tradition. I was familiar with the work of Bevans and Guder, and am least familiar with Rommen and the Eastern Orthodox tradition. In this review, I briefly summarize each view, discuss the common themes of Trinity and contextualization, and explore how Christological nuances lead to missiological differences.

Continue Reading…

 

Over the course of last year, I set aside a number of books that I wanted to read because I knew that they would make significant contributions to public conversations, but I knew that they would require some time and effort to read carefully and well.

I’m hoping to read a number of these 10 books over the coming year…

By ERB Editor, C. Christopher Smith

(In alphabetical order by author’s last name…)

PAGE 1 OF 5

The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts

Cameron Anderson

Paperback, IVP Academic

Continue Reading…