Ten Theology Books to Watch For – July 2018

July 12, 2018 — Leave a comment

 

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

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.

 

   

Miracles: God’s Presence and Power in Creation 

Luke Timothy Johnson

WJK Books

Miracles are not confined to the stories of Scripture; these signs of God’s presence and power in creation are experienced throughout our daily existence. Yet cultural challenges and modernity’s skepticism have marginalized belief in them as unreasonable and irrational, says Luke Timothy Johnson.

In this excellent resource for church professionals, Johnson reclaims Christian belief in miracles as integral to recovering a proper and strong sense of creation, recognizing the validity of personal experience and narrative and asserting the truth-telling quality of myth. His analysis includes:

  • a description of the competing symbolic worldviews that have framed the discussion on miracles, including secular debates and theological imagination;
  • interpretation of miracles consonant with the biblical construction of reality in the Old and New Testaments;
  • suggestions for four areas in the church’s life—teaching, preaching, prayer, and pastoral care—that can work together to shape a symbolic world, within which believers can expect, perceive, and celebrate the miracles in everyday life.

 

Early Christian Readings of Genesis One: Patristic Exegesis and Literal Interpretation 

Craig Allert

IVP Academic

 

Do the writings of the church fathers support a literalist interpretation of Genesis 1? Young earth creationists have maintained that they do. And it is sensible to look to the Fathers as a check against our modern biases. But before enlisting the Fathers as ammunition in our contemporary Christian debates over creation and evolution, some cautions are in order. Are we correctly representing the Fathers and their concerns? Was Basil, for instance, advocating a literal interpretation in the modern sense? How can we avoid flattening the Fathers’ thinking into an indexed source book in our quest for establishing their significance for contemporary Christianity? Craig Allert notes the abuses of patristic texts and introduces the Fathers within their ancient context. Just as the text of Genesis needs to be read within its ancient Near Eastern environment, the patristic writings require careful interpretation in their own setting. What can we learn from a Basil or Theophilus, an Ephrem or Augustine, as they meditate and expound on themes in Genesis 1? How were they speaking to their own culture and the questions of their day? Might they actually have something to teach us about listening carefully to Scripture as we wrestle with the great axial questions of our own day? Allert’s study prods us to consider whether contemporary evangelicals, laudably seeking to be faithful to Scripture, may in fact be more bound to modernity in our reading of Genesis 1 than we realize. Here is a book that resets our understanding of early Christian interpretation and the contemporary conversation about Genesis 1.

 

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