Winter 2021 Book Previews

It has been three months since my last book preview post. I was surprised to see the stack of books that have arrived during that time for review. So many good books have come out during that time, and I will be reading and reviewing a few of them. But there are some you might find interesting and not wait for me to review them. So here are all the books in the stack, from top to bottom:

Breaking Bread with the Dead, Alan Jacobs. Makes the case for the reading of old books to give us the depth we need to confront our age.

Workplace Discipleship 101, David W. Gill. A basic introduction to following Christ in the workplace.

The City is My Monastery, Richard Carter. A book offering resources for a contemplative life in the heart of the city.

Mixed Blessing, Chandra Crane. Crane is a colleague with a Thai birth father, European-American mother, and African-American adoptive father. She draws on her experience, scripture and history to discussing of one lives as a person of mixed identity.

Redeeming Power, Diane Langberg. The subtitle says it all: “Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church.”

An Impossible Marriage, Laurie Krieg and Matt Krieg. What makes this marriage “impossible” is that both husband and wife are attracted to women. What makes this possible is what they have learned about love and the gospel.

Sergeant Salinger, Jerome Charyn. Based on the World War II experience of J.D. Salinger, a fictional imagining of his service as an interrogator and internship after the war at a psychiatric clinic.

Hurting Yet Whole, Liuan Huska. The author, who has gone through years of chronic pain, explores how one can experience wholeness amid such pain.

Ecology and the Bible, Frederic Baudin. A guidebook outlining the basic biblical teaching concerning how Christians ought care for the environment.

Public Intellectuals and the Common Good, Edited by Todd C. Ream, Jerry Pattengale, and Christopher J. Devers. The editors and contributors envision a Christian role as public intellectual–one who mediates their understanding and articulates it for the benefit of others.

A Survey of the History of Global Christianity, Mark Nickens. Offers an account of how the Christian movement grew from a small group of disciples to a global faith.

The Theology of Jeremiah, John Goldingay. Looking at the book as a whole, articulates the theological themes found in it.

Work and Worship, Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson. The word liturgy comes from two words meaning “the work of the people” but often the idea of our work and our worship has been disconnected. This book makes that connection.

J.I.Packer, Alister McGrath. J.I. Packer died in 2020. This biography explores his life, faith, and theological contribution. He was one of my heroes, so I can’t wait to read this!

Balcony of Fog, Rich Shapero. Post-apocalyptic fiction involving a love affair and and escape to the clouds, and a nemesis thunderhead. Won this one in a giveaway. We’ll see! There is also an app for an immersive reading experience.

The Problem of the Old Testament, Duane A Garrett. Explores constructive approaches for Christians to study and understand the Old Testament material.

Torah Old and New, Ben Witherington III. Focusing in on the first five books of the Old Testament, this New Testament scholar offers commentary on the books, how they were read by early Christians, and applies an intertextuality of reading backward and forward to these texts.

The Doctrine of Creation, Bruce Riley Ashford and Craig G. Bartholomew. The authors believe the doctrine of creation is critical to meeting the challenge of public theology and ethics, and that the work of Kuyper and other neo-Calvinists offers valuable resources for a robust doctrine of creation.

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl R. Trueman. Sees the sexual revolution as part of a deeper search for identity and traces the intellectual history that has led to our conception of the modern self.

Majority World Theology, Edited by Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue, and K.K. Yeo. This is a systematic theology to which scholars from the majority world, where the greatest number of Christians live, have contributed. Both because they are in the majority and due to the failings of the Western theological enterprise, it seems worthwhile to listen to these brothers and sisters in Christ.

That’s quite a stack (20 books). Since I am still sheltering and working at home, awaiting my turn to be vaccinated, I derive some comfort from the anticipation of digging into these books, some quite think. Of course I have some other books from mysteries to histories that I’ll intermingle along the way. Look forward to some good reviews!

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