Fall 2021 Book Preview — Christian Academic

At the end of May, I did a summer preview post. Looking back, I’ve reviewed most of those books as well as others. While I’ve heard reports of books being in short supply in some places, that hasn’t been the case at our house. So I am actually breaking this book preview into three–one on Christian books that are academically oriented, one on more “popular” Christian subjects and themes and a “general” category including both fiction and non-fiction. While most of the books are new, some are older books I ordered, usually because references to them in newer works suggested I might like reading them. So buckle up for the first (and longest) installment.

From Pentecost to Patmos, 2nd edition, Craig L. Blomberg and Darlene M. Seal with Alicia S. Dupree. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2021. A textbook introduction of the New Testament from Acts through Revelation.

The Federal Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Gilsun Ryu, Foreword by Douglas A. Sweeney. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Academic, 2021. An exegetical study of Edward’s doctrine of the federal headship of Christ in our redemption.

From Plato to Christ, Louis Markos. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. A study of the influence of Platonic thought on Christianity through history.

Reformed Public Theology, Edited by Matthew Kaemingk. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021. A collection of Reformed scholars address how Reformed theology bears on a number of public and global issues.

A Short History of Christian Zionism, Donald M. Lewis. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. Explores the history of the idea, from the period of the Reformation to the present, that scripture mandates a Jewish return to Palestine.

Paul & The Power of Grace, John M. G. Barclay. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2020. A pathbreaking study of the idea of grace in Paul’s writing, understanding grace as gift.

The Paradox of Sonship (Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture), R. B. Jamieson. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. What Hebrews means in calling Jesus “Son,” both as eternal and Incarnate.

Loving to Know, Esther Lightcap Meek. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011. A proposal that all knowing takes shape in an interpersonal, covenantal relationship, the basic idea in covenant epistemology.

T. F. Torrance as Missional Theologian (New Exporations in Theology), Joseph H. Sherrard, Foreword by Alan Torrence. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. Addresses the overlooked area of Torrance’s missiology.

Paul: Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity, David Wenham. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1995. I read a recent festschrift on Wenham’s pathbreaking work on the relationship of Paul’s thought to the life and teaching of Jesus.

Thriving with Stone Age Minds, Justine L. Barrett and Pamela Ebstyne King. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. What insights can we gain from both scripture and evolutionary psychology that contribute to human flourishing?

The Making of Biblical Women, Beth Allison Barr. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2021. A study of how the idea of “biblical womanhood” actually subjugated women and the way forward.

Changed into His Likeness (New Studies in Biblical Theology), J. Gary Millar. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. A study of the ongoing transformation of the Christian between conversion and the resurrection.

The Doctrine of Scripture, Brad East, Foreword by Katherine Sonderegger. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2021. A study of the doctrine of scripture that considers this through the lens of our liturgical affirmations around “hearing the Word of the Lord.”

Piercing Leviathan (New Studies in Biblical Theology), Eric Ortlund. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. After enduring terrible suffering and unhelpful counsel, God comes to Job speaking of Behemoth and Leviathan. What is that all about?

The Parables, Douglas Webster. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2021. A careful study of the parables guiding us into understanding of each for personal transformation.

The Holy Spirit in the New Testament, William A. Simmons. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. A Pentecostal approach to the study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

A History of Evangelism in North America, Thomas P. Johnston, ed. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2021. A collection of articles studying evangelism in the North American context from Wesley and camp meetings to the Twenty-first century.

Five Things Biblical Scholars Wish Theologians Knew, Scot McKnight, Foreword by Hans Boersma. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. What biblical scholars wish theologians understood about biblical studies.

Five Things Theologians Wish Biblical Scholars Knew, Hans Boersma, Foreword by Scot McKnight. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. A companion to the above volume, on what biblical scholars need to understand about theological scholarship. I may review these two together.

I’m sure some must scratch their heads and wonder at me for reading these academic works of theology, particularly at my age! Why not just kick back and just enjoy a diverting piece of fiction? As you will find if you scroll through this blog, I enjoy that as well. I guess part of it has been a lifelong apprehension that there are always greater depths to plumb in exploring the majesty of God, the glory of Christ, the working of the Spirit, and how we might align our lives with God’s purposes and intentions for his world. Certainly not all of this is in books, but read attentively, books and the book of scripture may turn ears and eyes and understanding to more deeply apprehend all that God has for us. I want to do that as long as eyes, ears, and mind work, which I believe is but a foretaste of the glories of eternity. I’ve never thought of eternity as boring as it seems an infinite time, or perhaps timelessness, is required to know an infinite and yet personal God, and to employ all my capacities without infirmity in the new creation for its flourishing and the pleasure of God. As C. S. Lewis wrote at the conclusion of The Last Battle, speaking of the newer, truer Narnia they had entered: “Come further up, come further in! I hope some of these works might encourage you on that journey and I look forward to writing about them in coming months.

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