Themelios 39.3 posted today. Kindly they included my review of L. Scott Kellum’s, Preaching the Farewell Discourse: An Expository Walk-Through of John 13:31-17:26 (Broadman and Holman). Scott’s book is worth reading in its entirety. Themelios has many very good articles and reviews.
I am grateful to see the arrival of Richard D. Phillips’, John: Reformed Expository Commentary (P&R). Phillips’ is a tremendous expositor of Scripture. I have enjoyed using both his Hebrews and Jonah & Micah commentaries in my pulpit and classroom preparations. Phillips’ expository publishing output is significant too, as evidenced by his additional commentaries on 1 Samuel and Zechariah. He also is no mean theologian, as we have witnessed in his recent discussions surrounding the theology of sanctification.
I am enjoying greatly Jeremy Treat’s, The Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology (Zondervan)! Treat has done a tremendous job in wedding Biblical Theology and Systematic – or Dogmatic – Theology, or rather, in seeing how the Biblical text yields the fruit of both. In particular, others have demonstrated the Markan use of Isaiah in Mark’s portrayal of Christ as King and the crucified one. But they have not done it to the degree that Treat has, neither have they shown so interdependently how “King” guards the truth of the Cross (Systematics), and that the Cross/atonement – as developed through Redemptive History – is what beautifies the role of the King (Biblical Theology). You can read the thoughts of others on Treat’s work below.
I also am most eager for the arrival of Richard D. Phillips’ commentary on John in the Reformed Expository Commentary series (P&R).
Others on Treat’s work:
Jamieson’s review at 9marks
The koinonia blog excerpt
N. T. Wright’s, Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues, just hit the shelves. Yes; of course it will be interesting, maybe even distressing at some points–it’s N. T. Wright! So why even ask if it will be interesting? Just get it. Whether or not you will agree with Wright is another story.
While rearranging my shelves recently, I was shocked to see how much Wright I have utilized in teaching. Yet, I have disagreements with him at many points.
Walter Russell Mead is the James Clarke Chace professor of foreign affairs at Bard College and editor at large of the American Interest. He is the author of Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World. He writes a good (and fairly balanced) article on grading the tenure of Madame Clinton at the State Department. You might wish for more on Benghazi, but its not there. Some quotes from the article:
“The U.S. emphasis on human rights and democracy, as well as the active support for civil society organizations, contributed to China’s harsh response to the pivot to Asia and probably deepened Vladimir Putin’s view of the West as a danger to Russia. For Moscow and Beijing, Washington’s work to engage and strengthen democracy activists and movements represents an aggressive effort to undermine the Russian and Chinese regimes. And the push for changing gender relations allows Islamists to portray the United States as a threat to religious values. American opponents often fear ideological and cultural “aggression” as much as U.S. military power.”
“The answer: Historians will probably consider Clinton significantly more successful than run-of-the-mill secretaries of state such as James G. Blaine or the long-serving Cordell Hull, but don’t expect to see her on a pedestal with Dean Acheson or John Quincy Adams anytime soon.”
“The verdict? Clinton brought a clear vision of U.S. interests and power to the job, and future presidents and secretaries of state will find many of her ideas essential. Yet she struggled to bring together the different elements of her vision into a coherent set of policies. The tension between America’s role as a revolutionary power and its role as a status quo power predates Clinton; the struggle to reconcile those two opposed but equally indispensable aspects of American foreign policy has survived her tenure at the State Department.”
I just finished Jonathan Pennington’s, Reading the Gospels Wisely, (currently a steal at only $4.99 in the Kindle edition). I highly recommend this text for gaining a greater appreciation of the role the Gospels should play in one’s reading of the entirety of the canon. Pennington and I differ on our hermeneutical approaches to reading texts, but as a whole, his thesis is outstanding.
I was struck by one of the word pictures at the end of the book he uses to highlight the significance the Gospels should play in our corporate worship:
“A rediscovery of the central role of the Gospels in the church will affect our worship services and preaching…. [M]ost liturgical traditions maintain a special regard for readings and expositions from the Gospels…. But in general, the Gospels have tended to play a lesser role in much of American evangelicalism. There ‘the gospel’ has often been boiled down to ‘justification by faith,’ which is then fed to people in moralism-dusted bouillon cubes on a pilaf of pietism. If indeed the Gospels are significant in the ways I have argued in this chapter, this approach will not do if the church is to thrive. Both in our worship-service Scripture readings and in the content of our preaching, the Gospels themselves must play the dominant role. And when the Gospels are read and preached, they must not be used merely as springboards to other doctrinal ideas. Rather, honoring the narrative form of the Gospels, we must enter into the power and tension of the story and apply this to the lives of believers by focusing on the final Word, Jesus the Christ.”
Jonathan T. Pennington, Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2012): 256; emphasis mine.
Think about the word picture. Endeavor to eat something vastly different. Get a copy of Pennington’s work.
Related Resource: P. T. Smuts, Mark by the Book: A New Multidirectional Method for Understanding the Synoptic Gospels (P&R); I reviewed here.
It has been my privilege and joy this week to teach the 10-hour course, A Pauline Theology of the Church, for the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Christian Education Institute, Washington, DC. The students are asking great questions and providing challenging responses to the presentations.
As promised to the students, I am posting the resources below for further study beyond the the course text:
Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology – with a free study guide (Zondervan)
Thomas Schreiner, Paul: Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ (IVP Academic)
Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Wm. B. Eerdmans)
Tom Holland, Paul: Contours of a Pauline Theology (Mentor)
I suggest you start with Horton; read with a small group or class. Advance to Schreiner after Horton. Then read Ridderbos and Holland in any order of preference.
Also, as a follow-up to the brief discussion on same-sex marriage, please consider Justin Taylor’s post, “Gay Marriage: Not Just a Social Revolution but a Cosmological One.”