Scripture as Real Presence: Sacramental Exegesis in the Early Church
Hans Boersma (Baker Academic; March 2017)
This work argues that the heart of patristic exegesis is the attempt to find the sacramental reality (real presence) of Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures. Leading theologian Hans Boersma discusses numerous sermons and commentaries of the church fathers to show how they regarded Christ as the treasure hidden in the field of the Old Testament and explains that the church today can and should retrieve the sacramental reading of the early church. Combining detailed scholarly insight with clear, compelling prose, this book makes a unique contribution to contemporary interest in theological interpretation.
The Divine Name in the Gospel of John: Significance and Impetus
Joshua J. F. Coutts (Mohr Siebrek Ek; October 1, 2017)
One of the distinctive features of the Fourth Gospel is the emphasis it places on the "name" of God. As the earliest Christian texts already exhibit a shift toward Jesus's name as the cultic or divine name, what might have motivated the Evangelist to this recovery of the divine name category? Joshua J. F. Coutts argues that the divine name acquired particular significance through the Evangelist's reading of Isaiah, which, in combination with the polemical experience and pastoral needs of early Christians, formed the impetus for his interest in and emphasis on the divine name.
Echoes of Coinherence: Trinitarian Theology and Science Together
W. Ross Hastings (Wipf and Stock Publishers; July 28, 2017)
This book re-imagines the universe (and the scientific study of it) through the lens of a triune Creator, three persons of irreducible identity in a perichoretic or coinherent communion. It modestly proposes that Trinitarian theology, and especially the coinherent natures of the Son in the incarnation, provides the metaphysic or “theory of everything” that manifests itself in the subject matter of science. The presence of the image of the triune God in humanity and of traces of this God in the non-human creation are discussed, highlighting ontological resonances between God and creation (resonances between the being of God and his creation), such as goodness, immensity-yet-particularity, intelligibility, agency, relationality, and beauty.
The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in a Modern World
D. Bruce Hindmarsh (Oxford University Press; January 2, 2018)
Evangelicalism appeared as a new pattern of Christian devotion at a moment when the foundations of Anglo-American society were shifting. The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism locates the rise of evangelical religion in relation to movements that we now routinely acknowledge with capital letters: Modernity, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. Bruce Hindmarsh provides a fresh perspective, and presents new research, on the thought of leading figures such as John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards. He also traces the significance of evangelical spirituality for elites and non-elites across multiple genres. This book traces the meaning of evangelical devotion in a rich variety of contexts, from the scribbled marginalia of lay Methodists and the poetry of an African-American laywoman to the visual culture of grand manner portraits and satirical prints. Viewing devotion, culture, and ideas together, it is possible to see the advent of evangelicalism as a significant new episode in the history of Christian spirituality.
The Christian Life East and West: Toward the Mutual Enrichment of Japanese and Western Christianity
James M. Houston (Regent College Publishing; July 1, 2017)
"Japan perhaps more than any other culture has embraced Western culture in sharp—even tragic—contrast to other major cultures of the world... Can Japanese and Western Christians mutually enable each other to critique the distortions we are always making of calling ourselves 'Christians'? The following essays explore this quest."—From the Foreward of The Christian Life East and West: Toward the Mutual Enrichment of Japanese and Western Christianity
Meaningful Business: A Midrash
James M. Houston (Regent College Publishing; July 1, 2017)
"The Incarnation, as all Christians will attest, was the most momentous change in world history. Ever since the Incarnation, immanence and transcendence have become inseparable, which in business is illustrated by what one rogue trader or innocent bank official can do with a computer and the flick of a key to create even the crash of the whole banking institution. In life and in business, we never know what small details can have a magnitude of consequences."—From the Introduction of Meaningful Business: A Midrash
Jesus the Healer
Darrell Johnson (Regent College Publishing; October 1, 2017)
We read about Jesus and his work all over the pages of the four Gospels in the New Testament. But we especially read about him putting things together again in the Gospel according to Matthew. Matthew, the tax collector turned evangelist, records ten examples of Jesus entering into our brokenness and bringing about substantive levels of healing. People are amazed and begin to bring to Jesus friends and neighbours in all kinds of need. And he heals them! This book is a collection of Darrell Johnson's sermons on Jesus's deeds in Matthew 8–9. In each sermon he seeks both to understand what Matthew claims Jesus did and grapple with what it means for us two thousand years later.
The Kingdom of What Is
Karl Petersen (Wipf and Stock Publishers; July 7, 2017)
Thirteen-year-old Kate is without her dad, lonely and depressed. Her family is broken and her world has lost its color and energy. One day, she is drawn by a crow into a land of uncommon beauty and love. But Kate soon discovers this new land is under siege by the rebel Grod Vurmis, who is causing freak storms and environmental disasters. Vurmis is turning the inhabitants into shadows, looting the kingdom libraries, and changing the stories so the people will no longer remember who they are. Kate's curiosity and courage lead her and three friends on a perilous quest to save the Kingdom of What Is. Traversing rivers, seas, and countryside, while avoiding the deceptions of Dreglings, they finally discover the royal palace in shambles. They join the paltry army of Prince Servan and go up against Grod Vurmis without weapons. Their quest comes to an unexpected and shocking end at the Great Gorge.
The Reformation and the Right Reading of Scripture
Iain Provan (Baylor University Press)
In The Reformation and the Right Reading of Scripture, Iain Provan aims to restore a Reformation-like confidence in the Bible by recovering a Reformation-like reading strategy. To accomplish these aims Provan first acknowledges the value in the Church’s precritical appropriation of the Bible and, then, in a chastened use of modern and postmodern critical methods. But Provan resolutely returns to the Reformers’ affirmation of the centrality of the literal sense of the text, in the Bible’s original languages, for a right-minded biblical interpretation. In the end the volume shows that it is possible to arrive at an approach to biblical interpretation for the twenty-first century that does not simply replicate the Protestant hermeneutics of the sixteenth, but stands in fundamental continuity with them. Such lavish attention to, and importance placed upon, a seriously literal interpretation of Scripture is appropriate to the Christian confession of the word as Word—the one God’s Word for the one world.
Living with Never-Ending Expectations
Peter Shaw and Graham Shaw (Regent College Publishing; December 1, 2017)
Expectations are an unavoidable fact of life. Having clear, agreed expectations can be hugely positive; the problem comes when expectations are unclear, overbearing, and never ending. This book draws from biblical themes, exploring how Moses and Jesus handled the expectations of others. It also draws from the perspective of leaders who have had to handle major expectations. It sets out practical approaches to living with expectations and a self-assessment questionnaire designed to enable individuals to reflect on the nature of the expectations on them.
A Book for Hearts & Minds: What You Should Read & Why
Steven Garber, Karen Swallow Prior, N.T. Wright, et al. (Square Halo Books, November 2017)
Byron and Beth Borger, the caretakers of Hearts & Minds Books, have worked there tirelessly for over three decades to create a space for serious, reflective readers. Their unremitting efforts to offer quality books for thinking biblically about every area of life has inspired a volume on the occasion of their bookstore’s thirty-fifth anniversary. One of the many ways Hearts & Minds has blessed their customers has been through BookNotes. In those reviews, Byron shares colorful anecdotes and passionate arguments for why to read books. In this compilation, the Borger’s friends have adopted the BookNotes model and offer a defense for books in their spheres of interest, along with a number of further titles for the reader to consider.
Perspectives of Jesus in the Writings of Paul: A Historical Examination of Shared Core Commitments with a View to Determining the Extent of Paul's Dependence on Jesus
Gerry Schoberg (James Clarke & Co., February 2014)
Was Paul shaped by the movement that began with the teaching and activities of Jesus, or did he start something new? Attempts to answer this question one way or the other have a long history. The purpose of this book is to raise the question again in light of more recent scholarly work—especially in light of historical Jesus research and the so-called New Perspective on Paul. At the heart of this study is not only the question of whether the New Testament truly gives a unified vision of the Christian movement, but also how the early followers of Jesus felt able to draw such insightful conclusions about him. Answering such questions through the study of Jesus and Paul offers an insight into how one can make theological sense of everyday life, and thereby live a life in Christ.
Sabbath Time: A Hermitage Journey of Retreat, Return & Communion
Charles R. Ringma (Piquant Editions; December 2017)
Being left alone to embark on a reflective journey is a great gift—particularly in our age, where remaining connected is such a driving expectation. Charles decided to take a whole six months off and to spend much of this time in a hermitage on friends’ property. To enter a space of disconnection is both a scary and an exhilarating experience. And to “down” tools and be still without an agenda of
expectations is wonderfully open and freeing. It is also walking into mystery. Who knows what might happen?
All Things Hold Together in Christ: A Conversation on Faith, Science, and Virtue
James K. A. Smith, Michael L. Gulker, Jonathan Wilson, Mark Noll, et al. (Baker Academic Press; January 2018)
As Christians engage controversial cultural issues, we must remember that "all things hold together in Christ" (Col. 1:17)—even when it comes to science and faith. This anthology is an invitation to find resources for faithful, creative thinking in the riches of the church's theological heritage and its worship traditions. Reflecting "the Colossian Way" this book offers a vision that will help congregations pursue the truth in love. Top Christian thinkers show how attending to the formation of virtue through the practices of worship creates the hospitable space we need to deal with difference and disagreement in the body of Christ.