Baker, Hunter. Political Thought: A Students Guide. Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition. Edited by David Dockery. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012.
Hunter Baker does a good job in a brief space of describing different approaches to government, key themes such as order, freedom, justice, and the Christian’s role in the political process. This is a good introduction to political thought from a Christian perspective.
Ware, Bruce A. The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.
Bruce Ware’s writing is characterized by a determination to be rigorously biblical, to dig in deep to what the Scripture says on a matter, and to communicate this rich, biblical theology in a clear, devotional manner. These are all characteristics of The Man Christ Jesus. The burden of this book is to cause Christians to glorify God for the incarnation. The Son taking flesh is part of God’s wise plan, and Ware probes what this means and why this is so. He invites his readers to consider that Jesus lived his life as a man empowered by the Spirit. This should encourage us in striving to live righteous lives. He discusses Jesus’s growth in wisdom, what this implies about his attitude toward Scripture, and how this should shape our attitude. He reminds us that Jesus didn’t obey God automatically. He strived for obedience through suffering as our pattern. Ware also has an insightful treatment of Jesus and temptation. Truly, as God Jesus could not sin. But Ware points out that this doesn’t mean that Jesus triumphed over temptation as God any more than someone who swam the English channel with a boat following behind achieved his goal because of the boat. Jesus could not sin as God, but he met temptation as a man. Ware of course discusses the need for Christ to be a man in order for him to be the substitutionary sacrifice in our place. Ware also picks up on some topics that are often neglected in discussions of Jesus’s humanity. Ware argues that Jesus not only needed to come as a human but that he also had to come as a male human. This was fitting because he is the eternal Son. But it was also necessary for Jesus to be the second Adam, to fulfill the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants, to be a prophet like Moses, to be our High Priest, and to be the bridegroom of the church. Finally, Ware argues that Jesus had to be a man to fulfill his kingly reign. Of course Jesus is God and sovereign over all. But a number of texts speak of the Father giving Jesus authority to reign (Ps. 2:5-9; Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; Phil 2:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:27-28; Ps. 110:1-4; Dan 7:13-14; Heb. 1:1-3; 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:22). Tied into this are the bodily resurrection and the bodily return of Christ.
Dallinore, Arnold A. George Whitfield: God’s Anointed Servant in the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century. Crossway, 1990.
Dallimore writes devotional, but not uncritical, biographies of evangelical leaders. This brief biography is a condensation of his massive two-volume work on George Whitfield. It is warmly written. Dallimore conveys Whitefield’s zeal for the gospel. He also highlights Whitfield as a model for how to handle controversy by showing his grace and refusal to allow the Wesley’s attacks on Calvinism to cause a permanent breach that harmed their evangelistic work. His forbearance seems to have resulted in a reconciliation with the Wesley’s by the end of his life. Whitfield was not without flaws. Dallimore discusses his use of slave labor at his Gerogia orphanage. Whitfield also failed to support the Erskine’s in their separation from a corrupt church. But despite these flaws he was God’s faithful servant in spreading the Gospel in the British Isles and American colonies.
Speare, Elizabeth George. Sign of the Beaver. Houghton Mifflin, 1983.
Marsden, George. The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief. New York: Basic Books, 2014.
This brief book of 200 pages looks back to the 1950s and the changes that emerged from that decade in order to better understand our present situation, particularly as it relates to religion and public life.
In his first two chapters Marsden looks at the concerns that intellectuals of the 1950s had about American culture. One of the chief concerns was that mediums such as TV were not meditating high culture to a broader audience. Instead a new mass culture was created that was culturally degrading. Serious thought was needed in the modern world but was lacking in popular magazines and television shows. Another major concern was the preservation and expansion of freedom. This theme was, of course, developed against the backdrop of the totalitarianism that arose prior to World War II and continued as a threat in the Cold War. The danger to freedom that the public intellectuals focused on, however, was the danger posed by conformity to business procedure, suburban housing, and even child-raising methods. The themes of freedom and nonconformity were stated in moderate, academic tones in the 1950s but lived out by the counter-culture of the 1960s.
In chapter three Marsden focuses on the great public intellectual of the time, Walter Lippmann. Marsden notes that the intellectuals of the 1950s could champion freedom because they had a shared consensus about the common goods that freedom should be oriented towards. Lippmann pointed out that these intellectuals valued the consensus but “had dynamited the foundations on which those principles had been first established.” Lippmann proposed that natural law be the needed foundation for the common good. His proposal was roundly rejected. Most intellectuals saw no need for these foundations; they saw natural law as a threat to human autonomy. Lippmann’s proposal was roundly rejected. Ironically, Marsden notes, out was the Christian-based rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr. that best exemplified the consensus ideals of the 1950s liberals: liberty, justice, equality.
In chapter four Marsden argues that the two actual authorities in American life were the individual (existentialism) and science. These two came together in psychology. Marsden traces the debates between Skinner and Rogers as well as the influence of Dr. Spock. The result of this unstable dual authority was the 1960s.
In chapter five Marsden looks at the the influence of Henry Luce and Reinhold Niebuhr as exemplifying the surface religiosity of the 1950s. Luce promoted a civil religion. Niebuhr gave profound evaluations of the American situation but lacked in providing a way forward, in part because there was no shared authority.
In chapter six Marsden looks at how the consensus of the 1950s collapsed in the 1960s, and eventually gave rise to the Evangelical Right/Moral Majority of the 1980s. Marsden holds that the Christian right wanted the 1950s back with its embrace of a Christian civil religion. His major critique is that they set up a binary opposition between themselves and “secular humanism.” Secularists likewise claimed to be the heirs of the 1950s consensus with its emphasis on personal freedom and science. Thus the culture wars.
In his conclusion Marsden looks to Abraham Kuyper as pointing the way forward. He notes that Kuyper rightly recognized that there is ultimately no neutral, objective ground. Thus attempts since the 1960s to move religion to a purely private sphere will fail. Nor is it possible to make a religiously plural nation Christian. What is needed, Marsden argues, is a principled pluralism that gives all religious views a voice.
Tolkien, J. R. R. The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays. New York: HarperCollins, 1983.
Lewis, C. S. The Horse and His Boy.
Kidner, Derek. The Message of Jeremiah: Against Wind and Tide. The Bible Speaks Today, ed. J. A. Motyer. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1987.
Derek Kinder has the rare talent of packing a great deal of pertinent observation into a small space. This commentary on Jeremiah succinctly captures the message of the book in a running exposition that is meant to be read through from cover to cover. Throughout Kidner makes brief but pointed applications to the present. In this way the book lives up to both its title—it gives us the message of Jeremiah—and its series title—it speaks that message to us today.
McKay, David. “From Popery to Principle: Covenanters and the Kingship of Christ.” In The Faith Once Delivered: Essays in Honor of Dr. Wayne R. Spear. Edited by Anthony T. Selvaggio. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2007.
McKay traces a shift in the view of Christ’s relationship as king over the nations in Scottish Presbyterianism. He notes that George Gillespie and Samuel Rutherford distinguished between Christ’s mediatorial reign over the Church and his reign as God over the nations. Erastians argued that since magistrates were under the mediatorial reign of Christ, magistrates may also rule over the church. Gillespie and Rutherford insist on the twofold kingdom otherwise, contrary to Scripture, infidels could not be legitimate rulers and magistrates would wrongly intrude on the church. They also wanted to keep the mediatorial offices of Christ unified. Christ was only mediatorial king over those who by faith had him as their mediatorial prophet and priest. Rutherford argued that it was popery to teach that Christ rules as mediator over the nations.
Positions began to shift in the eighteenth century. In 1733 the Erskine’s led a group to secede from the Church of Scotland. But the Seceders did not join with the Covenanters, who were already outside the church of Scotland because of differences over government. The Seceders taught that governments are raised up providentially by God and must be obeyed according to Romans 13:1-7. A good and moral ruler is good for the nation but morality on the part of the ruler is not necessary to legitimate his rule. The Covenanters said that the legitimacy of government rested on its conformity to the rules for government laid down in Scripture. The Seceders argued that this was pushing the Covenanters toward the position of Christ being mediatorial king over all nations. Though they denied this, by the early nineteenth century, that shift had indeed happened.
In 1803 Alexander McLeod, an American Presbyterian in a Covenanter denomination, wrote Messiah, Governor of the Nations of the Earth. In Scotland William Symington’s Messiah the Prince (1839) argues similarly. These authors point out that Christ’s authority over the nations is given to him by the Father and is not held eternally by virtue of his divine nature (Matt. 11:27; 28:18; Acts 10:26; etc.). Further this rule includes rule over the nations. (Ps. 2:10-12; Dan. 7:13-14; etc.).
By the twentieth century these sentiments make it into the official documents of churches that stand in the Covenanter tradition. Thus a view once denounced by Rutherford as popery has made it into the confessional statements of the churches of his heirs.
One of the difficulties in working through these issues is that there are exegetical, theological, and practical considerations all coming into play. Practical concerns sometimes shape the exegesis and theology and sometimes similar exegetical and theological positions are held with different practical conclusions drawn.
Warfield, B. B. “The Divine Messiah in the Old Testament.” Works. 3:3-39.
Warfield argues, primarily from Ps 45:6; Isa. 9:6; Dan. 7:13, that the Old Testament presents the Messiah as divine. He also argues on the basis that the OT speaks of Yahweh coming and the Messiah coming in the same terms.
Warfield, B. B. “Christless Christianity.” Works. 3:313-67.
Warfield recounts the persistence of Lessing’s idea that true religion is a matter of the “eternal truths of reason” rather than the “accidental truths of history.” Though only a few deny the historicity of Jesus altogether, many affirm that though they think the historical Jesus existed, his non-existence would make no difference to their religion. Warfield draws an analogy to Platonists and Plato. If Plato never existed that would make little difference to the Platonist as long as the ideas were valid.
Warfield holds that Christianity is different from Platonism. True Christianity must reckon with the problem of sin. Forgiveness of sin demands expiation, “and expiation, in its very nature, is not a principle but a fact, an event which takes place, if at all, in the conditions of time and space” (340). Christ does not merely point the way to salvation (making him dispensable); Christ is the Way.
In addition, Warfield finds Lessing’s confidence in science and doubt in history to be self-contradictory since the conclusions of science are based on observations that are historical once they have taken place.
Warfield also argues that we can be more confident of the great gospel events than we can be of some events of the present or of recent history. There is much we do not know of the present, but there is a great deal of evidence for the events of the Gospels.
Finally, Warfield anticipates Machen’s argument by insisting that Christianity is a redemptive religion. A Christless Christianity is therefore not Christianity.
Warfield, B. B. “The ‘ Two Natures’ and Recent Christological Speculation.” Works, 3:259-310.
Warfield argues in the first half of this article that all the NT writings teach and presuppose the doctrine of the two natures of Christ. He makes the case that neither Paul nor the Synoptics have a Christology any less high than John’s. He notes that even some of the critics concede this. But, the critics maintain, there is evidence that a more primitive view than the two natures doctrine can be detected at points in the NT writings. In the second part of the article Warfield demonstrates that the critics are simply reading their own preconceptions of what t this primitive doctrine must be into the texts. Thus affirmations that Jesus is human are taken as indications of an earlier view that Jesus was only human. But, Warfield points out, affirmations that a Jesus is human is a necessary part of the two natures doctrine and are not indications of anything else. Warfield demonstrates powerfully in this article that the critics, more than the orthodox have a dogma that they read into the Scripture.
Scott, R. B. Y. “Wisdom in Creation: The ’Āmôn of Proverbs VIII 30.” Vetus Testamentum 10, no. 2 (April 1, 1960): 213-223.
Scott surveys five possible meanings of אמון in Proverbs 8:30: skilled craftsman, child, guardian, binding, faithful. He opts for “binding” as the sense that can explain the rise of the other senses. The meaning is that “Wisdom was a link or bond between the Creator and his creation.”
Gundry, Robert H. Jesus the Word According to John the Sectarian: A Paleofundamentalist Manifesto for Contemporary Evangelicalism, especially Its Elites, in North America. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
I found the exposition of Jesus the Word largely convincing. If at times Gundry may have stretched to show how the Logos theme runs throughout the book, the number of actual connections is substantial enough for his thesis to stand. Furthermore, I’m in agreement that Word refers to the revelatory aspect of Jesus’s ministry.
The exposition of John as sectarian I found less convincing. He pits the theology of John against the synoptics, and tries to mount an argument that John does not intend for Christians to love the world in any sense, John 3:16 notwithstanding. I have a hard time seeing fundamentalists, paleo or otherwise affirming an approach that sees diverse theologies among the Gospel writers.
I was of a mixed mind of his paelofundamentalist manifesto. As a fundamentalist, I found aspects of the critique, especially those aspects about theological assimilation and worldly living, pertinent. I resist the idea, however, that fundamentalism should is only about churchly and heavenly life and not about earthly life. Not least because at those points Gundry is setting different parts of Scripture against each other.
Witherington III, Ben. A Week in the Life of Corinth. Downers Grove, InterVarsity, 2012.
This book provides an entertaining way of picking up background knowledge about the world of the New Testament. The plot and characterization may be a bit thin at points, but that’s not the point of this book. The point is to learn about the world of the New Testament in an entertaining way. At that, this books succeeds.
Campbell, Iain D. and William M. Schweitzer, Engaging with Keller: Thinking Through the Theology of an Influential Evangelical. Grand Rapids: Evangelical Press, 2013.
This book is a model of critical engagement with a brother in Christ. Almost all of the authors are respectful and appreciative of Keller’s ministry. Most are not reticent to praise Keller even as they critique significant aspects of his ministry. The manuscript was also submitted to Keller for feedback.
I disagreed most with the chapter by Hart. This, no doubt, is because he was arguing for a Presbyterian ecclesiology while I am a Baptist. However, the other essays I found to be careful treatments of Keller’s teaching about sin, hell, perichoresis, the church’s mission, and evolution. Another chapter examines Keller’s hermeneutical methodology. One of the central concerns raised repeatedly is that Keller’s efforts to make biblical doctrine plausible in a today’s world sometimes subtly distorts the doctrines themselves. The authors are not opposed to finding new ways of talking about old truths, but they note that when this is attempted the church does need to be careful to ensure that the new ways of speaking are as faithful as the old ways.
Given the overall excellence in content and spirit of this book, I was disappointed to see a defensive review in Themelios. For instance, Kevin Bidwell has a perceptive critique of the use of the divine dance metaphor. The reviewer criticizes Bidwell for not treating Keller’s Trinitarian views more fully. But this is unfair. Bidwell notes at the beginning of his essay: “This is not a critique of everything that Keller ever said about the Trinity, but only his use of a particular imagery of questionable validity and having problematic implications.” Surely a friendly critic should be allowed to note that Keller is orthodox in his Trinitarian teaching but that a particular metaphor that he often uses is problematic. In addition the Themelios reviewer accused the authors of at times misrepresenting Keller, but I wonder if the reviewer misread the critiques, which were often not that Keller denied certain teachings but that they were minimized to the point that certain distortions arose. The response to that kind of critique cannot be, “but Keller teaches such and such here.” I would have been much more encouraged if the reviewer mixed his defense of Keller with acknowledgement of areas in which the authors had pointed up some real problems. The authors of Engaging with Keller clearly appreciate his work, and wrote their book to strengthen Keller’s ministry and the churches influenced by it. But that goal won’t be achieved if the readers are defensive.
Tolkein, J.R.R. Bilbo’s Last Song.
Vos, Geerhardus. “The Range of the Logos Title in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel.” In Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos. Edited by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1980.
Vos argues that the title Logos applies to the pre-incarnate as well as incarnate Christ, that Logos carries the meaning of Creator as well as Revealer, and that many of the statements about light in connection with life are references to general revelation.
Arnold, Matthew. “Thyrsis”
Snoeberger, Mark. “Weakness Or Wisdom? Fundamentalists And Romans 14.1– 15.13.” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 12 (2007): 29-48.
In this article Mark Snoeberger responds to the assertion that those with standards that are stricter than explicit biblical statements are by biblical definition weak. Snoeberger notes that such a position “implied that the most restrained and self-denying of believers are in fact the very weakest, and, contrarily, that the most libertine and self-indulgent of believers are actually the very strongest” (29). While Snoeberger is ready to grant that some Fundamentalists have wrongly developed strictures beyond those with biblical warrant. But he also notes Romans 14-15 is not about adiaphora or things about which the Scripture is silent. It has to do with Jewish believers who continued to think they had to obey the dietary laws and observe sacred days as a matter of sanctification (not justification). These people are wrong. They are weak in faith. As a result, Paul counsels the strong to restrict their liberty so that they do not destroy the weak. Snoeberger argues that Fundamentalists have often done well in the matter of restricting their liberty for the benefit of others.
Bonar, Horatius. The Everlasting Righteousness.
Bonar presents the reader with solid meat regarding the Bible’s teaching about righteousness in Christ. The book focuses on the justification side of things, but sanctification is not neglected. But this book is no mere treatise. It is full of pastoral exhortation as well.
O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Laurel Leaf, 1960.
O’Dell. Scott. Sing Down the Moon.
Challies, Tim and R. W. Glenn. Modest: Men and Women Clothed in the Gospel. Cruciform Press, 2012.
This book suffers from false dichotomies. The authors wrongly conflate concrete applications of Scripture with Paul’s warning in Colossians to beware of “self-made religion and asceticism.” Thus if a father tells his children, “‘only this low,’ ‘at least this long,’ ‘never in this combination,’ and ‘never so tight that ______ shows.'” he is not necessarily replacing “the gospel . . . with regulations.” He may simply be helping his son or daughter apply the Scripture to their lives in a concrete way. The same can be true of a local church or a Christian school. Such families, churches, and schools may be legalistic. They may think they’re earning God’s favor by adhering to their rules. They may look down on others who draw their guidelines differently. Or they may be a group of believers who really want to please God in all that they do—not to earn his favor but because they love their Savior and his church.
Jaeggli, Randy. Christians and Alcohol: A Scriptural Case for Abstinence. BJU Press, 2014.
I have long personally held an abstinence position with regard to beverage alcohol for the following reasons: (1) The Bible counsels strict moderation with regard to alcohol. (2) The alcohol content of alcoholic beverages today is so much higher than in biblical times that drinking them undiluted would seem to violate biblical teaching. (3) Given this, biblical comments about delighting in wine are not about experience the effects of the alcohol. This is confirmed because these passages also refer to rejoicing in bread and oil. Thus I can obey exhortations to rejoice in bread and wine by rejoicing in all manner of good food. (4) Paul warns Christians not to be brought under the power of anything. I do not trust myself to drink alcoholic beverages without being brought under their power. Putting one’s self to the test seems to me a position of Christian immaturity. (5) Even if drinking alcoholic beverages were my liberty (of which I am not convinced, given points 1 and 2), I willing restrict my liberty lest I be a stumbling block to my brothers and sisters in Christ who are tempted to drunkenness. (6) Any medicinal benefit that can be gained from drinking wine can be gained with less risk in other ways. For this reason articles that I read about these benefits always close by counseling people not to begin drinking if they don’t already do so.
I am therefore pleased to see Jaeggli develop his arguments along these lines and to provide cogent exegetical and theological reasons for holding them.
Horton, Ronald. Family: The Making and Remaking of a Christian Home. BJU Press, 2014.
This is a book of wise counsel from an older Christian who thinks carefully about the Christian life.
Bangs, Carl. Arminus: A Study in the Dutch Reformation. 1985; reprinted by Wipf & Stock, 1998.
Bangs’s biography has long been the standard biography of Arminius. He provides abundant historical background. He writes sympathetically. He should be read alongside more recent works such as those by Muller, McCall, and Stanglin.
Muller, Richard A. “Arminius and the Reformed Tradition,” Westminster Theological Journal 70 (2008):
Bangs has argued that the Dutch Reformed Church was a much broader church up to the time of Arminius, that Arminius was just as similar (and different) from Calvin as the Reformed disagreeing with him, and that therefore Arminius has just as much right to be identified as Reformed as his opponents.
Muller grants the second point. There are indeed many commonalities between Arminius’s overall theological positions and those of Calvin. Indeed, there are many similarities between he and his opponents. But, Muller notes, Arminius’s differences placed him outside the confessional boundaries. His opponents’ differences with Calvin do not. Muller does not grant the first point. He notes that Bangs is only able to find a broader Reformed church by excluding certain national synods on the grounds that they were held outside the country. But Muller notes that the fact that a national synod is held outside the country due to war does not invalidate the national character of the synod. Furthermore, through Arminius tried to insist that he remained within the confessions, his interpretations of the confessions on disputed points were contrary to the early commentaries on the confessions, one written by the confession’s author. Muller concludes that while Arminius could be called Reformed by virtue of the fact that he served as a Dutch Reformed pastor, his theology fell outside the already agreed upon confessional standards of the Dutch Reformed Church.
Stallard, Mike. “The Post-Trib and Amillennial Use Of 2 Thessalonians 1,” JMAT 6:2 (Fall 02): 59-80.
Post-tribulationists and Amillennialists typically argue that 2 Thessalonians 1 is incompatible with pre-tribulationalism because the promised relief to the Thessalonians was located, not at a pre-tribulational rapture but at the visible return of Christ. Stallard argues that the rest promised is not merely freedom from persecution. It is a fuller eschatological promise. Thus it is no problem for the Thessalonians to die or for some Christians to be ruptured prior the Second Coming and the rest that comes with it. Stellar not only demonstrates that this is a possible reading, but he shows, based on the structure of the text, that it is the most likely reading.
Henry, Carl F. H. God, Revelation, and Authority, III:248.303.
Bartholomew, Craig and Michael Goheen. The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004.
The Bible is not just a collection of spiritual sayings from which Christians gather guidance for life. Any individual verse or passage must be understood within the context of the book in which it is written. But it is also important to see that the books themselves fit into an overall storyline as well. Explaining this storyline is the purpose of this book. It does this job well with three weaknesses. First, it excludes coverage of OT poetry. This is understandable in a book that covers the storyline of Scripture. But the authors did cover the NT epistles. Furthermore, Bartholomew is an expert on OT poetry and has elsewhere written about how it connects to the narrative portions of Scripture. Including some of that material in this book would have made it stronger. Second, the book fudged when it came to the evolution issue. But the fundamental goodness of Creation is essential to these authors’ (and the Bible’s) worldview, making this a significant weakness. Third, the authors quote from left-wing evangelicals enough that I would not want to use the book for an undergraduate class, which is the author’s target audience.
Barrett, Matthew and Ardel Caneday, eds. Four Views on the Historical Adam. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.
The advantage of multiple views books is the quick survey they provide of controversial issues from multiple points of view. But these books have a danger as well. The best argued position is not necessarily the best position. I believe that is the case with this book.
The book begins with an introduction written by the editors. This is followed by the four views: Denis Lamoureux argues that there was no historical Adam. The other three contributors argue for a historical Adam but from three different perspectives. John Walton writes from his unique comparative studies approach. C. John Collins writes from an old earth perspective. William Barrick writes from a young earth perspective. The book closes with two essays about the implications of a historical Adam. Gregory Boyd argues that for some a historical Adam is an obstacle to faith whereas nothing is lost by denying a historical Adam. Philip Ryken, on the other hand, argues that core elements of Christian theology and worldview depend on a historical Adam.
I think that Barrick and Ryken hold the correct positions, but Walton and Ryken argued for their positions the best. Unfortunately, Barrick’s chapter was largely taken up with an exposition of Genesis 1-4. This mean that he spent a good deal of space on matters that were not directly under debate. I think his argument would have been better if it proceeded under two lines of argument: First, he could have argued that a historical Adam in a world without death or sin is theologically necessary. Some of the points that Ryken raised in favor of a historical Adam Barrick should have raised in support of his position. Second, he should have demonstrated at key points that a young-earth reading of the text is superior to the alternatives offered by the other authors. For instance,
Rosner, Brian S. Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God. New Studies in Biblical Theology, ed. D. A. Carson. Downers Grove, InterVarsity, 2013.
The issue of the Christian’s relation to the law of God is one of the most complicated issues in theology. Some New Testament passages seem to teach that the Christian is not under the law while others seem to demand obedience to the law. Rosner addresses this seeming contradiction by noting four ways in which the Christian relates to the law. First, the Christian is not under the Mosaic Law as his covenant. Second, the Christian is under the Law of Christ (or the law of faith or the law of the Spirit of life) instead of the Law of Moses. The Christian does not walk according to the law; he walks in the Spirit. Third, the Law is prophetic and the Christian uses the law as such. Fourth, the Christian should use the law as wisdom. Even the commands that are not repeated in the New Testament have a bearing for how the Christian lives his life.
Rosner’s approach accounts for the New Testament’s negative and positive statements about the law in a coherent manner. Other scholars, such as Frank Theilman, Douglas Moo, and Thomas Schreiner have written with similar perspectives. But Rosner’s book is longer than Moo’s brief article in the Four Views book on the law. It is less comprehensive than Theilman or Schreiner’s books. Rosner’s selectivity leads to clarity. This may now be the best book for the interested layperson on the topic of the Christian and the Law.
Naselli, Andrew David. “Three Reflections on Evangelical Academic Publishing,” Themelios (November 2014).
Andy uses two recent books, John D’Elia’s A Place at the Table and Stanley Porter’s Inking the Deal, as grist for reflections of academic publishing. The article is both written humbly and, in my estimation, wise in its assessments.
Waltke, Bruce K. “Psalm 110: An Exegetical and Canonical Approach” in Resurrection and Eschatology: Theology in Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Edited by Lane G. Tipton and Jeffrey C. Waddington. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2008.
Waltke exegetes Ps. 110. He also argues that the Psalm was written by David as a prophecy of the Messiah.
Munday, John C. “Creature Mortality: From Creation or the Fall?” JETS 35, no. 1 (March 1992): 51-68.
Munday’s position is that death has always been part of God’s creation rather than a result of the Fall. The article is weakly written. Many of the positions are asserted rather than argued. Oftentimes alternative explanations are not considered.