This month’s new and noteworthy books offer many exciting and helpful incites on Scripture, Christology, the Christian life, and the relation between reason and faith. Check them out below and leave your own feedback as you have the opportunity to work through the following.
God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me
Crossway (April 2014)
Can we trust the Bible completely?
Is it sufficient for our complicated lives?
Can we really know what it teaches?
With his characteristic wit and clarity, award-winning author Kevin DeYoung has written an accessible introduction to the Bible that answers important questions raised by Christians and non-Christians. This book will help you understand what the Bible says about itself and the key characteristics that contribute to its lasting significance.
Avoiding technical jargon, this winsome volume will encourage you to read and believe the Bible—confident that it truly is God’s Word.
How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, A Response to Bart D. Ehrman
Michael F. Bird
Zondervan (March 2014)
In his recent book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee historian Bart Ehrman explores a claim that resides at the heart of the Christian faith— that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. According to Ehrman, though, this is not what the earliest disciples believed, nor what Jesus claimed about himself. The first response book to this latest challenge to Christianity from Ehrman, How God Became Jesus features the work of five internationally recognized biblical scholars. While subjecting his claims to critical scrutiny, they offer a better, historically informed account of why the Galilean preacher from Nazareth came to be hailed as ‘the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Namely, they contend, the exalted place of Jesus in belief and worship is clearly evident in the earliest Christian sources, shortly following his death, and was not simply the invention of the church centuries later.
Calvin on the Christian Life: Glorifying and Enjoy God Forever
Crossway (March 2014)
John Calvin, a man adored by some and maligned by others, stands as a legendary figure in Christian history. In Calvin on the Christian Life, professor Michael Horton offers us fresh insights into the Reformer’s personal piety and practical theology by allowing Calvin to speak in his own words.
Drawing not only from his Institutes and biblical commentaries, but also from lesser-known tracts, treatises, and letters, this book will deepen your understanding of Calvin’s theology and ministry by exploring the heart of his spiritual life: confident trust and unwavering joy in the sovereign grace of God.
Reason and Religion in the English Revolution: The Challenge of Socinianism
Cambridge University Press (January 2014)
This book provides a significant rereading of political and ecclesiastical developments during the English Revolution, by integrating them into broader European discussions about Christianity and civil society. Sarah Mortimer reveals the extent to which these discussions were shaped by the writing of the Socinians, an extremely influential group of heterodox writers. She provides the first treatment of Socinianism in England for over fifty years, demonstrating the interplay between theological ideas and political events in this period as well as the strong intellectual connections between England and Europe. Royalists used Socinian ideas to defend royal authority and the episcopal Church of England from both Parliamentarians and Thomas Hobbes. But Socinianism was also vigorously denounced and, after the Civil Wars, this attack on Socinianism was central to efforts to build a church under Cromwell and to provide toleration. The final chapters provide a new account of the religious settlement of the 1650s.
Oxford Handbook of Aquinas
Edited byBrian Davies and Eleonore Stump
Oxford University Press (February 2014)
Thomas Aquinas (1224/6-1274) lived an active, demanding academic and ecclesiastical life that ended while he was still comparatively young. He nonetheless produced many works, varying in length from a few pages to a few volumes.
The present book is an introduction to this influential author and a guide to his thought on almost all the major topics on which he wrote. The book begins with an account of Aquinas’s life and works. The next section contains a series of essays that set Aquinas in his intellectual context. They focus on the philosophical sources that are likely to have influenced his thinking, the most prominent of which were certain Greek philosophers (chiefly Aristotle), Latin Christian writers (such as Augustine), and Jewish and Islamic authors (such as Maimonides and Avicenna). The subsequent sections of the book address topics that Aquinas himself discussed. These include metaphysics, the existence and nature of God, ethics and action theory, epistemology, philosophy of mind and human nature, the nature of language, and an array of theological topics, including Trinity, Incarnation, sacraments, resurrection, and the problem of evil, among others. These sections include more than thirty contributions on topics central to Aquinas’s own worldview. The final sections of the volume address the development of Aquinas’s thought and its historical influence.
Any attempt to present the views of a philosopher in an earlier historical period that is meant to foster reflection on that thinker’s views needs to be both historically faithful and also philosophically engaged. The present book combines both exposition and evaluation insofar as its contributors have space to engage in both. This Handbook is therefore meant to be useful to someone wanting to learn about Aquinas’s philosophy and theology while also looking for help in philosophical interaction with it.