In The Mail: Am I Predestined to be a Calvinist Edition?

The kind folks at Westminster-John Knox has flooded my mail box with four outstanding titles:

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Product Description
WJK is proud to present this special collection of fourteen of Karl Barth’s World War I-era sermons— the only English language collection of Barth sermons preached between 1917 and 1920 when he was a parish pastor in Safenwil, Switzerland. This volume offers a fascinating glimpse into Barth’s interpretation of Scripture during a time of great historical significance. Renowned preacher William H. Willimon provides expert commentary on the theological and homiletical substance of each selection and points to the many ways in which Barth’s early preaching can enrich the work of preachers today.

About the Author
Karl Barth was one of the premier theologians of the twentieth century. He is most widely known for his monumental Church Dogmatics. Among other works, Prayer: 50th Anniversary Edition is published by Westminster John Knox Press.

William H. Willimon is Presiding Bishop of the Birmingham Area of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has been named as one of the Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English-speaking world.

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From Publishers Weekly
Eminent Old Testament scholar Brueggemann (Theology of the Old Testament) offers a clear and eloquent introductory study of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament that surpasses many older introductions such as Anderson’s Understanding the Old Testament and Bright’s A History of Israel. Focusing on the literature of the Old Testament rather than on the ways that such literature grows out of the history of Israel, he emphasizes that the development of the Old Testament was an act of imaginative remembering. It evolved through what he calls a “traditioning” process, whereby the texts grew dynamically out of a confluence of historical, ideological, political and religious forces in Israel. Brueggemann arranges his introduction in canonical order (Torah, prophets, writings) to demonstrate the ways that various themes built upon one another and how the texts reflect the ongoing development of Israel. For example, the “writings”-which include Proverbs, Psalms and Job as well as Esther and Daniel-reflect, in Brueggemann’s view, the diversity of life and faith characteristic of post-exilic Judaism. Brueggemann’s reading of the Old Testament makes it alive for us today. As we interpret the text in our own times, we engage in the “traditioning” process, for each time we read, new meanings are disclosed to us. Although Brueggemann sometimes veers off into territory for which a background in biblical studies is necessary, his crystal clear prose, lucid ways of telling stories and canny theological insights make this introduction a real gem.

Product Description
America’s premier biblical theologian offers an outstanding introductory textbook on the broad theological scope and chronological sweep of the Old Testament. Covering every book of the Old Testament—in the order in which it appears in the Hebrew Bible—the Introduction explains, without unnecessary jargon, the most important issues and methods in contemporary interpretation of the Old Testament—literary, historical, and theological.

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Product Description
Many would argue that a true understanding of contemporary Christian thought is impossible without a basic understanding of John Calvin’s contributions. Now, just in time for the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth, William Stacy Johnson, a leading theologian, offers this clear and fundamental study of Calvin’s insights as a primer for those with little or no knowledge of his work. Calvin is more than just a figure from history. His life and work—both infused with his passion for the reform of the church—had a continuing impact through the centuries, not only on the church but on society in general. Enhanced with questions for discussion and a handy glossary, this volume is sure to be an invaluable resource for those who seek an accessible way into a deeper understanding of Calvin’s role in the development of today’s Christian faith.

About the Author
William Stacy Johnson is Arthur M. Adams Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Product Description
This introductory-level book on Christianity looks clearly at what the church believed and taught throughout its history. Hard questions about the Bible, theology, and the Christian life are dealt with from the perspective of faith. As author, veteran scholar, and pastor James Howell puts it, “Great hope rests in thinking through these questions, and this book wrestles with them.” Howell knows the questions people ask and is adept at answering them. In doing so, he explores what it means to live as a Christian, as part of the church community, and also what it means to live with the hope Christian faith provides, even for those who “previously believed there was no hope.” Includes study questions for discussion.

About the Author
James C. Howell is Pastor of the Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the author of a number of books, including The Beatitudes for Today and The Will of God, both from Westminster John Knox Press.

Post By Joel Watts (10,051 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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2 thoughts on In The Mail: Am I Predestined to be a Calvinist Edition?

  1. Yes, Calvin is 500 years now! With Augustine he is still being read in the West. Quite amazing really. Would that his so-called Calvinists really read him! Rather than only Calvinism. I would take one line from the Institutes and his Sermons, over many Calvinist Creeds. Calvin’s early doctrine of predestination had mystery and humility in it. He always really maintained that God’s decree was a “fatal abyss” for those who did not study and investigate it according to the Word of God itself. Indeed there must be mystery in all of God’s doctrines!
    Fr. R.

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