Review: An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination

From Amazon: 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


Review: Accompany Them with Singing – The Christian Funeral

From Amazon Starred Review. Long, a homiletics professor and well-regarded preacher, argues that funerals have become spiritually impoverished and need revitalization. Providing a comprehensive review of the history, traditions and theology of Christian funerals, Long notes that recent decades have seen both growing comfort with cremation and an increased preference for disembodied memorial services offering closure. In defiance of this trend, Long argues that just as bodies are present for baptism and weddings, they should be present for funerals. Long laments that eulogies celebrating individual lives often replace gospel preaching and advocates instead that liturgies emphasize a community’s conveyance

Books / Theology

Review: Introducing Christianity: Exploring the Bible, Faith, and Life

From Amazon: 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


Review: The Early Preaching of Karl Barth: Fourteen Sermons with Commentary by William H. Willimon

From Amazon: 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.


Review: John Calvin, Reformer for the 21st Century

From Amazon: 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


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: