It has been awhile since I have posted, but it has been because I have been busy and not lazy. As far as thoughts, ideas and Christianity, I have read or am reading a couple of books.
First, I cannot recommend too highly Scot McKnight’s new book, The King Jesus Gospel. This book largely makes the whole concept of my site irrelevant since it tells the true story of the gospel. Exactly what I was looking for.
Next, I was intrigued by the historical Jewish approach toward many of our modern problems. Richard Friedman and Shawna Dolansky have written a very readable book about subjects such as homosexuality, abortion, women, capital punishment and the earth (actually that covers the whole thing). Their book, The Bible Now looks at the bible in the context of having to make decisions about these issues in today’s environment. Although there are no new testament considerations since the authors are Jewish, the book is a must read for those of us who want to understand these decisions and absolutely required for those who hope to influence others.
I have also started to study the letter of James. Although I already had the Tyndale version of the Doublas Moo commentary on James, I was looking for something a bit up to date. For those who do not know, Moo has written two versions of a commentary on James and apparently I have been reading the inferior of the two. After talking with appropriate theologians, I got Scot McKnight’s (I really like Scot) fairly recent and quite comprehensive tome on James. If you want a comprehensive study I highly recommend it. The historical and biblical research and interpretation is impressive.
I have also been trying to finish Scot’s Community Called Atonement, but that repeatedly goes to the back in light of the more recently publish works. But it is quite good and recommend it.
I also have read and re-read a couple of times the John Piper response to N.T. Wright’s book on Justification. The Future of Justification, A Response to N.T. Wright is a Calvinist rebuttal to the new perspective exposition of Tom Wright. I am not a 5 point Calvinist, actually I am a zero point Calvinist, but I often find that counter arguments to concepts provide good illumination into the context under scrutiny. In this case I am just further reinforcing my view that the Calvinist movement simply misses the point as to what Christianity is all about.
I have also read twice, Pope Benedict’s wonderfully illuminating book Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration. I know that many of my protestant friends will be reluctant to read an obviously Catholic book, but it is well worth it. This book is not full of church dogmatics, rather it is full of substantiated reason and exegesis of the core biblical texts. Well worth the time.
I also went through N.T. Wight’s Paul for Everyone Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians (New Testament for Everyone) with a study group of a couple months and found it amazingly useful. Reading Tom Wright’s translation of the bible has me waiting eagerly for his new, personal translation. The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation actually has come out! As I am writing this I just ordered it, I can’t wait. (and as I am still writing I got confirmation from Amazon that the book is on its way!)
The reading pile has gotten bigger with various other titles, but the one I most looking forward to is the classic by Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged. I am into the first couple of chapters and quite entertained.
I hope you all enjoy some of these as much as I have.