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Thread: What art thou currently reading?

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    tWebber JB DoulosChristou's Avatar
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    What art thou currently reading?

    This thread was a staple of the old Study Room at the old TheologyWeb, so it surely merits new birth here.

    To kick things off, at the moment I'm really just focused on one book: Mark A. Noll's 2011 book Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. I'm enjoying it thus far. (The reason I'm reading so few is that I finished most of my others and have checked a slew out of the seminary library to take home to read during the spring semester.)

    "The Jesus Christ who saves sinners is the same Christ who beckons his followers to serious use of their minds for serious explorations of the world" (41).

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    tWebber JB DoulosChristou's Avatar
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    Actually, since TWeb was down for so long, I might as well post a partial list of some of the books that I theoretically might have posted in this thread (since July) but have since finished:

    • John Wesley on Religious Affections: His Views on Experience and Emotion and Their Role in the Christian Life and Theology by Gregory S. Clapper
    • Exploring Ecclesiology: An Evangelical and Ecumenical Introduction by Brad Harper and Paul Louis Metzger
    • Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board by Glenn C. Daman
    • Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict by Esther de Waal
    • Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context by David Instone-Brewer
    • How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems by Peter L. Steinke
    • Foundations of Christian Formation by Adrian van Kaam and Susan Muto
    • Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World by JR Woodward
    • Recovering the Love Feast: Broadening Our Eucharistic Celebrations by Paul Fike Stutzman
    • The Illustrated London News, 1905-1907 by G. K. Chesterton
    • The Illustrated London News, 1908-1910 by G. K. Chesterton
    • The Illustrated London News, 1911-1913 by G. K. Chesterton
    • The Psalms Through Three Thousand Years: Prayerbook of a Cloud of Witnesses by William L. Holladay
    • In the President's Office: The Diaries of L. John Nuttall, 1879-1892, edited by Jedediah S. Rogers
    • Between Babel and Beast: America and Empires in Biblical Perspective by Peter J. Leithart
    • Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition by Christine D. Pohl
    • Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions by Craig L. Blomberg
    • Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation by Miroslav Volf
    • Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader, edited by Lorne L. Dawson
    • Wealth as Peril and Obligation: The New Testament on Possessions by Sondra Wheeler
    • Faith and Wealth: A History of Early Christian Ideas on the Origin, Significance, and Use of Money by Justo L. Gonzalez
    • The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God by G. K. Beale
    • Pastoral Ministry According to Paul: A Biblical Vision by James W. Thompson
    • Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts by William J. Webb
    • In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Todd M. Compton
    • Wealth and Poverty in the Book of Proverbs by R. N. Whybray
    • Strangers in the Pews: The Pastoral Care of Psychiatric Patients within the Christian Congregation by Roger Grainger
    • Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality by Thomas E. Reynolds
    • Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers by Thomas McLaughlin
    • Management Essentials for Christian Ministries, edited by Michael J. Anthony and James Estep, Jr.
    • Advanced Strategic Planning: A 21st-Century Model for Church and Ministry Leaders by Aubrey Malphurs
    • We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry by G. K. Beale
    • When Moses Meets Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations by Gil Rendle and Susan Beaumont
    • Whose Offering Plate Is It? New Strategies for Financial Stewardship by J. Clif Christopher
    • What Evangelicals Believe by Samuel P. Spreng
    • Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution by Denis O. Lamoureux
    • Justification and Variegated Nomism (2 vols.), edited by D. A. Carson, Peter T. O'Brien, and Mark A. Seifrid
    • Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul by Mark Buchanan

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    Freshman PresbuterOS's Avatar
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    I'm currently working my way through From Heaven He Came And Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective. It's given me brain overload, but it's great nonetheless.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Of all the books JB posted, I'm only semi-familiar with two (I've read major snippets of the Blomberg book on wealth, and I've read most of the Lamoureux book on evolution, which is excellent and which I can't recommend enough).

    But I'm taking a short break from my more serious reading and catching up on some of the fiction I should have read as a kid but simply never got around to (notably, the Narnia and LOTR series).
    I want something good to die for to make it beautiful to live.

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    tWebber JB DoulosChristou's Avatar
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    I actually was not at all a fan of Lamoureux's book. (To be more blunt, for a moment it halfway persuaded me to backtrack and become a young-earth creationist again!) While I, as what Lamoureux would call an 'evolutionary creationist', do agree with most of its general conclusions, I found it sloppy and overly Bultmann-esque in its approach. Very repetitive, and intentionally provocative in ways that seriously detracted to the book's ability to win over those not already of his persuasion. And it quickly became obvious that Lamoureux's training was in biology and theology but emphatically not biblical studies, or else he wouldn't have missed such a massive amount of what Genesis 1-11 is about. (Also, I think his case for gradual polygenism was rushed through in a very premature way and failed to give serious attention to the range of theological literature around original sin, and his discussion of theodicy was also sorely lacking in many respects.) It's a real shame, because there's a need for serious, well-informed literature defending theistic evolution in careful, nuanced ways with serious attention given not just to the scientific realities but also to the biblical data and the theological ramifications. Lamoureux had that potential, but I think he fumbled it.
    "The Jesus Christ who saves sinners is the same Christ who beckons his followers to serious use of their minds for serious explorations of the world." - Mark Noll

    "It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading." - John Wesley

    "Wherever men are still theological, there is still some chance of their being logical." - G. K. Chesterton

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    The main reason his book resonated with me was because it was one of the few TE resources I had ever seen that actually addressed the issues of the genealogies and the Tower of Babel in more than a cursory manner (i.e. not just saying "the genealogies were telescoped, and that was that"). He was willing to acknowledge some of the problems with concordism that I had personally noticed but that everybody else seemed to have no problems glossing over (such as that other languages clearly existed prior to the likely timing of the Tower of Babel), and others that I do not have the scientific know-how to personally notice. While, yes, there are echoes of Bultmann, I very reluctantly had to conclude that his explanation was the only one I had ever seen that made full sense of the data, and it's not an exaggeration to say that this probably saved my faith a couple years ago.

    Having said that, I know others in the TE community are beginning to catch up on filling in some of these holes as well. The other day, the Biologos Foundation highlighted a good paper by Carol Hill that, like Lamoureux, sees symbolism in the numbers of the genealogies (as it turns out there are a number of numerical patterns in there far too striking to be coincidence).

    And, just so I'm not off topic, the next theology book I plan on reading is probably one of Amos Yong's books on disabilities and the church. I'm poor so I'll probably just read the popular version, as much as I hate doing that.
    I want something good to die for to make it beautiful to live.

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    tWebber Irate Canadian's Avatar
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    Not reading anything theology related,however I am reading Homeland by Cory Doctorow.

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    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit

    Having said that, I know others in the TE community are beginning to catch up on filling in some of these holes as well. The other day, the Biologos Foundation highlighted a good paper by Carol Hill that, like Lamoureux, sees symbolism in the numbers of the genealogies (as it turns out there are a number of numerical patterns in there far too striking to be coincidence).
    Number symbolism to reject the historicity of Genesis? Please tell me I'm reading that wrong. You would, in order to be consistent, need to reject the Exodus(uses of 10 and 40), the attack on Jericho(7's again), the Gospel of John(more 7's), and Daniel's prophecies(more 7's). Probably a lot of other things as well. Oh, and for each thing you take out of history, anything typologically based on it in the New Testament would be invalidated. This is because typology is by definition based on history*.

    You really should be careful when looking for "solutions" to Genesis, every single one I have ever seen ends up causing 10-20 more problems than it supposedly "solves".

    * http://christianthinktank.com/typol.html A quote from there explaining this here.

    "Only historical facts--persons, actions, events, and institutions--are material for typological interpretation; words and narratives can be utilized only insofar as they deal with such matters. These things are to be interpreted typologically only if they are considered to be divinely ordained representations or types of future realities that will be even grater and more complete."
    Safka, you are NOT "unknown", you were loved by many, and you will not be forgotten. I will always remember you Puginator.


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    Let's assume it's symbolic. I think that it could be interpreted that the lifespans were not actually the number cited multiplied by the time take for a revolution around the sun. It doesn't mean that I am necessarily applying the principle "all symbolic numbers are not a real count of the specified thing".

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    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paprika View Post
    Let's assume it's symbolic. I think that it could be interpreted that the lifespans were not actually the number cited multiplied by the time take for a revolution around the sun. It doesn't mean that I am necessarily applying the principle "all symbolic numbers are not a real count of the specified thing".
    I did say "To be consistent" you would have to do that.

    If you still want to do this you need show why, using the Biblical text, why some number symbolism needs to be taken as ahistorical, and why others shouldn't. You then need to take into account if/how such events are used elsewhere. If typologically, then you should know you have a problem right off the bat. IIRC Genesis 1-11 is used by every NT author, and much of the time as typology. This alone should be enough to vouch for the historicity of the events in question.
    Safka, you are NOT "unknown", you were loved by many, and you will not be forgotten. I will always remember you Puginator.


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