Giveaway Winner – Moo Festschrift

Before I announce the lucky winner, I’d like to comment briefly on my own appreciation for Dr. Doug Moo. Perhaps the most frequently mentioned item of appreciation in the comments for the giveaway had to do with his NICNT volume on Romans, and this is what I would have commented on as well if asked the question. This commentary was the first commentary I ever bought, so in a sense you could say that this was where it all started – my Bible nerdery.

For those who commented on Moo’s work and/or Pauline studies, I greatly enjoyed reading your answers. In my opinion there were many who were greatly worthy of the prize, but the random (under the sovereignty of God, of course ;) ) number generator has spoken. CONGRATULATIONS, NATE PICKOWICS!! Send me your mailing address, and be sure to tweet a #biblioselfie and/or make a meme when you receive it.

Moo GiveawayP.S. In case anyone cares, the replies were not counted in the selection pool.

P.P.S. I can’t believe Jason Gardner did not win, as he was the only one to Tweet the giveaway just about every day.

P.P.P.S If you’re the type to actually search out the winning comment, you’ll notice that it was written by me. That’s because Nate said on Twitter that he couldn’t log in and therefore couldn’t comment, and he asked me to comment for him. When he won I cracked up because…well…in a way, I won. In light of my book-winning record, I just found this hilarious.


Bound for the Promised Land: The land promise in God’s redemptive plan (Oren Martin)

Oren R. Martin. Bound for the Promised Land: The land promise in God’s redemptive plan. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2015. 208 pp. $25.00.

Bound for the Promised LandBound for the Promised Land, the latest volume in IVP Academic’s New Studies in Biblical Theology series under the editorship of D. A. Carson, is a substantial revision of Dr. Oren Martin’s doctoral dissertation completed in 2013 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary under Dr. Bruce Ware. The aim of the study is “to demonstrate that the land promised to Abraham advances the place of kingdom that was lost in Eden and serves as a type throughout Israel’s history that anticipates the even greater land – prepared for all God’s people throughout history – that will come as a result of the person and work of Christ. In other words, the land and its blessings find their fulfillment in the new heaven and new earth won by Christ” (17).

Martin begins in Chapter 2 with providing a biblical-theological framework for understanding the land promise in redemptive history. In this framework, kingdom is key; “fundamental to the story line of Scripture is the notion that God, the Creator and King of the cosmos, has a people who live under his reign” (31). Chapters 3-6 examine the unfolding of the land promise across the Old Testament. Chapter 3 focuses on Genesis and argues first of all that the first 11 chapters are more than just a prologue to the story of Abraham and Israel, but is instead “crucial for the development of a biblical theology, for Abram is God’s response to a problem that emerges from Adam” (61). Secondly, Martin demonstrates through Genesis 12-50 that the land promise is both conditional and unconditional, both national and international, and both temporal and eternal. Chapter 4 traces the theme of land throughout Exodus and Deuteronomy and highlights the anticipation of the people of Israel for acquiring the Promised Land. By the end of the Pentateuch, God’s people are poised to enter. Chapter 5 examines the partial fulfillment of the land promise from Joshua – Kings. In Chapter 6, Martin investigates the loss of land through exile and the eschatological hope of the Prophets.

[T]he promise of restoration goes far beyond what was previously experienced and is described in astonishing realities, for it includes not only the nation of Israel but also the nations, and not only the boundaries of the promised land but also the entire earth. The universality stressed in the latter prophets revives the consciousness of the worldwide significance of the Abrahamic promises.

(Martin 96)

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Saturday Sillies – The Moo Edition

Why is this a Moo edition? Because I’m giving away a copy of the Festschrift in his honor, of course! At some point during the giveaway Tim Bertolet and Nate Pickowicz had a hilarious meme war on Twitter. Below are some of my favorites

Moo - LOTR

Moo - Carson

Moo - Star Trek


Moo 2


Moo - Journey

The one that made me laugh the most doesn’t have anything to do with Moo, but Tim made it after I mentioned something about how everyone’s odds of winning are exponentially higher since I’m not entering. I really can’t figure this out, but back when I entered a lot of book giveaways I won a ludicrous proportion…probably over 50%. At one point, after asking “Why me again, Lord??” I just threw my hands in the air and gave up. It was like reverse theodicy. Anyway, with that background in place, here’s the meme:

Moo - GiveawayJedi

Ok, I hope you’ve had a chuckle. And if you haven’t entered the giveaway for Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo yet, be sure to do so!

Giveaway – Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo

A few months ago I reviewed the Festschrift that was presented to Douglas Moo at last year’s ETS annual meeting (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3). This past weekend a friend gave me a goodie bag which contained a copy of this book, so I’m going to give it to one of you :) Douglas Moo needs no introduction, and it’s obvious that this book is a treat for all Pauline studies nerds, especially those who appreciate the contributions of Moo. Since I don’t have a self-hosted site I can’t use one of those fancy giveaway widgets, so you’ll have to do a bit more work for entries. Here are the various ways you can enter (comment separately for each to gain more entries):

  1. Comment on one way Moo’s scholarship has impacted you
  2. Comment on one issue in Pauline studies that fascinates you
  3. Follow me on Twitter and comment saying you did
  4. Tweet the giveaway and comment saying you did
  5. Share the giveaway via any and any other social media platform and comment saying you did
  6. Subscribe to my blog and comment saying you did.

You can tweet the giveaway once a day for additional entries, just comment saying you did. The giveaway is open to residents of the contiguous US only (unless you’re going to the SBL annual meeting this year, in which case I can give it to you there if you win) and closes at 11:59PM EST on Thursday, May 21. I will use a random number generator to select the winning comment, and the winner will be announced on Friday, May 22. You can check out my reviews to whet your appetite if you missed them the first time around (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3). Below is the video of the presentation of the Festschrift.

Book Notice – An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology (M. Eugene Boring)

M. Eugene Boring. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012. 720 pp. $45.00.

Boring NTThis NT introduction is the fruit of a lifetime of scholarship by a distinguished NT scholar, M. Eugene Boring, I. Wylie Briscoe Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University. One distinguishing feature of this NT introduction is immediately apparent: there are nine chapters weighing in at 181 pages before Boring even gets into the NT texts. Many NT introductions dive right into a book-by-book survey, with others supplying a brief chapter or two that provide a broad overview of the Greco-Roman and Jewish backgrounds of the NT. The detailed background from multiple angles that Boring provides sets his volume apart in the world of NT introductions and makes this a valuable resource for the motivated and serious beginning student of the NT.

Boring’s introduction to his introduction covers what the NT is and how it was formed as the Church’s book; it introduces textual criticism, bible translation and biblical interpretation; it provides an overview of the Hellenistic world and Palestinian Judaism within that world; and introduces the quests of the Historical Jesus and the first Christian generation. After this lengthy prolegomenon, the next surprise is that whereas NT introductions typically begin with the Gospels, Boring begins with Paul and ends with the Gospels, Acts, the Johannine letters, and Revelation. The other major unique attribute of Boring’s NT introduction is its theological emphasis, as noted in the subtext. Whereas NT introductions typically do not cover theology, Boring’s volume addresses what he calls the “exegetical-theological précis ” of each book.

For those not familiar with Boring as a scholar, it should be noted that this is a critical NT introduction. This is apparent from methodology as well as conclusions, from issues such as dating and authorship to more significant matters related to the integrity of the NT text. As such, as an evangelical, this isn’t a book I would recommend to the typical person in the pew as an introduction to serious study of the NT. The first NT introduction I’d recommend is hands-down The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown (Kostenberger, Kellum, and Quarles). That being said, for the academically-inclined evangelical who has read a few conservative NT introductions and is somewhat familiar with the terrain, I highly recommend Boring’s volume as a stellar work from a moderate, more critical approach.

For the serious student of the NT, Boring’s An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology is a worthy addition your library. Alongside the conservative must-haves such as Kostenberger/Kellum/Quarles and Carson/Moo, Boring’s volume merits a spot in one’s NT introduction section next to the likes of Raymond Brown and Luke Timothy Johnson.

Thanks to Westminster John Knox for the review copy!

Purchase: Amazon

See All Y’all* in Atlanta!!

*I once saw somewhere that in the south “y’all” is used to address 2-5 people and “all y’all” to address more than five. Southerners, please correct me if I’m wrong.

For the past few years starting around March as my social media started to buzz about ETS/SBL I’d start to feel a growing sadness; this sadness would obviously climax in November as the annual meetings took place and my social media became dominated by the nerdy happenings of these events. And I’d hear “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid in my head and with sadness remind myself that I’d never be a part of that world. Well, I suppose I should now be singing “Never Say Never” from An American Tail, because I’m going to SBL this year!!

I was worried about how I’d be able to find a roommate as a first-time attendee, especially since I’m not in seminary yet and wouldn’t be able to tap that network. But a few days ago an amazing scholar and woman of God asked me to be her roommate (I’m not revealing her identity because I don’t want you all stalking me to get to her :P), after which I immediately applied for SBL student membership and signed up for the annual meeting. I’m trying to decide whether to take in part of ETS (Wednesday and Thursday so that I wouldn’t have to miss Tuesday classes twice), but I am now leaning against it since that would mean missing ST with KJV on Wednesday as well as Greek and Hebrew Thursday. I had assumed that most professors would cancel a class for the annual meetings, but a recent TEDS MDiv graduate just told me that most profs don’t cancel.

Anywho, if you’ll be at SBL and would like to get coffee or a meal or roam the book hall together, let me know! It would be fun to meet in person some of you lovely nerds whom I’ve thus far only known via blog/Twitter/Facebook.

Also, in the past I always heard about tons of things I wanted to go to (such as the Christology showdown and apocalyptic Paul session last year), but now that I’m actually going I have this fear of not finding out about things I would want to go to. I’ll just have to trust that I will find out through social media, I guess, as I always have. I’m sure my awesome roommate will also alert me to plenty of delightful sessions and events :)

See all y’all in Hotlanta!

40 Questions about Creation and Evolution

Kenneth F. Keathley and Mark F. Rooker. 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2014. 432 pp. $23.99.

40QOne of the most controversial and divisive intra-evangelical debates is in the area of origins. At the extremes, Young-Earth Creationists (YECs) can think that Old-Earth Creationists (OECs) and theistic evolutionists have a low view of Scripture and are at risk of compromising the gospel; OECs and theistic evolutionists can think YECs are not using their brains and have a faulty literalistic hermeneutic. Most frequently books on origins are written from a certain perspective and/or address one (or a few) subtopic(s), and often books on origins increase misunderstanding and further the divide between the main camps (the several multiview books in this area are, of course, exceptions to the latter statement). In 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution, Kenneth Keathley and Mark Rooker provide a balanced, fair, and scholarly yet accessible introduction to all the main issues surrounding the topic of origins.

Keathley and Rooker are both professors at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, with the former identifying as OEC and the latter identifying as YEC. Though conservative, Keathley and Rooker do not succumb to some of the pitfalls of conservative books on origins. They are fair and nuanced in their presentation and assessment of other views and rarely cast other positions as automatically outside the bounds of orthodoxy. This can be seen in their approach in Question 38, “Can Christians Hold to Theistic Evolution?” They note famous Christian leaders past and present who embraced theistic evolution, such as B. B. Warfield, C. S. Lewis, and Tim Keller. However, they emphatically affirm the importance of an historical Adam and Eve and present this as the litmus test for any model that tries to integrate Genesis 1-3 with the findings of modern science (378).  They do note that while there are serious and detrimental consequences to denying an historical Adam and Eve, they do not doubt the commitment to Christ of those who do so, such as Lamoureux and Giberson. After surveying three positions held by evolutionary creationists who affirm an historical Adam, Keathley and Rooker note both evangelicals (who affirm inerrancy) who affirm evolutionary creationism (such as Bauer) and those who contend that it is not a viable option for evangelicals (e.g. Grudem). While noting the theological concerns and hermeneutical challenges of evolutionary creationism, the authors recognize that believing scientists “are followers of Christ who desire to be faithful to the gospel by working with integrity within their scientific vocations” (385).

Structurally 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution is broken into six parts: the doctrine of creation (4 questions), creation and Genesis 1-2 (6 questions), the days of creation (6 questions), the age of the earth (6 questions), the fall and the flood (9 questions), and evolution and intelligent design (9 questions). This is an excellent introduction to the topic of origins that interacts with the best of biblical scholarship and scientific views. While solidly evangelical with a commitment to biblical inerrancy, the authors are not overly dogmatic and are irenic and fair in their presentation of other views. I highly recommend this book as an introduction to the topic of origins, but especially to those who hold to conservative views on the matter. Not only do you come away from the book with a broader and deeper understanding of the topic in general and the main points of debate, but you also gain a greater appreciation for the other sides. Often conservative literature paints a picture of OECs and evolutionary creationists that tries to make you question their faith and commitment to Christ; this book helps you see that it’s possible for those on the other sides of the debates to affirm inerrancy and have a genuine devotion to Christ and commitment to the gospel.

Thanks to Kregel Academic for the review copy!

Purchase: Amazon


Music Monday – For Every Curse (Daniel Bashta)

I first discovered Daniel Bashta back when he was an independent artist on Come&Live (home to some of my favorite bands, such as Ascend the Hill and The Ember Days. Best of all, the music on C&L is free to download). Oh, and Daniel Bashta wrote what was perhaps the most covered CCM song prior to John Mark McMillan’s “How He Loves” – “Like A Lion” (which you might know of as “God’s Not Dead,” the title used by Newsboys for their cover).

Last Tuesday Daniel Bashta released his latest, “For Every Curse” and I’ve been listening to it multiple times a day. The music video below is pretty neat. I especially love the dancing that’s featured in it and don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it in a music video for a Christian song.


Here’s the full album.

Reformed Catholicity: The Promise of Retrieval for Theology and Biblical Interpretation (Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain)

Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain. Reformed Catholicity: The Promise of Retrieval for Theology and Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015. 176 pp. $19.99.

Reformed CatholicityTo many modern Christian ears, “Reformed catholicity” sounds like an oxymoron. Reformed theology is often perceived as anti-catholic and pursuing catholicity can be seen as abandoning the tenets of the Reformation and returning to Rome. Reformed Theological Seminary professors Michael Allen and Scott Swain have written Reformed Catholicity to argue that “to be Reformed means to go deeper into true catholicity, not to move away from catholicity” (4) and to provide a manifesto for a Reformed-catholic ressourcement for the sake of mission and renewal. Their thesis is that “there are Reformed theological and ecclesiological warrants for pursuing a program of retrieval, that we can and should pursue catholicity on Protestant principles, and that pursuing this path holds promise for theological and spiritual renewal” (13).

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In the (e)mail (Or, You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks)

Logos 2 Cor

Just a mere months ago I was a total print snob. In addition to far preferring the actual reading/annotating experience of print as opposed to any digital format, there were reasons such as the feel of the covers, the smell of the pages, the beauty of bountiful bookshelves. But through a series of irresistible deals I now have Logos 6 with a bangin biblical studies library (I’m not ready to sell the print books that have been duplicated in Logos, though. I’m very much attached to my beautiful, bountiful bookshelves). And I must admit….having thousands of books literally at my fingertips at all times (including essential commentary series such as PNTC, NIGTC, and BECNT) is pretty amazing. I was once made fun of for my aversion to technology, but…well, who’s laughing now? Me. With my unbelievable, albeit digital, library.

Anyway, as final evidence that I am no longer a Luddite, I will be reviewing one of the newest additions to the Pillar New Testament Commentary series, Mark Seifrid’s volume on 2 Corinthians. I never thought that, given the choice, I’d choose a digital book to review as opposed to print. But given that I own the Logos 15-volume PNTC set through my base package, the portability of digital books, and power of Logos 6, it made sense to continue and eventually complete the series in Logos.

The question that Paul set before the ancient church in Corinth—“Do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in and among you?” (2 Cor 13:5)—remains a critical question for the church today. This commentary by Mark Seifrid seeks to hear Paul’s message afresh and communicate it to our time.

Seifrid offers a unified reading of 2 Corinthians, which has often been regarded as a composite of excerpts and fragments. He argues that Paul’s message is directed at the “practical atheism” of the Corinthian church—the hidden heresy that assumes God’s saving work in the world may be measured by outward standards of success and achievement.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Thanks to Logos/Faithlife for the review copy!

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