Up until a few months ago, I never entered contests. I figured I’d never win anyway, so I didn’t bother. That all changed when I started using Twitter regularly a few months ago and discovered that there are regular book giveaways in the Twitterverse. I could not resist. So I entered my first giveaway, and I won. I was shocked. And happy. And thankful. A few months later, I am still shocked and happy and thankful, but I’m also confused and amused. Because I just. keep. winning. I really don’t understand why I keep winning; I’m confused because I don’t believe in coincidence; because I believe that God “doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence” (WCF 5.1). Why would God in His sovereignty give me all these book victories? I’m not complaining. I just don’t get it.
Anyway, every victory has made me full of nerdy glee. I’ve won a lot of great books. But last week, I won the motherload. A few weeks ago Brazos Press hosted a blog tour for Craig Blomberg’s new book Can We Still Believe the Bible. Publishers often hold blog tours of new books by recruiting average joe bloggers like yours truly. But this blog tour was unique because all the participants are in the academic world of biblical and theological studies. Participants included luminaries in New Testament studies such as Daniel Wallace, Darrell Bock, Michael Bird, and Craig Keener. Do check out the tour. The giveaway included several copies of Can We Still Believe the Bible as well as a grand prize of 5 books. I won the grand prize!!!! See the picture below, and it will be obvious why I was/am so ecstatic. I’ve probably purchased more books from Baker Academic than any other publisher; and most of their books end up on my to-read list. And I own none of the books below. Words can’t express my delight. Now….I am seriously thinking about whether I can take a week off, get a cabin by a lake and just read/write.
- Can We Still Believe the Bible?: An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions (Craig Blomberg)
Challenges to the reliability of Scripture are perennial and have frequently been addressed. However, some of these challenges are noticeably more common today, and the topic is currently of particular interest among evangelicals. In this volume, highly regarded biblical scholar Craig Blomberg offers an accessible and nuanced argument for the Bible’s reliability in response to the extreme views about Scripture and its authority articulated by both sides of the debate. He believes that a careful analysis of the relevant evidence shows we have reason to be more confident in the Bible than ever before. As he traces his own academic and spiritual journey, Blomberg sketches out the case for confidence in the Bible in spite of various challenges to the trustworthiness of Scripture, offering a positive, informed, and defensible approach.
- Are You the One Who is to Come?: The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question (Michael Bird)
Did Jesus claim to be the longawaited “messiah”? Going against much contemporary scholarship, Australian scholar Michael Bird argues that he did. He begins by exploring the messianic expectations in the Old Testament and Second Temple Jewish literature. Next, Bird points out weaknesses in current arguments that “Messiah,” or “Christ,” was a title given to Jesus by the early church but not used by Jesus himself. Bird then examines the Gospels and related literature, finding in Jesus’s words and actions evidence that he saw himself as the messiah described in the Scriptures of Israel and believed that Israel’s restoration hinged on the outcome of his ministry.
- Jesus According to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels (Darrell Bock)
In recent years, historians and biblical scholars have been in active pursuit of the Jesus of history. These efforts have relied heavily on extra biblical documents, since many historians consider the Bible to be propagandistic and biased. Darrell Bock, however, argues that when read together, the Gospels provide a clear picture of Jesus and his unique claims to authority. Jesus according to Scripture seeks to show the coherent portrait of Jesus that emerges from the Gospels, a portrait that is rooted in history and yet has produced its own historical and cultural impact. Now available in paper, Jesus according to Scripture is an excellent textbook for courses on the life of Jesus at both the advanced college and seminary levels. Pastors, teachers, and all those interested in Jesus and the Gospels will also enjoy this scholarly yet accessible book.
- The Story of Jesus in History and Faith: An Introduction (Lee Martin McDonald)
Many books are available on the historical Jesus, but few address issues that are critically central to Christian faith–namely, Jesus as resurrected Lord, Christ, and Son of God. This comprehensive introduction to the study of the historical Jesus takes both scholarship and Christian faith seriously.Leading New Testament scholar Lee Martin McDonald brings together two critically important dimensions of the story of Jesus: what we can know about him in his historical context and what we can responsibly claim about his significance for faith today. McDonald examines the most important aspects of the story of Jesus from his birth to his resurrection and introduces key issues and approaches in the study of the historical Jesus. He also considers faith issues, taking account of theological perspectives that secular historiography cannot address. The book incorporates excerpts from primary sources and includes a map and tables.
- Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (Craig Keener)
Most modern prejudice against biblical miracle reports depends on David Hume’s argument that uniform human experience precluded miracles. Yet current research shows that human experience is far from uniform. In fact, hundreds of millions of people today claim to have experienced miracles. New Testament scholar Craig Keener argues that it is time to rethink Hume’s argument in light of the contemporary evidence available to us. This wide-ranging and meticulously researched two-volume study presents the most thorough current defense of the credibility of the miracle reports in the Gospels and Acts. Drawing on claims from a range of global cultures and taking a multidisciplinary approach to the topic, Keener suggests that many miracle accounts throughout history and from contemporary times are best explained as genuine divine acts, lending credence to the biblical miracle reports.
To Brazos Press and Baker Academic, thanks for hosting such a great blog tour and for giving away such an amazing prize package!