It’s been quiet around here. Last month I didn’t write many book reviews, and only read a few books cover-to-cover. This is because I was trying to prepare for my visit to Trinity this coming Sunday – Monday. I have a meeting set up with a faculty member and will try to chat with a few others during the faculty lunch on Monday. So, of course, I had to read some of their papers, book chapters, etc. Oh, and also there was a span of about a week in which if you visited my blog, you got a message saying it had been suspended for violating WordPress policy. I thought it was surely an error, but upon contacting support I found out that it’s because if you have a free wordpress blog, you’re not allowed to have image links. So my sidebar which displayed my reading, as well as every book review (which contained the book cover with a link) was a violation. Anywho, onto October’s reading:
- Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration – Matthew Barrett. I think this is in general an excellent and comprehensive overview of monergism for the typical reader who cherishes Reformed soteriology. More advanced readers should seek out the full dissertation (available as an ebook from P&R as well as in SBTS’s free dissertation database) rather than this published version, which falls short of what one expects for a doctoral dissertation. Full review here.
- And So To Bed…A Biblical View of Sleep – Adrian Reynolds. The central thesis of this book is that “Sleep is part of our created humanity, a good gift from God to be treasured and enjoyed; an earthly picture of a spiritual reality” (10). This short, popular-level book addresses a topic Christians typically don’t read/write/think about, but one that is important because we all sleep (duh). We need a biblical perspective on everything in life, sleep included. Full review here.
- Two Views on the Doctrine of the Trinity – Stephen Holmes and Paul Molnar, ed. This, the latest in Zondervan’s Counterpoint series, looks at classical versus relational Trinitarianism. It’s not for the novice looking for an introduction to Trinitarianism, but is an excellent overview of recent debates for the reader who has some background historical and systematic knowledge of the doctrine. Full review at Grace for Sinners.
- Judgment According to Works – The Meaning and Function of Divine Judgment in Paul’s Most Important Letter – Kevin McFadden. I didn’t mean to read two SBTS dissertations in one month….it just kind of happened. McFadden’s study examines “each passage in Romans in which the theme of divine judgment according to works plays a prominent role in Paul’s argument: 1:18-32 (chapter 2); 2:1-29 (chapter 3); 3:1-8 (chapter 4); 3:9-20 (chapter 5); and 14:1-23 (chapter 6). The meaning of the motif in each passage will be examined along four lines: the agent of judgment, the action of judgment, the ground of judgment, and the object of judgment” (31). McFadden uses the traditional tools of historical, grammatical, and theological exegesis, examines the rhetorical function of the judgment motif in each passage, and explains the function of the motif in light of the purpose of the Epistle to the Romans. The above quote is from the revised version published in Fortress Press’s Emerging Scholars series. It is also available in SBTS’s free dissertation database.
- Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology – Oliver Crisp. I need some time to solidify my thoughts on this book. I had requested a review copy significantly prior to the book’s release, before a TOC or any kind of publicity was available. And it was nothing like what I expected (this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I really enjoyed reading this book). The scope of this book is a bit narrower (or perhaps just different) than what I had expected just based on the title – universalism is the star of this show. Click here for an interview with Crisp on the book in the Fortress Press Live podcast. Review forthcoming.
Many thanks to P&R, Christian Focus, Zondervan Academic, and Fortress Press for the review copies!