Unlike most months, I did a fair amount of re-reading in order to polish up my ETS paper. In light of that, I only finished 9 new books. I know right? Really slacking off here. Some of these I’ll comment on in more detail later. Also, I left off the categories this time because I think I only read more theology books so I probably didn’t any new category unless we want to get creative with some of the N. T. Wright books (like categorizing them as young adult fiction or something similarly savage).
I’m actually in California right now, draining a Trenta cold brew as quick as I can to make up for jet lag and something less than four hours of sleep. By the time you read this, I’ll be somewhere around downtown San Fransisco, helping keep track of a bunch of high school seniors. Or driving to Yosemite. Depends on when you read.
UPDATE: I added categories to the books below
Anyway, here’s the 9 books (total of 37 for the year) I’ve gotten to in the 2017 Reading Challenge:
Summa Philosophica (a book of your choice)
This is the first Peter Kreeft book I read in a while, and it was quite enjoyable. As an intro to important philosophical questions and a different style of argumentation, it’s a great book. Highly recommend!
The Paul Debate: Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle (a book about the Bible)
SPCK sent me this for review and it was super helpful to read right before ETS. I’ll have more to say about in a formal review, but it is basically N. T. Wright saying N. T. Wright things in response to select reviews of his massive book on Paul. It also serves as a good intro to some of his main lines of thought on Paul, and might be the place to start with Wright if you haven’t wrestled with him.
Prophet, Priest, and King: The Roles of Christ in the Bible and Our Roles Today (a book about theology)
P&R sent this along for review, so I’ll save most of my comments. The threefold offices of Christ deserve more study and attention and this book by Richard Belcher is a good place to start.
Death in Adam, Life in Christ: The Doctrine of Imputation (a book of your choice)
This is the first volume in a new series by Christian Focus called Reformed Exegetical and Dogmatic Studies (R.E.D.S.). J. V. Fesko outlines the historical understanding of the doctrine of imputation before a section on exegesis from the Old and New Testaments and then a final dogmatic formulation that is sensitive to modern discussions on the historical Adam. I won’t spoil the whole thing, but he doesn’t break new ground from a traditional Reformed perspective.
Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture (a book with one word title)
I’ll have a write up on this for Christ and Pop Culture soonish since it is going to be a member’s offering. If you haven’t become a member yet, you should do so you can read it!
Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King (a book of your choice)
This book was interesting to read in tandem with Fesko’s. I like Matthew Bates’ writing style, and his proposal here gives me some pause on issues I’ve been reflecting on for a while. I’ll probably do some more extensive writing about it since I noticed a lacuna in his seemingly thorough presentation of the gospel (I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with active obedience of Christ).
The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion (a book over 400 pages)
I don’t think I’ll have anything to say about this that goes beyond Michael Horton’s review or Dane Ortlund’s reflections. It is in some sense a classic book by Wright. Well written and provocative, it is has a good deal of false dichotomies and writes polemically against unclear opponents. If you’re new to Wright, I wouldn’t start here.
John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings, Volume 3 (a book of your choice)
I’ve almost reading everything John Frame has written. Almost. There are several gems in this one. Good stuff on Van Til, not being a jerk in seminary, you know typical Frame. I’ll have a more complete write-up soon for a new series I’m starting.
Reformed Dogmatics: Christology (a book more than 100 years old)
On the plane ride over here, I caught up on some of my Logos reading plans and happened to finish this one up. I’m now getting into the volume on soteriology, which I kind of wish I had tapped into during the research earlier this month. But, no matter, Vos is worth digging into, even if it is not the most riveting layout of the material (Q/A format).