In a reckless display, I have requested more review books. I know, it seems out of hand, right? Well, in my defense, I am hitting on all these subjects this semester in my Christ and the Cross class, so I need these books…
Anyway, I hope to post about them and share insights in the near future. Many thanks to IVP UK for providing these books for review. Publisher descriptions are below.
With the Clouds of Heaven (Hamilton)
Perceiving within evangelical studies the lack of a robust canonical biblical-theological treatment of the book of Daniel, James Hamilton explores how it contributes to the Bible’s unfolding redemptive-historical storyline.
First, he shows how the book’s literary structure contributes to its meaning, and then addresses key questions and issues. He argues that the four kingdoms prophesied by Daniel are both historical and symbolic; that the ‘one like a son of man’ seen by Daniel is identified with, and distinguished from, the Ancient of Days in a way that would be mysterious until Jesus came as both the son of David and God incarnate; that the interpretations of Daniel in early Jewish literature attest to strategies similar to those employed by New Testament authors; that those authors provide a Spirit-inspired interpretation of Daniel that was learned from Jesus; and that the book of Revelation uses Daniel’s language, imitates his structure, points to the fulfilment of his prophecies and clarifies the meaning of his ‘seventieth week’. Hamilton concludes by examining typological patterns.
Christ Crucified (Macleod)
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is presented in all four Gospels, and occupies considerable space in the overall narrative. How could the life, let alone the death, of one man 2,000 years ago be the salvation of the human race? The biblical explanation is that the crucified one was the Son of God, acting and suffering in cooperation with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. This is the primary answer to ‘the scandal of particularity’. The death of this one person has universal, inclusive and cosmic significance, because in him the Creator acts and suffers. Further, there is the special relationship between Christ and humanity: he was ‘with’ us, and he was ‘for’ us.
The grandeur of the cross lies in the fact that here the incarnate Son of God offered himself in our place, bearing the penalty for our sin. The cross achieved expiation, propitiation, reconciliation, justification, redemption, forgiveness and victory. No single one of these tells the whole truth, nor do all of them together exhaust the meaning of the cross. Macleod shows that these concepts are interrelated and interdependent, and that together they give a coherent picture of the wonderful salvation wrought by Jesus at Calvary.
Central Themes in Biblical Theology (Various authors)
‘Biblical theology’ may be defined as the attempt to embrace the message of the Bible holistically and to describe this wholeness or synthesis using biblical categories. It investigates the themes presented in Scripture and their interrelationships, and seeks to demonstrate the essential unity and coherence of the Old and New Testaments across the great diversity of their contents.
Fully committed to this understanding of biblical theology, the contributors to this volume focus on selected central themes, their use and reuse by the biblical writers, and hence their integration into the whole fabric of the Bible and development across the canon. These stimulating essays map significant aspects of God’s self-revelation to human beings, for his purposes of redemption, through the literary record in its historical context.