Regular readers may remember my review of Matthew Bates’ Salvation by Allegiance Alone. After a conversation with the author and some reflection, I realized that some factors in my life affected my review of the book and a few of my critiques were unfounded. I think this book deserves a deeper re-reading but in the meantime I have made some small adjustments to make my review more accurate. The review can be found here.
Category: Reviews (page 1 of 32)
John Sailhamer did not produce many books, but I’m gradually recognizing the impact that he has made. I’m regularly bumping up against ideas and emphases that were entrenched in his vocabulary; ideas such as composition, intertextuality, Text vs. Event, and Pentateuch 2.0. Considering Sailhamer’s impact and his passing this year, it’s fitting that editors Robert Cole and Paul Kissling would produce a festschrift in Sailhamer’s honor. Those familiar with Sailhamer will recognize the significance of its title: Text and Canon.
As the latest entries for the Story of God series, the 1, 2 & John volumes face an ironic problem. Constantine Campbell recognizes that the Johannines “seem more detached from the biblical narrative than most other parts of the New Testament” (p1). There are many odd features about these letters, but trying to read them in light of the grand story is a challenge. Fortunately for the reader, Campbell has to face this challenge head on.
[Update: 14/03/18. After some reflection and a conversation with the author, I softened my critique a little to reflect my current perspective.] Western Christians exist in a sub-culture of “prepackaged…definitions of belief, faith, works, salvation, heaven, and the gospel that in various ways truncate and distort the full message of the good news about Jesus the Messiah that is proclaimed in the Bible” (p2-3). With this opening volley of Salvation by Allegiance Alone, Matthew Bates is on the offense, and Christianity-lite is in his crosshairs.
Karen Jobes, having written on the General Epistles already, is a fine choice for this commentary on the Johannine Epistles. Two distinctives set her 1, 2, & 3 John commentary apart from others. First, Jobes is unconvinced that 1 John responds to (proto-)Gnosticism. She also considers John’s Gospel as the interpretive framework for the Johannines. These two factors influence her opinions on the text.
Prayer. For many Christians, the word evokes feelings of guilt. Who is content with their prayer life? It can be easy to blame our modern age. Or our busy lives. But I think our lack of prayer is often due to a lack of understanding. What really is prayer and what does it do? We need to think about prayer. We need a theology of prayer. Of course, there are lots of books about prayer. However, most approach the topic from a systematic or devotional viewpoint. Gary Millar, in Calling on the Name of the Lord, takes a different route that fills a niche.