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.
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Is preaching simply an invention of the Reformation? Is the preacher a quirk of Protestantism, with no counterpart in the early church? The appropriately titled Preaching in the New Testament by Jonathan Griffiths establishes that the NT teaches preaching is indeed a unique ministry, integral to the health of the body. As a volume in the New Studies in Biblical Theology (other reviews), it approaches the topic from a biblical-theological angle, attempting to discern and harmonize the teaching of Scripture.
The end of the Bible mirrors the beginning. This is seen in parallels between Revelation 21-22 and the early chapters of Genesis. But what if it goes the other way? Seth Postell’s Adam as Israel is a sustained attempt to prove that Adam’s story foreshadows Israel’s. In fact, Postell concludes that Genesis 1-3 was intentionally framed to introduce the Torah and even the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible).
Sadly, the ascension is regularly neglected or forgotten. The ascension is surely essential to NT theology, but what did it mean in the first century? And what role did it play in Luke’s writings, in which it is found? This is where Ascent into Heaven in Luke-Acts: New Explorations of Luke’s Narrative Hinge comes into play. The book has two goals. First, to consider ancient contexts that may have influenced Luke’s presentation of Jesus’ ascent. Second, to consider the importance of the ascension narratives within the larger work of Luke-Acts.
Just how Jewish was Paul after his conversion? Didn’t he renounce his heritage? Didn’t he say that we are under grace, not the Law? To many, Paul effectively rejected his Jewishness and became a circumcised Gentile. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 is the smoking gun. Here, Paul’s Jewishness appears nonessential, optional. He simply adopted or discarded it for missionary purposes. But what if we’ve misread this passage? In A Jew to the Jews, David Rudolph confronts this reading of Paul. He specifically targets 1 Cor 9:19-23 and proposes that Paul remained a fully-observant Jew in Christ.