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Review: From Jesus to the Church by Craig Evans

If we were to travel back in time to the first century, would we recognize “Christianity?” How much of our imagination of the early church is inspired by our modern Western culture, whether it be our contemporary churches or movies such as The Passion? Or, asking the question in the other direction, would the apostles—even Jesus—recognize Christianity? Craig Evans’ From Jesus to the Church goes a long way towards addressing some of these questions. Evans himself presents his book as a study of “the clash between the family of high priest Annas and the family of Jesus of Nazareth” (p. 2), but the contents of his book far exceed this topic.

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Review: Faith Speaking Understanding by Kevin Vanhoozer

0664234488In the church we have the theologian and the activist, and the two rarely cross paths. When they do, sometimes things get ugly. What if there were a way to reconcile these two? Having taught Introduction to Theology at CCBCY for a few semesters now, I have felt the anxiety of making sure what I teach is “applicable”. However, I am uncomfortable with the simplistic “but what does this mean for me?” type of approach; as if the worth of a doctrine can be judged a subjective sense of self-improvement. We want something more. We want to be shaped into His image and to be more aligned with His will. But how does doctrine do that? Kevin Vanhoozer, research professor of Systematic Theology at TEDS, has felt the pressure of such questions and in Faith Speaking Understanding he offers a model for thinking about theology that helps us move forward.

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Review Books: January 2015

It’s been a while since I posted on new books that I have received to review, and it’s not because there’s a shortage! I have quite a range of material here, so rather than posting the blurb, I’ll write something on why I am reviewing it.

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