This weekend, I ordered three new books from Amazon.co.uk and they shall be in the post (mail) soon. They three books are:
1) Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns.
Recently, I have been re-thinking my theology on the Scripture text itself. To some, that might sound like bad news, that I am headed towards blatant liberal theology. It’s easy to assume the worst. I affirm the whole of Scripture is God-breathed, as it says it is (2 Tim 3:16). And I take the Scripture as God’s revelation of who He is and His purposes for all peoples and the whole of creation summed up in the person of Jesus Christ. And I see the authority of Scripture as essential to the life of the believer. But I am still re-thinking some things like a) whether the modern use of the word inerrancy faithfully describes the Scripture, b) the specific genre of the opening chapters of Genesis, c) remembering that Scripture is first and foremost the redemptive story of God, not a list of commands and doctrines, though it has those as well. So, it was recommended to me to get a copy of Enns’ book.
The Amazon review of the books is as follows:
In this accessible study, Peter Enns offers an evangelical affirmation of biblical authority that considers questions raised by the nature of the Old Testament text. Enns looks at three questions raised by biblical scholars that seem to threaten traditional views of Scripture. First, he considers ancient Near Eastern literature that is similar to the Bible. Second, he looks at the theological diversity of the Old Testament. Finally, he considers how New Testament writers used the Old Testament. Based on his reflections on these contemporary issues, Enns proposes an incarnational model of biblical authority that takes seriously both the divine and human aspects of Scripture. The book includes a useful glossary, which defines technical terms and an annotated bibliography for further reading.
2) How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins.
This book was also suggested to me as I re-think my understanding of Scripture as a whole. This book might be more extreme than Enns’s. Rollins takes an emerging approach to the Scripture text, which doesn’t mean it is inherently bad. It’s just that some can focus very much on deconstructing the text. So we shall see. But it was suggested to me by a solid church leader.
Here is the Amazon review:
In the first half of this powerful but frustratingly opaque book, debut author Rollins summarizes some of the theological ideas that the so-called emerging church is currently exploring: the importance of doubt and silence, the limits of apologetics, and the idea that God is concealed even as God is revealed. He skillfully scrutinizes Christian teaching though the lens of postmodern (especially deconstructionist) theory, and argues that Christians should both affirm their views of God and recognize that those views are inadequate. The second half comprises a set of liturgies that Rollins’s religious community, an Irish group called Ikon, has employed. One service explores “divine absence” through a parable and a reading from Pascal. A ceremony for Advent uses sackcloth and ashes to highlight the penitential nature of the season. If most of these liturgies are affecting, some are a little hokey—in a concluding service called “Queer,” for example, participants wrap stones, representing their prejudices, in Bubble Wrap. While this may prove an important book for some younger Christian leaders, dense prose will limit its audience: “God’s interaction with the world is irreducible to understanding, precisely because God’s presence is a type of hyper-presence.” Nonetheless, a very enthusiastic foreword from Emergent elder statesman Brian McLaren will help create buzz.
3) The Coming of the Son of Man by Andrew Perriman.
Not too long ago, I found a link to Andrew Perriman’s blog and I have been visiting the blog on a frequent basis. Perriman is both a solid theologian but a leader in the emerging movement. In my personal interaction with him on his blog, it would seem Perriman holds to a preterist eschatological view. But he would deny such. Rather, he challenges that, in the present day, we must rethink our whole paradigm in regards to eschatology.
The Amazon review states:
Following the powerful motif of the “coming of the Son of man” throughout the Bible from Daniel to Revelation, Andrew Perriman provides thought-provoking ideas about this eschatological narrative. What was it like to hear the biblical proclamation of this “coming” for the first time in a cultural, political and religious context very different from our own? How did early Christians think about the imminence of the promised apocalypse?
This book engages the minds of jaded twenty-first century postmodernists who have “heard it all before”. By seeing the fulfillment of much of New Testament apocalyptic in events of the first century, Perriman proposes that in some important sense we have moved beyond eschatology into an age of renewal. The Coming of the Son of Man is important reading for those who want to engage in the debate concerning what church is and will be.
I look forward to engaging with these books over the next few months. Of course, I shall be posting reviews as I finish each book. So stay tuned…