Every time I get paid I buy a couple of books. Right now I am buying as many books as I can read in a two week span because I know that once I get married my book budget is really going to shrink. Anyway, this pay period I bought three books. I think my purchases were pretty well rounded; I bought one pastoral book, one biblical studies book, and one philosophy/theology book. So here is my list of this pay period’s paycheck book purchases.
The Pastor’s Justification – Jared Wilson
I appreciate pretty much everything Wilson writes, so I am really looking forward to what he has to say about finding my identity in Christ while being a minister. Here is the Amazon summary of the book: Ministry can be brutal. As leaders, we face discouragement, frustration, and exhaustion—and many times we face it alone. Helping us to refocus our gaze on the gospel, pastor Jared Wilson offers here practical insights, real-life anecdotes, and in-your-face truth related to the ups and downs of pastoral ministry. Honest yet hopeful, this creative fusion of biblical exposition and personal confession will help pastors weather the storms of ministry by rooting their identity in Christ.
Paul and Judaism Revisited – Preston Sprinkle
I know Preston and I love his wisdom in approaching the issues brought up by the new perspective. I also felt like it was appropriate to read this before N.T. Wright’s tome comes out. Here is the Amazon summary of the book: Ever since E. P. Sanders published Paul and Palestinian Judaism in 1977, students of Paul have been probing, weighing and debating the similarities and dissimilarities between the understandings of salvation in Judaism and in Paul. Do they really share a common notion of divine and human agency? Or do they differ at a deep level? And if so, how? Broadly speaking, the answers have lined up on either side of the old perspective and new perspective divide. But can we move beyond this impasse? Preston Sprinkle reviews the state of the question and then tackles the problem. Buried in the Old Testament’s Deuteronomic and prophetic perspectives on divine and human agency, he finds a key that starts to turn the rusted lock on Paul’s critique of Judaism. Here is a proposal that offers a new line of investigation and thinking about a crucial issue in Pauline theology.
Experience of God – David Bentley Hart
The (small) Barthian in me recoils at the prospects of natural theology, however this book looks intriguing. Here is the Amazon summary of the book: Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths.