I’m working on a sermon on Romans 10 this morning. I opened up Logos Bible Software – and the first thing that popped up was this little article on Origen of Alexandria.
This third century “religious fanatic” gave up his job, slept on the floor, ate no meat, drank no wine, fasted twice a week, owned no shoes, and reportedly castrated himself for the faith. He was also the most prolific scholar of his age (with hundreds of works to his credit), a first-rate Christian philosopher, and a profound student of the Bible.
Child prodigy Origen Adamantius (“man of steel”) was born near Alexandria about A.D. 185.
The oldest of seven children in a Christian home, he grew up learning the Bible and the meaning of commitment. In 202 when his father, Leonidas, was beheaded for his Christian beliefs, Origen wanted to die as a martyr, too. But his mother prevented him from even leaving the house—by hiding his clothes.
To support his family, the 18-year-old Origen opened a grammar school, copied texts, and instructed catechumens (those seeking to become members of the church). He himself studied under the pagan philosopher Ammonius Saccas in order to better defend his faith against pagan arguments. When a rich convert supplied him with secretaries, he began to write.
Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). Introduction. In 131 Christians everyone should know (pp. 332–333). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
The new issue of Themelios is now out – you can download it for free as a pdf or (for a short time) free for Logos. In this issue you will find a lot of engagement with Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin. You will also find reviews of some interesting books like Thomas F. Torrance and the Church Fathers: A Reformed, Evangelical and Ecumenical Reconstruction of the Patristic Tradition and Advancing Trinitarian Theology: Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics and of course my review of George Hunsberger’s The Story that Chooses Us: A Tapestry of Missional Vision.
Here is an excerpt but you can read the rest on the Themelios website:
“The Chinese character for crisis, we are told, is a combination of the characters for ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’” (p. 118). Many missiologists would agree that the church is currently presented with both. It will have to decide how it will face those dangers and opportunities. Over the last several decades missiologist George Hunsberger has written many essays in order to help the church face this crisis of missional identity and practice. The Story that Chooses Us collects some of these. Covering topics like calling, community, and formation, these essays contain a number of reoccurring themes that weave cohesively into what Hunsberger calls “a tapestry of missional-ecclesial vision” (p. ix). The overall scope of this project is wide and the topics addressed are diverse, yet these reoccurring themes bring a sense of cohesion. Instead of addressing individual chapters in this review, I will cover some of these themes (the current crisis of the church, the current shape of the church, the identity of the church, the mission of the church) and offer some critical thoughts about this collection of essays…..
Don’t miss out on this chance to expand your LOGOS Bible Software library for free. This month (July 2015) they are offering ‘40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law’ by Thomas R. Schreiner (Kregel Academic, 2010). Order yours here: LINK.
About The Book:
This volume by Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner on the interplay between Christianity and biblical law is an excellent addition to the 40 Questions & Answers series. Schreiner not only coherently answers the tough questions that flow from a discussion about the Old Testament Levitical Law, but also writes clearly and engagingly for the student. The pastor, student, and layperson can easily understand Schreiner’s biblical theology of the Law.
The reader will enjoy the clarity and encouragement of 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law. The simple Q&A format allows readers to skip to questions of interest.
(HT: Bible Geek Gone Wild)
Every month Logos Bible Software offers a free book and an additional book for just 99 cents. This month’s pair is an awesome pair of OT commentaries – one on Isaiah and the other on Jeremiah – written by excellent OT scholars.
This book of Jeremiah offers a remarkable range of literature, including prose, poetry, homilies, oracles, and proverbs. This commentary understands the book as a work of religious literature, to be examined in its final form, yet with careful attention to the historical contexts of writing and development through which the text took shape. Jeremiah proclaimed a message of coming judgment, because of the people’s unfaithful worship, and yet also emphasized the call to know Yahweh and to live as God’s faithful people. Through it all, Leslie C. Allen identifies a trajectory of grace, in which the proclamations of doom can be understood within the context of promises for a renewed future.
You can find both books here.
Several years ago Paul Molnar wrote a book on Divine Freedom and the doctrine of the Immanent Trinity – now he adds to his works on the Trinity by offering us a book on Freedom and the economic Trinity (specifically in Barth, Torrance, and contemporary theology).
Molnar’s aim in this book is to explore divine and human relations within the economy of salvation with a major emphasis being placed upon the work of the Holy Spirit. He seeks to demonstrate how our experience of and knowledge of God changes when it is considered in light of the sphere of faith in God’s Word and Spirit as revealed within the economy.
He focuses in on the Holy Spirit as the thing which enables us to have faith in and know God. However his religious epistemology is not merely grounded in our experience of God in the economy. He argues that any articulation of who God is and what our relationship with God is like must begin by articulating who God is in himself (immanent Trinity) in order to even speak clearly about who God is for us what God does in the economy of salvation. Otherwise we allow history and experience dictate the content of our theology. When this happens the result is that God and revelation tend to become indistinguishable from own own experience within the economy. According to Molnar this is a problem that many recent interpreters of Barth (including Bruce McCormack and Ben Myers) run into.
There are several ways Molnar sees this in recent interpretations of Barth. One is the discussion about Trinity and election. Molnar argues that one cannot reverse the direction between election and Trinity without doing damage to our knowledge of Christ’s true deity and humanity. Those who take election to be first are out of line with what Barth thought. (Molnar thinks that Barth did not change his Christology – still believed God would be God without incarnation or even without creation.) To reverse Trinity and election undermines God’s freedom for us and our freedom which is only enabled by God himself. Also rejecting the Logos Asarkos (which some recent Barth interpreters do) undermines Jesus’ deity and makes God dependent upon history.
Human freedom is the freedom to live by the grace of God. If God’s grace is not free (as historicized theology makes it) then we are not truly free. Thus our freedom is based upon God’s own freedom.
Molnar makes a powerful argument for traditional historic positions on the doctrine of God. Whereas many Barth scholars have moved towards a more revisionist reading of our faith Molnar keeps us grounded in the historic doctrines of the church. Specifically he steers us away from historicized versions of the doctrine of the Trinity and Christology. He ensures that God is in no way dependent upon creation or reconciliation for his own identity. This allows us to speak of a Triune God who is truly free. This will be a must read book for anyone interested in the Election/Trinity debate and recent discussions which seek to get rid of the Logos Asarkos. This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in staying faithful to the historic understanding of who God really is.
Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an impartial review.
I love the fact that Logos gives out a free book each month. But sometimes those books are hit or miss. This month though, its definitely a hit. They are giving away an awesome book on Pauline Studies and they are throwing in a game-changing book for dirt cheap . The first book – the free book – is Stephen Westerholm’s short book Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme.
Note: You can read my review of Justification Reconsidered by clicking on the link here.
Here’s a short blurb: Much has been written of late about what the Apostle Paul really meant when he spoke of justification by faith, not the works of the law. This short study by Stephen Westerholm carefully examines proposals on the subject by Krister Stendahl, E. P. Sanders, Heikki Räisänen, N. T. Wright, James D. G. Dunn, and Douglas A. Campbell. In doing so, Westerholm notes weaknesses in traditional understandings that have provoked the more recent proposals, but he also points out areas in which the latter fail to do justice to the apostle.
The other book is Douglas Campbell’s game-changing (and largely wrong) The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul.
Here’s a short blurb: This book breaks a significant impasse in much Pauline interpretation today, pushing beyond both Lutheran and “New” perspectives on Paul to a noncontractual, “apocalyptic” reading of many of the apostle’s most famous—and most troublesome—texts. In The Deliverance of God, Douglas Campbell holds that the intrusion of an alien, essentially modern, and theologically unhealthy theoretical construct into the interpretation of Paul has produced an individualistic and contractual construct that shares more with modern political traditions than with either orthodox theology or Paul’s first-century world. In order to counter-act that influence, Campbell argues that it needs to be isolated and brought to the foreground before the interpretation of Paul’s texts begins. When that is done, readings free from this intrusive paradigm become possible and surprising new interpretations unfold.
You can pick this must-read, conversation changing, book for just 99 cents when you get the free Westerholm book.
If you don’t have logos – don’t worry! You can download the app for free on your mobile device and still purchase individual titles. So you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on Logos to get these two books.