Book Reviews

Review of The Message of the Twelve by Fuhr and Yates
Book Reviews , Old Testament / November 22, 2016

Fuhr Jr., Richard Alan and Gary E Yates. The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2016, pp. 378, $25, paperback. The Message of the Twelve is a careful and thorough introduction to the Minor Prophets and their possible relationship to one another. Authors Richard Fuhr (PhD, Southeastern), program director of Biblical Studies and assistant professor of religion at Liberty University in Virginia, and Gary Yates (PhD, Dallas), professor of Old Testament at Liberty University, collaborate to present the historical, geographical, and theological core of the Minor Prophets. The Message of the Twelve is an excellent introductory work that will offer students a trove of information on Minor Prophets studies. Fuhr and Yates’ wrote The Message of the Twelve as an overview for “students, pastors, and all who seek to understand this neglected segment of God’s Word” (p. xiv). The first four chapters seek to explain the historical background of the Twelve, the prophetic role of the Twelve, the literary elements of the Twelve, and then the canonical unity of the Twelve. The remainder of the work is a book by book commentary on each the prophets. These chapters feature an introduction…

Review of A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by John Frame
Book Reviews , Philosophy , Theology / November 8, 2016

Frame, John. A History of Western Philosophy and Theology. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2015, pp.xi + 875, $59.99, hardback. John Frame holds the J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Frame’s A History of Western Philosophy and Theology is just one book among many that he has authored—books that span a wide range of subjects, including theology, apologetics, ethics, worship, and philosophy. A History of Western Philosophy and Theology is a culmination of sorts of Frame’s labor in expounding upon Reformed Christianity’s doctrines and applications. Frame’s latest work is a helpful account of not only the history of Western philosophy, but also of the sometimes contentious, sometimes harmonious, relationship between theology and philosophy. Frame seeks to tell a “philosophical” story in his History—one in which he attempts to “analyze and evaluate” the history of Western philosophy “from a Christian point of view” (p. xxvi). In a day when histories of philosophy have ignored theology’s contribution to philosophical thought (or, at the very least, relegated such contribution as irrelevant to the scope of philosophy), Frame sees little difference between the two disciplines (p. xxv). More importantly, the Bible speaks to…

Review of Five Views on The Church and Politics eds. Gundry and Black

Stanley N. Gundry, series editor for the Counterpoints Series, and Amy E. Black, general editor. Five Views on The Church and Politics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015, pp 240, $19.99, softcover.   Zondervan’s Counterpoints series exists to provide a forum for Christians to discuss and critique different views on important biblical, theological, and cultural issues. This volume on the relationship between the church and politics seeks to navigate this challenging topic with clarity and substantive dialogue. The five views represented are the Anabaptist (or Separationist), the Lutheran (or Paradoxical), the Black Church (or Prophetic), the Reformed (Transformationist), and the Catholic (or Synthetic). Amy E. Black (Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology) serves as the general editor of this volume, and her contribution is especially helpful to students engaging this discussion. Black is Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College and is a prolific author of several noteworthy books and articles. Black’s introductory essay succinctly summarizes the wide array of responses centuries of Christians have offered in response to one’s allegiance to Christ and the rights and responsibilities that earthly citizenship requires. Black carefully articulates the four major theological traditions (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, and Anabaptist) who have a distinctive set of teachings or…

Review of God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits by Malcolm Yarnell
Book Reviews , Theology / October 25, 2016

Yarnell III, Malcolm B. God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits. Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2016, pp. xi + 260, $29.99, hardback. God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits presents a nuanced exegetical case that “the pattern of the Trinity is woven into” (p. 5) the fabric of the various Old and New Testament literature. Throughout the work, author Malcolm Yarnell (D. Phil., Oxford), Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, balances close theological exegesis with a desire to help the community of believers understand life in the Trinity. The opening chapter serves to introduce the case made in the sequel, appropriately beginning with Yarnell’s hermeneutic. Eschewing “propositionalism” (the insistence, bequeathed by the Enlightenment, that doctrinal claims must be propositional claims), Yarnell instead utilizes the historical critical method—although not indiscriminately (decrying its occasionally “acidic” use [p. 79], as well as its tendency to blunt our reading of the fathers [p. 98]). Each chapter (save chapter four) centers on the unpacking of a selected biblical passage, each yielding a complementary portrait of God (the fitting metaphor of portraiture is used throughout). Chapter one rounds out with a consideration of Matthew 28:16-20, highlighting the portrayal of the divine persons as in…

Review of T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint ed. by James K. Aitken
Book Reviews , Old Testament / October 21, 2016

Aitken, James K. T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint. New York, NY: Bloomsbury, 2015, xii + 624 pp., $176.00, hardcover. Dr. James Aitken is a Lecturer in Hebrew, Old Testament, and Second Temple Studies at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK. Dr. Aitken needs no introduction in the field of Septuagint studies; he is one of the most distinguished scholars in the field today. It comes as no surprise then that he serves as the editor of T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint, which brings together some of the world’s best scholars in Septuagint studies. Scholarship in The Greek Old Testament has the tendency to be slightly esoteric. Because of this it is a difficult area of study to enter into without introduction. In this volume Aitken has brought together the most valuable introductory material on Septuagint studies. Aitken himself says that he had “long felt the need for a handy summary of features for each of the Septuagint books, for easy consolation by both Septuagint experts and biblical scholars or students more generally” (ix). The Companion to the Septuagint fills this need with excellence, making it a necessary tool for anyone remotely interested in the Greek translation…

Review of Seeking the Face of God: Evangelical Worship Reconceived by J. Daniel Day

Day, J. Daniel. Seeking the Face of God: Evangelical Worship Reconceived. Macon, GA: Nurturing Faith, 2013, pp. 287, $16, paperback. Daniel Day is the former Senior Professor of Christian Preaching and Worship at Campbell University Divinity School in North Carolina, and he is the Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. As a pastor, he also served congregations in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma. His publications and articles appear in Ministry Matters, Review & Expositor, Baptists Today, and the Abingdon Preaching Annual. Day is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and earned both MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In the preface, Day clearly states his aim in writing: worship is about God. In his view, evangelical worship has been shaped by models other than “seeking God’s face”—the understanding that God is the object and subject of Christian worship. Instead, most contemporary evangelical worship falls within one of three categories: the “evangelism model” which makes worship synonymous with an evangelistic meeting, designed to facilitate the conversion of the worshiper; the “inspiration model” designed to entertain and attract worshipers with only positive words, images, and songs; and the “experiential model,” rooted in classical Pentecostalism and the…

Book Reviews Issue 1.1
Book Reviews / October 6, 2016

JBTS 1.1 Book Reviews BOOK REVIEW INDEX The Flow of the Psalms: Discovering Their Structure and Theology by Palmer O. Robertson (Reviewed by Stephen J. Smith) Paul: The Apostle’s Life, Letters, and Thought by E.P. Sanders (Reviewed by Kevin McFadden) Abschied von der Priesterschrift? Zum Stand der Pentateuchdebatte edited by Friedhelm Hartenstein and Konrad Schmid (Reviewed by Wesley Crouser) A Vision for Preaching: Understanding the Heart of Pastoral Ministry by Abraham Kuruvilla (Reviewed by Si Cochran) Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism by Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts (Reviewed by Andy McClurg) Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos by Philip Rolnick (Reviewed by J. Daniel McDonald) The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision by Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan (Reviewed by Justin McLendon) The Song of Songs by Iain Duguid (Reviewed by Brian Koning) A Complete Guide to Sermon Delivery by Al Fasol (Reviewed by Bob Greene) After the Invasion: A Reading of Jeremiah 40-44 (Reviewed by Daniel S. Diffey) Share this on:

Review of Locating Atonement: Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics by Oliver D. Crisp and Fred Sanders
Book Reviews , Theology / October 4, 2016

Crisp, Oliver D. and Fred Sanders. Locating Atonement: Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015, pp. 256, $26.99, paperback. Locating Atonement is an edited volume drawing together several highly respected theologians and philosophers for the sake of determining where a theory of atonement might conceptually intersect with other prominent theological topics (e.g. the Eucharist, an account of the ascension, or a doctrine of divine wrath). The editors, Oliver Crisp (Fuller Theological Seminary) and Fred Sanders (Biola University), are both accomplished systematic theologians in their own right and conversant with the movement of analytic theology represented by several of the articles contained in this volume. In what follows, I will focus on the contributions of Benjamin Myers (Charles Sturt University) and Eleonore Stump (Saint Louis University), whose articles represent well the scholarly rigor of the volume as a whole. In “The Patristic Atonement Model,” Myers attempts to develop a model of the atonement, which expounds the views of the patristics and serves as an alternative to the Christus Victor model advanced by Gustaf Aulén. Myers offers this alternative to Aulén’s model because the latter model has recently come under criticism by several scholars who claim that Aulén has not…

Review of The Whole Christ by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Ferguson, Sinclair B.  The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance – Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2016, pp. 256, $24.99, hardcover. In an age characterized by both self-indulgence and anxiety, Sinclair Ferguson addresses in The Whole Christ the always pressing issues of legalism, antinomianism and assurance of salvation.  Ferguson served as senior minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina and is professor of systematic theology at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas and author of a number of books, including The Holy Spirit and In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life. Here Ferguson looks back to an instructive moment in Protestant church history – the “Marrow controversy” in early eighteenth-century Scotland – in order to glean insights for handling the relationship between God’s grace and God’s call for obedience in the believer’s life.  The introduction and first chapter shed light on the background and significance of the Marrow controversy, which centered on a book entitled The Marrow of Modern Divinity that was deemed antinomian by some Scottish Presbyterians but was and is believed by traditional Reformed and Presbyterian theologians to contain a sound presentation of the relationship between God’s grace and God’s law in the Christian…

Review of Theology as Discipleship by Keith L. Johnson

Johnson, Keith L. Theology as Discipleship. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2015, pp. 192, $20, softcover. Theological dialogue is standard practice among scholars engaged in the halls of academia. These conversations are necessary and helpful, and it benefits the church greatly for scholars to remain steadfast in their specific academic pursuits; however, the church is not served fully if theology is restricted to the solitary confines of scholarly engagement. Theology must be applicable to the whole of life, and the church needs scholars to speak in this important conversational space as well. Keith Johnson (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary), associate professor of theology at Wheaton College, addresses the need for theology to be recognized as far more than an academic discipline. Johnson helpfully shows that theology is central to discipleship for believers. Theology as Discipleship is an excellent work that will help thoughtful students beginning theological studies. Johnson’s book was born out of questions and conversations Johnson encountered from students in his introductory theology courses at Wheaton College. His students questioned the relevance of theology to daily Christian living, and they also expressed legitimate concerns that theology might stifle one’s daily walk with Christ due to the tendency of quarrels and…