Book Reviews

Review of John Through Old Testament Eyes: A Background and Application Commentary by Karen H. Jobes
Book Reviews , Featured , New Testament / November 30, 2022

Jobes, Karen H. John Through Old Testament Eyes: A Background and Application Commentary. Edited by Andrew T. Le Peau. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2021, 374 pages, $20.99, paperback. Karen H. Jobes adds to her long list of valuable contributions with John Through Old Testament Eyes. Jobes, who serves as the Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor Emerita of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College and Graduate School, provides an in-depth dive into the Old Testament background of John, including but not limited to extensive treatment of how John’s uses Old Testament texts and themes. As a commentary, the monograph follows a typical style, although Jobes does not treat each verse individually. Jobes’s goal is not to provide a verse-by-verse commentary, but rather to show how the Old Testament influences John’s thought and to comment on passages that demonstrate that influence. In addition to the commentary, Jobes includes discussions entitled “What the Structure Means,” “Through Old Testament Eyes,” and “Going Deeper.” These helpful sections usually offer a broader consideration of issues than commentary on individual verses would allow, and they often bridge the gap between scholarly exegesis and practical application. Jobes’s commentary is precise, succinct, and accessible. While her focus…

Review of Creation and Christ: An Exploration of the Topic of Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews by Angela Costley

Costley, Angela. Creation and Christ: An Exploration of the Topic of Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020, pp. 385, 94.00€, paperback. When thinking about what makes the Christology of Hebrews distinctive, perhaps the first image that comes to mind is that of Jesus as high priest. Other topics of perennial interest in the study of Hebrews include the intriguing utilization of the Sabbath and the deployment of tabernacle, temple, and other cultic imagery. Angela Costley draws attention to the important role played by references to creation in Hebrews and argues that the author of Hebrews employs these allusions to creation in order to portray Jesus as the creator who descends to earth in order to lead believers into God’s primordial rest. Creation and Christ is a revision of the author’s 2018 Ph.D. dissertation, which was completed at St. Patrick’s College in the Pontifical University of Maynooth, Ireland. Costley currently teaches Greek and Wisdom literature at St. Mary’s College in Oscott. After establishing her research focus, Costley outlines the methodological tools that she will use in order to exegete creation language in Hebrews. Following a line of recent Hebrews scholars (e.g. Neeley, Westfall, and Dyer), Costley…

Review of Now My Eyes Have Seen You: Images of Creation and Evil in the Book of Job by Robert S. Fyall

Fyall, Robert S. Now My Eyes Have Seen You: Images of Creation and Evil in the Book of Job. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2002. $24.00, pp. 208. A continuation of 1991 dissertation, Robert Fyall, revisits Job creation theology. Dr. Fyall is a Senior Tutor in Ministry for the Cornhill Training Course, Scotland. He has taught Old Testament at St. John’s College in Durham, England.  In the present work, the author focuses on creation and evil that revolves around Behemoth and Leviathan. Fyall examines these figures in light of the ANE materials. He argues that Behemoth represents death and Leviathan Satan. He solves the tension scholars perceive with the disappearance of Satan after the initial chapters. Now my Eyes have Seen You introduces readers to Job with a succinct introduction. Readers unfamiliar with Job will benefit from the thorough but brief history of research. The author describes his aim as a holistic depiction of creation and evil within Job (17). Fyall interprets the book of Job as a literary unit which differs from critical scholars. Thus, he rejects deconstructive interpretations and opts for a canonical interpretation. The book interacts with Job’s adoption of myth through the imaginative canonical process of inspiration (27-28)….

Review of The T&T Handbook of Septuagint Research edited by Ross and Glenny
Book Reviews , Featured , Old Testament / October 21, 2022

Ross, William A. and W. Edward Glenny ed. The T&T Handbook of Septuagint Research. Great Britain, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021, pp. xxv+486, $175, hardback. William A. Ross is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC (Back Cover). A sample of Ross’ publications includes The Septuagint: What it is and Why it Matters (2021) and A Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary (2019). Moreover, he writes a blog titled Septuaginta &C. W. Edward Glenny is Professor of New Testament and Greek at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul in Minnesota (Back Cover). Glenny is also an accomplished writer with titles that include commentaries on Micah, Amos, and Hosea for the Septuagint Commentary Series. A glance in the preface shows this handbook is constructed to complement James K. Aitken’s T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint (xii). For those unfamiliar with Aitken’s book, his volume “provides a book-by-book overview of the corpus [i.e., the Septuagint]” (xii). Within the handbook, the contributors include many notable scholars. Among the several scholars worthy of mention are James K. Atkin, Peter J. Gentry, Steve Moyise, and Stanley E. Porter. The editor states the goal of the volume is to deliver a consolidated resource that presents…

Review of What about Evil? A Defense of God’s Sovereign Glory by Scott Christensen
Book Reviews , Featured , Philosophy , Theology / September 30, 2022

Christensen, Scott. What about Evil? A Defense of God’s Sovereign Glory. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2020, pp. 544, $30, hardback. Scott Christensen, is the author of the highly acclaimed What about Free Will?, foreword by D.A. Carson (P&R, 2016). Scott worked for nine years at the award-winning CCY Architects in Aspen, Colorado; several of his home designs were featured in Architectural Digest magazine. Called out of this work to the ministry, he graduated with his MDiv from The Masters Seminary with honors. He pastored Summit Lake Community Church in southwest Colorado for sixteen years and now serves as the associate pastor of Kerrville Bible Church in Kerrville, Texas. What About Evil?, by Scott Christensen, is a theologically rich resource that provides a defense of God’s sovereign glory and a reason for why God allows evil in the world. In seeking to answer the problem of evil, Christensen provides a robust solution that he calls the Greater-Glory Theodicy. In combining aspects of the Greater-Good Theodicy and fragments of the Best-of-All Possible Worlds Defense, the Greater-Glory Theodicy seeks to resolve the problem of evil in the backdrop of studying what brings God the greatest glory (p. 7). Christensen argues that Jesus’…

Review of Christ and Revelatory Community in Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Hegel by David S. Robinson
Book Reviews , Philosophy , Theology / September 23, 2022

Robinson, David S. Christ and Revelatory Community in Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Hegel. Dogmatik in der Moderne 22. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018, pp. xv + 260, €69.00, paperback. David Robinson was recently appointed as the R. Paul Stevens Assistant Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. The text under review is based on his doctoral dissertation at the University of Edinburgh. In it, Robinson seeks to recast Bonhoeffer’s reception of Hegel in a highly nuanced manner that is ultimately more positive than most previous appraisals. Rather than “demolition,” “revolt,” or “confrontation,” Bonhoeffer’s reception is seen as aiming to “repair” aspects of Hegel in “eclectic and Christologically intent” ways (pp. 11-12). For Robinson, such “intent” is especially apparent in Bonhoeffer’s transposition of Hegel’s “revelatory” notion of “God existing as community” to that of “Christ existing as community”—a significant move since this latter phrase is often a shorthand for Bonhoeffer’s overall program (p. 16). In comparison to earlier studies of the Bonhoeffer-Hegel question, Robinson’s approach differs in three ways (p. 17). First, whereas much of the previous scholarship placed inordinate attention upon Bonhoeffer’s second dissertation (Akt und Sein [1931]), Robinson’s approach is diachronic with regard to Bonhoeffer’s corpus…

Review of Theologies of Retrieval: An Exploration and Appraisal edited by Darren Sarisky
Book Reviews , Church History , Theology / September 16, 2022

Sarisky, Darren, ed. Theologies of Retrieval: An Exploration and Appraisal. T&T Clark Theology. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017, pp. ix + 359, $175, hardback ($42.95, paperback). The present anthology is an essential read for those interested in the question of how classical texts within the Christian tradition can and should be theologically “retrieved” for the contemporary theological task. The volume’s editor, Darren Sarisky, previously served as Departmental Lecturer in Modern Theology at the University of Oxford before taking up his current post of Senior Research Fellow in Religion and Theology at Australian Catholic University’s Melbourne campus. Sarisky has done readers a great service by gathering a star-studded cast of scholars to guide readers through the thicket of representative figures, movements, and types of theological retrieval that have become prominent in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In his introduction to the volume, Sarisky rightly distinguishes between correlation and retrieval theologies—the “two main ways” that Christian theologians tend to engage with the present situation (p. 1). Whereas the former seeks “to correlate elements of the Christian tradition with aspects of modern culture” in a conversational manner for sake of helping the Christian message stay intellectually relevant, the latter is “less concerned to…

Review of The Lost Letters to the Twelve Prophets: Imagining the Minor Prophets’ World by John Goldingay
Book Reviews , Old Testament / September 9, 2022

Goldingay, John. The Lost Letters to the Twelve Prophets: Imagining the Minor Prophets’ World. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2022, 232 pages, $23.00, softcover. John Goldingay is Senior Professor of Old Testament, and David Allan Hubbard Professor Emeritus of Old Testament for Fuller Seminary. Goldingay received his Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham and his DD from the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth. He has published numerous monographs on Old Testament Theology and its study, and most notably, was the author of the Daniel volume for the Word Biblical Commentary series. The Lost Letters to the Twelve Prophets: Imagining the Minor Prophets’ World sets out to explore the Minor Prophets by imagining letters to which the prophets were replying. Drawing on a similar model used in Epistles to the Apostle by Colin Morris, Goldingay sets out to create plausible conversation partners for various sections within each prophet (ix). The introduction includes a brief summary of the Old Testament timeline, what Goldingay calls the “First Testament,” and then a short annotation for the historical Sitz im Leben for each of the twelve books (xiii-xviii). Each of the twelve Minor Prophets receives its own chapter and is laid out in roughly the…

Review of Understanding Old Testament Theology: Mapping the Terrain of Recent Approaches by Brittany Kim and Charlie Trimm
Book Reviews , Old Testament , Theology / August 31, 2022

Kim, Brittany, and Charlie Trimm. Understanding Old Testament Theology: Mapping the Terrain of Recent Approaches. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2020, 177 pp., $14.99, paperback. In Understanding Old Testament Theology, Brittany Kim and Charlie Trimm provide an up-to-date survey of approaches to Old Testament theology. Their volume self-consciously flows in a similar vein as Klink and Lockett’s Understanding Biblical Theology, but the latter focuses primarily on New Testament issues and scholars (p. 2). Kim serves as a professor at North Park Theological Seminary and Northeastern Seminary, and Trimm as a professor at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. Both are products of the Ph.D. program at Wheaton College. After an introduction that includes a brief history of the field (pp. 4-7), Kim and Trimm propose their cartographical metaphor of Old Testament theology as a diverse mountain range. As a mountain range has different peaks, each of which offers a unique vantage point by which someone may view the landscape, so Old Testament theology has different peaks. Among the peaks, some are closer and more alike than others. Following the mountain range metaphor, the book is divided into three main parts. Part one, History, includes Old Testament theologies grounded in “biblical…

Review of The Scandal of the Gospel: Preaching and the Grotesque by Charles L. Campbell

Campbell, Charles L. The Scandal of the Gospel: Preaching and the Grotesque. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2021, pp. 120, $33, paperback. Painters have their colors and canvas, sculptors have their clay, and preachers have their words. And words are powerful. As the Bible so often indicates, Scripture has the power to build up and to tear down, and this is especially so in the ministry of preaching, as Charles L. Campbell discusses in his latest book, The Scandal of the Gospel: Preaching and the Grotesque. Campbell is James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor Emeritus of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School. He is a past president of the Academy of Homiletics, a highly sought-after lecturer, and he is well published in the field.  Most of the content for this latest book comes from his 2018 Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School; only the fourth chapter contains new material. In the forward, Campbell explains that he is not seeking any consistency or system; rather, he says that he is “simply trying to make some homiletical connections between preaching and the grotesque” (p. xiv). This concept of the grotesque subsequently stands at the center of the book. The term is…