I have recently purchased T. Desmond Alexander's From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology (Kregel, 2008). Originally published in the U.K. with IVP-UK, it is now available in the U.S. Alexander has written a number of works in biblical theology, and in particular was one of the editors for IVP's New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. His From Eden to the New Jerusalem promises to be a very helpful entry into the exciting world of biblical theology. Alexander starts with Revelation 20-22, where John writes about a "new heaven and a new earth," the "holy city," the new Jerusalem. There is no temple at this point (21:22), for "its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb." Then Alexander goes back to Genesis--the garden--and begins to unfold his own understanding of the overarching story line of the Bible. I look forward to finishing it, and am considering using it in my Biblical Theology course at Union. At around 200 pages it look like it might function as a perfect introduction to thinking about "whole Bible" theology.
It is a joy to see a former student—Laura Rector—thriving and doing doctoral work. She has taken the opportunity to respond to a former professor (me) in print (on 11/08/09, to my 10/25/09 Sun piece on health care). It is all the more interesting because her current mentor (Dr. Glen Stassen) was my professor in Christian Ethics twenty years ago at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. A small world.
(Note: it appears that my original piece and Ms. Rector's has "timed out" and is no longer on the Jackson Sun web page).
I was not sure whether to write a response. But given the nature of Ms. Rector’s response, and how her response entails a bit of a caricature and misrepresentation of my piece, I thought I would post this response.
- Category: Recommended Reading Recommended Reading
- Published: 17 December 2009 17 December 2009
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If you are looking for a great series of books to read to your children, Douglas Bond's Crown and Covenant series (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing) is wonderful. The trilogy traces the story of the M'Kethe family in Scotland during the 17th century, when many Protestants experienced brutal oppression from the governing authorities. These stories are well-told, grounded in history, and wrestle with questions of citizenship, when to obey civil authority and when not to, when is force necessary, etc. The three books (in order) are: Duncan's War, King's Arrow, and Rebel's Keep. We are now eager to move on to Bond's "Faith and Freedom" series, which appears to pick up the M'Kethe family in the colonies. Recommended highly!
For all of my students past and present, I would recommend Tom Oden's book, Agenda for Theology: After Modernity . . . What? (Zondervan, 1990). Tom Oden--in his own words--was for many years a "movement theologian." He embraced whatever fad was in vogue (feminism, marxism, freudianism, etc.). Then, over time he began to read Evangelical theology as well as the Church Fathers. Slowly Oden made the trek back to orthodoxy. In God's good providence I discovered this book while a student at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (some 20 years ago). Reading Oden's Agenda for Theology was like drinking cold water during a drought. I knew I would never be the same. It was one of the most meaningfuly reads of my time in Louisville. I made it a goal to meet Tom Oden--and did. If you are or were my student, please read this book. If you are thinking of pursuing graduate work in theology, or are doing so: read this book.
For virtually all of my adult life the culture and times in which I live have been concerned with the question of "the environment." Various trends come and go, and the latest is "global warming." It is essential that Christians think long and hard about who man is (particularly as revealed in Holy Scripture), and how man is related to, and should relate to, the rest of the created order. It is striking to me how otherwise sane and sober-minded persons can get rather odd when it comes to "the environment." I am appreciative of the work of the Cornwall Alliance, an organization which offers some good thinking--theologically, scientifically, and economically. Their web page is: www.cornwallalliance.org
The world is sometimes filled with many official pronouncements and "declarations" on this or that. It is easy to get cynical. However, I am pleased to have signed "The Manhattan Declaration," an important and timely document dealing with some of the most pressing moral issues of the day.
It addressess the following issues:
- the sanctity of human life
- the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
I would encourage you to look at it: www.ManhattanDeclaration.org