OK, so Christmas is coming up, and what better gifts are there than books? And theological books have to be pretty high on the list I would think! Given that it has been a while since I have offered a list of recent works on theology, I have a bit of catching up to do.
So if theology is your thing, or you know someone who is a fan, here is a list you can print off and take to a Christian book store. I begin with 13 theological works, in alphabetical order of author, and then finish with 12 recent commentaries worth being aware of. With so many titles (25 all up), I can offer here only the briefest of descriptions. So happy reading and theologising!
Barnett Paul, The Corinthian Question. Apollos, 2011. Paul spent a lot of time at Corinth, and wrote two large epistles to them, yet there was a lot of friction between the two. Why was that? Australian scholar Barnett does a good job of delving into this question.
Bray, Gerald, God is Love. Crossway, 2012. On the making of systematic theologies there seems to be no end, but this new volume by Bray is a welcome addition. At nearly 800 pages it covers all the usual territory in a comprehensive and informed fashion.
Carson, D. A., The Intolerance of Tolerance. IVP, 2012. The modern PC understanding of tolerance is anything but. Its faulty notions of truth lead to real intolerance. A brief but incisive volume by the veteran theologian.
Carson, D. A., and Timothy Keller, eds., The Gospel as Center. Crossway, 2012. In a day when the basics of the faith have been minimised, ignored or forgotten, this helpful volume gives us a fresh look at these basic biblical beliefs which we all need as part of our theology and ministry.
Donato, Christopher John, Perspectives on the Sabbath: 4 Views. B&H, 2011. How one views the Sabbath today is actually a matter of some contention, even among evangelicals. Here four of them make their case on how we should think about Sabbath observance, and which day, if any, we should keep it on.
Evans, Craig, Jesus and His World. SPCK, 2012. What archaeological evidence do we have for Jesus? In a thorough yet accessible manner, Evans gives us a good summary of where all the evidence is now at, and how this helps underpin the gospel claims about Jesus.
Goldsworthy, Graeme, Christ-Centred Biblical Theology. Apollos, 2012. Here the veteran Old Testament scholar from Australia takes his half century of learning and thinking and puts it together in a very nice overview of biblical theology and hermeneutics.
Kostenberger, Andreas and Richard Patterson, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation. Kregel, 2011. While many good books on hermeneutics exist, this is one of the newest and most comprehensive. At 900 pages it expertly deals with both theory and practice. A great volume.
Kostenberger, Andreas and Robert, Yarbrough, eds., Understanding the Times. Crossway, 2011. This collection of essays on New Testament studies is in honour of D. A. Carson and his 65th birthday. A fine team of scholars examine a number of topics. An apt tribute to the man and his work.
McKnight, Scot, The King Jesus Gospel. Zondervan, 2011. Getting a grip on the centrality of the gospel message is not always easy, and there have been many detours along the way. McKnight grapples with just what the core gospel message is, and how it needs to be presented today.
Morgan, Christopher and Robert Peterson, eds., The Deity of Christ. Crossway, 2011. Here are ten helpful articles looking at various aspects of this topic: in church history, in the Old Testament, in the Gospels, in systematic theology, etc. A solid collection of essays.
Trueman, Carl, The Creedal Imperative. Crossway, 2012. Is there still a place for the great theological creeds in the life of the contemporary church? There sure is, argues Trueman. These great creeds and confessions are an invaluable part of the Christian life, and we ignore them at our peril.
Wright, Tom, How God Became King. SPCK 2012. A year does not go by without something by the English New Testament scholar. Here he offers a more popular level look at what the heart of the gospel message is – the story of how God became the rightful king. As is often the case, he can be challenging and controversial, but always worth reading.
A number of good commentaries have appeared in the last year or two, so I present some of the better ones here, in biblical order.
Hamilton, Victor, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary. Baker, 2011. Another good commentary by Hamilton, weighing in at some 700 pages. A welcome addition to the commentaries on this book.
Block, Daniel, Deuteronomy (NIVAC). Zondervan, 2012. At nearly 900 pages, this new commentary of Deuteronomy is very good indeed. It combines exegesis, theology, and application, as per the series. A very good work.
McConville, J. G., Deuteronomy (AOTC). Another good new commentary on this book, at some 540 pages. The English Old Testament scholar does a good job of conveying an historical and theological understanding of the book.
Webb, Barry, The Book of Judges (NICOT). The NIC series is slowly getting to all the biblical books, and this new one on Judges is excellent indeed. At 500 pages it does a very capable job of addressing exegetical, theological and historical issues.
Walton, John, Job (NIVAC). Zondervan, 2012. At under 500 pages, this is a helpful look at the message of Job. Walton does a good job of bringing historical, cultural, theological and practical material together here.
Longman, Tremper, Job (BCOTWP). Baker, 2012. Another good new commentary on Job, also at just under 500 pages. This important book is given careful treatment by Longman, who argues it is not so much a book on theodicy, as on wisdom.
Keener, Craig, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary. Baker, 2012. At over a thousand pages, this volume only gets up to the end of Acts 2! That is because the first 640 pages are taken up with introductory matters. A projected three further volumes will make this the most massive and detailed commentary to date, complete with thousands of secondary sources.
Schnabel, Acts (ZECNT). Zondervan, 2012. For those wanting something a bit less exhaustive (in more ways than one) than Keener’s monumental set, this mere 1200 page volume at least manages to capture all 28 chapters of Acts. A thorough and helpful resource.
Kruse, Colin, Romans (PNTC). At 600 pages, this is a very good mid-range commentary on a book already covered by many fine commentaries. The Australian New Testament scholar does a good job of dealing with the flow of the text and the details along the way.
Pao, David, Colossians and Philemon (ZECNT). Zondervan, 2012. Covering around 460 pages, this is another helpful volume in this new series. He offers clear discussion of the flow of the book and deals with the various sticking points found in the book.
Shogren, Gary, 1 and 2 Thessalonians (ZECNT). Zondervan, 2012. Another volume in this new series, and a good basic approach to these two epistles, coming to just under 400 pages.
Hamilton, James, Revelation. This is another in the series of Preaching the Word commentaries. Thus it is more of an expositional volume, but it is still quite helpful for its 450 pages.