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Showing posts from June, 2012

The Gospel of John

I was excited to receive this book in the mail to see what claims the author makes for naming Lazarus as the author of the Gospel of John. However, when I started reading this book I was disgusted by the faux scholarship and repudiation of any sources outside the biblical canon. No reputable teacher or scholar would dismiss the use of extra biblical sources, including recent scholarship on the Gospel of John (no reference to the work of Andreas Kostenberger here). Although Phillips is right to be wary of basing our whole opinions on the scholarship of others (13), he is way off base in claiming that to use these resources is of no value. Many scholars have studied the Greek text of the Gospel of John for years and have come to the very opposite conclusions of J. Phillips.

Why should Lazarus be the author of the Gospel of John? Lazarus is not referred to as a fisherman in any accounts of the Gospels. Secondly, there is no internal evidence that Lazarus wrote any book in the Scriptures…

Marriage and Family in Biblical Perspective

Marriage and the Family: Biblical Essentials by Andreas Kostenberger with David W. Jones

Marriage and the Family: Biblical Essentials by Andreas Kostenberger with David W. Jones is a remarkably concise yet clear book on most pertinent issues surrounding the family today. This book, an abridgement of their larger book entitled God, Marriage, and Family focuses on the biblical material in discussion regarding issues of sex, family, reproduction, singleness, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage. What is unique about this book is its combination of excellent biblical exegesis, theological extrapolation and pastoral application in such a concise yet powerful way. Many readers will already know Andreas Kostenberger, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Gospel of John, but others will also recognize David W. Jones, a profound ethicist at Southeastern Baptist Seminary.

One of the remarkable things about this book is its simple and profound way of dealing with very big issues. In one s…

Praying with Flannery O'Connor

The Province of Joy: Praying with Flannery O’Connor by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell

Angela O’Donnell, English professor at Fordham University and poet herself has pieced together a fascinating study that takes pieces of O’Connor’s work and puts them into a prayer book, bringing together theology and imagination (16). Seeing O’Connor’s deep Catholic faith as part of her daily life, O’Donnell does a marvelous job at bringing out O’Connor’s writing which reflects the interplay between faith and art (17). The opening introduction of the book is O’Donnell’s brief account of O’Connor’s life, her devotion which includes an apology for including morning and evening prayers.

In the Sunday morning prayer, O’Donnell includes a section after the prayers and scripture readings that is called Lectio Divina, which is a brief mediation on the Scripture or prayer. The sections entitled lectio divina are taken from O’Connor’s work Habit of Being and Mystery of Manners shows the heart of O’Connor faith. O’C…

The Complete Madame Guyon

The Complete Madame Guyon Edited and Translated by Rev. Nancy C. James

This complete guide to Madame Guyon's writings is a marvelous work! With great care and attention to detail, Nancy James tells the story of Guyon's life through first her life, then her theology and finally through her wonderful translations of Guyon's work. In the chapter on Madame Guyon's life, you get a picture of a young woman forced into marriage with a man whose mother lives under the same roof. "Enforcing strict rules on what her daughter-in-law was allowed to do, including limited attendance at church," the situation only worsened as time went on (7). Yet, the virility and beauty of this situation did not erase Guyon's desire to follow and seek after Jesus. Later on, James writes, "As Jeanne followed this popular interior devotion to Jesus, she found her exterior life also transformed; she became increasingly active and dedicated to ministering to any suffering human bein…

Days of Jesus

Jonathan Falwell, son of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church has written a book chronicling the 1,000 days of the ministry of Christ on Earth. The book is one that focues on certain themes and events in the teaching ministry of Jesus. More than a close reading of the ministry of Jesus, I think this book is profitable as a way of seeing our own lives and ministries reflected through Jesus' ministry, and therefore, calling our motives and mission to account.

Early on Falwell asks the question why did Jesus choose fisherman as his disciples, those who were of no great status. He writes in a rather picturesque manner saying, "One strong reason that He chose ordinary people is so no one could brag. No one could boast of being some kind of plum that God was lucky to get" (30). Falwell goes onto point out the well-educated often get it wrong with respect to God. The strength of this section of the book is Falwell's ability to take the great…