Friday, May 25, 2012

What Bobby is Reading

I just picked up three new books to read, here they are:

Shapers of English Calvinism 1660-1714: Variety, Persistence, and Transformation by Dewey D. Wallace, Jr. 
I am particularly excited about this book because he has a whole chapter entitled: Evangelical Calvinism. Wallace in particular is looking at the Evangelical Calvinism of Joseph Alleine, whom I've never heard of before; so this chapter (and book) should be interesting. I doubt that this 'Evangelical Calvinism' will align with the kind we are articulating through our forthcoming book (but we'll see).

Reading Augustine in the Reformation: The Flexibility of Intellectual Authority in Europe, 1500-1620 by Arnoud S. Q. Visser

Here is how Diarmaid N. J. MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford describes Visser's book:
Augustine of Hippo is the most influential theologian that Western or Latin Christianity has produced and, in sixteenth-century terms, he was the posthumous champion of Reformation and Counter-Reformation alike. If anyone thinks that this was just a debate among scholars, let them listen to Arnoud Visser as he recalls a sermon by the Catholic Simon Vigor that quoted Augustine to urge the assassination of the Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny. With admirable clarity and adroit deployment of absorbing detail, Visser takes us on a voyage round Augustine, touring throughout Europe and across confessional divides. [back jacket of book]

Recovering Theological Hermeneutics: An Incarnational-Trinitarian Theory of Interpretation by Jens Zimmermann

Here is Kevin Vanhoozer's description:
In a way that simultaneously builds on yet subverts the contemporary consensus that hermeneutics is ultimately a matter of self-understanding, Zimmermann argues that 'there is no understanding of self without understanding of God.' This is an important proposal for the recovery of theological hermeneutics, in both senses of the term: It is a proposal for regaining control of hermeneutics (by reclaiming its original grounding in an incarnational ontology that defines 'being' by the reality of Jesus Christ and the relation of Father, Son, and Spirit), and it is a proposal for returning theology to hermeneutical health (by resisting the temptation to reduce understanding to a matter of following exegetical rules). In so doing, Zimmermann shows that there is more light yet to come not only from Scripture but also from the premodern hermeneutics of the Reformation. [back jacket of book]

Sometimes I start books, and once I start them I realize they aren't what I thought they might be so I don't always finish what I start when it comes to the books I read (I am pretty pragmatic because of my time limits). Hopefully I will be able to finish all three of these with no problems :-).


  1. I am reading God is Love by Gereld Bray; Canon Revisited by Michael Kruger (of whom I will be taking Greek 1 shortly): How God Became King by N. T. Wright. My copy of Torrence came yesterday. I am looking forward to that one. Also came was Justification: A Matter of Death and life by the Lutheran Gerald O'Forde.

    I understand exactly what you mean by not finishing a book because it wasn't exactly what you thought it was.

    1. Nice, Gojira! Let me know what you think of Torrance after you read him.

  2. Life's too short to read bad books. It's even too short to read good books if you've gotten out of them what you need.

    I'm coming to see more and more that I need to master a limited number of good books rather than reading a large number of so-so-books. I've also found that when you master the foundational ones, everything else is just leaves on the tree.

    Yet, my library keeps getting bigger. I never thought I'd get to the point where I needed to cull some books but I think that time has arrived.

    1. Indeed, Michael, totally agree!

      Yes, getting a good foundation makes all the difference; it provides the ground upon which building becomes more fruitful (to mix metaphors ;-).

      Yeah, books out the ears ;-).


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