Week in Reviews

Here are a few notable book reviews published in the last week or so. For more reading, check out the latest issue of Themelios, which has a nice collection of reviews.

Apologetics

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    Apologetics for the Twenty-First CenturyLouis Markos

    “As a survey, Markos’s book is quite useful; his biographical and topical structure allows him to address a host of issues while writing a coherent book. While it is not possible in a book of this size to attempt to cover each apologist and every argument in great detail, Markos offers his reader a commendably complete picture of the current apologetic landscape. Markos does, at times, appeal directly to the unbeliever to consider the arguments and evidence; in the main, however, his survey would be most useful to the beginning student of apologetics.” – M. P. Riley

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    Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical FaithDouglas Groothius

    “I would be comfortable saying this is the most comprehensive Evangelical apologetic work I have ever seen. It touches on every major issue in a balanced way.” – C. Michael Patton

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    Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament GodPaul Copan

    “…whether or not readers agree with Copan’s approach to each particular problem passage, his book is sure to educate and edify. Is God a Moral Monster? is an immensely valuable resource for anyone interested in Old Testament ethics or for those who seek informed responses to the new atheists’ objections concerning the topic. Copan is to be commended for this superb work.” – Jim Spiegel

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    If God, Why Evil?: A New Way To Think About the Question  – Norman Geisler

    If God, Why Evil? by Norm Geisler is a sharp, intellectual stab at the heart of one of Christianity’s most vexing questions (and yes, that question just happens to be the title). While the book is brief, Geisler brings all his apologetic weight to bear and the result is a pleasure to read.” – Jared Totten

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Philosophy

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    Analytic Theology: New Essays in the Philosophy of TheologyEdited by Oliver D. Crisp and Michael C. Rea

    “Taken as a whole, this collection of essays accomplishes what its editors intended: it provides an impressive defense and showcase of theology in the analytic mode…It’s hard to deny that most systematic theologians would benefit enormously from a dose or two of analytic philosophy. Even so, good Christian theology needs more than analytical precision, clarity, deductive rigor, and so forth; it also requires an intimate knowledge of the source materials (primarily the scriptures), exegetical expertise, a command of historical theology, a dash of literary flair, and (I would argue) a measure of pastoral experience. Of course, such virtues almost never coincide in any one individual, but that’s precisely the point: analytic theologians and non-analytic theologians need each another.” – James Anderson

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    “Crisp demonstrates that there is much to be gained from the discipline of analytic theology. While the discipline still remains to be tested, it appears, at least at this point, that there is more to gain from analytic theology than there is to lose. To clarify, analytic theology, with its emphasis on logical argumentation and theological precision and clarity, does not prevent one from the errors of heresy. At the end of the day, conclusions drawn by use of analytical reasoning must fit with the biblical witness. That said, analytic theology can be a tremendous resource in the hands of the theologian, allowing him to use logic and reason to better understand the loci of the Christian faith.” – Matthew Barrett

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Science

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    Seven Days that Divide the World: : The Beginning According to Genesis and ScienceJohn Lennox

    “…Seven Days that Divide the World by John Lennox is a good brief look at some of the key issues involved in evaluating views of the age of the earth and our interpretation of Genesis. The book is concise, clear, and charitable. Lennox doesn’t answer all the questions or explore all the details, but he does offer a good set of principles and insights to work with in considering one’s own view.” – Brian Auten

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Theology

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    AthanasiusPeter Leithart

    “Leithart has here made a fine contribution to the field of Athanasian studies. I intend to list this book in the bibliography of my Ancient Church course at Westminster, for those students who want to press deeper into the issues of patristic theology and the importance of Trinitarianism. He has certainly set the bar high for subsequent volumes in this series.” – Carl Trueman

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    Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever LivedRob Bell

    “The book is poorly presented both in terms of its lack of clarity and its failure to acknowledge its sources. It models a use of Scripture that can only be described as lamentable, with numerous misquotations, selective references and distortions. As a result it proposes positions on Hell, the person of Christ, the cross, the scope of salvation and the requirement for repentance and faith that cannot be sustained by the whole testimony of the New Testament. All of this appears to arise from a questionable view of the authority of the Bible and a skewed understanding of God’s character that emphasises his love at the expense of his holiness, sovereignty and truth.” – Paul B. Coulter

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    Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament EvidenceJames D. G. Dunn

    “…based on these admissions alone the title question can be answered with an unqualified “Yes!” Jesus was worshipped by the first Christians by their praying to him and invoking his name in cultic settings, in singing hymns and offering thanksgiving to him, in prostrating themselves before him, etc. But again, Dunn’s real question concerns Jesus displacing God as the object of worship so every admission of the worship of Jesus is met with a “but.”…But worship as such isn’t a majority rules game. We don’t get to examine the data that says that Jesus receives worship in the same ways that God does and then conclude that Jesus did not receive worship because God receives more of it. And we can’t examine the data and conclude that because there’s no bait and switch, i.e., there’s no substitution of Jesus for God, that there’s no worship of Jesus at all or that it has to be qualified to the point where it’s treated as essentially nonexistent. And Dunn’s concerns about Jesus displacing God, no matter how valid, simply haven’t found proponents in the scholarly literature.” – Nick Norelli

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