Recent books of interest


I did a “recent books of interest” list this past September, and I think it is time for another one! So, here are some books that I have wisely and solemnly chosen to commend!


John Eliot Gardiner, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven

Paul Johnson, Mozart: A Life

Hanspeter Nüesch, Ruth and Billy Graham

Michael Bird, et al.How God Became Jesus: A Response to Bart Ehrman

Roger Scruton, The Soul of the World (a follow-up to The Face of God, which I really enjoyed)

Jason Goroncy, ed., Descending on Humanity and Intervening in History: Notes from the Pulpit Ministry of P. T. Forsyth

D. G. Hart, Recovering Mother Kirk: The Case for Liturgy in the Reformed Tradition (back in print from W&S)

Buck Owens, Buck ‘Em!: The Autobiography of Buck Owens

Myk Habets, Theology in Transposition: A Constructive Appraisal of T. F. Torrance

Andrew Louth, Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology

Michael Horton, Calvin on the Christian Life

Stanley Rosen, The Idea of Hegel’s ‘Science of Logic’

John Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture

Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal

George Marsden, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950’s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief

Douglas Moo, Galatians (BECNT)

Robert Hilburn, Johnny Cash: The Life


Clearly, the most important book on this list is Buck Owens’ autobiography! Oh, and on the prior list of recent books, I tragically forgot to mention Travis McMaken’s book on why Barth doesn’t believe babies are loved by God, or something like that. I do plan to read it soon.


  1. I recently reread the Face of God. Very worthwhile. The Incarnation is perhaps oddly absent (mostly anyway) but then it is supposed to be natural theology. I’m looking forward to reading the Soul of the World. He appeared on BBC Radio 3 programme along with Terry Eagleton, Peter Watson and Elaine Storky recently, the first 3 basically pitching their books (not sure if non-UK can access). Scruton can be a bit weak when it comes to Christianity.

    • Yes, you are definitely correct about Scruton and doctrinal theology. He has little real knowledge of theology proper, but he is a master without peer when it comes to thinking within the religious dimension of the philosophical tradition (with an eclectic appropriation of Plato, Kant, Hegel, etc., and very creatively working his own way through). Especially for those of us who are far more cautious about natural theology, he is very instructive and challenging, reminding us of that noble tradition. In the wasteland of critical theory and contextual theologies, Scruton is a breath of fresh air.

      He knows the history of philosophy remarkably well, and I’ve seen interviews where he can recall half a dozen philosophers in the course of three minutes, nuancing their contributions, without breaking a sweat! (perhaps an exaggeration on my part)

    • I found the BBC 3 program with Philip Dodd, and I am able to stream it from the US. I very much enjoyed a conversation between Eagleton and Scruton, which can be easily found on YouTube.

      • I’d be interested to know what you thought of it. Eagleton’s book doesn’t interest me that much, Peter Watson’s does; as an intellectual history I think it would be worthwhile reading – from reviews I’ve read he ends up supporting something like Dworkin’s performance value of the life lived. Storky says some good things but is ultimately a bit limp.

        I have listened to the Eagleton/Scruton conversation before but I’ve now listened to (most) of it again. For some reason Eagleton grates with me – it might be the Marxism (late capitalism, gaw) or it’s maybe that he thinks he’s funnier than he is.

      • I love Scruton’s response/reaction at the end of the conversation with Eagleton (YouTube) after the girl tries to promote hip-hop and criticizes his aesthetics!

        I listened to the BBC-3 discussion, and I still do not know how Eagleton proposes that his own (typical Euro) liberalism can proffer the same cultural value and synthesis as religion, which he supposedly admires at that level. I think Storky just had a hard time reducing religion to a cultural template of abstractions, as she basically said at one point. Scruton knows what Eagleton is doing, but I think he is bored by it. Scruton is animated by the truly spiritual and dignifying qualities of faith (he is even a bit of a mystic), because Scruton doesn’t think as a collectivist.

  2. I agree. I’ve probably watched those interviews, too. There’s no doubt he’s an impressive chap. And nearly everything he writes is worth reading. I recommend him when I can.

  3. I took a short vacation to Nashville recently and visited the Johnny Cash museum. Good stuff!

    • Oh, I am jealous! I am trying to convince my brother to take a trip together to Nashville.

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