A wee bit to read

This is my current reading, by the end of the month…or year…more or less:

Exciting stuff.

I will also be listening to Chris Stapleton, of course:

I drink because I’m lonesome / And I’m lonesome because I drink

Come tomorrow, I can walk in any store / It ain’t a problem, they’ll always sell me more / But your forgiveness / Well, that’s something I can’t buy / There ain’t a thing that I can do / That’s the difference between whiskey and you

Music for the soul.



    • I haven’t started it yet — though I did some skimming, and it looks good. I’ve started on Thielicke, Von Rad, and Calvin, and I have loved all of it.

      • I used Von Rad in my exegetical papers, and I’m a pretty big fan. I also purchased his two-volume OT theology, and his commentary on Deuteronomy in the same OTL series — along with other volumes in the OTL series (e.g., Brevard Childs on Exodus and Isaiah).

    • They are sermons and, yes, very good. Robert White is a very talented translator from the French. He also translated the French Institutes, and I will probably purchase that soon — or Christmas wishlist.

  1. What, no novel? Shame on you! May I recommend last year’s Booker Prize winner, Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North, or Kent Haruf’s last novel (RIP, Kent), Our Souls at Night?

    • Ha, well, I am reading A Good Man is Hard to Find. I should have put that on top of the stack, but it’s next to my bed. I promised a friend that I will finally read some Cormac McCarthy, so that will probably be next. He may have mentioned Flanagan to me as well. I’ll check it out.

      • Consider again: Blood Meridian, McCarthy’s masterpiece to date, and one of the greatest American novels of the last quarter-century. Then you can write a blogpost on its horrifying eschatological vision entitled “American Apocalypse”.

  2. I am interested in Thielicke book… i imagine it does not address the questions of belief we might be familiar with in North America. Will look forward to post on this one.

    • It’s a collection of sermons. In America, Thielicke was best-known for his sermons, because they were translated much earlier than his dogmatic work. I’ve only just begun, but I enjoy it so far. He is addressing the current Western difficulty at religious belief. In the preface, he presents Pascal’s wager in a sympathetic light, providing a fictional Plato-style dialog between a believer and an unbeliever. I don’t know exactly what I think about it, but it is thought-provoking.

      Also, after just skimming parts of the sermons, I am pleasantly surprised at how easily Thielicke is able to communicate to “the layman.” His dogmatic work is very technical and fairly difficult at times. It’s rare to find a theologian who is able to move between the academy and the church with ease, but Thielicke appears to be such a person.

      For someone who likes the doctrinal seriousness of Barth but without Barth’s aversion to any and all apologetics, then Thielicke is a good choice.

    • Speaking of Thielicke’s How to Believe Again, I have just been hugely saddened to hear that Wheaton’s Roger Lundin has died. Lundin was a quite brilliant cultural explorer at the interface of faith and literature, and I often return to his Believing Again: Doubt and Faith in a Secular Age (2009). He was a wonderful witness to a humble, articulate, and agile faith, Emily Dickinson’s “believing nimble”. He will be missed by many. Roger Lundin: may he rest in peace and rise in glory.

      • I heard about Lundin’s death, but I am not familiar with his work. That book looks fascinating. I added it to my Amazon list.

      • Stale reply but i really appreciated lundin too. He has a number of excellent audio lectures available for download at regent college bookstore website.

  3. Gerhard von Rad – I’ve wanted to read his OT Vol I and II for a while now. The context in which he did his work also interests me (a growing hostility toward the OT in general and anti-Semitic theology). However, I feel like I’d probably agree with Brevard Childs more since he emphasizes the centrality of the canon in hermeneutics.

    • Yes, von Rad is one of those great men in his generation who challenged the Antisemitism in the German academy. Nobody will agree with all of his claims or historical-critical reconstructions, but his mind is uniquely adept at entering the Israelite community of the time and communicating their faith in God.

      I too like Childs’ canonical approach, including his disciple, Christopher Seitz.

      • I was introduced to Childs through Christopher Seitz’s The Character of Christian Scripture, which I highly recommend. I would start there.

        As for Childs himself, I have his Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (which is hardly an “introduction” at nearly 700 pages!) and Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. I have only used these as reference sources, so I’ve only partially used them. As a result, I cannot give you a review or sketch.

      • Btw, I guess you know that von Rad was immensely influenced by the energy and cogency of Karl Barth’s early work, particularly its emphasis on scripture as polemical narrative witness.

      • I knew there was some Barth influence on von Rad, but I haven’t spent enough time with the latter to see the traces.

  4. The kindle version of Childs’ Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context is on sale for $7.99. Do you think that book is a good place to start?

    • I don’t have that volume, so I cannot say. Childs doesn’t half-ass anything, so I assume it’s excellent. As I responded to Cal above, I have his two other major volumes from Fortress Press.

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