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Book Review: Paul and the Gift by John M.G. Barclay
December 1, 2016 – 12:06 am | No Comment
Book Review: Paul and the Gift by John M.G. Barclay

Reviewed by Efrain Agosto

This involved study of Paul and “grace-as-gift” invites the reader to approach the topic carefully and over a rich, rewarding period of study, reflection and analysis. Barclay leaves no stone unturned. The working preacher, in particular, might find this study one she or he will return to often, whether to review key theologians in church history and biblical studies and their take on Pauline theology, or to explore, again and again, the careful exegesis of passages in Galatians and Romans, Paul and the Gift will be the “gift that keeps on giving.”

Book Review: Come and See: Presbyterian Congregations Celebrating Weekly Communion by Ronald P. Byars
December 1, 2016 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Book Review: Come and See: Presbyterian Congregations Celebrating Weekly Communion by Ronald P. Byars

by Neal D. Presa

Ronald Byars gives us in this present volume a treasure and an invitation. It’s a treasure because as a pastor-professor-theologian, Byars is adept at describing the theology and history of the Lord’s Table, specifically, and sacramental theology, more generally. Even as he belongs to the Presbyterian tribe, he and his writing are ecumenical through and through. He presents actual case studies of pastoral leaders and their congregational communities in living into and living out frequent Eucharistic celebration.

Book Review: Preaching the Presence of God: A Homiletic from an Asian American Perspective by Eunjoo Mary Kim
December 1, 2016 – 12:04 am | No Comment
Book Review: Preaching the Presence of God: A Homiletic from an Asian American Perspective by Eunjoo Mary Kim

by Neal D. Presa

The pioneering publication of “Preaching the Presence of God” by Korean American homiletics scholar and Iliff School of Theology professor, Eunjoo Mary Kim began a necessary conversation and important consideration of Asian/Asian American preaching, churches, scholarship, and pastoral leadership on the American Christian ecclesial landscape. Churches and the academy are playing catch-up with Asian/Asian American immigration trending as the fastest growing demographic community in the United States. It highlights to the majority culture the distinctive character of a segment of Asian/Asian American cultures and traditions, and the contribution that Asian/Asian American ethos and pathos bring to the table and to the pulpit.

Three Book Reviews about Preaching and Teaching on Climate Change
December 1, 2016 – 12:03 am | No Comment
Three Book Reviews about Preaching and Teaching on Climate Change

by Keith Russell

One of the challenges facing the church today is the topic of climate change. There has been a variety of new works published on the issue that relate to teaching and preaching. I want to offer three recent works which can be of help to those of those who are called to teach and preach.

Exposé
August 2, 2016 – 12:09 pm | No Comment
Exposé

by the Editorial Team of The Living Pulpit

The story of cosmic and Earth evolution drawing on the latest scientific knowledge, in a way that makes it both relevant and moving. What emerges is an intensely poetic story, which evokes emotions of awe and excitement, fear and joy, belonging and responsibility.

Book Review: Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision by N.T. Wright
August 2, 2016 – 12:04 pm | No Comment
Book Review: Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision by N.T. Wright

Reviewed by Neal D. Presa

Anglican Bible scholar N.T. Wright addresses the sharp criticism of Reformed Baptist pastor John Piper and other critics who see Wright’s representation of the so-called “New Perspective” as a threat to the doctrines of forensic justification and imputation from the 16th century Protestant Reformation and 17th century post-Reformation.

Book Review: The Messiah of Peace: A Performance-Criticism Commentary on Mark’s Passion-Resurrection Narrative by Thomas E. Boomershine
August 2, 2016 – 12:03 pm | No Comment
Book Review: The Messiah of Peace: A Performance-Criticism Commentary on Mark’s Passion-Resurrection Narrative by Thomas E. Boomershine

Reviewed by Philip Ruge-Jones

Thomas Boomershine offers a meticulous reading of the final three chapters of Mark. As he reconstructs the impact that this gospel had on those who first heard it, a very different set of conclusions arise from those embraced by much of contemporary scholarship.

Book Review: Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
March 9, 2016 – 10:42 pm | Comments Off on Book Review: Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
Book Review: Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller

Reviewed by Neal D. Presa

In this volume, Tim Keller has given us a tour de force that every homiletics professor and pastor will want to buy, read, and apply to their preaching and teaching. In this volume, Keller is careful to say that he has not written a preaching manual, but he has penned his preaching manifesto. In reading this book, you get a sense that you are sitting at the feet of a preaching master while at once with a fellow brother in Christ who is encouraging and rooting you on in the serious business of exegeting text, context, and subtext.

Book Review: Hannevi’ah and Hannah: Hearing Women Biblical Prophets in a Women’s Lyrical Tradition by Nancy C. Lee
March 9, 2016 – 10:41 pm | Comments Off on Book Review: Hannevi’ah and Hannah: Hearing Women Biblical Prophets in a Women’s Lyrical Tradition by Nancy C. Lee
Book Review: Hannevi’ah and Hannah: Hearing Women Biblical Prophets in a Women’s Lyrical Tradition by Nancy C. Lee

Reviewed by Karen D. Belin

Prophets highlighted in scripture, exclusive of a few prophetesses, are primarily men, and in many instances, biblical prophecies and psalms by unknown authors are assumed to be men. However, can established writings in the canon be reassigned to prophetesses, who we know existed in ancient times, but allegedly have no record of? Are we mistakenly identifying scriptural prose and songs as being that of men? Nancy C. Lee, addresses ideas such as these and explores biblical language, poetry, and phonetics in order to distinguish female voices embedded within scripture in an attempt to discover unbeknown to us, female prophetic voices traditionally presumed to be predominantly male.

Book Review: Homiletical Theology: Preaching as Doing Theology; Edited by David Schnasa Jacobsen
November 19, 2015 – 11:34 pm | Comments Off on Book Review: Homiletical Theology: Preaching as Doing Theology; Edited by David Schnasa Jacobsen
Book Review: Homiletical Theology: Preaching as Doing Theology; Edited by David Schnasa Jacobsen

Reviewed by Neal D. Presa

This book is the first volume in “The Promise of Homiletical Theology” series as part of the Homiletical Theology section in the Academy of Homiletics. Boston University homiletics scholar, David Schnasa Jacobsen, collaborated with six other homileticians in describing the multivalent relationships of preaching, preaching preparation and theology. At its core, the volume asserts that every part of the preaching craft is engaged in theology and is itself theological by definition because the subject, object, and predicate of preaching is God.

Book Review: Faith, Freedom, and the Spirit: The Economic Trinity in Barth, Torrance and Contemporary Theology by Paul D. Molnar
November 19, 2015 – 11:33 pm | Comments Off on Book Review: Faith, Freedom, and the Spirit: The Economic Trinity in Barth, Torrance and Contemporary Theology by Paul D. Molnar
Book Review: Faith, Freedom, and the Spirit: The Economic Trinity in Barth, Torrance and Contemporary Theology by Paul D. Molnar

Reviewed by Neal D. Presa

To know oneself, one must have a proper understanding of God. Or to put it simply: the true identity of God leads to true identity of who we are, whose we are, and what we are to be and to do. For the task and craft of preaching the identity of God is critical, essential, and pivotal. Paul Molnar applies Barth’s theology of the Trinity and election, and then uses the thoughts of one of Barth’s students, the late reformed theologian, Thomas F. Torrance, to bring clarity to Barth’s thoughts on the matter, and to provide a corrective to contemporary theologies.

Book Review: Latino Pentecostals in America: Faith and Politics in Action by Gastón Espinosa
August 17, 2015 – 2:02 pm | Comments Off on Book Review: Latino Pentecostals in America: Faith and Politics in Action by Gastón Espinosa
Book Review: Latino Pentecostals in America: Faith and Politics in Action by Gastón Espinosa

Reviewed by Samuel Cruz

This publication offers a wealth of information of Latino Pentecostalism within the Assemblies of God denomination, and of the denomination in general. One major contribution of the book is Espinosa’s emphasis and his providing documentation of the important and often-neglected fact of the instrumental roles played by Latinas in the origins and formation of the Pentecostal movement.