Thursday, September 13, 2007

Reading for August 2007

  • “Anatomy of a Church Plant” New Horizons (July 2007).

Centering around Home Missions, the issue discussed and highlighted the church planting work of the OPC. An article also explained the history and work of the Chaplaincy Ministry in the OPC. Riddlebarger’s book The Man of Sin was reviewed, along with a work by Grudem and on the Sabbath.

  • Epistle to the Philippians- John Calvin (Translated by John Pringle), 1548.
Calvin’s commentary is full of the wise, careful discernment of a scholar with the heart of a pastor. Lacking in many of the minute discussions which are a hallmarks of modern critical commentaries, Calvin’s rich insights more than make up the lack. Throughout the commentary, Calvin gives glimpses into his struggles, not only theologically, but hints at his own personal struggles in his office as pastor in Geneva.

  • “Report on the Seventy-Fourth General Assembly” New Horizons (August/September 2007).
The feature article reviewed the work of 2007 General Assembly. The major issue confronting the Assembly was the Proposed Revision of the Directory for Public Worship, which was not completed. Reflecting on Jerry Falwell’s death, Larry Wilson wrote a piece on the church and politics. Following traditional patterns, Wilson argues that the place of the church is limited, while the individual’s role is much larger. Fesko’s Last Things First was reviewed, along with a book outlining Christian principles applied to dating.

  • The Teeth of the Tiger- Tom Clancy,
Set after the end of the Ryan Presidency, the book focuses on an clandestine agency set up by President Ryan to take action on intelligence data. Run by a former Senator, the agency recruits to brothers to serve as its hit men, while Jack Ryan Jr. comes on as an intelligence analyst. The brother, later along with their cousin Ryan, travels to Europe to assassinate members of a terrorist cell responsible for attacks on four American Malls.

  • A History of Prophecy in Israel- Joseph Blenkinsopp, 1996.
Second edition of the work, Blenkinsopp discusses Israel’s prophecy in roughly chronological order. After introducing scholarship on the prophets to date, he discusses the earliest forms of prophecy in Israel before the writing prophets. The greatest strength of the book is showing the literary connection and development discernable in the prophets. Even though dividing Isaiah into three separate compositions, he is careful to note the literary connection of the final book as a whole. Another strength of the book is the connection made between the prophets and the social/political situation in Israel/Judah. The author makes clear that the institution of prophecy itself evolved over times, and that evolution is discernable in the text.
  • Out of the Depths- Bernhard W. Anderson, 1983.
Out of the Depths is a popular level introduction to a form critical analysis of the Psalms. After opening with a general introduction to Psalter and other poetic portions of the Hebrew Bible, the author examines the Psalms according to type. Psalms are divided into Salvation-history, thanksgiving, hymns, individual and corporate laments, creation psalms, wisdom psalms, royal psalms and others. Anderson continually notes the parallels between Hebrew psalms and those found in other Ancient Near Eastern cultures, while being careful to highlight the faith which distinguishes the Biblical psalms from others.

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