The Reading List – Feb 25 – Mar 3

1) God is a Warrior by Tremper Longman III and Daniel Reid. This book is crap. Mainly because the OT section is about as shallow as Paris Hilton. And that might be offensive, for Ms Hilton, that is. I have no idea how they got this published, because really, that section alone needed a lot more work. I almost feel dumber having read it, and that’s pretty hard for what is supposedly a book in a series on Old Testament Biblical theology. The NT section is more rewarding, but because the front half has little payoff, the effort feels wasted.

2) Progressive Dispensationalism by Blaising and Bock. Reading again to help a, ahem, overseas friend [Hi if you're reading. You know who you are.] There are interesting and insightful things to read here about hermeneutics and the development of dispensational thought. If you cut out references to dispensations in Part 3, you would, for the most part, feel in quite a fair bit of agreement. However, the amount of weight being attached to Paul’s use of oikonomia and oikonomos – which would normally attract a gloss of ‘stewardship’ or ‘administration’ (-ia), or ‘steward’ (-os) – which they translate as ‘dispensation’ (-ia) or stretch to relate to it, is far too heavy. Bock himself writes about that type of weight-loading on words in his chapters on hermeneutics. Whilst it is generally true that God has administered his relationship with people differently, we in Sydney would probably be attaching this more to ‘covenant’, a word/concept which is capable of holding all of the theological baggage because it occurs across both testaments in significant spots, unlike ‘dispensation’. I’m going to keep trying to read books that have attempted some sort of approchement between dispensationalists and covenant theologians (as the divide usually seems to be drawn) in the US. Next will likely be the somewhat epic Kingdom through Covenant. It got a bit of attention over at TGC.

3) Augustine of Hippo: Selected Writings: Just dipping the toes into actual theological writings by our forefathers in the faith. I figured it’d be good for my reading diet to read some firsthand stuff from the Patristic period.

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