For a long time, I have been wanting to do a weekly post in which I recommend some books. Well, today is that day! I officially designate Tuesday as #BookRecommendationTuesday. Not that I have such authority but here we are.
This week’s choice is Beth Felker Jones’ Practicing Christian Doctrine: An Introduction to Thinking and Living Theologically (Baker Academic, 2014)
Sometimes I get to assist some friends and professors with their syllabi, and this week you could hear me say over and over again, “This syllabus is too male-centered.” To which a friend responded, “Beth Felker Jones.” And now my life is better.
Dr. Beth Felker Jones is Professor of Theology at Wheaton College in IL, and in 2014, Baker Academic published her introductory theology text Practicing Christian Doctrine. If you have had any conversation with me about theology, you might know I am always complaining at the dryness and coldness of theology books, which often seem to treat God as a frog that ought to be dissected rather than a subject, THE Subject. Moreover, frequently theology books do not aim to be accessible to laypeople, and often miss on delineating the practical implications of Christian doctrine. Well, Jones’ book is delightful and a breath of fresh air. It is like going to a beach in Puerto Rico and inhaling the smell of salty water while feeling the Caribbean breeze and the warm sun.
Her book is built upon the premise that “Christian doctrine is intimately interconnected with faithful practice in the Christian life.” She writes in her introduction, “This book will introduce the basics of Christian doctrine, but without our practicing that doctrine, that introduction will be meaningless.” Well! She goes on, “Christian doctrine informs Christian identity and action.” Although these statements are not original to her, they are needed reminders in a time when we don’t often see coherence between confession and action within U.S. Christianity.
There is a lot that can be said about Felker Jones’ book, like how its chapter structure is pedagogically effective and leads the reader to worship. However, this is not a book review per se. This is just a book recommendation.
Hot Off the Press!
Hebrews (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament; Zondervan, 2019), by Dana M. Harris
This past July, B&H Academic published Dr. Dana Harris’ paragraph-by-paragraph exegesis of the Greek text of Hebrews. Nobody is more pleased with this than seminary students currently dealing with the text for their seminary classes.
The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series is excellent. “Each volume begins with a brief introduction to the particular New Testament book, a basic outline, and a list of recommended commentaries. The body is devoted to paragraph-by-paragraph exegesis of the Greek text and includes homiletical helps and suggestions for further study.”
Dr. Harris is Associate Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University, where she double-majored in International Relations and French Studies, and an M.A and Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Since 2010, she has also served as the editor and book review editor of the Trinity Journal.
Coming Out This Month!
The Practices of Christian Preaching: Essentials for Effective Proclamation (Baker Academic, 2019), by Jared E. Alcántara
From the description: “Leading homiletician Jared Alcántara offers a practice-centered, collaborative, technologically innovative, next-generation introductory preaching book. [He] shows that preachers can learn effective preaching by paying attention to five key competencies: conviction, context, clarity, concreteness, and creativity. Featuring the perspectives of a diverse team of collaborators, The Practices of Christian Preaching is designed to prepare effective communicators for the church’s multicultural future.”
The book comes out on September 17.
Dr. Jared E. Alcántara is Associate Professor of Preaching and holder of the Paul W. Powell Endowed Chair in Preaching at George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Until next Tuesday!
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