You will find below my reading list for 2009. You might call it my bibliography for the year. I have tried to start the list out with things that people would find the most interesting, which for the readers of this blog I think would be the “average joe” section and “church leadership”. However, for the resident theology nerds you will find a reading list for Biblical theology and exegetical works, as well as theological readings (primary and secondary) from the Patristic period all the way to the modern. If I felt that a comment might be helpful, or if I wanted to strongly recommend a book I left my remarks next to the bibliograhical information in bold. If you have any questions about the books themselves I would be happy to answer them. Enjoy! To see the list simply click through… (more…)
Archive for November, 2009
One of my favorite memories growing up is heading off to the movies with my Dad on Saturday’s. I recently tried to do this with my son David and was trying to figure out what movie we might go see. I really wanted to see “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” a Roald Dahl children’s novel set to the big screen by the very talented director Wes Anderson. I was unsure if “Mr. Fox” would be a film suitable for David. I was more concerned about any scary scenes frightening him than anything else. I typed in “Is the Fantastic Mr. Fox suitable for children,” in the Google search bar and came up with this review. Long story short, we didn’t go see the film, although I still want to. But I did find this interesting quote in the review that I thought I’d share with you:
“A colleague remarked to me, as we were leaving the theater, that what we’d just seen isn’t a children’s movie—not so much because it’s crass but because its themes and humor aren’t on a kid’s level. If you remember, I opened this review with an allusion to midlife crises. And that’s something no 8-year-old can begin to understand. (Or care about.)
Which brings me to an interesting trend I’ve been seeing in movies of late: Children’s movies are often more mature, more thoughtful and more responsible than some of the adult-targeted flicks I see.
What I mean is that R-rated romps are often infantile in their composition and lack of intelligent nuance, trumpeting only perpetual (and irresponsible) adolescence. The likes of Fantastic Mr. Fox, meanwhile, laud moral compunctions, responsibility, cooperation and familial unity.”
I enjoy movies so I see quite a few of them and I have to agree with the writer’s point. I recently saw a film called “Up”, which was probably one of the finest movies I’ve seen in years. It is a children’s cartoon from Pixar, however the film dealt with incredibly complex material such as infertility, growing old, broken families, friendship and responsibility. It was escapist on one hand (it is a cartoon after all!), but rather than remaining in escapist territory it actually caused you to return and reassess the complexities and confusion of life. Contrast that with say, the recent string of comic book films that are marketed not to teenagers but to adult men. In a well documented phenomenon called “delayed adolescence,” it seems as if Hollywood and a great deal of other commercial forces are helping to prolong a man’s teenage years well into his thirties. Ironic isn’t it, that a theatre will be full of grown men watching the latest Spiderman as they engage the unfulfilled vigilante fantasies of their teenage years while eight year olds will be watching cartoons learning how to be responsible men and raise families. Seems kind of backwards to me. Oh well.
For a preview of “Up” click below.
Tags: justification, michael horton, N.T. Wright
If you will excuse a brief rant (you should be used to them by now!). One of the problems with Anglicans is that we have so few living, accomplished theologians. C.S. Lewis (dead but recent!), great apologist and tremendous author, would not and should not (by his own admission!) be included in a list of Anglican theologians. Of recent note, we certainly the accomplished Alister McGrath, J.I. Packer, John Stott, and of course N.T. Wright. I suppose one could include the RO crew of John Milbank and others but I suspect they will fail to make an impact at any other level than the highest ivory tower. Of all the living Anglican theologians N.T. Wright has emerged as a thoughtful and influential theologian both in the world of academia as well as at the popular level. It is then perhaps a “perfect storm” of his popularity, mixed with the scarcity of accomplished Anglican theologians that causes many Anglicans to swallow him wholesale without really engaging his exegesis of Paul and his (mis) understanding of the Reformed tradition. Don’t get me wrong, I am a great fan of N.T. Wright and very much enjoyed his Christian Origins and the Question of God series (I’m currently re-reading all three). Nevertheless, his exegesis of Paul and his reading of the Reformers, particularly his understanding of Calvin’s exegesis of Paul needs to be read critically. Often times Wright comes off as someone who has read about Calvin, but has not actually read much of Calvin. John Piper tried to engage Wright on these issues and in my opinion was not able to rise to the challenge. However, Michael Horton in the review posted below does a very fine job and the review is worth the read. It provides a thoughtful balance to those folks who enjoy N.T. Wright but can’t read him critically because they do not have the necessary theological training to read him critically. Of course the flip side of this coin are those folks who hear Michael Horton or John Piper pronounce a verdict and hop in place so as not to stray to far from the party line. Read Wright’s new book for yourself. Use Horton as a good response. Go read your Bible. Come to a thoughtful conclusion. Horton’s review is found directly below:
Wright sees Genesis 15 as the background for everything that Paul says in Romans 4 (66). So too did the Reformers (especially Calvin) and the federal theologians who followed. Wright is even willing to speak of Abraham’s righteousness as “his right standing within that covenant, and God’s righteousness” as “his unswerving commitment to be faithful to that covenant—including the promise (Romans 4:13) that Abraham would inherit the world. Here we have it: God’s single plan, through Abraham and his family, to bless the whole world. That is what I have meant by the word covenant when I have used it as shorthand in writing about Paul” (67).
Wright does a great job of showing how Romans 4 is rooted in Genesis 15, Deuteronomy 27-30, and Daniel 9 (67). However, since he is only working with “one covenant” and his “single-plan” emphasis eschews any nuance between different types of covenants (a temporal-typological and an eschatological homeland) even within this one plan, he mistakenly assumes that Deuteronomy (the Sinaitic covenant) is just another form of the Abrahamic promise except for its ethnic exclusivism (esp. 67). Wright is most persuasive in his insistence that justification be interpreted in the light of God’s covenantal promise. This is something I never heard in mainstream evangelicalism, but have heard repeatedly from Reformed theologians. “As in Daniel 9, it is because of God’s faithfulness to the covenant that he must punish his faithless covenant people, and as a result their covenant failure (‘unrighteousness’) thus shows up his covenant faithfulness all the more” (68).
If you were at Trinity this past Sunday you would have heard that our Associate Pastor, Iain Boyd received the very sad news that his cousin was shot and killed over the weekend. I have copied the post from his blog below and included a news article about the young man, Jay Derby, who was killed. Please pray for Iain, Shelly, and their family that Christ would be the ultimate source of strength and consolation.
“I got a phone call about 8:50 this morning that my 20 year old cousin, Jay Derby, was accidentally shot and killed last night. I’m with my family in Charlotte now. Please pray for me and my family in the midst of this tragic loss. In the midst of this senseless death, the Lord is comforting me tremendously through the truth of His word. Please pray for the same comfort for my aunt and uncle as they struggle through the loss of their son.”
Click here to go on over to Iain’s blog and leave a message of support.
Here is the news article from the Charlotte Observer:
An Appalachian State University student from Matthews was killed in Boone early Sunday in what police say was an accidental shooting at an off-campus party.
Jay Derby, 20, was a 2007 graduate of Butler High School studying business, his father Mike Derby said.
When Mike Derby last talked to his son, Jay Derby was planning his trip home for Thanksgiving break.
“He was doing well in school, his grades were good, he was looking forward to coming home,” Mike Derby said. His son was one credit hour from being a junior and planned to graduate in 2011.
At about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, two Matthews police officers knocked on Mike and Susan Derbys’ door.
“They said that Jay was shot while at a party,” Mike Derby said. “It was a tragic accident.”
read the rest of the article by clicking here