Books for Christmas
David Van Drunen, Living in God's Two Kingdoms. David is, I suspect, conservative politically, but this book is a great antidote to those who wish to identify orthodoxy and their personal political convictions, right and left. It is also a reminder of what the church is meant to be doing on a Sunday -- and it doesn't involve those poor, marginalised artists, other than to the extent that they need grace too.
Thomas Schreiner, Magnifying God in Christ. A superb summary of his much longer and more detail NT theology. Especially useful for preachers.
Martin Luther, Reading the Psalms with Luther. A great devotional book which gives the ESV text of each psalm, a reflective reading from Luther, and a suggested form of prayer.
Robert Kolb and Charles P. Arand, The Genius of Luther's Theology. Two outstanding Lutheran churchmen and scholars make the case for applying Luther's theology to today's church.
John Cornwell, Newman's Unquiet Grave. Taking his cue from the the strange fact that, when his grave was opened recently, Cardinal Newman's body was not there, John Cornwell offers a controversial account of Newman's life, in the year when he has been moved along the path to `sainthood.' A book that tells as much about current conflicts in the RCC as it does about Newman and his age.
Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians. This latest addition to the Pillar NT series is hot off the press and continues the standard of excellence for which the series has become known. It also means that my old Aberdeen colleague, Brian, has joined the ranks of the other Moore College NT commentators -- Peter O'Brien and David Peterson -- to whom the rest of us owe so much.
Finally, I am hoping that somebody drops Michael Korda, Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia under my Christmas tree. Lawrence was the ultimate intellectual man of action, a `dreamer of the day'. I've been a fan of TEL ever since I saw the David Lean movie as a child (and, as a bit of cultural trivia -- did you know that literary critic Edward Said was badly bullied at school by an Egyptian student whom he never saw after graduation until, one day, he spotted him riding over the desert horizon at the start of Lean's masterpiece? The bully had gone on to become Omar Sharif)
Still, if you are an artist, have a soul patch, or know that deep inside you are seriously authentically missional, you may find T. E. Lawrence a bit much. I recommend this book instead.