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The Reformation was a time of tremendous upheaval, renewal, and vitality in the life of the church. The challenge to maintain and develop faithful Christian belief and practice in the midst of great disruption was reflected in the theology of the sixteenth century.
In this volume, which serves as a companion to IVP Academic’s Reformation Commentary on Scripture, theologian and church historian Gerald L. Bray immerses readers in the world of Reformation theology. He introduces the range of theological debates as Catholics and Protestants from a diversity of traditions―Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist―disputed the essentials of the faith, from the authority of Scripture and the nature of salvation to the definition of the church, the efficacy of the sacraments, and the place of good works in the Christian life.
Readers will find that understanding how the Reformers engaged in the theological discipline can aid us in doing theology today.
Publisher: IVP Academic
Price: $2.99 (June 29-30)
If you don’t believe God has a sense of humor, just look in the mirror. Humor is a truly human phenomenon―crossing history, culture, and every stage of life. Jokes often touch on the biggest topics of our existence. And although it may seem simple on the surface, humor depends on the use of our highest faculties: language, intelligence, sympathy, sociability.
To the philosopher Steve Wilkens, these facts about humor are evidence that God just has to be in there somewhere. Yet many Christians, scholars, and laypeople alike, haven’t taken humor seriously. In What’s So Funny About God? Wilkens launches an exploration of the connections between humor and many of the central topics of Christian theology. He argues that viewing Scripture and theology through the lens of humor brings fresh insight to our understanding of the gospel, helps us avoid the pitfalls of both naturalism and Gnosticism, and facilitates a humble, honest, and appealing approach to faith.
Wilkens turns this lens on the paradoxes of human nature, the Christian calendar, church life, and new readings of well-known biblical texts, including the book of Esther, the nativity narratives, and Jesus’ own teachings. Taking into account the problems of suffering and the need for timely lament, he portrays the Christian story as one that ultimately ends in cosmic comedy. Full of wit and thoughtful jokes throughout, it’s enough fun that you may not realize you’re reading theology.
Publisher: IVP Academic
Price: $2.99 (June 22-23)
What’s the point of studying philosophy when we have theology? Is philosophy anything more than a preparation for apologetics?
Often called “theology’s handmaid,” philosophy has sometimes suffered from an inferiority complex in the church. Many Christians see little point in it at all. But as Paul Copan contends, it is possible to affirm theology’s preeminence without diminishing the value and contribution of philosophy.
In A Little Book for New Philosophers, Copan offers a concise introduction to the study of philosophy. Aimed at newcomers, this brief overview is both a survey of philosophy’s basic aims and categories and an apology for its proper function in the life of the Christian. “By God’s grace,” Copan writes, “philosophy can enhance our understanding and worship of God . . . and assist us in defending the coherence of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Publisher: IVP Academic
Price: $2.99 (June 15-16)
Christianity Today 2019 Book of the Year Award, The Church/Pastoral Leadership
We know of the preacher’s roles as both teacher and proclaimer, but Jeffrey Arthurs adds another assignment: the Lord’s remembrancer. The remembrancer stirs the memory of Christ-followers, reminding them of the truths they once heard and fanning the flames of faith. We live in an age of forgetfulness, so when knowledge fades and conviction cools, the church needs to be reminded of the great truths of the faith. When done well, preaching as reminding is not empty, perfunctory repetition. Rather, it is the work of soul-watchers. Preaching as Reminding describes the dynamic role of the remembrancer, who prompts thankfulness and repentance, raises hope, fosters humility and wisdom, exhorts obedience, and encourages community. With decades of preaching experience, Arthurs explains how to stir memory through vivid language, story, delivery, and ceremony. He urges preachers to take up this task with buoyancy and hope because the Lord God has commissioned and equipped them to serve as the Lord’s remembrancers.
Publisher: IVP Academic
Price: $2.99 (May 4-5)
What forces shaped the intellectual world of the apostle Paul? How familiar was he with the great philosophers of his age, and to what extent was he influenced by them? When he quoted Greco-Roman sources, what was his aim?
Pauline scholars wrestle with such questions in journal articles and technical monographs, but now Paul and the Giants of Philosophy brings the conversation into the college classroom and the church. Each essay addresses Paul’s interaction with Greco-Roman philosophical thinking on a particular topic, such as faith, slavery, gift-giving, and the afterlife. And each chapter includes discussion questions and reading lists to help readers engage the material further.
Dodson and Briones have gathered contributors with diverse views from various traditions who are united in the desire to make Paul’s engagement with ancient philosophy accessible to many readers.
In this grab bag we have 3 e-books from A Little Book Series which were published by IVP. The prices and sale dates that the publisher has provided are under each ebook cover.
Holy warfare is the festering wound on the conscience of Bible-believing Christians. Of all the problems the Old Testament poses for our modern age, this is the one we want to avoid in a mixed company.
But do the so-called holy war texts of the Old Testament portray a divinely inspired genocide? Did Israel slaughter Canaanites at God’s command? Were they enforcing divine retribution on an unholy people? These texts shock us. And we turn the page. But have we rightly understood them?
In The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest, John Walton and J. Harvey Walton take us on an archaeological dig, excavating the layers of translation and interpretation that over time have encrusted these texts and our perceptions. What happens when we take new approaches, frame new questions? When we weigh again their language and rhetoric? Were the Canaanites punished for sinning against the covenanting God? Does the Hebrew word herem mean “devote to destruction”? How are the Canaanites portrayed and why? And what happens when we backlight these texts with their ancient context?
The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest keenly recalibrates our perception and reframes our questions. While not attempting to provide all the answers, it offers surprising new insights and clears the ground for further understanding.