Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some New Year reading

At the Aber Conference back in August I pre-ordered Bread of Heaven: The Life and Work of William Williams, Pantycelyn, Eifion Evans, Bryntirion Press, 2010. I had forgotten all about the order, when one dark evening a week or so ago the postman knocked at our door. His hands were full of letters and packages, so with a torch in his mouth he did his best to ask me to sign for one of the items. Amongst the packages was Bread of Heaven. I've enjoyed other works by Evans on the 1859 and 1904 Revivals in Wales, and above all his excellent biography of William Williams' contemporary, Daniel Rowland, (Banner of Truth Trust, 1985). I'm really looking forward to getting started on this one after the Christmas holidays. 
Then there's the mighty Reformed Dogmatics in four Volumes by Herman Bavinck (Baker Academic). I read Volume One the year before last and made a start on Volume Two early in 2010, but due to other reading commitments I had to leave it aside, only to pick it up again last week. There is no one quite like Bavinck for depth of treatment and breadth of learning. On The Names of God, "God has most abundantly revealed himself in the name 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit.' The fullness that from the beginning inhered in the name Elohim has gradually unfolded and become most fully and splendidly manifest in the trinitarian name of God." (Volume Two, p. 147).

For my degree studies I focused on the meaning and significance of the resurrection of Jesus. I believe that the resurrection of Christ is not always given the emphasis it deserves in Reformed theology and Calvinistic preaching, although there are some welcome signs of change in this regard. See the work of Richard Gaffin for one, especially his Resurrection and Redemption and also more popular-level books like Ordinary Hero: Living the Cross and the Resurrection by Tim Chester. So, I was pleased to receive a review copy (for Protestant Truth magazine) of The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, Michael R. Licona, 2010, IVP/Apollos. It's a weighty 700+ pager, but from a quick flick through, it looks like a fascinating and important study of the historicity of the resurrection of Christ.

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