Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I'm at work, so it is a good time to do some posting. I'm currently looking at the 2007 Trade Catalog for InterVarsity Press. It has the usual hodge-podge random action that I don't know what to do with. There are some sweet babies springing forth into the autumn mist for all humanity to pass on to their children and their children's children, and there are some sick, withered dogs who should be put out of their misery, but because IVP is evangelical, they don't believe in euthanasia even for dogs, so they put them on life support and distribute them.

On the sweet end, Ben Witherington is continuing his insane pursuit to write a legitimate scholarly commentary on every book of the New Testament with Letters and Homilies for Jewish Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Hebrews, James and Jude. Because I believe Socio-Rhetorical criticism is the rightful heir to the Biblical Studies throne that will usher in a glorious new age of understanding for all. Another volume I anticipate with margarine is the McGrath's The Dawkins Delusion. Here's the thing...I'm not a hater on Dawkins or any other atheists, but I thought that The God Delusion had some very weak sections, especially the atheist apologetics section. There are far better arguments than what Dawkins offers. Overall I thought The God Delusion was a decent systematic atheology. I just hope that the McGraths assess fairly and kindly.

On the goofy end, there are a few stink-bombs. First, Timothy Paul Jones who received an Ed.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (mecca for everyone I disagree with) and is currently senior pastor of a baptist church, wrote a book called Misquoting Truth, which is an assessment of Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus. Here we need a few disclaimers. 1 - I just chatted with Dr. Blomberg and he read the manuscript for this was excellent, so I'm probably wrong. 2 - I really like Bart Ehrman a lot along with a lot of the people looking at early Christian literature. I really have a hard time with a lot of Baptist things (I'm trying to sound nice here, because we're all part of the body), and I have a huge problem with Southern Baptist Seminary (Bruce Ware works there, enough said). Therefore, I have two biases that keep me from thinking this book will be any good. So those 2 things being said, what kind of credentials are a doctorate in education and being a pastor for responding to one of the leading early christian literature scholars today? That's what I want to know. Other potential lame-o is Church, State and Public Justice: Five Views edited by P.C. Kemeny. Ideally, this is not a bad book to publish. It's good to talk about this and think through this issue from various perspectives. Here's the lame part...there are all the perspectives you would expect (Catholic, Baptist, Pluralist, Mainline Protestant Perspectives), and then they have anabaptist as one of the perspectives...Ron Sider. Why Ron Sider? Yes, he has anabaptist tendencies, but it seems like he is giving up on them in some of his ideas on government involvement for solutions to poverty in his most recent book, Just Generosity. Why not get a real anabaptist? I'm sure Thomas Finger, Denny Weaver or Arnold Snyder have time to crank out a chapter on anabaptist views on kingdoms. But alas, no such luck. At least they tried.

There's the IVP update. Hopefully we'll get the Orbis or WJK catalog soon and I can drool waterfalls of literary desire.


TimothyPaulJones said...

So those 2 things being said, what kind of credentials are a doctorate in education and being a pastor for responding to one of the leading early christian literature scholars today? That's what I want to know.

Of course, one might legitimately ask what your own credentials are for determining the relative value and ascertaining the content of books that you haven't yet read. Proph.D., perhaps? :-)

TimothyPaulJones said...

I suppose, in all fairness, I should state my own qualifications, huh?

My bachelor's and master's degrees focused on New Testament and historical theology. My doctorate focused on the historical functions of the term "faith" and on the relationship---statistical and theological---of Christian faith to transreligious faith of the sort proposed by James Fowler. So, yes, it ended up technically falling into the School of Christian Education and Leadership, but it drew from quite a few other fields.

I do not take on Ehrman at the level of textual criticism. In the first place, I'm not qualified to do that. In the second place, he's mostly correct in that area, as far as I'm concerned. Where I contend that Ehrman goes beyond available evidence---and where I do have the qualifications to deal with the relevant data---is at the level of historical methodology and in the implications that he draws from his sources that relate to the history of Christian theology.

As for your disdain of Baptists in general and Southern Seminary in particular ... can't help you there. Have you ever visited Southern, though? It's a beautiful place.

TimothyPaulJones said...

Despite last night's sarcasm, I do appreciate people taking the time to question not only my books but also the books of others---which is why I deeply appreciate Ehrman even when i disagree with him. I'm still a Baptist, and I still love Southern Seminary ... but I still appreciate your wrestling with my ideas from another perspective. Seriously.