New titles out now from Eerdmans:
The monetary fund that the apostle Paul organized among his Gentile congregations for the Jewish-Christian community in Jerusalem was clearly an important endeavor to Paul; discussion of it occupies several prominent passages in his letters. In this book David Downs carefully investigates that offering from historical, sociocultural, and theological standpoints. Downs first pieces together a chronological account of Paul’s fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Jerusalem church, based primarily on information from the Pauline epistles. He then examines the sociocultural context of the collection, including gift-giving practices in the ancient Mediterranean world relating to benefaction and care for the poor. Finally, Downs explores how Paul framed this contribution rhetorically as a religious offering consecrated to God.
In How to Survive the Apocalypse Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson examine a number of popular stories — from the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica to the purging of innocence in Game of Thrones to the hordes of zombies in The Walking Dead — and argue that such apocalyptic stories reveal a lot about us here and now, about how we conceive of our life together, including some of our deepest tensions and anxieties. Besides analyzing the dsytopian shift in popular culture, Joustra and Wilkinson also suggest how Christians can live faithfully and with integrity in such a cultural context.
“Dear Netflix: Hold off on sending Parks and Recreation and start me on the second season of The Walking Dead. After reading this terrific book by Alissa Wilkinson and Robert Joustra, I have decided I am ready for more apocalypse. I had been immersed in the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor, but this book helped me connect their philosophical explorations to dystopian narratives. So I am now going to work at coming up with my own informed understandings of zombie plots.” —Richard Mouw
Christian Practical Wisdom: What It Is, Why It Matters by Dorothy C. Bass, Kathleen A. Cahalan, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, James R. Nieman, Christian B. Scharen (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802868732. $30.00)
In this richly collaborative work, five distinguished scholars examine the oft-neglected embodied practical wisdom that is essential for true theological understanding and faithful Christian living. After first showing what Christian practical wisdom is and does in several real-life situations, the authors tellwhy such practical wisdom matters and how it operates, exploring reasons behind its decline in both the academy and the church and setting forth constructive cases for its renewal.
This work by Stephen Chapman offers a robustly theological and explicitly Christian reading of 1 Samuel. Chapman’s commentary reveals the theological drama at the heart of that biblical book as it probes the tension between civil religion and vital religious faith through the characters of Saul and David.
“The account of David’s rise to kingship has long been a theme of contemporary biblical scholarship, but the results of recent work have been rather thin on the theological side. This work is a major course correction on that front. Chapman helps the reader ponder anew the theological and literary issues that lay at the heart of Israel’s transition to kingship in general and the reign and legacy of David in particular.” —Gary A. Anderson