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Books of the Year 2018

2018 was the year of Karl Barth, so much of my reading was focused on his theology. However, I did have time in the first nine months to read some other interesting books as well. The last three months I did not read much due to various constraints (hence also no blog postings) but I believe I still have five excellent books to feature!
5. Christian Theologies of Salvation: A Comparative Approach ed. Justin Holcomb

Christian Theologies of Salvation is a wonderful overview of views of salvation held by many key theologians through the entire history of the church. The collection of essays is of remarkably consistent quality for a multi-author book. All in all a great, informative read! You can read my full review here.
4.  Karl Barth and the Incarnation: Christology and the Humility of God by Darren Sumner

Barth's Christology is a complex, difficult thing to study. Sumner's book was invaluable providing a very helpful survey/distillation of key points throughout Barth's caree…
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Balthasar on Theology and Truth

From Explorations in Theology Vol. 1: The Word Made Flesh

Revealed truth, since it is both divine truth and the truth we live by, is so constituted that the amount of truth in theology (as it prepares the way to worship and a life of obedience) must be measured in terms of worship and practical obedience. For Christ is no theory, not even insofar as he is the truth (not the truth as human knowledge is true). The flame of worship and obedience must burn through the dispassionateness of speculation, as it always does through the entire Word of God..." (152-53).

Coming Next

It's been a few weeks since I've finished up my posts on 1 Corinthians. It was a very fruitful study for me. It's the longest book of the Bible that I have ever completed. I was originally planning to dive right into 2 Corinthians, but I've decided to take a detour and tackle Ecclesiastes next. I don't know what my pace will be as I'm also going to be studying it with my wife, which I'm really looking forward to! For commentaries I will be using Fox and Enns. Probably no big surprise.

Commentary Review: 1 Corinthians

I have finally concluded my study through 1 Corinthians, so now it is time to write some commentary reviews! While for the blog posts I relied on just two commentaries, in the past I have extensively used two others and will include those in my reviews as well. These are not the only top notch 1 Corinthians commentaries on the market. Fee and Garland also come to mind, but I have not spent as much time with them as the four below.

As always, please check out my Commentary Series Overview post for details on the various series these commentaries come from.

If you've been reading my posts then it will be no surprise that I place Thiselton's commentary at the head of the class. I do not possess enough superlatives to describe this commentary. It's a one stop shop for all of your interpretive needs. One of the most helpful features is his translation. Contrary to most commentary translations, he did not produce a literal translation of the text, but made a very dynamic transla…

1 Corinthians 16:1-23

You can read the text here.

Paul concludes the letter by addressing a few related concerns. One of the major goals of his mission was to provide a substantial gift from the Gentile churches he founded to the poor Christians in Jerusalem, as an expression of their unity.[1] Clearly he has already spoken with the Corinthians about the collection, and he encourages them to save up for it, setting aside their excess money each Sunday. As part of their participation Paul offers to have one of the Corinthians travel with them to deliver the gift. He really wants to see them engaged.

Paul then tells of his travel plans. He firmly plans to come visit them soon, and stay for a while. However, he has very fruitful work in Ephesus which he does not want to cut short. In the meantime, he is sending Timothy to them. Clearly they would rather have Apollos, but Apollos isn't willing to go visit them at that time, so he commends Timothy to the Corinthians and encourage them to take care of him wh…

1 Corinthians 15:35-58

You can read the text here.

Paul moves now to tackle a key objective raised by some in the Corinthian congregation. A physical resurrected body seems ridiculous to them, as they see them as little more than resuscitated corpses. Paul has no tolerance for such nonsense and disdain. He swiftly corrects them giving them the analogy of a seed being planted. Our bodies when they are buried will be like seeds going into the ground. What springs up is not a seed but a whole plant, something far more glorious.  It has continuity with the seed, a wheat seed doesn't grow up into an apple tree. However, it surpasses it in glory. The same will be true of our resurrected bodies. They will be far more than reanimated corpses.

In our case our bodies prone to sin and decay will be transformed into immortal bodies that are animated by the Spirit and take on her character.[1] We are sown in the weakness and earthiness of our forebearers, however, Jesus serves as the template for our resurrected bod…

1 Corinthians 15:12-34

You can read the text here.

Paul had just established that the resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of the gospel and the foundation of the Corinthians' faith. Given that, he is shocked and dismayed that some of the Corinthians could possibly deny that there is a resurrection of the dead. To make the implications clear in hopes of bringing them to their sense he hits them with the full implications of this belief. To be clear, what some seem to be arguing is that there is no general resurrection from the dead on the last day. Paul says, if that's true, then Jesus himself was not raised from the dead, which then implies that the gospel isn't true, the Corinthians are still enslaved to sin, and Paul and the other apostles have misrepresented God (a terrifying prospect).[1] Given the self denial called for by the Christian way of life, they are most piteous.

Paul's next stage in his argument is to reaffirm the truth of the resurrection and give them a vision of the grand…