At the end of every year I highlight my top five reads of the year. Here are my picks of 2011 in no particular order…
Getting the Reformation Wrong is a provocative title to be sure. But Canadian scholar James Payton could just as easily have titled this book, Getting the Reformation Right since both titles communicate the same thing: Correcting some misunderstandings of the Reformation era by setting some records straight and bursting a few bubbles.
McGrath argues that Christians have always wrestled with how to articulate the Christian faith and then how to communicate the articulation of that faith to the current cultural context. Often times this leads to a fuller expression of orthodoxy, sometimes it leads to heresy. But always the goal is the same. Heresies only fault “is it’s unwillingness to accept that it failed”.
John Collins lists many issues at stake in this discussion, but three take dominance for me: 1) the meta-narrative of Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration falls into jeopardy. 2) A crucial element of the atonement is lost. 3) Sooner or later we are faced with what stance we will take toward biblical authority (since Jesus and Paul among other biblical writers believed that Adam and Eve were real historical figures). Great book.
When it comes to answering the big question, “What Is The Gospel?”, Scot pitches his tent in 1 Corinthians 15 as the clearest summary of the gospel in the scriptures. The gospel, then, is the Story of Jesus as the fulfillment of Israel’s Story. If that Story is not proclaimed, than the gospel has not been proclaimed.
The Kingdom New Testament is a treat for me. I do bring it to church. I will use it in small groups. I will quote from it on my blog from time to time. I will source it when I preach, and it has already become a part of my devotional routine. I think that Wright’s translation captures the gospel – the Kingdom message – beautifully.
Encore: Best Movie of 2011 – Battle Los Angeles
My only regret with Battle Los Angeles is that I didn’t go see it in theatres. At first I cared not to see it. From the trailers it looked something like Cloverfield (and we all know how that went). But a friend raved about Battle Los Angeles and loaned me a copy of the DVD. I liked it so much that I watched it twice in the same weekend and then went out and purchased a copy for myself.