Lewis, C. S. The Abolition of Man. HarperSanFrancisco, 1947.
A natural law argument against reducing all value judgments to mere personal sensations. Lewis argues for the necessity of a natural law by showing the impossibility of functioning without one.
VanDrunen, David. A Biblical Case for Natural Law. Studies in Christian Social Ethics and Economics. Edited by Anthony B. Bradley. Grand Rapids: Acton Institute, n. d.
VanDrunen argues successfully for the existence of natural law. His deployment of the concept with in a Klineian two-kingdoms model is on shakier ground. For instance the Noahic covenant is about making space for the other redemptive covenants to be worked out (see esp. Jer. 33:20-21); it is a covenant also instituted in connection with a sacrifice of atonement. It is thus not a covenant about making space for a common kingdom. VanDrunen also seems to equivocate between biblical kingdom language and the way kingdom language is used in the history of theology. This is especially problematic because VanDrunen ends up connecting theological kingdom language to the Noahic and Abrahamic covenants whereas in the Bible the kingdom of God is most closely connected with the Davidic covenant, a covenant that gets very little attention from VanDrunen.
Van Drunen’s hope that natural law can provide the basis for common morality is also on shakier ground that his argument for the existence of natural law. Attempts to reason from natural law apart from explicit Scripture are often unconvincing. This is even further exacerbated by the prevailing religious pluralism in which there are real competing value systems at work in a society. Though the Fall has not eradicated mankind’s sense of the law, it has so distorted it that competing systems are now in place. Finally, secularists and/or pluralists are no more inclined to concede to natural law than they are to concede to Scripture.
Watson, Thomas. The Godly Man’s Picture. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth.
Watson begins by challenging his readers to self-examination about their conversion, helpfully sketches out in concrete terms what a godly life is, and concludes with comfort for believers who recognize their failure to measure up. Excellent.
Lewis, C. S. That Hideous Strength. New York: Collier, 1946.
This, the last of Lewis’ Space Trilogy, is the hardest to get into on first read. The characters seem to be entirely different, the setting is earth, and the action is minimal. In fact the first hundred pages seem to be about the debates of college professors about trivial college matters. But rereading shows this book to be the one of the three with the greatest depth. Lewis is working on many different levels (pay attention to weather and lighting). Also reading Lewis’ essay “The Inner Ring” and his book The Abolition of Man will prepare readers for many of the themes of That Hideous Strength. Brushing up on Arthurian legends won’t hurt either, though the book works fine standing on its own.
Wenkel, David. “The Logic and Exegesis behind Calvin’s Doctrine of the Internal Witness of the Holy Spirit to the Authority of Scripture.” Puritan Reformed Journal 3, no. 2 (July 2011): 98-108.
Overly, Paul. “Some Thoughts on the Meaning of Music from a Christian World View.” In Barrett, Michael P. V. The Beauty of Holiness: A Guide to Biblical Worship. Greenville, SC: Ambassador, 2006.
Argues that Christians need to evaluate music according to its culturally assigned meaning as well as according to its formal elements, which contribute to its meaning.
Beall, Todd S. “Contemporary Hermeneutical Approaches to Genesis 1-11.” In Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth. Edited by Terry Mortenson and Thane H. Ury. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2008.
A good evaluation of non-literal approaches to Genesis 1-11.
Averbeck, Richard E. “The Sumerian Historiographic Tradition and Its Implications for Genesis 1-11.” In Faith, Tradition, and History: Old Testament Historiography in Its Near Eastern Context. Edited by A. R. Millard, J. K. Hoffmeier, D. W. Baker. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1994.
Favorable review of a 2011 WTS dissertation that defends divine simplicity against modern philosophical detractors.
Hall, Gregory V. “Applying a New Perspective Understanding to Romans 2:12-16,” Ashland Theological Journal (2010): 31-39.
Summarized New Perspective approaches to this passage but did not advance beyond what anyone would gather simply by reading Dunn or Wright’s commentaries on this passage.
Barnes, Peter. “Prayer: Some Suggestions,” Banner of Truth (Aug-Sep 2011): 1-3.
Eagleman, David. “The Brain on Trial.” The Atlantic, August 2011.
An argument that reduces (almost?) all human behavior to brain functioning beyond the scope of any individual will and the suggested legal ramifications to such a view.
Gruenke, Jennifer, and Justin D. Barnard. “Don’t Put the Brain on Trial.” Public Discourse, October 4, 2011.
An argument that the scientific claims in Eagleman’s article were overstated and that the current legal system is already prepared to handle the extreme kinds of cases discussed by Eagelman.
Affirms the concept of natural law but takes issue with the exegetical arguments VanDrunen uses to establish his two kingdom’s approach.
Helm, Paul. “Natural Law and Common Grace.” Helm’s Deep, November 1, 2008.
Helm argues that natural law and common grace are aimed at affirming the same thing. Only by the confusing of Counter-Reformation teaching with medieval teaching do they end up opposed.
Saucy, Mark R. “Canon as Tradition: The New Covenant and the Hermeneutical Question.” Themelios 36, no. 2 (2011).
An argument against D. H. Williams and others who seem to give patristic tradition some level of authority in doctrinal formation. Saucy argues that the fathers are not sufficient guides for right interpretation because they fail to appreciate the canon’s emphasis on the new covenant as a necessary hermeneutical guide.
Ward, Wayne E. “The Worship of the Church.” In The People of God: Essays on the Believers’ Church. Edited by Paul Basden and David S. Dockery. Nashville: Broadman, 1991.
Hiestand, Gerald. “Augustine and the Justification Debates: Appropriating Augustine’s Doctrine of Culpability.” Trinity Journal 28, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 115-139.
An argument in favor of Augustine’s doctrine of justification over against that of Calvin, Hodge, and others in the Reformation tradition. He favors Augustine’s view that justification is equivalent to regeneration (there is a real, essential change rather than only a forensic change in justification). He ties this to the fact that Augustine more consistently held to a realist view of why people are culpable before God rather than a view that moves toward placing greater stress on the imputation of Adam’s sin forensically. Michael Horton’s Covenant and Salvation provides a more traditional Reformation view of justification that does not neglect its connection to transformation.
Walters, Stanley D. “Reading Samuel to Hear God,” Calvin Theological Journal 37 (2002): 62-81.
A helpful article that deals with Samuel’s canonical location and with its structure.