Gutjahr, Paul C. Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
This was an enjoyable book on many levels. Most theological books have minimal illustration, but this book opens with several pages of pen and ink sketches of the major people the reader will encounter in Hodge’s life. Accompanying each illustration is a brief biography. Paintings and photographs abound throughout the book. Once grown, Gutjahr divides the book into parts based on the decades of the nineteenth century. At the beginning of each section is a painting or photograph of Hodge from that decade. Hodge’s friends, family, colleagues, and interlocutors are also pictured throughout. The illustrations and their captions added to the quality of the book.
Of course the heart of the book is the text. It does a good job of explaining Hodge’s theological positions. Gutjahr, for the most part, does not engage in his own evaluation of Hodge’s views. Rather, he presents Hodge’s own justifications for them and places them in the intellectual context of Hodge’s time. At times Gutjahr defends Hodge from unjust characterizations. Finally, though Gutjahr does not place as much emphasis as Hoffecker on Hodge’s spiritual life, this aspect of Hodge is not neglected either.
Wenham, Gordon J. Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically. Studies in Theological Interpretation. Edited by Craig G. Bartholomew, Joel B. Green, and Christopher R. Seitz. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012.
Wenham makes the case that the Psalter should play a greater role in Christian worship. He opens with a historical survey that demonstrates the Psalms played this important role during much of Jewish and Christian history. Wenham believes it is vital to the health of the church to recover this practice. He specifically argues that the Psalter was intended to be memorized and sung. From this foundation Wenham explores the ethical implications that singing the Psalms has. Singing the Psalms engages the worshipper in affirmations about God and commitments to his ways. This leads Wenham to examine the Psalter’s teaching about the law as well as the presence of law within the Psalter. This book is both thought provoking and is persuasive for giving the Psalms a greater role in our worship.
John W. O’Malley, Trent: What Happened at the Council. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2013.
O’Malley does a good job of placing Trent in its historical context, tracing the doctrinal and practical issues raised in the council, chronicling the political intrigue that shaped the council, and summarizing the effect of the council.
Anderson, Courtney. To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson. Judson Press, 1987.
This is an engaging biography of Judson. However it is not annotated, leaving the reader to wonder at times about the source for dialogue or the reporting of the thoughts of certain characters.
Nonetheless the broad outlines are accurate and general sources are provided. The book is devotional and spiritually challenging.
Piper, John. God’s Passion for His Glory. Wheaton: Crossway, 1998.
The great value of this book is the complete text of Jonathan Edwards’s The End for Which God Created the World. Edwards defends the logical coherence of and proves with copious examination of Scripture the thesis that the end for which God created the world was the exhibition of his glory so that he might receive back from the creatures praise and glory. This edition is nicely printed and provides helpful explanatory footnotes by Piper. The philosophical section can be difficult reading, but the scriptural section often verges into devotional exaltation. The introductory essays by Piper may be read of skipped depending on the reader’s interest in Piper’s evaluation of modern evangelicalism and his interest in Piper’s own history of reading Edwards.
Piper, John. Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations in the Lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton. Wheaton: Crossway, 2009.
Brief but well written devotional biographies of Tyndale, Judson, and Paton.
Warfield, B. B. "Agnosticism." Selected Shorter Writings . Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
"In effect, therefore, agnosticism impoverishes, and, in its application to religious truth, secularizes and to this degree degrades life. Felicitating itself on a peculiarly deep reverence for truth on the ground that it will admit into that category only what can make good its right to be so considered under the most stringent tests, it deprives itself of the enjoyment of this truth by leaving the category either entirely or in great part empty."
Warfield, B. B. "Atheism." Selected Shorter Writings. Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
Examines different kinds of atheism and investigates in what ways a person may be an atheist and in what ways it is impossible to be one.
Warfield, B. B. "God." Selected Shorter Writings. Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
He looks at what may be known through general revelation and what may be known through special. Under special revelation he considers God as redeemer and God as Triune. The section on the Trinity is an excellent, brief statement of the biblical basis of the doctrine of the Trinity.
Warfield, B. B. "Godhead." Selected Shorter Writings. Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
He looks at the historical development of this word in English. Argues that it not be replaced by the term Divinity.
Warfield, B. B. "The God of Israel." Selected Shorter Writings. Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
Warfield argues that the God is Israel is not the god of Israel’s imagining but the God revealed to Israel. The Bible may at points touch on false ideas that Israelites had of God, but this is not primarily the Bible’s teaching about God. Warfield then surveys the Old Testament’s teaching about God as the Person who makes his power known in establishing justice and redeeming Israel.
Warfield, B. B. "The Significance of the Confessional Doctrine of the Decree." Selected Shorter Writings. Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
A defense of the WCF’s teaching of the divine decree.
Warfield, B. B. "Some Thoughts on Predestination." Selected Shorter Writings. Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
If God creates a world he cannot control, he is not God. If God chooses to create beings who can do highly dangerous things and chooses to create them to be beyond his control, God does not act wisely and thus does not acts God.
Warfield, B. B. "God’s Providence Over All." Selected Shorter Writings. Edited by John E. Meeter. P&R, 2001.
Warfield notes that the human element of Scripture has come to receive move emphasis. Stress is placed on the distinctive styles of John, Peter, and Paul. But because of the Scripture teaching that God’s providence is over all, this new emphasis on the human aspect of Scripture authorship does not endanger its fully divine aspect. God not only choose the Scripture writers but he providentially guided their whole lives so that they would have the personalities and styles to write precisely what he breathed out.
Kuyper, Abraham. "Manuel Labor (1889)." In Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader. Edited by James D. Bratt. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
In this collection of newspaper articles Kuyper addresses challenges facing labor in a new industrialized economy comprised of larger corporations. He opposes the liberals’ laissez faire approach as having razed the traditional guilds and replaced them with nothing but the slogan of freedom. He agreed that the guilds needed reform, but he objects to destroying them and replacing them with nothing. He also objects that the structure created by the liberals privileges the bourgeois and enables him to abuse the laborer. On the other hand Kuyper objects to the plans of the social democrats. He says that they would simply tear down the liberal social structure (with whatever benefits it does have) and replace it with their own structure which would place the power of government in the hands of the masses, who would then exercise tyranny over the landed classes. Though Kuyper disagrees with the liberal laissez faire approach he does not wish overmuch government involvement due his vision of sphere sovereignty. Kuyper proposes government recognized, but independently run, chambers of labor that would represent the concerns of the laborer to employers and government. Kuyper’s chambers of labor would have differed from labor unions in that Kuyper objected to the antagonistic nature of strikes as being part of the problem. The chambers were mean to foster more harmony between laborer and manager.
Zaspel, Fred G. The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010. [Read Chapter 5: Theology Proper]
Zaspel does an excellent job of directing the reader to all of Warfield’s writings on particular topics. His summaries of Warfield’s teaching are also well done. This chapter on theology proper focuses primarily on the Trinity and God’s sovereign decree.
David T. Tsumura, "Genesis and Ancient Near Eastern Stories of Creation and Flood: An Introduction Part II," 9, no. 2 Bible and Spade (Winter 1996): 37-38.
He takes ‘ed to "mean “high water” and refer to the water flooding out of the subterranean ocean."
Auden, W. H. "Jacob and the Angel." The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Prose, Vol. 2: 1939-1948 . Edited by Edward Mendelson. Princeton University Press, 2002.
A review of Walter de la Mare’s anthology, Behold This Dreamer. Discusses the emergence of Romanticism.
Auden, W. H. "The Guilty Vicarage: Notes on the Detective Story, by an Addict." The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Prose, Vol. 2: 1939-1948 . Edited by Edward Mendelson. Princeton University Press, 2002.
Interesting in that Auden clearly distinguishes between the art literature and escape literature and yet does a serious analysis of the latter.
Bowald, Mark. "A Generous Reformer: Kevin Vanhoozer’s Place in Evangelicalism." Southeastern Theological Review 4, no. 1 (Summer 2013): 3-9.
An introduction to a journal issue that reviews Vanhoozer’s Remythologizing Theology. Bowald highlights ways in which Vanhoozer is a committed evangelical (e.g., firm commitment to the absolute authority of Scripture) and ways in which he makes evangelicals nervous (e.g., building bridges out to non-evangelicals; ad hoc use of various interpretational methodologies; less emphasis on propositional truth).
Kidner, "Genesis 2:5, 6: Wet or Dry?" TynBul 17, no. 1 (1966): 109-113.
Kidner argues that the ‘ed in Genesis 2:6 are the waters that covered the earth on the first day of creation. Verse 5 is a kind of parenthesis that introduces the main themes of land and man as cultivator that follow in Genesis 2. Kidner rightly pinpoints the lack of rain as a reason for the absence of plants and shrubs in the land combined with the presence of the ‘ed watering the whole face of the ground as the interpretational conundrum that must be addressed, but his answer does not seem to be the most natural way of reading the text.
Harris, R. Laird. "The Mist, the Canopy, and the Rivers of Eden," Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society 11, no. 4 (Fall 1968): 178-79.
Rejects the views of Kline, Kidner, and Speiser on Gen. 2:4-7. Takes Genesis 2 to focus on the region of Eden. This region is not one that receives rain. He takes the ‘ed to be the rivers that flow through Eden. When there is inundation from the river, the land can be irrigated. Also rejects the canopy theory and the supposition of no rain at all before the Flood, though he endorses the worldwide extent of the Flood.