Sixty-six books written by forty or so people over nearly 2,000 years, in two languages and several different genres. Does the Bible sometimes seem like a confusing jumble of books, authors, and stories? How can you begin to read and understand it as a whole? In this excellent overview, Roberts takes a wide-angle view of Scripture, showing how the various parts of the Bible consolidate into one united theme, the kingdom of God, and center on one supreme subject, Jesus Christ and the salvation God offers through him. With this encouraging tool guiding you, you’ll be able to read God’s Word with new confidence and understanding.
Christianity is the world’s largest religion. And as Rebecca McLaughlin argues, if nothing else just given the sheer mass of those who find its beliefs compelling, everyone at some point should give serious Christianity deep consideration.
If you are not a worshipper of Jesus, I want to commend this book to you and ask you to consider reading it.
A very good and thoughtful book addressing some of today’s most pressing issues re the veracity of Christianity. Believers as well will be both encouraged and stretched by picking up this volume.
Noble argues that we live in a distracted age. Secularism bombards us with a paralyzing amount of “options” in terms of what to think about ultimate matters of meaning and existence. And the technological forms and habits of our current existence keep us sufficiently preoccupied such that the tide of modern life pushes us towards diminishing space for deep reflection. Both of these factors work to make modern humanity a deeply distracted, shallowly reflective bunch. The views we hold are “thin,” often inconsistent, and performative (cue social media)–perceived not so much as actual truth claims about the core of reality, but expressions of self-identity, and thus on par with personal preferences. In part 1 Noble unpacks this situation, drawing on observations from folks like Charles Taylor; and then in part 2 he offers practical counter-measures for how we can bear a sort of witness that disrupts the distracted, anesthetized age in which we live.
Relating this book to other literature: I felt like Noble’s work here was like a particular practical application of a slice of Carl Trueman’s recent work, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self (cf. expressive individualism). In addition, I sensed a lot of overlap in philosophical-cultural analysis with Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option (cf. we live in a now “unenchanted” world). Noble also expressly draws on the work of James K.A. Smith’s “cultural liturgies” and the church’s counter-formative liturgy. And then finally, there’s Charles Taylor of course.
Very thoughtful. Very insightful. Very good.
Ferguson uses the Marrow Controversy that occurred in the Scottish Presbyterian church during the early 18th century to illuminate and provide an excellent theological treatment on the classic issue of the relationship between law and gospel and their role in the life of the believer. This means he provides an analysis of subjects like legalism, antinomianism, and assurance. In some ways, you might think of this book as a deep dive into the topic “the gospel in the life of the believer” conducted through the lens of a particular historical case study. Ferguson’s treatment is both theologically astute and pastorally sensitive and applicable. This is one of those books I feel like I will want to return to and read again in years to come to refresh myself in the aid it supplies.