Recent books: Oct 14, 2021 | Jesus’ Creed

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A new series here at CT’s Jesus Creed – recent books that have crossed my desk.

Joel Looper examines the question “What did DB think of the American Church?” »In his new book Bonhoeffer’s America: a land without reform. This is an important study from a famous Bonhoeffer essay, but it takes some expertise to sort through everything he said – at the time and in Bonhoeffer’s body of study. Looper is a good writer; the book is accessible and is a great introduction to much of what goes on in Bonhoeffer’s life.

A new book by Jonathan D. Redding, titled A Nation Under Graham: Apocalyptic Rhetoric and American Exceptionalism. Redding’s book is a slice of American history. The Slice is Billy Graham in several ways: his apocalyptic rhetoric, which is as American and Graham as it gets; its American exceptionalism if not its patriotic nationalism; its anti-communism; his relationship with presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George HW Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump); and in particular Graham’s plea for “under God” added in 1954 (under Eisenhower) to the oath of allegiance. The decisive sermon was that of George Docherty, but it rooted his sermon and style at the time in the anti-communist American exceptionalism of Billy Graham who could only reject communism if Americans were born again, accorded with God. and pledged to be a Christian Nation that honors God.

When I first saw Mark Reasoner’s five models (Five Scriptures) I thought he was taking a cross-sectional approach to how we encounter the Bible and various Bible readings. Its five are: the Bible as (1) Documents, (2) Stories, (3) Prayers, (4) Laws and (5) Oracles. that of John Goldingay Models of Scriptureused other terms (tradition of testimony, authoritative canon, inspired word, experienced revelation) prompted Mark to pose other Bible reading experiences and his approach considers a broader lens in the church which means he has a more sensitive ear for Roman Catholics and Orthodox perceptions and experiences of the Bible. Should be required reading in courses dealing with the doctrines of the scriptures.

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