Archives for December 2012

The Weekly Hit List: December 21, 2012

PeterStephen J. Binz, author of the Ancient-Future Bible Study series, was interviewed by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.

Here is an excerpt:

“‘Ancient-Future’ expresses the connection between ancient wisdom and future possibilities that I want to create in this series. The term is used in the arts to emphasize a blending of tradition and innovation.

“Ancient-future music and dance fuses centuries-old traditions with contemporary genres and technology. By learning from the world’s great traditions and ancient practices, artists create cross-cultural expressions that are richly profound yet also widely appealing.

“In this series, I combine the ancient art of lectio divina with contemporary Bible study to produce work that is richly traditional and attractively engaging.”

Read the rest of the review and interview here.

 

Quick Hits:

Gary L. Colledge, author of God and Charles Dickens, was interviewed in a CBN News article, “God and Scrooge: Finding the Faith of Charles Dickens.” Video can be seen here, starting at 18:23.

Matthew Dickerson was interviewed on Faith Radio Mornings about A Hobbit Journey.

A Hobbit Journey was included in an article by Publishers Weekly: “The Souls of Hobbits: New Books Unearth Tolkien’s Christian Themes.”

A Hobbit Journey was also included in an article on Busted Halo: “Of God, Tolkien, and Hobbits.”

Darkness Is My Only Companion by Kathryn Greene-McCreight was recommended by Kyle Roberts on the Cultivare blog.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

December ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 60% off.

The Virtuous Reader by Richard S. Briggs
Healing in the Bible by Frederick J. Gaiser
1 & 2 Kings (BTCB) by Peter J. Leithart
Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen
Claiming Abraham by Michael Lodahl
Where Mortals Dwell by Craig G. Bartholomew
The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass
The Vampire Defanged by Susannah Clements
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels

Lectionary Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

LukeThis excerpt comes from Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey, commenting on Luke 1:39-55:

Mary’s Magnificat is a glorious lyric, a poetic summary from scripture, filled with Old Testament phrases and praises of the God who keeps his own covenanted faithfulness and brings his word to fulfillment (Gen. 17:19; 1 Sam. 2:7-8; Pss. 138:6; 71:19; 126:2-3; 111:9; 103:17; 98:1; 118:15; Isa. 41:8; Hab. 3:18).

Echoes of Torah, of the rejoicing of Hannah, but most of all of the psalms of David are woven together into an exuberant poem. And it seems fitting that one who is to bring into the world the “word from the beginning,” the long-awaited “David’s royal son,” should be among women a poet and human author of a seminal scripture herself.

As with the song of her namesake predecessor Miriam (Exod. 15) and the psalms of her ancestor David, so Mary’s song is poetry attuned for joyous praise; in it God is found to be greater than all our frail imaginings of him.

Ambrose remarks that everyone should aspire to “the spirit of Mary, so that he may rejoice in the Lord” (Exposition of Luke 2.2c). Botticelli has a painting, Madonna della Magnificat, in which (also “poetical”) Mary is shown writing her great poem into Luke’s book as the evangelist holds her inkwell! Spiritually, this painting echoes the comment of Ambrose.

The Hebraic verbal echoes are deep and resonate already in the greeting of Gabriel and Elizabeth: “Blessed is the man . . . [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD” (Ps. 1); blessed is the man, and so also blessed is the woman who is found in the way of complete openness to the word of God.

Bonaventure’s summary seems most apt: “Her canticle shows that the fulfillment of all promised blessings has come about, and therefore brings about the fulfillment of all praise and canticles and even of the [entire] Scriptures” (2001—4:1.1.100).

 

©2012 by David Lyle Jeffrey. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

New Website for the BTCB

We’re excited to announce that we just launched a website for our Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series.

Visit www.BrazosTheologicalCommentary.com

On the site you will find information about the BTCB series and each individual volume. There are excerpts, sample pages, reviews, sales info, and much more. Be sure to check out the list of forthcoming volumes.

BrazosTheologicalCommentary.com is your hub for all things BTCB. Check back as we add more tools and resources.

BTCB Website

 

The Weekly Hit List: December 14, 2012

A Hobbit JourneyMatthew Dickerson, author of A Hobbit Journey, wrote on “Seeing Christ in ‘The Hobbit‘” for The Huffington Post.

“Where is Christ in The Hobbit?

“This question might have caused author J. R. R. Tolkien to have fits, given his notorious distaste for allegory. Yet, some background on the celebrated creator of hobbits and the bestselling Middle-earth books suggests that there is at least some legitimacy in posing the question.

“Tolkien was a devout Catholic. While he eschewed allegory and sought to remove explicit religion from “The Lord of the Rings,” his personal letters and published essays show he considered his books to be deeply theistic, and he thought fantasy literature must convey religious truth. He was surprised that theistic aspects of his writing did not receive more notice, and he once commented that of the various biographical aspects of his life, his Christian faith was the only significant fact in understanding his works.

“So the broader question of whether Tolkien’s writings should be considered “Christian works” is complex. As I point out in “A Hobbit Journey,” there is no easy answer, and, depending on what one means by the question, there are some good reasons for answering yes and some for answering no.”

Read the rest of Seeing Christ in ‘The Hobbit‘” here.

 

Other Hits for A Hobbit Journey:

A Hobbit Journey was excerpted by Christianity Today.

A Hobbit Journey was reviewed by Englewood Review of Books.

A Hobbit Journey was mentioned in an article in Relevant Magazine.

 

Quick Hits:

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith was reviewed by Areopagus.

Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen was reviewed by Thursday Theology.

Speaking of Dying by Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, and Joy V. Goldsmith was excerpted in pages 11-12 of L Magazine.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

December ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 60% off.

The Virtuous Reader by Richard S. Briggs
Healing in the Bible by Frederick J. Gaiser
1 & 2 Kings (BTCB) by Peter J. Leithart
Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen
Claiming Abraham by Michael Lodahl
Where Mortals Dwell by Craig G. Bartholomew
The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass
The Vampire Defanged by Susannah Clements
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels

Lectionary Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

This excerpt comes from Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey, commenting on Luke 3:7-18:

The preaching of John and his manner of life appeared as a throwback in such evident ways to the long-deceased prophets that the people most naturally ask if he is the promised Christ (Luke 3:15). The Baptist’s answer is straightforward and yet charged with the deepest possible level of spiritual significance. What does he mean by referring to the sandal strap of the Coming One, saying that he is not worthy to loosen it?

“To loosen the sandal strap” is, in Old Testament marriage custom, associated with levirate marriage. Although there are only two Old Testament narratives in which this custom is referenced, namely the account of Judah and Tamar (Gen. 38) and the story of the kinsman redeemer (gō’ēl) in the book of Ruth, there seems to be warrant for thinking that the practice of levirate law (from Hebrew yābām, “brother-in-law,” translated into Latin as levir) laid down in Deut. 25:5-10 may be alluded to here. By loosening the strap of one shoe (cf. Ruth 4:7-8), a man who was closest kin to a widow or “desolate” woman could without blame give up his legal obligation (and right) to marry her.

The attentive reader of scripture will already have noted that John and Jesus are cousins (“brothers” in Semitic parlance) and that the offspring of both Old Testament unions (Perez son of Judah and Tamar, and Obed son of Boaz and Ruth) are mentioned in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus, which follows almost immediately in the text (3:32-33). . . . John the Baptist, last of the prophets, represents fidelity under the law and the covenant. But even as the questions of the people concerning his identity suggest, he is naturally to be associated with Israel’s longing for redemption “in the fullness of time”; they seek thus to discover if he is to be their gō’ēl (“redeemer”).

John’s answer that he is not that person is given by reference to the levirate sign, according to Gregory the Great: “John denounces himself as unworthy to loose the latchet of Christ’s shoes; as if he openly said, ‘I am not able to disclose the footsteps of the Redeemer, and do not presume to take unto myself unworthily the name of bridegroom,’ for it was an ancient custom that when a man refused to take to wife her to whom he was obligated, whoever should come to her betrothed by right of kin was to loose his shoe” (Forty Gospel Homilies 6).

 

©2012 by David Lyle Jeffrey. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

A Hobbit Journey Movie Ticket Giveaway

In honor of the release of the new film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the release of Matthew Dickerson’s Brazos book A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, we are giving away a copy of the book along with a gift card to go see the new movie!

Enter below to win a $30 gift card for Fandango.com – which you can use this weekend to see The Hobbit. The winner will also receive a copy of Dickerson’s book. Three runner-up winners will receive a copy of A Hobbit Journey.

*To increase your chances of winning: Link to this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter to receive a second entry in the giveaway. Visit our FB page (facebook.com/brazospress) to “share” our post about the giveaway or retweet our announcement on our Twitter feed (twitter.com/brazospress). Make sure that your post or tweet is traceable for us (include our FB and/or Twitter handles in your posts).

This giveaway has ended.

The Weekly Hit List: December 7, 2012

The Space Between by Eric O. Jacobsen, author of Sidewalks in the Kingdom, was reviewed by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books for Comment magazine

“Since Jacobsen’s 2003 Brazos Press introductory book Sidewalks of the Kingdom, many were hoping that the Presbyterian pastor turned new urbanist would write a more substantial follow up, taking readers further into the fascinating study of our built environment.

“His nearly decade of further study, writing, speaking, and engaging this interdisciplinary field has paid off with extraordinary fruitfulness, and Jacobsen’s new book is, without a doubt, one of the most important books in the field, and should be considered to be one of the most important books of the year.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

Quick Hits:

Lee C. Camp, author of Who Is My Enemy?, was interviewed on “Kresta in the Afternoon” on Ave Maria Radio on December 3, 2012.

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson was reviewed in Family Fiction.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was recommended by Andrew Wilson on the Theology Matters blog.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was recommended by Dana Cassell.

Frank G. Honeycutt, author of The Truth Shall Make You Odd, wrote an article for The Christian Century: “New life without parole.” (The full text is available to subscribers only.)

Soulful Spirituality by David Benner was recommended by Barry Pearman.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

December ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 60% off.

The Virtuous Reader by Richard S. Briggs
Healing in the Bible by Frederick J. Gaiser
1 & 2 Kings (BTCB) by Peter J. Leithart
Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen
Claiming Abraham by Michael Lodahl
Where Mortals Dwell by Craig G. Bartholomew
The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass
The Vampire Defanged by Susannah Clements
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels

Lectionary Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent

This excerpt comes from Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey, commenting on Luke 3:1-6:

To anyone familiar with the Jewish scriptures there was something about John the Baptist that ineluctably echoed the prophets of old. For one thing, the “word” (rhēma) or revelation came to John in the desert. This already has a prophetic connotation (cf. Jer. 1:1-14).

For another, it wasn’t just that John preached the need to repent. It was, at least in part, that he preached it out in the desert, “in the wilderness” (Luke 3:2).

Luke makes explicit the connection of John to Isaiah, citing an evidently messianic passage (Isa. 40:3-5). Here Luke puts together the judgment voice of Isaiah’s condemnation of Israel and calling it to repentance (cf. Isa. 11) with the consolatory mood of Isa. 40 (“comfort ye my people”) in a striking juxtaposition.

John is here not only acting, as Malachi had predicted, as an agent to turn “the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:6; Luke 7:27), but in a more radically transgenerational way calling the dispirited and scattered Israel of his time to repent.

Then he invites the penitents to be baptized as a sign of cleansing from their sins so that these individuals may become the faithful Israel long ago covenanted in a spiritual marriage to Israel’s most holy God.

 

©2012 by David Lyle Jeffrey. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

December Ebook Specials

During the month of December, several ebooks from Brazos Press & Baker Academic are on sale.

Click on book covers for more information on that title.

For a list of places to purchase the ebooks, visit www.brazospress.com/ebookspecials

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