Excellent work showing where the New Perspective on Paul has misread aspects of Second Temple Judaism. He is fair to the aspects they have rightly notExcellent work showing where the New Perspective on Paul has misread aspects of Second Temple Judaism. He is fair to the aspects they have rightly noted but shows where the view has been reductionistic and even ignored evidence to the contrary. His discussion of the relevant texts is extremely helpful. His treatment of Romans 1-5 is much briefer but still helpful as he interacts with secondary sources....more
Excellent account of the Battle of Salamis, the events leading up to it, the day itself and the aftermath.
Barry Strauss is judicious in his accountingExcellent account of the Battle of Salamis, the events leading up to it, the day itself and the aftermath.
Barry Strauss is judicious in his accounting of the historical facts coupled with weighing good vs. bad speculation about the events. He does a good job of filling in the background for those unfamilar with Greek history and places the battle in light of its larger historical significance.
Give excellent backround on the Greek Triremes. Paints a picture of Themistocles as the mastermind behind luring the Greeks into the Salamis Straits. However, Themistocles is no noble hero but more of a cunning opertunist who uses skills of all kinds to orchestrate a Greek victory.
Good read. For those not overly interested in history this is still an excellent account which is well paced. Those who enjoy history will appreciate the detail and care Strauss brings to the events....more
An excellent introduction to economics from a Christian perspective. Takes on some of the naysayers of capitalism, particularly debunking a number ofAn excellent introduction to economics from a Christian perspective. Takes on some of the naysayers of capitalism, particularly debunking a number of myths that people use to detract from a free market system. While acknowledging the faults, he posits real solutions. He critiques some of Jim Wallis and Ronald Sider's works which posit Christian but politically leftists solutions. Some may not appreciate the conservative economic stance this book takes but it is well supported and argued. Supporters of Wallis and Sider's positions should read and interact with this book. Those who are politically conservative will find this a helpful defense of sound economic policies undergirded by a robust moral argument....more
For those who still think the Middle Ages is a period of "dark ages" this book would be a good place to start to dispell that myth. It is a fascinatinFor those who still think the Middle Ages is a period of "dark ages" this book would be a good place to start to dispell that myth. It is a fascinating account of the development of technology in the middle ages.
Much of the technology in the Middle Ages arose from borrowing and adapting technology from China and the Arabs but this is not to discredit the Middle Ages.
This fascinating book covers just about all areas in breadth and scope of technological advancement in the Middle Ages from cloth making, building, waterwheels, to weaponary and ship building.
The Giles avoid most of the historical debates although occassionally commenting on a few.
This book dispells the myth that the modern age arose merely from Aristotle and shows rather that the rise of modern science "a child of medival science."...more
While this book is a bit dated in some of its data and statistics, it is a helpful overview of the ideal of democratic capitalism over and against socWhile this book is a bit dated in some of its data and statistics, it is a helpful overview of the ideal of democratic capitalism over and against socialism. It is primarily a book about the theory of democratic capitalism and not primarily the practice of said theory. Nevertheless, for those looking to ground themselves in economic theory and connect said theory to a broader theology within a Christian value system, this is a helpful book....more
The thesis of the book is simple: Christianity encouraged the use of reason which lead the rise of freedom and capitalism. In this book Stark takes onThe thesis of the book is simple: Christianity encouraged the use of reason which lead the rise of freedom and capitalism. In this book Stark takes on the sort of post-enlightenment lore that Christianity led to the dark ages and reason did not spring forth until post-Renaissance and even later until the dawning of "enlightenment".
In fact, Stark shows the the "dark ages" were hardly dark. This is not a new thesis to historians of the middle ages, as a number of recent studies have shown--yet this thesis has hardly caught on in pop culture.
The book is divided into two sections: (1) Foundations and (2) Fulfillment. In the foundations section, he seeks to demonstrate that the fundamental dignity of a human person, security of personal freedoms and personal property did not and indeed could not arise under ancient Greece and Roman. Rather it was the tradition of Christian theology and their firm belief in the gift of human reason that lead to these developments. Rather than holding the world back--it actually moved civilization forward in some key ways.
The second section reads more like a historical primer to the rise of capitalism more specifically. Stark debunks Max Weber's thesis that the Protestant work ethic lead to capitalism by showing that capitalism was budding early in the 11th-12th centuries and beyond. He also discusses the reasons in flourished and did not flourish. Particularly: where freedom was not secure, despotism reigned or rights were not protect--capitalism did not flourish.
The second section is helpful. He clearly shows the fruit of the worldview Christianity imparted. Yet at times, he does not tie his argument closely enough to his overall thesis. One could almost read the second section as a stand alone.
The book is well documented and aside from a few minor weaknesses, his argument is solid. He relies on a number of important studies.
There is a tendency in history to make sweeping claims. One such sweeping claim that has stood for far too long in popular lore is the idea that Christianity held the world back from true progress. Built of the shoulders of historians, Stark challenges the common assumption by taking us back to basics and redrawing this picture with the primary sources of history and sociology. This book is worth the time and investment of a careful read....more
This is an excellent book for those interested in the rise of Christianity and the history of medicine. Even if one is not particularly interested inThis is an excellent book for those interested in the rise of Christianity and the history of medicine. Even if one is not particularly interested in the history of medicine, the author's thesis that Christianity revolutionized the compassion and motivation for medicine is both intriguing and persuasive.
The author debunks the notion that Christians were against medical practice and favor mystical and magical healing. In fact, quite the opposite, Christian advanced the care and compassion of medicine significantly. Christians pioneered the rise of the hospital.
This book is packed with historical defense and evidence. The reader will find not just a wealth of history but profitable reflection of the impact the early church had on their social world to change it for the better.
As a father of four daughters I found this book and enjoyable read on the dangers facing daughters and the impact that an active father can have.
MeekeAs a father of four daughters I found this book and enjoyable read on the dangers facing daughters and the impact that an active father can have.
Meeker's book contain sobering even scary statistics, great antidotes, helfpul advice, encouraging stories and a whole lot of straight talk.
She finds a way to inspire fathers calling them to the charge to be fathers who are their daughters heroes and protectors. She encourages fathers to set boundaries and rules but always in a context of love and relationship, in fact those who miss this latter aspect will no doubt miss the context for all of Meeker's advice.
This book should be given to every father who has daughters to raise....more
This book is an excellent work debunking the Bauer thesis which has gained far more traction is some circles in New Testament studies than it is actuaThis book is an excellent work debunking the Bauer thesis which has gained far more traction is some circles in New Testament studies than it is actually worth. The theory, while roundly refuted as been picked up by scholars such as Bart Ehrman and has been modified and adapted. This book is a welcomed addition to those works refuting the Bauer theory. Even more it takes Bart Ehrman to task for his appropriation of Bauer particularly in the area of textual criticism.
This book is written at a level that a studious layperson or church person could grasp. Those interested in apologetics, New Testament studies and early Christianity will greatly benefit from this book.
It looks at the scope of the earliest Christianity, the rise of the canon and dependance on the text in earliest Christianity before the canon was technically "closed". Those who think that the formation of the Christian canon and the rise of proto-orthodoxy was the product of power plays and conspiracy theories would do well to rehearse the evidence in this book.
This book contain solid and sound arguments, attention to historical detail, interaction with the scholarship it disagrees with and an examination of the presupposition driving the arguments of those who see earliest Christianity as a free-for-all without clear orthodoxy.
A series of sermons on Luke 16 and the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In a day and age where we often equate riches as a sign of God's blessingA series of sermons on Luke 16 and the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In a day and age where we often equate riches as a sign of God's blessing and poverty as a sign of God's neglect, Chrysostom brings a sobering and convicting reminder that this is not the case.
Reading this treasure from church history brings personal conviction particularly for those situated in an American church that is culturally affluent and often well-to-do financially. Chrysostom speaks boldly against sins that are as prominent in our day as they were in sins. Chrysostom challenges us to use our wealth for God's glory and ultimately to repent before God rather than being comfortable and complacent.
This book is a helpful response to much of Dawkins' earlier work before his massively popular 'The God Delusion'. This book was originally published bThis book is a helpful response to much of Dawkins' earlier work before his massively popular 'The God Delusion'. This book was originally published before 'The God Delusion' came out and does not interact with it. However, one will find it a beneficial critique of Dawkins as a whole.
First, McGrath is both a scientist and a theologian. He is an expert on the history of idea and the history of both theological and scientific development. He respects Dawkins as a scientist where Dawkins makes reasoned and empirical observations but is quite honest about when and how Dawkins 'jumps the shark' into irrational critiques of religion with little or no logic, historical depth and empirical research to the extent that he even makes assertions trends established by the best scholarship and research. McGrath points this out through the work.
McGrath begins with a discussion of evolution and the role of genetics, including Dawkins' "the Selfish Gene". He then goes on to show historically and philosophcially that evolution did not entail the rejection of God. The reader may be surprised to find numerous 19th century theologians who accepted evolution along with scientists established at the forefront their field who either believe in God or believe that Darwinism cannot adjudicate on the issue.
McGrath shows how Dawkins' critique of William Paley misses where most Christians have stood on issue of God's relationship to the universe. Beyond that, he shows how scientific theories are often advanced by 'trust' in a prevailing theory until there is a paradigm shift. This undercuts Dawkins' notions radical empiricism as the only means of science. Indeed, McGrath shows that Dawkins himself is stuck in a sort of idealist 19th century worldview that is peculiar to a time period where naive notions about the Enlightenment and prospoerity abounded. Such notions have long since been tempered by World Wars, the failure of atheistic regimes, such as the USSR and the philosophical critiques of modernist utopias.
Finally, McGrath shows the almost utter worthless of 'memes,' cultural replicators analogous to genes. He dismantles it from scientific, historical and sociological perspectives. McGrath helpful points that religion and science have not historically been at odds and Christianity is more complex that Dawkins' belittling and "infantile" caricatures. For example, McGrath points out that no serious Christian theologian has ever held that faith is blind trust in contradiction to all evidence as Dawkins posits.
While not the last word on these issues, McGrath steers us away from the rocky shoals of Dawkins' reductionist, straw-man and disrespectful arguments, directing us to the deeper seas where the issues are debated with deeper seriousness, mutual respect and academic integrity....more
Detailed and not for the faint of heart although an industrious layperson will reap a huge payoff from a careful read. It is a good book look at the eDetailed and not for the faint of heart although an industrious layperson will reap a huge payoff from a careful read. It is a good book look at the evidence for Israel in Ancient Egypt. Defends the reliability of the the Exodos and the Biblical narrative. Hoffmeier looks at archeological evidence, our knowledge of cities, forts and canals in Ancient Egypt. As a whole Hoffmeier weighs the historical evidence. Some readers will be bothered by his conservative stance, although he notes many scholars who are Egyptologist or of scholars primarily of other ANE cultures are far less skeptical of the text than those who are Biblical scholars first. Other readers will be bothered because he isn't conservative enough, e.g. taking a late date for the exodus, not seing the Re(e)d Sea as the Gulf of Suez or Aqaba. In all Hoffmeier is even handed. His knowledge of Egpyt, background, archeology and ANE lit will be a help to any student or scholar of Exodus....more
This is a helpful book diving into the reliability of the Old Testament. Not all will agree with all the details but Kitchen examines the OT in its AnThis is a helpful book diving into the reliability of the Old Testament. Not all will agree with all the details but Kitchen examines the OT in its Ancient Near East context. He discusses the nature of evidence for the reliability of the OT particularly from archeology and other cognate studies. While every detail of the OT cannot be verified by ancillary evidence as it is the nature of history to leave aspects of the past in the dust. Kitchen paints a picture that persuades and argues that what we have is enough to affirm the OT is reliable....more