Saturday, February 8, 2014

Two Book Reviews to Check Out

There are two exceptional book reviews worth checking out this week. First, there is The Final Days of Jesus by Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor, with Alexander Stewart. Reviewed by Tom Schreiner.  This will be an excellent read for all of us. From the review we read about the authors and get introduced to the book

Andreas K√∂stenberger, an outstanding biblical scholar from Southeastern Seminary; Justin Taylor, the well-known blogger and publisher at Crossway Books; and Alexander Stewart, a research assistant for K√∂stenberger; have teamed up to write a book on the last days of Jesus—that is, the final week of his life. The authors primarily march through the week day by day, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, though they also include a brief epilogue that includes other resurrection appearances, the Great Commission, and Christ’s ascension.

About the reviewer

Thomas Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament interpretation and associate dean for Scripture and interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Read the entire review at the Gospel Coalition.

Editorial Reviews

“This is a book about the most important person who ever lived during the most crucial week of his life. If you want to get to know the person and teachings of Jesus in the context of an engaging story with practical commentary, this book is for you. It is biblical, personal, and transformational.”
Darrin Patrick, Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; author, For the City and Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission

“An enlightening and edifying look at the most important week in history. Both those who want to know more about the history and those who long to behold the wonder will find much to love about this great work. One gets the sense that we should proceed through these pages on our knees.”
J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina; author, Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved

“You may be wondering what can be done to make Christ’s last week come alive in ways it hasn’t before. It would help to understand the historical background and cultural script a little better, but you don’t want a big book. It would help, too, if your authors were trustworthy, knowledgeable evangelical scholars who could write clearly for laypeople. Look no further—this is the book for you!”
Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

Secondly, also reviewed at the Gospel Coalition, The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros. Reviewed by Bethany Jenkins. 

From Jenkins' review we are told

“If you are reading this book in a state of reasonable security and peace without fear of being enslaved, imprisoned, beaten, raped, or robbed,” Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros write in The Locust Effect, “it is either the case that you are in a place of isolation far away from human beings, or you are the beneficiary of a system that is protecting you from the violent impulses of human beings that are around you.” 

...Haugen and Boutros say that we often miss this “terror beneath the surface” because it’s intentionally hidden. Violence has behind it “an intelligent, willful perpetrator who is working hard—frequently very hard—to hide it. Indeed, the actual act of violence is almost never seen by outsiders.” It’s not just the perpetrators, however, who conceal it; it’s the victims, too. Since their experiences are uniquely traumatic, they often feel ashamed, humiliated, violated, and degraded. “Paradoxically,” the co-authors lament, “the perpetrator and the victim end up sharing a powerful, reflexive inclination: They both want to hide it.” 

I don't want to steal the thunder of the authors or the reviewer however, Jenkins concludes her review with... To me, though, it’s more than a book. It’s an awakening, a call, a responsibility. It’s one of those things that you can’t just read; you have to do something. Because now you know.   

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