Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What I'll Be Reading and Studying in 2008

When it comes to reading books I have always multi-tasked. So now I am reading, as usual, 5-10 books at a time. I do this to learn. And, reading for me is relaxing and a hobby. Sitting down with a good book and reading slowly through it takes the place of a lot of other things for me.

My reading emphases are as follows:

  • Christology and New Testament studies, to include regularly reading the Bible. I'll finish the excellent book by Greg Boyd and George Eddy - The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. And, I hope to finally work through N.T. Wright's The Resurrection of the Son of God. I've also got Eugene Peterson's Eat This Book ready to go.

  • More focused biblical-theological studies on the Kingdom of God. I remain impresseed with J.P. Moreland's Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power. Moreland articulates what I have found myself doing for many years. I strongly recommend this book to you if you have not yet read it.

  • Certain problems in the philosophy of religion - esp. the existence or non-existence of God, the problem of evil, Plantingian warranted belief, the soul-body problem, and others. I'm now reading University of Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard's The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul. I hope to be making some specific posts on this book in the future.

  • Certain Old Testament issues - e.g., I've read and will be reading studies on the Exodus tradition as historical and counter-claims that it is not historical. I've got a number of the minimalist texts already. I'll pick up James Hoffmeier's Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition.

  • Issues of Christian spirituality. I've purchased some new Howard Thurman books and will finish them. Thurman is especially good on showing how authentic Jesus-spirituality and outward social action are inextricably linked. Tony Campolo and Mary Darling have written a Thurman-esque book - The God of Intimacy and Action: Reconnecting Ancient Spiritual Practices, Evangelism, and Justice. I've got that in my shelf and will give it slow read soon.

  • Finally, I'll hope to read through the Bible again. My friend Craig Keener says: "We live in an "instant" culture that delights in shortcuts, but we cannot settle for prepacked verses we have heard quoted by others—even by "everyone else." . . . We must study the Bible passage by passage and book by book. Only then will God begin to open fully the treasures of wisdom and knowledge He has given us in Scripture." The version I will use for this is The Books of the Bible (with the orange peel cover!). This is a unique Bible in the following ways, and it's only $8.99 online:
    - Chapter and verse numbers are removed from the text(A chapter and verse range is given at the bottom of each page)
    - Each book's natural literary breaks are shown instead
    - There are no notes, cross references, or section headings in the text
    - Text is presented in one column rather than two or more
    - Books that have historically been divided into parts are restored
    - Books are presented in an order that gives readers more help in understanding