ACADEMIA

Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies

Averbeck, OLD TESTAMENT LAW, IVP, 2002

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Nov• 30•22

Averbeck, Richard E. 2022. The Old Testament Law for the Life of the Church: Reading the Torah in the Light of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830841004. Pages: xvii+382

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978-0-8308-4707-5This book is based on the author’s teaching experience over 25 years.

First, the author discusses the various Christian theological views on the Old Testament Law. This includes the reformed view, dispensational view, and the position that the Law is guidance for holiness.

The author argues that the Old Testament Law is still relevant for Christians today since all scripture including the Law is inspired by God. He presents his argument using three foundational theses. First, the Law is good. Second, the Law is weak, and third is a unified whole. He says, “all three correspond to significant statements about the law in both the Old Testament and the New.”

He develops the argument in eleven chapters falling into three parts as: “covenant and context”, “The Old Testament Law in context, and the Old Testament Law in the New Testament.

Though it appears to be bulky, it is packed with details and insights that a graduate student and a research scholar on Old Testament cannot ignore if they are committed to know the Bible. The work is so serious that its impact will last for many decades to come.

Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity (2022, Intervarsity Press)

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Nov• 10•22

Reeves, Michael. 2022. Delighting in the Trinity An Introduction to the Christian Faith. Downers Grove IL: InterVarsity Press. Pages: 141; ISBN: 978-08308-4707-5 

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978-0-8308-4707-5This book is on the Trinity, a topic that we are tempted to dismiss as mystery, unintelligible, or hard to understand. 

However, Reeves has treated this topic in a language and style that is accessible even to those who do not have formal theological education. The wit and wisdom of the author is remarkable. His vast knowledge on the topic finds expression in simple and witty style keeping the readers hooked till the last page. 

The book is illustrated. Textboxes throw light on classical authors, and topics that brighten up the sidewalks of the main topic. 

Instead of parading dry theological arguments, though the book is sound in its theological foundations, the author argues that the truth of Trinity is an integral part of Christian experience. The undeniable truth of Trinity is evident in creation, salvation, and the Christian life. 

The main argument in support of God in three persons is the truth that God is love. Father God loved the son. The creation is an act of father’s love for the Son. Then the Son showed the Father’s love to us. Without the Son, we would never know or enjoy God’s love. We enjoy the Father’s love for us, shown to us by the Son by the ongoing ministry of the Spirit. If God was just one person, the statement that God is love would be void. 

I have read many books on Trinity, but for the first time, here is a book that explains how faith in the Triune God applies to my daily life as a disciple of Christ. 

The title justifies the experience of the book. It is indeed a delightful experience to read this book which leads to immersing us in the knowledge and experience of the Holy Trinity, all around us and in us. 

Heurtz. FRIENDSHIP AT THE MARGINS (2010)

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Jan• 15•11

Heurtz, Christopher L. and Christine D. Pohl. Friendship at the Margins. Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2010). pages: 159. ISBN: 9780830834549.Resources for Reconciliation Series.

This book is another in the series on Resources for Reconciliation by the Duke University School and IVP. The authors have been involved in Christian mission in different parts of the world and with Word Made Flesh (WMF) in a number of developing countries for a considerable time. This book is based on their life-long experience and reflection.

The book challenges the traditional missional practices where the missionary enters a mission field to help those who are disadvantaged. In the conventional pattern there is not much partnership with the people at the receiving end and there is seldom any relationship as equals. The Western missionaries are always at a higher pedestal than the disadvantaged that they serve.

This book, through the real experiences of its authors and the model that WMF has adopted world-wide offers an alternative. It is a call to establish long-term relationships with those whom we serve. It challenges us to consider those whom we serve as friends and to learn from them as well. It emphasizes mutuallity in mission than the unidirectional flow of knowledge and skills as in conventional model of mission. This mutuality happens when the poor and the exploited becomes partners in their own liberation. Those who serve God in this way becomes friends with them and develop a new kind of spirituality. The book ends with a chapter titled “A Spirituality Fit for the Margins” where spiritual practices fit for friendships at the margins is discussed.

The book is full of anecdotal illustrations from the life and experience of the authors and their colleagues. This title is a must for those who consider engaging with the marginalized and the poor in their own country or abroad.