Book Reviews

Ashland Theological Seminary professor of ethics and theology, Wyndy Corbin-Reuschling tackles the challenge of revitalizing evangelical ethics by addressing the “promises and pitfalls of classic models of morality” in order to expose their impact on moral awareness and practices in Reviving Evangelical Ethics (Corbin-Reuschling, 2008, 7-12). The author constructs an ambitious argument that reveals the appeals and disadvantages of these classic theories of ethics from Immanuel Kant’s deontology, John Stuart Mill’s teleology, and Aristotle’s virtue ethic (Corbin-Reuschling, 2008,12-13).

Published in 2002 by Zondervan, John Ortberg’s book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for ordinary people, provides practical wisdom on spiritual disciplines that can transform human temperament.  Ortberg (2002) invites the reader to take the book as an “invitation to live Christ’s Way, as it is the only invitation that really matters” (p. 9).  The author begins with an introduction to the purpose of spiritual discipline, then elaborates on eight specific disciplines.  Finally, Ortberg concludes the book with a suggested plan for how individuals can integrate and endure disciplines for spiritual growth.

The unresolved issue of whether or not women may teach, preach, dispense sacraments, and govern the church, just as men, is a topic of increasing interest.[1]Edited by James R. Beck, Two Views on Women in Ministry presents four essays written by Craig S. Keener, Linda L. Belleville, Thomas R. Schreiner, and Craig L. Blomberg. These four evangelical seminary scholars of New Testament addresses the fundamental concern of whether or not the Bible imposes constraints on women in ministry.[2]Their essays present two egalitarian and two complementarian views of Biblical authority on the role of women in church leadership.[3]Each essay receives three replies arranged in an against, for, against layout based on the essay contributor’s point of view in an effort to shed insight on the controversial topic. This book critique will demonstrate that while judging the role of women in ministry in a fair and balanced approach, no definitive conclusion may be drawn based on the literature as to whether or not the Bible compels restrictions on women in ministry.

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, details a very common narrative of modern-day life in America. A storyline that is recognized all too well from most of our daily struggles and challenges. Where, Swenson contends that in the name of progress “the disease of marginless living” is devious, prevalent, and infectious.[1]However, “there is a cure” for this sickness, which will return margins to an individual’s life.[2]This review will summarize, critique, and evaluate Swenson’s practical suggestions for recognizing, restoring, and sustaining margins in one’s life.

Francis Chan is a pastor and church planter based in San Francisco, while Mark Beuving is an associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at Eternity Bible College. Their book Multiply: has a statement by David Platt that summarizes the essence of the entire book, which is… “being a disciple of Jesus Christ has always been to make more disciples”.[1] The goal of the book is to help individuals understand Scripture and provide the tools to disciple others.[2] There are two requests by the authors to the reader, which are “teach what is learned and share life—not just information”.[3] A summary and evaluation are included in this reading reflection.

Christianity & Religious Diversity: Clarifying Christian Commitments in a Globalizing Age by Harold A. Netland is an informative book. As a Christian, it’s how little I knew about other world religions. Below is an excerpt from a critique that I completed for an apologetics’ class.

In Humilitas, John Dickson presents a clear and concise thesis, which proclaims that the majority of “influential and inspiring” leaders are often characterized by humility.[1]A statement that at first glance appears outrageously contradictory to the status qou thinking. Nevertheless, the research fellow from the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University defends this premise with practical examples from the teaching of Jesus Christ and the lives of renowned successful leaders of contemporary society.[2]This review will summarize, critique, and evaluate Dickson’s assertion that humility in individuals creates abilities, expands influence and, encourages and inspires others.

Even though, nearly 4000 academic publications have been written on the resurrection of Jesus within the past 35 years. Michael R. Licona maintains that the majority of these works by distinguished biblical scholars and philosophers are inadequate and failed to approach Jesus’ resurrection in a cohesive manner.[1]Therefore, the inquiry techniques of historians may be best suited to addressing the historical resurrection of Jesus.[2]There are over 700 pages in the book. All are dedicated to solving the problem of conflicting conclusions by biblical scholars.