Erich Javier Astudillo Acevedo
- As a non-academic reader, this book is really interesting in the invitation it makes: “Think the bible narratively and discover in the history the will of God”. Developing the example of how Paul, for example, invited its church to see themselves in the example of their “fathers in the desert” (1 Cor 10) to solve problems, or how “the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets” (Ro 3:21) as the proper hermeneutic to understand the scriptures the author lays down a good case for going for a biblical theology that connects and brings to life scripture. The book ends with a fitting invitation that expresses well the content: “In Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure the self-righteous villain Angelo pronounces a death sentence on Claudio, who is guilty of committing fornication. Claudio’s sister Isabella comes to Angelo to plead for the life of her brother, but Angelo, who is trying to manipulate Isabella into bed with him, spurns her suit, saying, Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words. Isabella’s reply alludes to the great theme of Romans and calls upon the hypocritical judge Angelo to see his life anew in light of God’s judgment and grace: Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once; And He that might the vantage best have took Found out the remedy. How would you be If He, which is the top of judgment, should But judge you as you are? O, think on that; And mercy then will breathe within your lips, Like man new made. Isabella resists the oppressor by applying a hermeneutic of suspicion to his pose of righteousness and by appealing to a hermeneutic of trust in the biblical story of God’s mercy. Isabella is a profound interpreter of Scripture. We should follow her example.”
- This is a thought provoking book that has open for me a new way to understand Holiness away form the Faith Vs Works debate. As a non-scholarly reader my take is this: If you want to see how the holiness of the old testament (covenant keeping holiness) finds an Christological expression in Paul this book is helpful, but only is a door to a larger reading with several authors of the new perspective on Paul to cover.
- This second volume is even better that what I expected when I began to read. It goes from assuming you already have “Heiser’s Unseen Realm” acknowledged and builds on the relationship of Israel with the Elohim and its implication in covenant, kingdom and some indwelling (in the Temple) implications. In doing so we enter a hard part of the book that the Autor terms “the Nightmare” (consequences of unfaithfulness) and start a long treatment of deportation, not leaving outside a good vision of Jeremiah, lamentations, Kohelet and Job. Although going to the material is emotionally challenging (at least for me in the current context of harsh lockdown) it is totally worth it. It really gives perspective and shadow to the cross (I mean Isa 53:3-10a with that comment). Then it builds up in Hope of the restauration (still with the same books mentioned) and treats not only the people on exile but restoration of the land and nature itself (very Pauline). At the time of writing I still am in chapter 7, so I will not reveal the end of the book. I think is better doing so and conform to the “It has not yet being revealed what we shall be”. Hope somebody find the review informative if deciding whether take the 800+ pages challenge.
- This book has been a wonderful read. It invites the reader to see the scripture seriously in the way it is written, sometimes giving little snippets of inside that invites us to challenge our assumptions; For example, relating to Acts 10 the author remembers that “Peter seems to take the vision parabolically rather than literally” but goes on to state that the literal that Peter refuses to acknowledge becomes common understanding in the church. In the same way, the Old testament is taken seriously thought the book, challenging the reader to do so and leaving rabbit-holes to the reader’s “fasting and prayer”as relates to that kind ;-)
- This was a hard book to read for me. I am from a dispensationalist background and to endure the constant treatment of it as a sect composed of the unthoughtful masses is hard. But overcoming this obstacle I appreciate the author’s overcoming of his. I specially appreciate statements such as “Rather, the ethical demand of Christian life is embraced by two acts of God, that is, by both his past act in Jesus Christ and his future act when the final theophany will usher in the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment.” (p. 87). And “The natural sciences have promulgated a widespread notion that has become axiomatic for our dominant culture: that the question of the end of the world by divine intervention is naive and obsolete, or at best a primitive myth of some moral value. Plato’s conviction about an enduring world that has a beginning but no end or that of Aristotle that posits neither a beginning nor an end for the world has, as it were, become normative for modern theological interpretations of New Testament apocalyptic.” (pp. 99–100). These, among others have widened my view and helped me to reflect on my heritage and where I stand now.
- Reading this book has been very edifying. It is a short read but definitively gives practical, down to earth teaching very useful against pharisaic (a.k.a. legalistic) and liberal theologies. It follows the middle cross, where Jesus is, and avoids any of the thieves. Perhaps a very concise way to put the central idea is: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:17-18 NASB).