• This is a good little book - easy to read in a single sitting if so desired - that examines the sufficiency of the written Word of God. It is a good starting point to what is a more involved topic - and I appreciate that the Author has included a good list of books for further reading (and many of them are ones I also would recommend). This book is quite Lutheran in its outlook - not that I have a problem with that. I do feel that some of the comments about Pentecostalism are a bit dated. Whilst I don’t disagree with the Author’s use of Inerrancy, I was disappointed that he didn’t examine its misuse. I would’ve also appreciated a better coverage of the human side of our Scriptures.
    1. This is a good book for not only understanding what are heresies, but also for an introduction to Christian doctrine. Covering areas like the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the Atonement is a good reminder for us all. Whilst I realise the division between Alexandria and Antioch is a useful tool for the swinging extremes Christian History has gone through, I did feel at the times that the Author was unjustly painting all Alexandrians (and Antiochians) with the same brush. For example he does make some comments about Cyril of Alexandria in passing with no reference or justification, that I found to be quite unfair. That the book is 25 years old is also apparent in some of the “current” issues being discussed and comments made. Of course, this has no bearing on the coverage of the first 5 centuries of Christian thought. I enjoyed his coverage of Church Councils and of the resultant Creeds - and once again this book is a good introduction to them :)
      1. I did enjoy the journey through Genesis that Goldingay takes us on in this Commentary. Whilst it is a scholarly work, it is not overly so, and is very readable. I appreciated the Author’s translations in that he kept the names as in the text, but used what the reader is more used to in the Commentary. This is not a commentary for Hebrew Scholars, but the Author does make good use of the underlying Hebrew where needed for the approach he has taken. There are a few references to the old Source Criticism approach to Genesis, but the Author does adopt a more Canonical approach overall. The Author is writing primarily to a Christian audience and the occasional NT and Christological references are welcome. Whilst I do not always agree with the Author’s conclusions or assumptions, I did appreciate his passion for the material and he gave me much to think about - which has already provide useful for a recent Bible Study. Highly recommended for Pastors who want a bit more of a scholarly look at Genesis but not too much; and for those serious about Bible Study.
        1. I struggled a little with this volume as it contains Luther’s works concerning the Peasant War - and whilst I do think Luther is overwhelmed by this incident and how his words were used, looking back from the 21st Century it is hard to agree with many of his conclusions about the Peasants. Of course it is informative and often overlooked is his rebuke of the overly harsh treatment of the peasants, which is also included here. Interesting is his look at being a Christian and being in a Soldier - which is of course still quite relevant. So is his examination on the War with the Turks. There are also two very good articles on Keeping Children in School and On Marriage Matters, that do make this a good read. Now on to Vol 47!
          1. This was an easy-to-read and quite informative look at Wordship practices in the Reformation Era. It covers Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican and Anabaptist (though far less on the last one due to lack of records) - and with insights from people of the day, so we get to see glimpses of the actual practice rather than just what was mandated. Covers the attendance (both what was mandated and what happened), church practices, preaching, prayer, baptism, Holy Communion, and a good section on Music and the Visual Arts. The final chapter looks at worship outside the church building - and in this it is sad how far we have neglected this area. It covers not just how worship was done at home but also in school and the high regard placed on personal piety. An excellent read for all :)
            1. This is a wonderful 40-day devotional book that I added to my week day devotional material, and benefited greatly from. The Author is insightful, gentle and has suffered. Some books on rest / self-care make you feel guilty, not so this one :) I was comforted and his words did help me in my rest. Highly recommended to fellow Christians!
              1. This is a fine collection of Luther’s writings, that give great insight into his pastoral heart as he aims to stay true the Scriptures and deal with the messiness of life. We have Luther tackling such things as Marriage, Education, Economics, Social Justice, Family and more. If you have some knowledge of what life was like in the 1520s in Northern Europe, then you can also get the feel for how radical Luther was when it came to every day life. We see in his arguments about Education, that he was a strong advocate of a good education (Languages, the Bible, History, Music and even Mathematics) for ALL children - including young girls. He also argued that this should be provided by the community so that it would be available to all - and because it would benefit all. We see that his understanding of good Economics is far different from our approach to Finance and Marketing. Luther is no Capitalist but neither is he a Socialist (and of course neither term is appropriate for the 1520s) - but it is his reasoning behind how wealth should be made that makes me think that the system he proposes would be a pretty good one to live under... We also see his arguments for Marriage, his arguments for obeying your Parents - and what happens when these two collide - in the last treatise in this volume. Highly recommended volume! Now onto vol 46!
                1. A colleague is doing his doctorate on Cyril, so when this new volume came out from “the Fathers of the Church” series, I thought I would give it a read - and I have enjoyed the journey. First, I found the translation to be very readable - in comparison to early Christian writings that have been translated in to English in the late 19th and earlier 20th Century. I also note there is not a lot of Cyril available in good modern English so I applaud the editors of the series for this addition. Second, I enjoyed the first volume that concentrated on Genesis more than the second volume that covered the other 4 books of the Pentateuch. The latter volume only briefly looked at a selection of passages, often not in any order that I could work out - nor did I really grasp the reasons why the passages were chosen over others. However, Vol 1 more than made up for this :) I still have much work to get my head around 5th Century Alexandrian Hermeneutics - though especially with the handling of Genesis, I found Cyril to be closer to Paul (in Galatians) with his use of allegory. I struggled more with the allegorical approach in Vol 2. I liked that Cyril is not dismissive of the natural (“literal”) interpretation of the passages, he just puts more emphasis on the “deeper” meaning. However in his allegorical approach he is explaining New Testament Theology, he is tying things especially to Paul and John. This is different from the allegorical approach later in the Middle Ages (which I don’t enjoy - or rather don’t properly understand). I did struggle with his strong dislike of the Jews. Whilst I do realise that in his writing there is an apologetic element - given that at the time it seems Alexandria was about 1/3 Christian, 1/3 Jewish and 1/3 pagan - I still struggled with his attacks at times. However if you can pass over them, you then find a very strong understanding of who Jesus is, as well as some good insights into the Holy Spirit.
                  1. I hadn’t read any of this Author prior to this, so as a pastor I thought I would give him a try - and I liked the title and description for this little book. Whilst I agree with a number (if not most) of the points the Author makes concerning language, I found it difficult to like a book that without any evidence makes a bold statement such as Alcoholism is a “fictional disease” (p51). His approach seems too legalistic for my tastes and seems bordering on dangerous with how dismissive it is of modern psychology and medicine when it comes to the struggles people have. At other times the Author seems to prove an argument by quoting himself (as in another book he wrote). Perhaps I am missing something, but I don’t feel inclined to read more from this author...
                    1. I come to the end of third small book, that the Author wrote looking at the situation and people of Israel (and Palestine), as well as continuing his development of Paul’s arguments in Ephesians (not just Romans 9-11) as the guide for Christians. I do think the previous 2 books (“Israel and the Church” and “Jesus the Jew”) were better than this one, as I think he made his arguments clearer and precise in those. As noted this is a small book, for what is quite a big topic - and I think like the previous books, the decades that have passed do make some of his arguments seem obvious that probably weren’t when he wrote them. I can’t say that I am in complete agreement with the Author’s argument but I do appreciate his approach and intent. Those these 3 books are now a bit dated, many of the issues are sadly still very relevant, and the Author does give us much to think about.