Thursday, March 12, 2015

NIV Proclamation Bible

This is going to sound wrong, but for a study Bible, this is a lame one.  Not the Scriptures themselves of course, but the study notes, or rather, lack of notes in this edition.  It has several essays at the beginning of the book, on topics such as "the historical reliability of the Bible', "From text to doctrine:  the Bible and theology", "Biblical interpretation: a short history.  But I didn't like them much as they had several concepts and statements that were more biased towards Covenant Theology, promoting concepts like Christian Jews and Gentiles all being a part of the 'Israel of God', and the Promised land not being limited to a small geographical location like Israel, but now includes the whole earth…or something along those lines.

 Also promoted is a 'Christocentric' hermeneutic…which I still don't quite get.  Why not use a Theocentric hermeneutic, or what about a literal grammatical historical one?  Some of the sections in the Bible, like some of the historical narratives, or some of the genealogies, just point to concepts of God's sovereignty rather than God's plan of salvation. Some just show human depravity like Judges 19.  I just don't see a Biblical case for a Christocentric Hermeneutic. 

Okay, moving on from the beginning essays, all this Bible has are rather short introductions to each book of the Bible, and a cross reference column down the center of each page of the Scriptures.  The introductory notes didn't strike me as very profound but they did include short lists of commentaries for further reading on whichever book of the Bible you're studying. At the back of the Bible is a Concordance.

This Study Bible doesn't strike me as even remotely as great as several of the promotion reviews on the cover make it out to be. 

I received a free copy of this book from the Booklook Blogger Program(My review did not have to be favorable)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

40 Questions About Creation and Evolution - by Kenneth Keathley and Mark Rooker

Sadly this book was not what I thought it would be, I was expecting an exclusive defense of a literal 24 hour day week of creation; but that is my own fault, if I had looked at the back cover more closely I would have seen that the book is not claiming to defend only one view of creation.  There are four views presented, two are defended, those being the literal-24 hour day view and the Day-Age theory.  In the very first chapter/question the suggestion is made that 'young-earth creationists' come "perilously" close to 'blind faith', but as I understand it, old earth creationists believe(as do YECs) that God ultimately created out of nothing, so why is taking God at His Word in the case of Creation out of nothing less 'blind faith' than believing that God created out of nothing in six literal days?  Why is one more plausible than the other or less hard to believe?  Aren't both ultimately above our reason?   J. I. Packer is quoted in the book, "To say that he(God) created 'out of nothing' is to confess the mystery, not explain it." Only, in the case of the six day creation we are given an explanation as to how much time God chose to use to create…six days! So we actually have more information about the timing of Creation than we do about Creation out of nothing.  So, I ask which view is, to use their term(which I don't even like), more of a 'blind faith'?   

As you probably know by now, the universal flood is also defended and critiqued(though the global flood seems to be presented as the more biblical view).  I don't get the local flood view…wouldn't Noah and the animals just move to an area that wasn't going to be flooded instead of building an ark?  They'd have plenty of time to do that…120 years! Or maybe a year doesn't mean a year…maybe it means an hour(I'm being sarcastic here)?

Overall, despite the authors being anti-Darwinian, and pro God created out of nothing, the book is just too inconclusive in dealing with the specifics presented in the Bible about the Creation.  It just doesn't strike me as being a very edifying book for Christians.   

Many thanks to Kregel Academic for sending me a free copy of this book to review!