IVP has been much too kind to me. I keep receiving awesome books! This weekend there were two more gifts in my mailbox:

Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus

Michael R. Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (see here)

I heard of this book a couple months ago. Though I cannot remember where I read this I know one person said that this book may finally dethrone N.T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God as the most important modern book of the resurrection of Christ. I don’t know if this is true or not but I know that it appears to be a fantastic pairing with Wright.

The blurb on the book is as follows:

The question of the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection has been repeatedly probed, investigated and debated. And the results have varied widely. Perhaps some now regard this issue as the burned-over district of New Testament scholarship. Could there be any new and promising approach to this problem?

Yes, answers Michael Licona. And he convincingly points us to a significant deficiency in approaching this question: our historiographical orientation and practice. So he opens this study with an extensive consideration of historiography and the particular problem of investigating claims of miracles. This alone is a valuable contribution.

But then Licona carefully applies his principles and methods to the question of Jesus’ resurrection. In addition to determining and working from the most reliable sources and bedrock historical evidence, Licona critically weighs other prominent hypotheses. His own argument is a challenging and closely argued case for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Any future approaches to dealing with this “prize puzzle” of New Testament study will need to be routed through The Resurrection of Jesus.

Colijn, Images of Salvation in the New Testament

Brenda J. Colijn, Images of Salvation in the New Testament (see here)

One of the interesting things to watch over the years has been the seriousness with which people have held to their particular images of salvation. There are some who live and die by predestination, justification, regeneration, reconciliation, adoption, and the like. Yet what few recognize is that all these images seem to point to something that has happened to us in relation to God that is too big, too amazing for one word picture.

Brenda J. Colijn has written on this very subject in her book Images of Salvation in the New Testament. Here is the blurb:

What does salvation in the New Testament look like?

“The New Testament does not develop a systematic doctrine of salvation,” writes Brenda Colijn. “Instead, it presents us with a variety of pictures taken from different perspectives. From one angle, the human predicament is rebellion against God. Salvation looks like living under God’s universal reign. From another angle, the human predicament is bondage to both internal and external forces. Salvation looks like freedom from those forces. From yet a third angle, the human predicament looks like alienation from God, from other people, from creation and even from one’s own best self. Salvation looks like the restoration of those relationships.”

Colijn, who holds degrees in English literature as well as theology, embraces a critical-realist methodology that incorporates New Testament theology, literary criticism and theological interpretation. She advocates listening to the individual authors of Scripture in their own social-cultural and historical settings, while looking for how the texts work both individually and collectively at a literary level.

Students of the New Testament and of theology will both find their vision broadened and their understanding deepened by this rich, informative study. As the author seeks to understand their implications for people of faith, she uncovers how New Testament images provide the building blocks of the master story of redemption.