Check out these recent reviews and interviews of several popular B&H Academic titles and authors.
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary has been updated once again. Now packaged between an all new contemporary designed hardcover, The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary has received a much-needed facelift. But the cover isn’t the only thing that changed. The content has been finely combed and updated to reflect the most accurate and up-to-date archeological information and theological conversations. The format has been revised and additional and updated illustrations have been utilized. In short, if you are looking for an up-to-date one-volume Bible dictionary, then few resources available are going to compare to the usefulness of The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. It’s the first off my shelf when I need a quick answer to an imminent question and the last to be closed at the end of a study. It comes highly recommended.
The book is appealing to the eye as well. Choice pictures are found on almost every page. The maps are high quality and very helpful. You might read an entry and want more, but this the greatest amount of information that you can get in one volume. It comes in at around 1700 pages and you would have to go to an expensive, multi-volume Bible Encyclopedia to get more.
Bruce Ashford and Chris Papparlardo, One Nation Under God
Radio interview on American Family Radio:
Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, Michael Haykin, The Baptist Story
I think one of the things that definitively sets this book apart from other, similar books, and I think this was very intentional from the beginning is that we wanted to write a true textbook. We did not what to write, what is often the case with books in this genre, a sort of a magnum opus that is written near the end of one person’s career where they collate everything their doctoral students have ever done and claim it as their own with lots of footnotes. That was not our goal.
– Books at a Glance interview with the authors
Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman, Baptist Foundations
As I reflect on the present state of the recovery of Baptist theology for the future, I am encouraged by publications like these because they are representative of the following trends:
First, the present discussion of Baptist theology understands that the Baptist ship is not the only group of churches who have set their sails in a Great Commission direction. Many today would agree with Carl F.H. Henry’s description of the single strength of Baptist identity—its “Bible-relatedness.” That is, Baptists have long been those who desire to conform the core of their tradition to the Bible and the Bible’s mandates for mission. Joyfully, these Baptist churches seek to work, wherever possible, with other traditions that desire to do the same.
Second, there is no presumption that Baptists articulate or practice their tradition with perfection. Chute, Finn and Haykin conclude their volume this way. “The entire Baptist story consistently comes back to three key interrelated themes: promoting liberty of conscience, following Christ’s will in our individual lives and churches, and proclaiming the gospel everywhere. Baptists have not always lived up to these ideals, but when we have been at our best, we have embodied them.” Baptist theology built upon this kind of humility will serve future generations well.
Third, these two books are a part of a larger and growing Baptist conversation that could not come at a better time. John Broadus, founding faculty member of Southern Seminary in the latter half of the nineteenth century, remarked that even in his own day there was “a widespread and very great ignorance as to Baptists.” That was saying something in a day when Baptist theologians roamed the nation like Marvel’s Avengers—defending their distinctives wherever they were threatened. Thankfully, today we, too, have a growing cadre of superheroes, like the authors of these two new books and many others preparing to join them, able to give us a helpful guide to combat our own ignorance as to the Baptist tradition.
Finally, the task of recovering a healthy understanding of church doctrine is not the end but merely a means to the end. When J.L. Dagg, another nineteenth-century Baptist theologian, said, “Church order and the ceremonials of religion, are less important than a new heart,” he was right, but he also did not mean that recovering doctrines of the church has no value.
Going Public: Why Baptism is Required for Church Membership
Rather than prooftexts, Jamieson seeks to draw out what the whole Bible (specifically the New Testament, though without neglecting the theology of the Old) says about baptism for Christians. Jamieson wants to stay true to the whole word of God. He means no disrespect to his paedobaptistic brothers and sisters, but he refuses to demur his basic point: to participate both in church membership and in the Lord’s Supper, one must be baptized, not as an infant, but as a Christ-proclaiming believer. Having been in an open-membership non-denominational church for the last 12 years, I’ve been curious about the pros and cons of “membership.” This book is highly recommended, and it gives many answers to many questions that its readers may have. It will cause quite a stir among many, but I think it is well worth the shake up.
Bill Henard, Can These Bones Live?
I would recommend this book, especially its wealth of wisdom for pastors in tough churches and those looking for tangible and practical assessment tools for the work. You may not agree with every thought, conclusion, and methodology the author has in considering this very complicated work of church revitalization, but I pray you will resonate with his thesis that only God gives the church life. God’s all wise and powerful design to build his church comes through his Word being preached, the gospel being proclaimed, and the power of his Spirit at work. Only through that word alone does God breathe life into the most hopeless looking church and can revive it for his purposes and glory.