Book Give Away

This week I’m offering Jerry Walls’ new book Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: A Protestant View of the Cosmic Drama (Brazos Press). Here’s the catalog description:

“Will heaven be boring? How can a good and loving God send people to hell? Is there such a place as purgatory? If so, why is it necessary, if we’re saved by grace?

Questions about the afterlife abound. Given what is at stake, they are the most important questions we will ever consider. Recent years have seen a surge of Christian books written by people claiming to have received a glimpse of the afterlife, and numerous books, films, and TV shows have apocalyptic or postapocalyptic themes. Jerry Walls, a dynamic writer and expert on the afterlife, distills his academic writing on heaven, hell, and purgatory to offer clear biblical, theological, and philosophical grounding for thinking about these issues. He provides an ecumenical account of purgatory that is compatible with Protestant theology and defends the doctrine of eternal hell. Walls shows that the Christian vision of the afterlife illumines the deepest and most important issues of our lives, changing the way we think about happiness, personal identity, morality, and the very meaning of life.”

Jerry L. Walls (PhD, University of Notre Dame), a world-class expert on the afterlife and a sought-after speaker, has written for Christianity Today, First Things, and Christian Century. He has appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and in the documentary film Hellbound. Walls, professor of philosophy and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas, is the coauthor of Why I Am Not a Calvinist and the Christianity Today Book Award Winner Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality. He has authored or edited a dozen books, including a trilogy on the afterlife–Hell: The Logic of Damnation, Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation, and Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy–and is a senior speaking fellow for the Morris Institute for Human Values.

Leave your name in the comments section by NLT Friday, Jan. 23rd 6:00 am EST. I’ll draw the winner’s name that day. If I don’t hear from the winner within 7 days the book will go to another entry.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

Book Give Away

Yesterday I told you about the Paideia Commentary Series on the New Testament and its newest contribution from George Pasenios: First, Second, and Third John. I did that in hopes of whetting your appetitie for this great commentary. So, would you like to have one? That’s my offer this week. Leave your name in the comments section by NLT Friday, Jan. 2nd, 6:00 am EST. I’ll announce the winner that day. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry. Consider these endorsements for First, Second, and Third John.

“Amid a crowded field of commentaries on the Letters of John, this volume is perhaps first among its peers. At once accessible, thorough, and conversant with the intricacies of the Greek text, Parsenios provides both scholar and preacher with enormously valuable insights. This may just become the first commentary many will reach for when working in these short letters.”

Gary M. Burge, professor of New Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School

“This concise and able mid-range interaction with John’s letters draws on rich resources–ancient Greco-Roman backgrounds, patristic commentators, medieval art, and modern scholarship like that of Raymond Brown and Judith Lieu. John’s letters are seen as a coherent literary development of themes laid down earlier in the Fourth Gospel. Parsenios’s creative exposition will stimulate fresh reflection on these letters’ literary strategy and on the characteristics of faithful fellowship in the Johannine tradition of ‘christomorphic life.'”

Robert W. Yarbrough, professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri

“Parsenios’s years of scholarship on the Gospel of John pay dividends in this exciting new commentary on First, Second, and Third John. Parsenios has seamlessly integrated insights from ancient rhetorical handbooks, patristic interpretation, and modern scholarship. The analysis is clear and compelling, and a wealth of information is communicated in a clear and engaging manner. In short, Parsenios’s commentary on the Johannine Epistles is an admirable addition to the Paideia series, and the first place students of these beguiling letters should now turn.”

Jeremy F. Hultin, lecturer in New Testament, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia


Book Give Away

Ancient Israel’s History edited by Bill T. Arnold and Richard S. Hess is the book up for grabs this week. Here’s the catalog description and table of contents:

“The history of Israel is a much-debated topic in Old Testament studies. On one side are minimalists who find little of historical value in the Hebrew Bible. On the other side are those who assume the biblical text is a precise historical record. Many serious students of the Bible find themselves between these two positions and would benefit from a careful exploration of issues in Israelite history.

This substantive history of Israel textbook values the Bible’s historical contribution without overlooking critical issues and challenges. Featuring the latest scholarship, the book introduces students to the current state of research on issues relevant to the study of ancient Israel. The editors and contributors, all top biblical scholars and historians, discuss historical evidence in a readable manner, using both canonical and chronological lenses to explore Israelite history.

Illustrative items, such as maps and images, visually support the book’s content. Tables and sidebars are also included.”

Preface Bill T. Arnold and Richard S. Hess
Introduction: Foundations for a History of Israel Richard S. Hess
1. The Genesis Narratives Bill T. Arnold
2. The Exodus and Wilderness Narratives    James K. Hoffmeier
3. Covenant and Treaty in the Hebrew Bible and in the Ancient Near East    Samuel Greengus
4. Early Israel and Its Appearance in Canaan    Lawson G. Stone
5. The Judges and the Early Iron Age    Robert D. Miller II
6. The Story of Samuel, Saul, and David    Daniel Bodi
7. United Monarchy: Archaeology and Literary Sources    Steven M. Ortiz
8. The Biblical Prophets in Historiography    James K. Mead
9. Late Tenth- and Ninth-Century Issues: Ahab Underplayed? Jehoshaphat Overplayed?    Kyle Greenwood
10. Eighth-Century Issues: The World of Jeroboam II, the Fall of Samaria, and the Reign of Hezekiah    Sandra Richter
11. Judah in the Seventh Century: From the Aftermath of Sennacherib’s Invasion to the Beginning of Jehoiakim’s Rebellion    Brad E. Kelle
12. Sixth-Century Issues    Peter van der Veen
13. Fifth- and Fourth-Century Issues: Governorship and Priesthood in Jerusalem    André Lemaire
14. The Hellenistic Period    David A. deSilva

Leave your name in the comments section by NLT Friday, December 5th 6:00 am EST. I’ll announce the winner’s name that Friday. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry.

Ancient Israel's History

Book Give Away

This week I’m offering Did God Really Command Genocide? by Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan (Baker Books). Here’s the catalog description:

“Would a good, kind, and loving deity ever command the wholesale slaughter of nations? We often avoid reading difficult Old Testament passages that make us squeamish and quickly jump to the enemy-loving, forgiving Jesus of the New Testament. And yet, the question remains.

In the tradition of his popular Is God a Moral Monster?, Paul Copan teams up with Matthew Flannagan to tackle some of the most confusing and uncomfortable passages of Scripture. Together they help the Christian and nonbeliever alike understand the biblical, theological, philosophical, and ethical implications of Old Testament warfare passages.”

And, consider these impressive endorsements:

“In their wide-ranging book, Copan and Flannagan go beyond standard treatments of Old Testament warfare; they incorporate biblical, theological, philosophical, ethical, legal, and historical perspectives on a much-debated but often misunderstood topic. This volume makes important strides forward in laying out a case for the coherence of divine command theory in connection with these Yahweh-war texts.”

William Lane Craig, research professor of philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, California

“Copan and Flannagan address the arguments of the atheists who use these texts to undermine belief and confidence in God. Not only are they adept at biblical interpretation and philosophy as they effectively counter this challenge, but they also write in a deeply compelling way that will appeal to both students and laypeople.”

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California

“As a full-scale follow-up to the excellent popular treatment of the topic in Is God a Moral Monster?, this book provides the most thorough and comprehensive treatment of the problem of violence in the Old Testament that I have encountered. The authors tackle the aggressive charges of the new atheists, as well as other equally sceptical but less strident critics of ‘the God of the Old Testament.’ And they do so with a blend of careful biblical exegesis and incisive moral argumentation. The book reaches deep, but remains readable, and the summaries at the end of every chapter are a great help in following the case as it is steadily built up. All of us who, in teaching or preaching the Old Testament, are constantly bombarded with ‘But what about the Canaanites?’ will be very grateful for these rich resources for a well-informed, gracious, and biblically faithful reply.”

Christopher J. H. Wright, International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership, author of Old Testament Ethics for the People of God and  The God I Don’t Understand

Leave your name in the comments section by NLT Friday, November 28th 6:00 am EST. I’ll draw the winning name that Friday. If I don’t hear back from the winner within 7 days the book will go to another entry.

Paul Copan (PhD, Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. He is the author of several popular apologetics books, including Is God a Moral Monster?

Matthew Flannagan (PhD, University of Otago) is a researcher and a teaching pastor at Takanini Community Church in Auckland, New Zealand. He is also a contributing author to several books.

Did God