|Publication Date: 21 Jan 2016|
|Publisher: SPCK Publishing|
|Page Count: 192|
|Author: Richard Bauckham|
|ISBN-13: 9780281074846, 9780281074853|
The Bible in the Contemporary World
Bauckham calls for our reading of Scripture to lead us into increased engagement with the important issues of today’s world, including globalization, environmental degradation, and widespread poverty. He works to bring biblical texts into relationship with these contemporary realities by means of the Bible’s metanarrative of God and the world, in which God’s purpose takes effect in the salvation and fulfillment of the world as his cherished creation.
These essays are the work of a master theologian, and a joy to read. They combine judicious balance, practical relevance, and theological wisdom. Ten of the fourteen magnificent essays are recent reprints, and all are valuable. They include biblical narrative, freedom, human rights, globalization, and penetrating critiques of consumerist and technological world-views. The insights and perils of post-modernity and modern individualism are exposed; while Bauckham expounds wisdom, ecology, creation, suffering, and truth. This is a superb collection, which amply repays study.
Here Bauckham shows the breadth of his concerns, from the classical theological topoi of freedom and hope to Christianity’s conversation with Buddhism and modern secular culture. He is unafraid to point to the inadequacies of some aspects of traditional theology, while at the same time he offers a strong, distinctively biblical and Christian critique of contemporary culture, with its self-deluded doctrine of progressivism and catastrophic scientific and technological arrogance. These essays are lucid and mercifully free of technical jargon, suitable for experts and lay theologians alike.
This is a feast of a book, which was a delight to read … [Bauckham] approaches the scriptures with an eye that is reverent and wise, while at the same time discerning and original, bringing them into conversation with the modern world in an immensely engaging and thought-provoking manner. There was hardly a page on which there was not some arresting thought on either biblical truth or contemporary culture on which constructively to ruminate ... This is a creative book, full of insights to which theologians and others would be well advised to give more attention.
This book is a treasure trove of knowledge from a formidable scholar. While it may appear a quick read, readers will likely find themselves pausing frequently to reflect upon Bauckham’s insights. For those who believe that the Bible has something to say to the contemporary world, this book will help discern its message.
Richard Bauckham is one of the most consistently interesting, perceptive and accessible New Testament scholars writing today. Bauckham writes well and I would recommend this book to anyone unfamiliar with his work without hesitation. Let it be, however, a gateway drug to his other, Class A publications