New Books for the Week of March 4, 2013

A Peaceable Hope: Contesting Violent Eschatology in New Testament Narratives by David Neville (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013)

In the New Testament texts, there is significant tension between Jesus’s nonviolent mission and message and the apparent violence attributed to God and God’s agents at the anticipated end. David Neville challenges the ready association between New Testament eschatology and retributive vengeance on christological and canonical grounds. He explores the narrative sections of the New Testament–the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation–with a view to developing a peaceable, as opposed to retributive, understanding of New Testament eschatology. Neville shows that for every narrative text in the New Testament that anticipates a vehement eschatology, another promotes a largely peaceable eschatology.

So Rich, So Poor: Why it’s so Hard to End Poverty in America by Peter Edelman (New York: New Press, 2012)

In this provocative book, Peter Edelman, a former top aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a lifelong antipoverty advocate, offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle. The structure of today’s economy has stultified wage growth for half of America’s workers—with even worse results at the bottom and for people of color—while bestowing billions on those at the top.

Mapping the Origins Debate: Six Models of the Beginning of Everything by Gerald Rau (Downers Grove: IVP, 2012)

Gerald Rau offers a fair-minded overview of the six predominant models used to explain the origins of the universe, of life, of species and of humans. He aims to show the contours of current debates both among Christians and between Christians and non-theists. He also enables us to evaluate and think more clearly about the various arguments for each position. He accomplishes this by not only describing the options on origins, but by exploring the philosophical assumptions behind each and how evidence is counted corresponding with each model.

Theology for Better Counseling: Trinitarian Reflections for Healing and Formation by Virginia Holeman (Downers Grove: IVP, 2012)

At one time, Virgnia Todd Holeman confesses, she thought being biblically literate was all she needed and had little interest in what real theologians talked about. But in the context of counseling she found that clients often pressed her for more than she had gained through practical training and knowledge of the best theories and techniques available for counseling. They asked hard theological questions often related to their suffering, experiencing a kind of “theological disequilibrium . . . which left them discouraged, disoriented and often distraught.” Eventually Holeman was led to a serious study of theology that opened the door of how the discipline of theological reflection relates to counseling practice. In this volume Holeman shows how deep and clear theological reflection can make a major difference. Not only can it shape who we are, it can also bring into greater alignment our theological commitments, our therapeutic practices and our professional ethics. All the while it can have the most practical effect on our challenges of conducting counseling sessions. Written with counseling students, pastoral counselors and licensed mental health professionals in mind, this book is aimed to help readers become as well-formed theologically as they are clinically trained.

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About Eric

Eric Bradley is a academic librarian. He does not moonlight as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter or Los Angeles studio singer, although may be seen playing French Horn in a community band or adding another tune book to his hymnal collection.
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