Two New(ish) Books Worth Looking at While in the AAR Book Exhibition Hall

One of my publishers has asked that I help to publicize a couple of new – well, one brand new, and one new-ish – titles that they have put out on or in the neighborhood of Karl Barth. I also know the authors / editors of these volumes, so I’m happy to oblige. Those of you attending the AAR meeting at the end of the week should be sure to look them over in the book exhibition area and, dare I say, even consider purchasing them. Those of you know attending the AAR meeting should follow the links to the publisher’s website. I will be cut-and-pasting the book descriptions from their respective webpages.

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, The Gospel of God’s Reign: Living for the Kingdom of God, Blumhardt Series (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013).

“No doubt, it is common to hear Christians today declaring their allegiance to God's kingdom. But what does this actually entail, and what difference does it make? In his characteristically provocative and daring way, Christoph Blumhardt articulates a vision of God's kingdom that turns much of our understanding of modern Christianity upside-down. In the present volume, available in English for the first time, Blumhardt leads readers to look at the gospel anew, challenging us to follow Jesus in a way that makes God's reign a reality, here and now. Bypassing vague notions of spirituality, as well as transcending simplistic approaches to faith, Blumhardt inspires us to actually live under the rule and reign of God.”

Matthias Grebe, Election, Atonement, and the Holy Spirit: Through and Beyond Barth’s Theological Interpretation of Scripture, Princeton Theological Monograph Series (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2014).

"This book examines the doctrines of election and atonement in Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics, taking up Barth's own challenge to his reader to surpass his argument and offer a better typological interpretation of the cultic texts. Barth's radical re-working of Calvin's doctrine of election is one of the most important developments in twentieth-century theology. Christ synthesizes for Barth a particular dialectic: the binary structure of God's Yes of election and God's No of rejection. The book's central question--how can Jesus simultaneously be both the elected and the rejected (CD II/2), acting as both the judge and the judged (CD IV/1)?--is followed by an exploration of the roles of the Holy Spirit and human freedom in God's electing and saving action. Commentators both acknowledge Barth's innovation in this area and identify problems with his approach, but few have offered what David Ford has called a correction "from within" Barth, using Barth's own method. Using the concept of Existenzstellvertretung, this critique of Barth's exegetical justification for the doctrines offers an alternative exegesis that not only provides this much-needed correction, but also immerses the reader in a fresh engagement with Scripture itself."

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