Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Summer 2016 Reading List - Part One

Summer is upon us and it is a really fun time of year. I have enjoyed seeing the commencement photos of those graduating from high school, college, graduate school, seminary, etc. via social media and look forward to seeing how God uses all of those amazing people in the next chapter of their lives. Summer usually means vacations for most of us but it is also a great time to get some reading in. This is the first summer since 2008 that I have really been in a position to do some self-directed reading for my own enrichment. Still, I thought I would share with everyone what I will be reading this summer.


Winner of the Christianity Today 2014 Book Award in Biblical Studies, Paul and Union with Christ fills the gap for biblical scholars, theologians, and pastors pondering and debating the meaning of union with Christ. Following a selective survey of the scholarly work on union with Christ through the twentieth century to the present day, Greek scholar Constantine Campbell carefully examines every occurrence of the phrases 'in Christ', 'with Christ', 'through Christ', 'into Christ,' and other related expressions, exegeting each passage in context and taking into account the unique lexical contribution of each Greek preposition. Campbell then builds a holistic portrayal of Paul's thinking and engages contemporary theological discussions about union with Christ by employing his evidence-based understanding of the theme. This volume combines high-level scholarship and a concern for practical application of a topic currently debated in the academy and the church. More than a monograph, this book is a helpful reference tool for students, scholars, and pastors to consult its treatment of any particular instance of any phrase or metaphor that relates to union with Christ in the Pauline corpus.


I don’t know many Christians who can speak with much knowledge of the crusades and their influence on world history in general and Christianity specifically, me included. For that reason, this is the first of two books I am reading on the topic this summer. What is the relationship between the medieval crusades and the problems of the modern Middle East? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of Muslim jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. Placing all of the major crusades within their medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments, Madden explores the uniquely medieval world that led untold thousands to leave their homes, families, and friends to march in Christ’s name to distant lands. From Palestine and Europe's farthest reaches, each crusade is recounted in a clear, concise narrative. The author gives special attention as well to the crusades’ effects on the Islamic world and the Christian Byzantine East.



The Crusades: A History is the definitive account of a key topic in medieval and religious history. Jonathan Riley-Smith, a world authority on the subject, explores the organisation of a crusade, the experience of crusading and the crusaders themselves, producing a textbook that is as accessible as it is comprehensive.
This exciting new third edition includes:
- Substantial new material on crusade theory, historiography and translated texts
- An expanded scope that extends the text to cover the decline of crusading in the nineteenth century
- Valuable pedagogical features, such as a revised bibliography, maps, illustrations and a brand new chronology
This book is essential reading for all students and scholars seeking to understand the Crusades and their significance in world history.


Check back tomorrow for the rest of my summer reading list. Let me know what you think of these selections and what you plan on reading this summer!

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