All I want for Christmas is… the ESV Study Bible? Pt 2

… Continued from Part 1.

Well, here it is. And I must say that my overwhelming opinion is… impressed.

Ok, so I’ve already engaged a bit with the online material but after a day of exploring the Study Bible in print I can only say that the breadth and depth of this volume is a real accomplishment and a feast for my eyes. I have no doubt that I shall find it an invaluable resource in preaching preparation.

If I were to add a fifth point to my previous post it would be:

5. The ethics section.

Balanced? Not really. Does it annoy me? Yes. Does it detract from the excellent (albeit Reformed) scholarship elsewhere? No.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying: I don’t have a problem with an opinion strongly expressed – even one I disagree with. These are articles that are presented as an attempt to express several sides of the story, and then to come to a considered conclusion. Yet many of the sections present the opposing views rather (take the section on war for example) inadequately.

Overall? Well done Crossway and Wayne Grudem for an excellent resource.

(and in case you were wondering, the above picture did contain my pillows 🙂

Isaac with his waterproof radio controlled monster truck!

Isaac with his waterproof radio controlled monster truck!

Toby in his starring role as Thomas the Tank Engine

Toby in his starring role as Thomas the Tank Engine

3 thoughts on “All I want for Christmas is… the ESV Study Bible? Pt 2

  1. Hi SamI’d love to know what you mean by “‘Conservative’ or ‘Reformed’” in this above article on the ESV.
    Your bean-counting colleague


  2. You’re right to pick me up on those kind of comments! Reading them back now they seem a little too pejorative and below the belt. I’ll therefore endeavor not to repeat those mistakes in this response!
    There’s a form of intellectual rigor that I really appreciate about conservative and reformed Christian circles – there’s something in one of the slogans from the reformation semper reformanda, always reforming, that helpfully sums up a sense of continual questioning, renewing and re-imagining of the faith that I find inspiring.
    I guess what I’m picking up on in my misplaced comments on the conservative and reformed traditions in the UK (terms I’m using here as loosely synonymous) is that I perceive it as having adapted to the assumptions and thought patterns of modernity so strongly that it almost feels at times that you aren’t allowed to disagree with it’s conclusions if you want to be a real Christian. I have no problem with people feeling strongly that the Bible points towards particular conclusions, but as we saw in the recent(ish) debates around penal substitution in particular, there can at times be a leaning towards an unwillingness to accept that other approaches to theology are not allowed or somehow evidence that you aren’t taking the Bible seriously enough. I know I have been made to feel that if I don’t unquestioningly accept all of Wayne Grudem’s (excellent book, by the way!) views then somehow I’m not quite a real gospel-centred Christian yet. I am aware that this may be a deeply unfair view, and one that doesn’t always fit with people I know who use these labels to describe their approach to faith, but I do feel it’s there nonetheless.
    I suppose what I react against is a tradition in some circles to virtually eliminate, in practice if not in theory, the reforming principle of semper reformanda, thus betraying a central commitment of the original reformers.


  3. Interesting article on this:
    “There’s a Reformed culture, and not all Reformed are like this, that evaluates everyone and everything by a particular Reformed framing of all things theological. Sometimes this works; but what doesn’t work often enough is the inability to see the call of the gospel and the blessing of God on those who are not Reformed…
    … those who can be judged rightly to preach the gospel are only those who frame the gospel in Reformed categories.”
    [On Jesus Creed]


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