Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Huge Thanks

I opened my letter box yesterday to find a package from Amazon. I knew I hadn't ordered anything so I was clueless as to what was inside. I opened the box and found a book I've been wanting for ages, one I had put right at the top of my Amazon Wish List, namely Thomas Talbott's The Inescapable Love of God! As I looked into things it became clear that someone purchased this book for me from my Amazon Wish List! Amazing!

From the receipt that came with the book, I know your name and address in London. I tried to find out your phone number to give you a call to say thanks but you appear to be ex-directory. So if you read this blog then I wanted to say a sincere thanks for your generosity! What a delightful surprise, and I'm loving the book already. Many thanks!


At 6/08/2007 2:08 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...

Congrats Chris! I hope the person who generously bought you that marvelous book doesn't hold it against me that I happened to run across your "thank you note" before they did, and got to post the first comment. I'm simply glad to see the amazon program working its magic, bringing people with a love of books together, and you being the recipient of a book on universalism no less. One e-friend I know runs an Evangelical Christian universalism website & blog, and knows Talbott. Also, I think a lot of Christians are starting to grow more open to new ideas, Christianity of a lively sort seems to be growing round the world, yet also diversifying as it grows, like any living organism I guess. There's the new Emergent Church and books by Evangelicals who seem unafraid to address both their own doubts in print more openly and without fear, as well as address theological options like universalism that the generation before had almost universally condemned. *smile* There's the Emergent Church which prizes honesty and openness and connecting with others and with ones doubts, and books along those lines by modern day Evangelicals such as the bestselling Blue Like Jazz, or, God Talk, and, When Christians Leave the Faith (not to be confused with books titled, Leaving the Fold, but an analysis by a shrewd honest Evangelical; nor to be confused with Barbara Taylor Brown's recent memoir, Leaving Church, about her transition from pastor to theology prof). I also saw some very interesting & honest questions being raised by Matt Richie and Chris Heard about God, casting of lots, and the book of Esther, in a recent Biblical Studies Carnival.

At any rate, I read through the rest of your wish list and marveled at the width of topics you had chosen to read about--from atheism (Dawkins) to liberal Christianity (Spong), and a lot of biblical scholarship. (I have a wish list too, on the historical Jesus that might feature some books you'd find interesting. I have public wish lists on additional Christian topics as well.)

Have you perused Crossan's little summation of his views and answers to readers questions which is quite concise, titled, Who Is Jesus? It's a concise personal summation of both his scholarship and beliefs. A fine little work.

And Spong has a new book, Jesus for the Non-Religious, that looks quite good, since it puts into focus a lot of biblical studies and interpretations found in his earlier works over the past few decades.

Lastly, I believe I read somewhere that you are a Preterist. I've studied Preterism a lot myself, but had to go with Bart Ehrman's apocalyptic Jesus as probably being more true to first-century thinking. A lot of changes took place during the intertestamental period, during which time hell became fiery, Satan became lord of this world, and Hebrew hyperbolic prophetic utterances evolved into apocalyptic.

However, getting back to the theme of the book on universalism you recently rec'd, let me add that some Preterists in the past have also been universalists, which I learned today cruising the web.

Cheers, and happy reading!

Edward T. Babinski

At 6/08/2007 6:54 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...

Free Books in Biblical Studies and Related Fields (many classics in German!)

Strauss, Bultmann, Harnack, Dibelius, Renan, Spinoza, Welhausen (in German), F. C. Bauer (in German), S. R. Driver

At 6/09/2007 12:18 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Edward,
Thanks so much for your kind and helpful comments and wonderful links!
As for being a preterist, I must admit that I'm not. I have sypathies with their position, for sure, but am yet to be fully convinced.
And I must also admit that I haven't yet read Crossan's book - I'll keep your recommendation in mind.


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