Monday, April 14, 2008

Goldingay OT Theology Day – 1 of 5

My sincere thanks to IVP for review copies of the following two John Goldingay volumes:

Old Testament Theology. Volume 1: Israel's Gospel. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP, 2003

Old Testament Theology. Volume 2: Israel's Faith. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP, 2006

At the moment, IVP are selling them at a 20% discount, for $36.00, and as I want to make clear in my posts today and tomorrow, and I mean this following sentence quite honestly: I have been enjoying these volumes more than any other books I have read in the last decade.

I am quite simply stunned, to be honest. They are, well, utterly brilliant, and I am at a loss as to how to draw attention to these books any more enthusiastically, even if I find myself in disagreement here and there (especially in the introduction) – and many will balk at his open theist tendencies (though I would encourage those who call open theists 'heretics', like apologist James White does, to deal with Goldingay's formidable exegesis!). I just can't put them down! I am literally giggling as I read it, lapping up the insight. Page after page has surprises for me. Again and again I find myself shaking my head with excitement and new realisations. In the future, if I recommend any books relating at all to the bible or theology, I will recommend these first.


I have a soft spot for Goldingay anyway. His book Models for Scripture was one of the most important I have ever read. It perhaps even gave me that extra added incentive to persue post graduate theological studies.

In the next few posts today, I will be citing passages, noting what others have said, and suggesting discussion points. I really want to draw your attention to these books! And a third and final volume is on the way! Flippin exciting!



At 4/15/2008 12:01 AM, Anonymous Doug Chaplin said...

Since John Goldingay could be a pretty helpless giggler himself, I'm sure he will be enjoying your reaction to reading these books!

At 4/15/2008 12:32 AM, Anonymous El Bryan Libre said...

When I was reading volume 1 I was struck by how much it spoke to me, both my head and my heart. It is great devotional reading. I love how Goldingay tells it like he sees it and doesn't try to sugar coat it or synthesize it all and to make everything match. He lets texts stand in tension with each other.

Even though the books are long they don't feel like a chore to read.

This is a great book.


At 4/15/2008 7:45 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Bryan,
Yes, I feel exactly the same. These are rare jewels.

Doug, as I say in the post, Goldingay's books have been important to me, yet I have never met him. So I am curious to hear more about him, especially if he is a giggler!

At 4/15/2008 7:49 AM, Anonymous Michael Barber said...

Goldingay is at Fuller--and he's amazing. I've learned so much from him. I'm certainly glad he's getting the attention his work deserves.

Actually, and I know this will just be dismissed as my being partial to my own Ph.D. program, but Fuller is a remarkable place to study: Colin Brown, Joel Green, Donald Hagner, Seyoon Kim, Marianne Meye Thompson, etc. The program really is one of the best around.

At 4/15/2008 11:01 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Michael!

That is truly a great bunch of people! Marianne Meye Thompson's Colossians & Philemon is such a great read. Green's too, indeed all of these people!

At 4/16/2008 4:52 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

So if I put in to get von Rad's OT Theology that CBD is selling for $9.99, should I back out and request these instead?

At 4/16/2008 10:44 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Brian,
"So if I put in to get von Rad's OT Theology that CBD is selling for $9.99, should I back out and request these instead?"

By all means get von Rad's OT theology if it is that cheap, but I think it depends what you would want them for. Goldingay's will give you a better intro into the OT text, and is certainly easier to read. It is modern and highly scholarly. vopn Rad's work is very important but scholarship has moved on in important points. It is a classic and should be in the library of every OT scholar, but if you don't need to trace the history of OT scholarship, I would recommend the Goldingay volumes above von Rad, yes.

At 4/17/2008 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you picture Goldingay in front of a large class in blue shorts and a purple shirt or the other way around, you're not going to be far off (unless he's wearing his Coldplay shirt -- it's black). And flip-flops. Always flip-flops.

He was as much a joy for me as he was a frustration to the eager young creationists who enrolled in his class just to take him on in front of a crowd. Our only required text was the OT and he was rightly obsessive about what that text actually said rather than imposing an external systemitc grid. It's amazing how hard it is for many of us to slow down and read what's there. His perspective was helpful in my own journey away from a fairly hardcore conservative evangelical mentality.

And I don't know about a giggler, but I do remember a dance that he did on a couple of occasions when he had cornered a conservative into arguing against the plain meaning of the text itself. On one occasion the dance came with an impromptu song: "Now you're the nasty liberal" (or something along those lines).

At 4/17/2008 10:40 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

That is absolutely hilarious! Thanks so much - I did have a laugh.


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