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Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible's Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture

Christopher Watkin, Timothy Keller

Hardback 2023-07-05

Publisher Description

It is not enough for Christians to explain the Bible to the culture in which we live. We must also explain the culture in which we live within the framework and categories of the Bible. If we are to meet this challenge, two things are necessary: we must develop a deep grasp of the shape of the biblical story and of how the Bible understands the world, humanity and God, and we must develop a penetrating and nuanced appreciation of the ideas and stories that shape our culture.

Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible's Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture does just this, setting out a fresh vision for biblical cultural engagement in which faithfulness to Scripture and sensitivity to culture walk hand in hand. This book exposes and evaluates the often-hidden assumptions and concepts that shape our late-modern society, and examines them through the lens of the biblical story running from Genesis to Revelation. With the help of extensive diagrams and practical tools, Biblical Critical Theory shows the reader how the signature patterns of the Bible's storyline can provide incisive, fresh, and nuanced ways of intervening into today's debates on everything from science, the arts and politics to dignity, multiculturalism and equality, showing Christians the moves to make and the tools to use in analyzing and engaging with all sorts of cultural artefacts and events.

This is a book for everyone who wants to bring together a white-hot commitment to unpopular scriptural truths with a positive, robust, constructive, and winsome vision for life and society. If Christians want to speak with a fresh, engaging, and dynamic voice in the marketplace of ideas today, we need to mine the unique treasures of the distinctive biblical storyline.

Endorsements:

“Commendations of this book will likely sound like wild exaggerations. They are not. Christopher Watkin has done something remarkable. He has given thoughtful believers and doubters a whirlwind tour of both the biblical narrative and the myriad ways that narrative critiques, commends, and completes the best thoughts of thinkers from Plato to Popper. Watkin is a thoroughly reliable guide to complex biblical material, whether the patriarchal narratives, eighth-century prophets, or apocalyptic literature. And when he steps onto the field of his main expertise— modern intellectual history— he truly shines. He does not attempt to dazzle us with his intimate knowledge of often-impenetrable thinkers like Heidegger, Marx, and Foucault. Instead, he shows why such figures deserve their place among the greats, how their ideas continue to influence contemporary life, and why they are wrong when they are wrong, only because they preserve a half-truth that is found complete in the Bible. This book is a magnificent achievement. It is a must-read for Christian leaders wanting to think biblically about our de-Christianizing world. It is also a gift for those who aren’t sure what to make of the Christian faith. Here is a total defense and commendation of Christianity like no other. Buy it. Read it. Ponder it. Pass it on.” – John Dickson, author and historian

"A book that I have been eagerly anticipating for years...I'm especially pleased that Chris, while exhibiting an extraordinary breadth of learning and reading, wrote this book not only for an academic press or audience but also for educated laypersons and Christian leaders. I believe that academics, particularly Christian ones, have a responsibility to build on this. I think preachers (especially younger ones in more secular and pluralistic environments) will be able to benefit enormously from this material." - Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York

"One of the best books I've ever read." - Collin Hansen, Vice President for Content and Editor-in-Chief of The Gospel Coalition

"Watkin turns and overturns the tables of today's culture-changers by examining various criticaltheories through biblical lenses rather than vice versa. Biblical Critical Theory is an important update of Augustine's City of God, a proposal for making biblical sense of what is happening incontemporary culture. This is the ultimate how-to book for disciples looking to beat ideological swords and other weapons in the popular culture wars into gospel plowshares, tools for making sense of, and reconciling, the contradictions of our present moment." - Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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Publisher Description

It is not enough for Christians to explain the Bible to the culture in which we live. We must also explain the culture in which we live within the framework and categories of the Bible. If we are to meet this challenge, two things are necessary: we must develop a deep grasp of the shape of the biblical story and of how the Bible understands the world, humanity and God, and we must develop a penetrating and nuanced appreciation of the ideas and stories that shape our culture.

Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible's Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture does just this, setting out a fresh vision for biblical cultural engagement in which faithfulness to Scripture and sensitivity to culture walk hand in hand. This book exposes and evaluates the often-hidden assumptions and concepts that shape our late-modern society, and examines them through the lens of the biblical story running from Genesis to Revelation. With the help of extensive diagrams and practical tools, Biblical Critical Theory shows the reader how the signature patterns of the Bible's storyline can provide incisive, fresh, and nuanced ways of intervening into today's debates on everything from science, the arts and politics to dignity, multiculturalism and equality, showing Christians the moves to make and the tools to use in analyzing and engaging with all sorts of cultural artefacts and events.

This is a book for everyone who wants to bring together a white-hot commitment to unpopular scriptural truths with a positive, robust, constructive, and winsome vision for life and society. If Christians want to speak with a fresh, engaging, and dynamic voice in the marketplace of ideas today, we need to mine the unique treasures of the distinctive biblical storyline.

Endorsements:

“Commendations of this book will likely sound like wild exaggerations. They are not. Christopher Watkin has done something remarkable. He has given thoughtful believers and doubters a whirlwind tour of both the biblical narrative and the myriad ways that narrative critiques, commends, and completes the best thoughts of thinkers from Plato to Popper. Watkin is a thoroughly reliable guide to complex biblical material, whether the patriarchal narratives, eighth-century prophets, or apocalyptic literature. And when he steps onto the field of his main expertise— modern intellectual history— he truly shines. He does not attempt to dazzle us with his intimate knowledge of often-impenetrable thinkers like Heidegger, Marx, and Foucault. Instead, he shows why such figures deserve their place among the greats, how their ideas continue to influence contemporary life, and why they are wrong when they are wrong, only because they preserve a half-truth that is found complete in the Bible. This book is a magnificent achievement. It is a must-read for Christian leaders wanting to think biblically about our de-Christianizing world. It is also a gift for those who aren’t sure what to make of the Christian faith. Here is a total defense and commendation of Christianity like no other. Buy it. Read it. Ponder it. Pass it on.” – John Dickson, author and historian

"A book that I have been eagerly anticipating for years...I'm especially pleased that Chris, while exhibiting an extraordinary breadth of learning and reading, wrote this book not only for an academic press or audience but also for educated laypersons and Christian leaders. I believe that academics, particularly Christian ones, have a responsibility to build on this. I think preachers (especially younger ones in more secular and pluralistic environments) will be able to benefit enormously from this material." - Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York

"One of the best books I've ever read." - Collin Hansen, Vice President for Content and Editor-in-Chief of The Gospel Coalition

"Watkin turns and overturns the tables of today's culture-changers by examining various criticaltheories through biblical lenses rather than vice versa. Biblical Critical Theory is an important update of Augustine's City of God, a proposal for making biblical sense of what is happening incontemporary culture. This is the ultimate how-to book for disciples looking to beat ideological swords and other weapons in the popular culture wars into gospel plowshares, tools for making sense of, and reconciling, the contradictions of our present moment." - Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Koorong Code613939
ISBN0310128722
EAN9780310128724
Pages672
DepartmentAcademic
CategoryBiblical Studies
Sub-CategoryBiblical Theology
PublisherZondervan Academic
Publication DateJul 2023
Dimensions43 x 164 x 237mm
Weight1.026kg