Latest Issue of Regent’s Reviews

Thanks to Andy and the others who work hard on this, the latest issue of Regent's Reviews, an online journal of recent theological books with a particular focus on those relevant to ministers. For what it is worth my reviews of the following are in this issue: Angus Paddison's Scripture: A Very Theological Proposal, the volume of collected essays on Paul, Philosophy and the Theopolitical Vision edited by Douglas Harink as well as Käsemann's On Being a Disciple of the Crucified Nazarene. To whet your appetite, here is an excerpt from the review of the Käsemann:

…these essays, previously unpublished and now admirably translated by Roy Harrisville, largely consist of talks, lectures and sermons given in churches, one sometimes wonders what the audiences would have made of what they were hearing. The key emphases of Käsemann’s thought remain: the apocalyptic nature of salvation; the importance of the church as community; the need for radical discipleship; the political requirements of Christian obedience; the critique of idolatry in all (and especially its ecclesiastical) forms; the call to Christian freedom. Yet one has the sense that for Käsemann, in his old age, these issues became not, as is often the case, muddier and more complex, but, on the contrary, clearer and more urgent. In particular, we can see how the polemic that during the war was directed against the idolatry of the German Christian movement was, in later years, turned against the conventionality and morality of the middle classes, as well as the oppressive practices of what Käsemann (never one for political correctness) calls ‘the white race’. To give you a flavour, consider these quotations:

 ‘But where Protestant theology conceives apocalyptic as the message of God’s kingdom revealed in Christ and as the worldwide liberation of the children of God, world anxiety may not be derived from it. A beginning should rather be made with the demons in politics, economics, and the worldview of the white race in the modern age, with the aim of promoting their expulsion and restraining.’ (14)

‘But for the gospel and Christianity, morality is more dangerous than all blasphemies' (54)

Or, wonderfully, this:

‘It is high time to give up the conceit that we were required to bring to others the blessings of our culture and civilization. Christianity, at least, ought to realize that the white race must learn from the illustration of the world of color what it actually is, what misery it has brought over the whole earth, an enterprise that involved both theology and mission. It may be that we can properly hear and understand all of Jesus’ Beatitudes again only when we bravely go from the bunkers of meritocracy and affluence into the no-man’s land in which our Lord died, when we sense something of an earthly hell in which our brothers and sister in the Third World are dying. No theological statement is correct and worth preserving that has not been tested in this hell. No Christianity has the least merit that is not on the way to Golgotha with the Master.’ (150)