Announcing New Book from Doug Geivett and Paul Moser—The Testimony of the Spirit


Paul Moser and I have teamed together to produce a new book published by Oxford University Press. The Testimony of the Spirit: New Essays is an edited volume of eleven chapters written by distinguished scholars in North America and the United KingdomScreen Shot 2016-10-05 at 1.52.48 PM.png. The book includes a detailed bibliography of all the most important work on the subject.

Publisher’s Description:

The theme of the testimony of the Spirit of God is found in various Biblical writings, but it has received inadequate attention in recent theology, Biblical studies, and the philosophy of religion. This book corrects that inadequacy from an interdisciplinary perspective, including theology, Biblical studies, philosophy of religion, ethics, psychology, aesthetics, and apologetics.

The book includes previously unpublished work on the topic of the testimony of the Spirit in connection with: its role in Biblical literature, an ontology of the Spirit, conscience and the voice of God, moral knowledge, religious diversity and spiritual testimony, psychology and neuroscience, community and language, art and beauty, desire and gender, apologetics, and the church and discernment.

The book includes a General Introduction that identifies some key theological and philosophical topics that bear on the topic of the testimony of the Spirit, and it concludes with a bibliography on the testimony of the Spirit. The book pursues its topics in a manner accessible to a wide range of readers from various disciplines, including college students, educated non-academics, and researchers.

The cover art features an oil on canvas titled “Pentecost,” painted by El Greco, ca. 1600 [see here]

• Pre-order from Amazon here.

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Doug and Holly Book Recommended on Stand to Reason


On his radio show “Stand to Reason,” Greg Koukl recently took a call from a 14-year-old young man from Washington state. David had just listened to an interview I did with Greg a year or so ago. He called in to talk about the New Apostolic Reformation. David wanted counsel about how to approach a friend who has been drawn to the movement through the work of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. They talk for ten minutes at the end of the show, beginning at minute 00:46. If you’re interested in the discussion, click here.NAR Book Cover-101 final (6-6-14)

In his conversation with David, Greg recommends the book I wrote with Holly Pivec, God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. He encourages David to see if his friend will go through it with him.

You may know someone who has been lured into the network of contemporary prophets and apostles. Or you may have some other interest in learning more. Have a listen to the interview, then get the book God’s Super-Apostles. It gives you all the basic information you need to understand this movement and make a reasonable assessment of its claims. If you’re looking for something a little more in-depth, the book to get is A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement.

Reading about Choosing to Be in Love


Reading about love. The lovestruck will have no interest because being in love takes you out of being in any conceptual mode, such as reading about the sort of thing love is. Or is supposed to be.

Maybe this is a part of what Emily Dickinson was pointing to when she wrote:

That love is all there is,

Is all we know of love.

When you’re in love, all there is is love. Next question?

But then there are the unrequited lovers. Which may be most of us most of the time. Do they read about love?

It turns out that many may be reading about love these days. Certainly, more are writing about it philosophically. This is documented in Clancy Martin’s review of Berit Brogaard’s book On Romantic Love. Martin likes Brogaard’s book.

Book Cove-Berit Brogaard-On Romantic Love

From what I gather, the controlling idea is that love, though it is an emotion, may be rational or not. Brogaard means “rational” in a sense that permits some choice and control on the part of anyone with romantic love on his mind (and not just in his heart).

This suggests that if you’re in love and you wish you weren’t, you might be able to do something about it. And if you aren’t in love, maybe you can do something about that, too.

I see a problem here. While your emotional state may be under some measure of control, you have no control over the emotional state of another person. This is a real problem for the lovelorn. For romantic love is arguably reciprocal. Without reciprocation—that is, as long as love goes unrequited—the love you feel may not be the same thing it would be if reciprocated. It may not even be romantic love.

But then, what is it?

Notes:

[1] The Emily Dickinson quote is from her undated poem “That love is all there is.” Dickinson lived from 1830-1886.

[2] For Clancy Martin’s review of Berit Brogaard, follow this link: Choosing Love – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Chinese Version of Four Views Book


Imagine my surprise when I received in the mail yesterday a book published in Chinese. Often I do get complementary copies of new books. But in Chinese? This does not happen every day. On close inspection it turned out to be a Chinese translation of the book Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World, a Zondervan publication. Years ago I co-authored one of the four views for the original English edition of this book, never expecting that it would one day reach a nation with over 1 billion people! How strange to see my name written in Chinese characters. I didn’t know that was possible.

 

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Chinese Edition of Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World—Published by CCLM

If you’re more proficient in Chinese than in English, I commend this edition book to you!

 

Book Cover-Four Views on Salvation

 

A useful summary and review of the book by Michael J. Vlach can be found here.

 

 

 

Building a Case for Architecture—Part 2 in a Series


My first entry in this series was about my experiences reading science fiction. Readers would naturally have expected a continuation of the series with more on SF. So what’s up with architecture?

Here’s what’s up. I got the idea to reflect on my past and present experiences, with thoughts tossed in about what I’d still like to read (or read again) and why. But I want to zero in on the best of my experiences in categories. These categories may be broad, or they may be very focused.

Image.Book Cover.Alain de Botton.Architecture of HappinessWith this in mind, feel free to read the following interview with myself:

Alias: How did you come by this lame idea?

Doug: To begin, I read a lot. Too much for other people’s good. Most of the books I’ve read I own, and the best ones are a valuable part of my library. Among my treasured books are books about books. One of these is a book called The Reader’s Companion: A Book Lover’s Guide to the Most Important Books in Every Field of Knowledge, as Chosen by the Experts. Now, I’m not expert about very many things, but books have been great companions for me for as long as I can remember.

Alias: What are some books you remember from your youth?

Doug: I may get to that in a separate contribution to this series. But the other day I was reminded of a whole series of books that I read cover-to-cover. I was riding on the Coaster—a train that runs from Oceanside to San Diego—with my extended family. There were about 25 of us. I got to chatting with one of my young nephews and I asked him what books he liked. He said he likes the Sugar Creek books. So bam! out of the blue comes this memory of all The Sugar Creek Gang books. I was reading those about 35 years ago! So my nephew and I have a lot in common. See what happens when you talk about books?

Alias: So this series is about books that have been important to you?

Doug: Important to me in a way that might be of interest to others who care about the things I care about. I’ve spent a lifetime asking people for book suggestions. I want to write about the choices I’ve made along the way, why they mattered then and whether they matter now, and reasons I might recommend them to others. It would be tough to list the most important books in my own field, and impossible for any other field. But I can list books of value, and that’s what matters. If I’m interested in a genre of literature new to me, like science fiction or epic poetry, I want to select from choice offerings. I poke around and ask people for suggestions. Then I jump in. I get a feel for things, and then I move on. Maybe I come back.

Alias: Why don’t you have a classy name for this series?

Doug: Good question. What would you suggest?

Alias: How about “Books of Value”?

Doug: I like it. Maybe my readers will have some great ideas, too. I can go back and change titles to earlier entries in the series to reflect the name of the series. But a series name should be catchy, and it should reveal something about what to expect.

Alias: This entry is called “Building a Case for Architecture”? Why is that if all we’re doing here is conducting an interview?

Doug: Well, we got a little off track. But architecture is an interest of mine. I mean, I’m interested in certain things about architecture—what buildings mean, why one building is beautiful and another isn’t, whether a particular building fits its surroundings or whether it’s poorly located. How long a building has been where it stands, and what the surrounding area was like when construction was completed. There’s no way that Christopher Wren could have imagine how the city of London would eventually gobble up the ornate churches he designed for the city. There are so many angles on architecture. I guess there was a pun in that.

Alias: What are some other interesting issues?

Doug: Whether the purpose of a building has changed over time. For example, this seems to be the case with so many churches in New England, all painted white and adorned with a simple steeple. What are they there for now? What happened there? That question, “What are they there for now?” sort of grabs me. These buildings have been “re-purposed,” as if that purpose they now serve is the purpose they were designed to serve. “They’re so cute. Perfect for a boutique shop, or a tea room.”

I’m interested in changes in architecture over time, and why some forms of ancient architecture have been borrowed many times since their invention. For example, do you know the architectural basis for this nation’s capitol building? Why was this chosen? Who made the decisions? What was this new adoption of classical architecture supposed to mean to a young nation?

Ot this . . . how does a building make you feel when you stand next to it, or when you’re inside? Is it better to view it from a distance? Is it even possible to view it from a distance, or is it too crowded by other buildings? When I see a photo of aerial view of New York City, what do I see? Buildings. I don’t see one building; I see many buildings. But I may not focus on any one of them. My attention may be on the whole that somehow is NYC. How is that possible? What does it say about NY? What does it say about me? Am I different than most people in the ways my attention is attracted when I see a skyline?

What’s more impressive, the Golden Gate Bridge as such or the terrific human accomplishment it represents? Does it really “represent” human achievement? Is it supposed to? Or try this one. How is the Golden Gate Bridge different in kind than the “carvings” of Mount Rushmore? What does Mount Rushmore “mean”? Are there any buildings that mean the same thing? Could there be? What is the limit to what a building can mean? And what may be a related question, what were the great monarchs or the papacy thinking when they commissioned the design and erection of certain buildings?

Many old buildings get bull-dozed, but others are preserved at great expense? What makes the difference? Who decides? Have there been any major regrets about decisions past? And how, exactly, is a building preserved? You can’t tuck them away in an art museum somewhere.

Alias: And there are books that explore such things?

Doug: Yes! My first suggestion is the book The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton. Start here. If you aren’t turned on about buildings after that, then move on. Read about crocodiles instead. If you’re hooked, then learn a little about types of architecture. For this I suggest the morsel Architecture: A Very Short Introduction, by Andrew Ballantyne. It’s not beautifully crafted, like de Botton’s, but it’s short and it’s educational. There are guidebooks for specific buildings or neighborhoods. There are books with sketches of buildings old and new. And don’t forget about biographies of great or celebrated architects: Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. And then are biographies, as it were, of buildings themselves, accounts of how they were designed and built, the purposes they served or serve, and so on. Think of the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Taj Mahal.

Alias: Are there books on architecture that you hope to get to eventually?

Doug: Yes. Heavenly Mansions and Other Essays on Architecture, by John Summerson; Lewis Mumford’s From the Ground Up, another book of essays. These authors are good at their craft. They are wordsmiths, which makes reading about architecture (or anything, for that matter) more enjoyable. I like the essay style because you can dip into a work at your leisure and take something away in short order. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space looks interesting to me from this distance. But the style of French philosophy may not be to my liking. We’ll see.

Other Sources for Reading about Architecture (for non-architects):

Readers, do you have suggestions for non-architects reading to understand and appreciate architecture? Leave your suggestions for the rest of us in the comments box.

Can You Judge a Book by Its First Line?


You can’t judge a book by its cover, right? How about judging a book by its first line?

In recent weeks I’ve read four novels by different authors, all of them mysteries. In chronological order these books were first published in 1989, 1995, 1999, and 2002.

The Mystery BookshelfIf you were to decide to read just one of these books this year, based on the first line only, which would you pick? Here are the first lines for each, in random order.

#1: “A blizzard raged on the glacier.”

#2: “Three days before her death, my mother told me—these weren’t her last words, but they were pretty close—that my brother was still alive.”

#3: “God, I hate air travel.”

#4: “When they ask me to become President of the United States I’m going to say, ‘Except for Washington DC.'”

If you can identify the author and title for all four of these quotations, you deserve a free copy of each. Of course, we don’t always get what we deserve.

Maybe you can match quotations with year of publication?

Or maybe you can guess which of these books I liked most . . .

The irresistible image used here is from a Twitter site called “Mystery Bookshelf,” username @themysteryblog. Check it out.

[In two days, I’ll connect the dots.]

New Book Arrival—Being Good: Christian Virtues for Everyday Life


The new book edited by Doug Geivett and Michael Austin has arrived from the publisher! Here’s what three noted Christian thinkers are saying about Being Good: Christian Virtues for Everyday Life . . . .

“Being Good, with its outstanding contributions by frontline Christian thinkers and scholars, is a major contribution to the intellectual and spiritual needs of our times. Hopefully it will become a part of the practice, teaching, and preaching in today’s most prominent ministries.”

— Dallas Willard, University of Southern California

“Being Good contains eleven well-informed, gracefully written new essays on crucial aspects of Christian character, intentionally crafted to aid the reader in the quest to grow in the Christian virtues.”

— Robert C. Roberts, Baylor University

“Here I found a significantly Christian approach to living virtuously, complete with practical suggestions in every chapter for improving the quality of this life. I found myself finishing a chapter and thinking it was the best I had seen so far, only to find the next one equally or even more stimulating. When that happens, you realize that you are holding a quality text!”

—Gary R. Habermas, Liberty University

For more details about the book, follow this link.

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