Biblical Reasoning: Christological and Trinitarian Rules for Exegesis by R B Jamieson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Over the past several years I have read a lot of books that attempt to explain the Christian concept of the Trinity and without fail I always ended up more confused about the idea at the end of the book than when I started … except with this book. Although the authors target the book at biblical scholars and theologians (the respective specialties of the authors), the material is presented in a highly organized and pedagogical process that will keep even casual readers engaged with good comprehension of the concepts. Perhaps what makes this book so exception is that the primary goal is not to explain the Trinity, but to provide the reader with a series of principles and rules with which to approach biblical study in order to understand what scripture is actually telling us … and then by way of example, applies these principles and rules to one of the most difficult mysteries to understanding in christianity … the Trinity. Because of that, it takes great pains to ensure that you know exactly what the underlying terms means (such as Begetting, Spiration, Procession, Mode, et al) before using them. Definitions and examples are probably the elements most often missing in the previous books I have read and it makes a huge difference in comprehension.
The first three chapters of the book lay the foundation of the methods that will be used to form what the authors refer to as a biblical reasoning tool-kit that ultimately should be used in all biblical exegesis. These rules are further refined in the next five (5) chapters following a four (4) part structure: “biblical pressure, theological grammar, [identifying/defining common] rules, and exegetical application of the rule(s).” The last chapter (10) applies everything we have just been taught to a single passage from the Gospel of John (5:17-30) and how that passage reveals the trinitarian mystery. In the end … the Trinity and the Incarnation are probably too enigmatic to understanding completely, but with this book, at least I feel that I am making progress and that I now have the tools necessary to continue my search for even greater understanding.
Chapter 1 - Seek His Face Always
Chapter 2 - The School of Christ
Chapter 3 - The Curriculum of Christ
Chapter 4 - Worthy Are You
Chapter 5 - The Lord Is One
Chapter 6 - Varieties of Activities but the Same God
Chapter 7 - One and the Same The Unity of Christ and the Communications of Idioms
Chapter 8 - Greater Than Himself and Less Than Himself
Chapter 9 - God from God
Chapter 10 - Putting the Rule-Kit to Work
I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
View all my reviews
My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.