The category of book I’ve been reading the last two weeks is: A book with the word “gospel” in the title. The book I chose for this category was Entrusted with the Gospel. Below you’ll find some information about the book, a summary, and some closing thoughts. If you’d like to skip straight to my ratings, click here.
Bibliographic Information: Kostenberger, Andreas J. and Terry L Wilder. Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles. Nashville: B&H, 2010.
Summary: Entrusted is a compilation of short essays by a variety of scholars on what is commonly referred to as the “pastoral epistles”. The topics included Christology, theology proper, missiology, hermeneutical & exegetical challenges, ethics, recent studies, ecclesiology, purpose/stewardship, cohesion & structure of the Pastoral Epistles, authorship, soteriology, and the use of scripture. These essays are typically very concise and well notated, ranging from about 15-30 pages each. The book ends with a summary of contemporary work on the “pastoral epistles”. This includes a list of commentary reviews, analysis of structural, literary, and theological highlights.
Entrusted is not for the average reader—expect some technical (read Greek/theological) language throughout. Because of the amount of subject each scholar is stuffing into a relatively short essay, the chapters are dense and can sometimes be difficult grasp everything the author intends. That being said, each chapter is fairly straightforward logically (though bogged down by rhetoric) and generally well headed and summarized. Anyone who wants a (to be paradoxical) “deep introduction” to a more intense study of the pastoral epistles will find this book an extremely helpful springboard. The last chapter reviewing different commentaries and approaches to study is worth the rest of the book if you are about to do any research/teaching on the pastorals.
As always, a couple quotes from the book:
“Good leaders… Know which hills to die on and pursue their goals with gentleness and respect.”
“It would be methodologically unsafe to argue from the absence of particular features or themes in any of these short letters that their author must have no place for them in his soteriology.”
And finally, my “esteemed” award:
I would award this book the “best book about about essays about letters” medal.