Al Mohler’s List of Top Books of 2013

Michael J. Kruger

Posted on

March 26, 2014

I am sure I am late to the game on this, but I just observed Al Mohler’s top ten books for preachers for 2013. It is an interesting and fascinating list:

1. John M. Frame, Systematic Theological: An Introduction to Christian Belief (P&R Publishing, 2013)

2. Tom Nettles, Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Mentor, 2013)

3. Michael J. Kruger, The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2013)

4. Thomas R. Schreiner, The King and His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Baker Academic, 2013)

5. John S. Feinberg, Can You Believe It’s True?: Christian Apologetics in a Modern and Postmodern Era (Crossway Books, 2013)

6. Douglas J. Moo, Galatians, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2013)

7. Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples (Zondervan, 2013)

8. John Elliot Gardiner, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Knopf, 2013)

9. Daniel Brook, A History of Future Cities (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013)

10. Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Reading for Preachers: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists (Eerdmans, 2013)

Of course, I was quite please to see Mohler included my recent book The Question of Canon.  Here are his comments:

Those who take the Bible seriously must take the question of the canon seriously. During the past century (or longer), the question of the canon has become quite controversial in many academic circles, and the story of the canon and how it came to be recognized and affirmed by the church is a story many preachers do not know, though they undertake the task of preaching the Bible. As Michael Kruger observes, “The question of canon simply will not go away.” His new book represents an effort to answer many of the most pressing questions about the canon, and what Kruger describes as “this fascination with the canon,” with the work of solid scholarship that should interest every preacher.

Michael Kruger is a professor of New Testament and a seminary president, and this volume represents the kind of work his faculty should aspire to emulate. He takes the serious questions related to the canon head-on and helps the reader to work through these issues in order to gain a greater appreciation for and confidence in the canon as the correct shape of God’s written Word.In his defense of the New Testament canon, Kruger rejects many of the most dangerous and subversive assumptions that have surrounded the question of the canon in recent decades. He argues, for example, that the sharp distinction between Scripture and canon is false. Along with other false assumptions, Kruger addresses these long-dominant academic assumptions as being tied to an understanding of Scripture that actually does not fit either the nature or the role of Scripture in the early church.He corrects this approach by suggesting the canon is best explained by intrinsic needs and developments within the life of the early church. As he notes, this intrinsic model “argues that the phenomenon of canon was one that rose early and naturally within the first few stages of Christianity.” In other words, it was neither forced upon the church by controversy nor did it arrive late in the church’s developing consciousness. Instead, the phenomenon of canon was the developing shape of Scripture in the earliest experience of the church.As Kruger concludes, “In this sense, the canon was like a seedling sprouting from the soil of early Christianity—although it was not fully a tree until the fourth century—it was there…from the beginning.”

You can read Mohler’s entire article here.



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