I should probably have given both these books a fuller review, but I enjoyed them so much that I got carried away and just read them.
God and World in the Old Testament: A Relational Theology of Creation is a stunningly good book. The blurb says that it presents the Old Testament View of the Creator God, the created world and our role in creation and that just about sums it up. The role of humanity, being made in the image of God, is something that I find fascinating and key to understanding the nature of mission. This book filled in a lot of back story that I found very, very helpful. I’ve already quoted it extensively in a paper that I’m writing on Bible translation.
Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission is another excellent book. It’s hard to sum up in a few sentences, but if you to deepen your understanding of Paul’s writings or to get a better understanding of a whole Bible picture of mission, this is a good place to start. It’s a deep book and I’ll be going back to reread it in the not too distant future.
Probably by coincidence, I found myself reading two novels based in the Roman Empire. Eagles in the Storm was quite enjoyable; telling the story of legions fighting in Germany. It’s one of a series of novels about the same characters, but I’m unlikely to go back and read the others. The Man With Two Names was pretty much forgettable.
I guess the second world war isn’t really all that modern, but it is compared to the Roman Empire. Shadow tells the story about life on board a Royal Navy Submarine during the early part of the war. There is no obvious single plot, more a series of events linked by the same characters. In this case, I may well go back and read others in the same series. Warday is an alternative history, detailing life in the United States after a limited nuclear war with Russia sometime in the 1980s. Thirty or forty years ago (when this was written), I read a lot books of this type. Sadly, they seem to be increasingly relevant again.
The Night Comers and The Levanter are both by Eric Ambler. He writes classic espionage/political thrillers along the lines of John Le Carré or Graham Greene. Both of these books were good reads, if a little slow at times. You can find them on Kindle in the Eric Ambler Box Set 1. There is a third book that I may bet round to reading next month.
With the Old Breed is a brutally frank account of two campaigns fought by the US Marines during the Pacific War. If you are interested in military history, I thoroughly recommend it – but it doesn’t make for easy reading.
I seem to have managed to go through a whole month without reading a murder mystery, I’m sure I can sort that out!