I don’t always shop at Koorong.
But when I do, I go straight to the bargain tables and grab a ‘Four Views’ book because they’re usually reduced to $3, or even two for $5.
Apparently all the other Koorong shoppers are more interested in what Driscoll really said in Real Marriage or the latest Left Behind (I can’t judge – I used to read them too).
You see at church, in PTC (Moore’s Preliminary Theological Certificate) and through most of the Matthias Media things recommended to me, I only ever get one view. That’s fine. Pastors obviously have a pastoral concern.
But it’s also good to read and be exposed to other ways of thinking. There’s a whole big world of evangelical thinkers out there and I want to learn from them too.
You can get that for free on the internet, yes. But there’s also a lot of crap out there on the interwebs.
These books are great because they get four evangelical scholars together, get them each to write a chapter outlining their view on an issue and then get them to write a response to each of the others, explaining where they agree or differ.
Sometimes I’ve changed my view. Sometimes I’ve been reassured but gained more sympathy for other perspectives. It’s humbling.
I’d love to go to Bible College. But due to various factors (a half finished PhD, finances and a biological clock) I might not get there anytime soon. For someone like me, not at College but eager to get the crumbs from the table, they introduce me to some of the main thinkers on each side of debates, so I know what to read next.
They also show us that it’s ok to disagree; we’re still united in Jesus.
There’s two series, ‘Counterpoint’ and ‘Spectrum Multiview’, but they’re much the same.
So far I’ve read ‘The Nature of the Atonement’ and ‘Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology’ but there are heaps more.
In the Counterpoints series there are ‘Four Views on:’
- The New Testament’s Use of the Old Testament
- Creation and Evolution
- God and the Canaanite Genocide
- Divine Providence
- The Millennium
- The Apostle Paul
- Women and Ministry
- and others…
And IVP has the Spectrum series on:
- Divorce and remarriage
- The Historical Jesus
- What about those who have never heard?
- The Nature of the Atonement
- Church, State and public justice.
- and others (you should just go to their website).
All I can say is ‘get amongst it.’