“God” in the New Testament
One of the better kept secrets of the universe (on account of the inept handling of it by the publisher) is my little book, God in New Testament Theology (Abingdon Press, 2010). The publisher’s online catalogue entry here (although the city is Edinburgh, not Edingburgh). Perhaps Edward Snowden could help in breaking the secrecy. I’ve mentioned the book previously, and news of its French translation here.
Through some sort of snafu, the publisher never sent it out for reviews, so it hasn’t been noticed much. Indeed, to my knowledge, it was never reviewed in any of the major journals. Reviews I’ve found are online here and here.
I’ve been disappointed in this, obviously, for although it’s a small book, I did put a good deal of work into it. As there are so few books on “God” in the NT, whatever its shortcomings, there ain’t a lot of competition out there for it! So, I shamelessly mention it, reminded to do so in light of a lecture given today here in New College (which shall remain unspecified).
One of the emphases in my little book is that the key factor is the shape of earliest Christian devotion. In later centuries, Christians (influenced by then-dominant philosophical categories) focused on what is called “ontological” questions/issues. But I contend that the earlier, and more crucial, factor is the pattern of earliest devotional practice. For example, the NT texts typically present God as the ultimate recipient of worship; but these texts equally make it requisite that worship of God be done through Jesus. This introduces a novel “dyadic” devotional pattern, and the NT texts typically make it, not an option, but mandatory. I submit that in this we have the decisive historical development that helped to generate, even to require, the subsequent history of theological argument about how to integrate Jesus into the developing Christian understanding of “God.”
But it isn’t feasible to deal with the matter adequately in a blog-posting. So, those seriously interested will have to read the book. You’ll have to make an effort to do so, however, for the publisher hasn’t made it easy!