Reviews

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Books to Note

Short reviews of recent books worth considering.
Small Faith, Great God

N. T. Wright
InterVarsity Press, 2010

N. T. Wright reminds us that Christian faith is neither a mere assent to certain facts nor a sentimental embrace of religious identity. Instead, Christian faith is always determined by its object. The size of our faith is not what matters, but the greatness of the God who has accepted us because of Christ's work on our behalf. This reissue of one of Wright's early works contains a message that may be more timely today than when it was first released in 1978.—Trevin Wax

Handel's Messiah

Comfort for God's People
Calvin R. Stapert
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2010

The market for opera was fading, the fickle English public preferring parody over the real thing. So the resourceful Handel turned from opera to oratorio, supplementing his elegant and dramatic solos with powerful exclamation points of choral music. Handel couldn't have achieved the greatness of Messiah without Charles Jennens, who compiled these texts to fight the tide of spreading deism. Read this book, and you'll never hear Messiah the same way again.—David Neff

Who Chose the Gospels?

Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy
C. E. Hill (Oxford University Press)

Sometimes the silliness is so, well, silly, you don't even want to respond—like the speculation in The Da Vinci Code that imperial politics and papal manipulation made the four Gospels "Scripture." Until people start believing the fiction. Thus the need for a book like this, in which New Testament professor C. E. Hill of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando patiently unveils the evidence that these four books emerged preeminent because the early church leaders were convinced—surprise!—that they were the most reliable ...

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