This week I finished a few volumes:
- Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988).
- J. Richard Middleton, The Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2005).
- Michael Welker, God the Spirit (trans. John F. Hoffmeyer; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994).
Foster’s work is a must-read on the Spiritual disciplines. It works well as a devotional to read, reflect, act and pray along with.
Middleton’s volume is an invaluable contribution to the study of Genesis One and specifically to the Imago Dei within an ancient Near Eastern context and the Biblical one. His interaction and analysis of the primary ANE literature with regard to this is the finest I’ve read anywhere. I believe he offers a strong argument for reading Gen. 1 with greater care and precision.
Welker was a surprise to me. I was reading it for my PhD and, to be honest, did not expect a lot that was different from the many other books I have read on the topic of the Spirit (especially given his being German…the schools of thought out of Germany have not offered a lot that is helpful with regard to this topic…with a few exceptions like Moltmann). The surprise was in his fresh approach to the texts of Scripture. He argues that the Spirit endowment in the Former Prophets (Joshua-Kings) should be read as connected to the strengthening of community by means of empowerment and disempowerment.