in the New Millennium
by Professor Walter Wyman, Religion
The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions
by Marcus J. Borg and N. T. Wright (Harper San Francisco, 2000).
Marcus Borg is a New Testament scholar and fellow of the Jesus Seminar;
N. T. Wright is likewise a New Testament Scholar, but he is a conservative
critic of the Jesus seminar. In alternating chapters Borg and Wright
address such focal points as the actions and teachings of the historical
Jesus, the virgin birth, the crucifixion, and the resurrection of
to Jesus: Jesus for a New Millennium by Robert W. Funk
(Harper San Francisco, 1997). This book is by the founder of the
Jesus Seminar. Funk clearly lays out his agenda and conclusions.
Along the way he gives the reader an introduction to contemporary
New Testament scholarship generally and the major issues and procedures
that guide the Jesus Seminars quest for the historical Jesus.
Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in
Exile by John Shelby Spong (Harper Collins
Publishers, Inc., 1999). Spong recently retired from his position
as Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey. Has the Christian creed
become simply incredible in the modern world? Spong thinks there
are good reasons for thinking that it has, and proposes ways in
which the central touch points of Christian belief should be rethought.
Belief in God in an Age of Science
by John Polkinghorne (Yale University Press, 1999) and Paths
from Science Towards God by Arthur Peacocke (Oneworld
Publications, 2001). These two books address the relation of science
and theology; both authors have dual training in science and theology.
These two books demonstrate that the terms posed by the creationist
controversy are not the only way to think about the relation of
science and religion.
Cardinal Ratzinger, The Vaticans
Enforcer of the Faith by John L. Allen,
Jr., (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001). Cardinal
Joseph Ratzinger is the prefect of the Catholic churchs Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith; John Allen is Vatican correspondent
for the National Catholic Reporter. A self described progressive
Catholic, Allen has chosen to write about the chief
doctrinal conservative of our time because he wants to understand
him. This engagingly written and fair-minded study opens a fascinating
window on contemporary issues in the Catholic church.
Walter Wyman, Weyerhaeuser Professor of Biblical
Literature and Professor of Religion