Who Will Review in that Great Day?

Our Virtuous Commonwealth of Pennsylvania correspondent sends us news of a book, From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, on limited definite atonement. It features chapters by:

Raymond A. Blacketer, Henri A. G. Blocher, Amar Djaballah, Sinclair Ferguson, Lee Gatiss, David Gibson, Jonathan Gibson, Matthew S. Harmon, Michael A. G. Haykin, Paul Helm, David S. Hogg, Robert Letham, Donald Macleod, J. Alec Motyer, cJohn Piper, Thomas R. Schreiner, Daniel Strange, Carl R. Trueman, Stephen J. Wellum, Garry J. Williams, and Paul R. Williamson.

It comes with endorsements from:

J. I. Packer, D. A. Carson, Michael Horton, David Wells, John Frame, Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Ligon Duncan, and Kelly M. Kapic.

So who is left who teaches theology or historical theology to review this book? And will those people feel all that kindly to a book whose editors overlooked them?

Sometimes publishers go overboard with endorsements and take out of circulation people who should be reviewing the book. Of course, endorsements may sell more books than reviews. But I doubt it.


26 thoughts on “Who Will Review in that Great Day?

  1. Other endorsements: Audacity of Hope, the Left Behind series, the McDonald’s calorie chart and the booklet that comes with the criterion collection version of The Royal Tenenbaums.


  2. I mean no ill will to those names, but this is getting absurd. There is this clique of people who can be counted on to quote, endorse and puff one another’s book. This is like the old days of neoconservatism. It was said there were only 12 of them but all were published authors.

    Also, I am to the point where I not only disregard endorsements by Packer, I automatically wonder if a book he promotes is any good. He is powerful personality, but he has spent too many years trying to in with too many camps across the spectrum, that I see him as a tragic figure. In a different way, I see his old buddy MLJ the same way.


  3. whole-sever: “This is like the old days of neoconservatism. It was said there were only 12 of them but all were published authors.”

    it’s the age-old habit of log rolling, SPY magazine would find and run examples such as…

    “One of the dozen best novels to have been written in my lifetime.” – David Slavitt on George Garnett’s Death of the Fox

    “Highly skilled… brilliantly written… wonderfully original.” – Garret on Slavitt’s The Hussar

    Neo-conservatives didn’t start it, one less thing you can blame them for in the universe…


  4. check amazon for mine. I will be looking for traces of Andrew Fuller.

    There’s also a Three Views on the Extent coming

    you can’t be right about the nature of the atonement without being right about the extent

    but these guys can be right about extent and still miss out on the nature of the atonement

    some folks are hard to please

    always critics

    read your Smeaton, Haldane, and Hugh Martin


  5. I’m curious as to how someone reaches correspondent status and who these mysterious people actually are. Do they have to go through your agent to be consider for the privilege? What type of qualifications do they have to meet? How many interviews does it take to be considered? Do you do back round checks?


  6. Mark,

    Who’s publishing the coming book on the three views?


    Yeah, I saw that. I after a few pages I got concerned that now there’s pressure to fall in line behind Frame’s text. I mean, everyone who’s someone is on the bandwagon!


  7. Three names that spring to mind IMMEDIATELY as potential reviewers include James Hamilton (God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment) and G. K. Beale (The Temple and the Church’s Mission, We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry) on the biblical theology front, and Michael F. Bird, Wayne Grudem, and Michael Horton on the systematics side.

    C’mon, guys…


  8. Heh. Just noticed that I posted five names when I mentioned three. (I should know better than to try to count before I finish my coffee.)

    But one other thing: just because a writer didn’t contribute to this needn’t mean he wasn’t invited to do so. I’d imagine that even if Bird were asked to contribute, he’d have been too busy to do so, what with his own systematic theology in the final stages.

    (Oh, and Dr. Hart? I’ve been begging anyone who’ll listen for a copy of your Machen biography for Christmas and have high hopes. [Read: “will be buying it myself even if I don’t get it.] Can’t wait!)


  9. Other books endorsed by JIP: The Bible (ESV), the phone book, 2005 Ford Focus owners manual, Oxford English Dictionary, Garfield Gains Weight

    lol Chortles, I can see you’re a Mencken Man.

    Professional Endorsement is great work, if you can get it. You jelly?


  10. Brandon, I think it used to be counterpoints. Zondervan or Baker, but now it seems like it’s Broadman. 2014 Broadman has done some very good perspectives book so far, especially the one on election (Reymond, Ware, Talbott)

    More likely to be better than anything from Crossway, but I haven’t learned anything from Michael Bird yet ( unlike Gaffin, who at least spells out the problems). Helm will be taking the correct view.

    Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement: Three Views. Edited by Andrew David Naselli and Mark A. Snoeberger. Nashville: Broadman & Holman



  11. J I Packer—“In my view it is time to lay TULIP to rest, since its middle term does so much more harm than good….It is as if Reformed Christians have a primary concern to announce that there are people whom Christ did not die to save….”

    preface, p15, From Heaven He Came and sought Her, Crossway, 2013


  12. So far, I have found the most joy in Alec Motyer’s exposition of Isaiah 53.

    Isaiah 53 yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
    6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

    verse 4, we thought x
    verse 6, we were correct or we were wrong?

    p 261, From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, Crossway, 2013, ed Gibson and Gibson

    Alec Motyer—Verse 6 is a corrective to the misinterpretation of verse 4. Personal conversion has taken place, yet nothing is said about hearing and responding to the truth. There is no reference to personal decision, commitment or faith. It is the secret history of every conversion, the real story of “you did not choose me but I chose you”. It is also the death knell to any open-ended understanding of the atonement which seeks to posit a disjunction between redemption accomplished and applied.

    Could any whose iniquities the Lord laid on His Servant fail to be saved? Could that laying-on prove ineffectual? Were any iniquities laid on the Servant save with the divine purpose of eternal salvation? The “we” of these crucial verses were locked into a failure to grasp what the Servant was all about, but our iniquities were laid by Yahweh on His Servant, and THIS is what led to our “seeing”. The atonement itself, and not something outside the atonement, is the cause for any conversion.

    The Lord Himself is at work. he is the Agent behind the bruising (verse 10) and the Guarantor and Apportioner of the results (verse 12), by making sure that the Servant is rewarded as he deserves. The Servant’s reward arises not from His righteousness, nor even from His shocking suffering, but solely from His sin-bearing death. His death, that and nothing else, ensures the results of redemption applied.

    The Servant is not just the Procurer of the results of His death. He is also the adminstrater of the results of His death. The Servant is not like others who died, but lives to administer the atonement he accomplished by His death. The Servant is not engaged in further self-offering. He is administering the fruits of a past historical act.

    Isaiah’s “Behold, my servant shall succeed” matches the great cry, “It is finished (John 19:30) and forces us to ask what “finished” means in John and what “succeed” means in Isaiah. On any “open-ended” view of the atonement–that is, that the work of Christ only made salvation possible rather than actually secured salvation–”finished” only means “started” and “succeed” only means “maybe, contingent on God contributing something else “in” the sinner


  13. Jonathan Gibson, “The Glorious, Indivisible, Trinitarian Work of Christ”, From Heaven He Came, p 355—Interestingly, this verse has been neglected in Constantine Campbell’s otherwise comprehensive treatment of union with Christ (PAUL AND UNION WITH CHRIST, Zondervan, 2013)

    14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

    p 352—”Some conclude that the efficacy of Christ’s work occurs only at the point of faith, and not before. This ignores the fact that union with Christ precedes any reception of Christ’s work by faith. It is union with Christ that leads to the efficacy of Christ’s work to those who belong to Him.”


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