May 4, 2010
Witherington's Indelible Image, Volume 2
I was so excited to receive my copy of the second volume of Ben Witherington III’s Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament: The Collective Witness. Readers might recall that I reviewed the first volume here. Here is the publisher’s description of the book and the table of contents.
All too often, argues Ben Witherington, the theology of the New Testament has been divorced from its ethics, leaving as isolated abstractions what are fully integrated, dynamic elements within the New Testament itself. As Witherington stresses, "behavior affects and reinforces or undoes belief." Having completed commentaries on all of the New Testament books, a remarkable feat in itself, Witherington now offers the second of a two-volume set on the theological and ethical thought world of the New Testament. The first volume looks at the individual witnesses, while the second examines the collective witness. The New Testament, says Ben Witherington, is "like a smallish choir. All are singing the same cantata, but each has an individual voice and is singing its own parts and notes. If we fail to pay attention to all the voices in the choir, we do not get the entire effect. . . . [If the first volume was] about closely analyzing the sheet music left to us by which each musician's part is delineated, [this second volume attempts] to re-create what it might have sounded like had they ever gotten together and performed their scores to produce a single masterful cantata." What the New Testament authors have in mind, Witherington contends, is that all believers should be conformed in thought, word and deed to the image of Jesus Christ--the indelible image.
Table of Contents:
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
REWIND: A Brief Synopsis of Volume One
PROLEGOMENA: Is New Testament Theology or Ethics Possible
1 Preliminary Considerations: From Symbolic Universe to Story to Theologizing
2 What is the Symbolic Universe of Jesus and the New Testament Writers?
3 The Narrative Thought World of Jesus and the New Testament Writers
4 New Testament Theology: A Census of the Christological Consensus
5 A Census of the Consensus: The God of the Old Testament as the Father of Jesus and his Followers
6 A Census of the Consensus: The Holy Spirit: God's Mighty Presence in Person
7 A Census of the Consensus: Salvation Now and in the End
8 A Census of the Consensus: New Testament Ethics--Preliminary Considerations
9 A Census of the Consensus: The Ethic of Jesus and its Influence on New Testament Writers
10 Ethics for Jewish Christians (Matthew, John, James, Jude, Hebrews, 1-3 John, 1 Peter, Revelation
11 Ethics for Gentile Christians (Paul's Letters)
12 Ethics for Gentile Christians (Mark, Luke, and 2 Peter)
13 The Matrix of Meaning--the Thought Worlds of the Old Testament and New Testament and the Way Forward
Thanks to Adrianna Wright and InterVarsity Press for the review copy.