Surprised by the Parables: Growing in Grace through the Stories of Jesus

Michelle Lee-Barnewall (M.A. ’93)
Associate Professor of New Testament
Lexham Press, January 2020 

Jesus’ parables can’t simply be interpreted; they must be experienced. In the Gospels, Jesus used parables to teach transformative lessons and convey deep spiritual truths about the kingdom of God. But he often used them to confront and challenge his audience as well, forcing them to open or close their hearts to the kingdom. Jesus understood the power of stories, but there are some things lost in translation when we try to interpret those same stories thousands of years removed from their original context. In Surprised by the Parables, Michelle Lee-Barnewall explores the ancient context these parables drew from. These stories of grace reveal many of the mysteries central to God’s character, and understanding the ancient world behind them will help us see the parables from a new perspective.

Rest in Mesopotamian and Israelite Literature 

Daniel E. Kim (’95, M.Div. ’03)
Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Semitics
Gorgias Press, October 2019

What is the rest that God promises to his people and how is it disclosed in the Hebrew Scriptures? To explore these questions,Rest in Mesopotamian and Israelite Literature studies the rest motif in major Mesopotamian texts, such as Enuma Elish, Atrahasis and The Poem of Erra, as well as various other texts, including royal inscriptions of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal. This analysis, in turn, provides a basis for comparison with the promise of rest in Deuteronomy 12:8–11 and its development in the historical books of the Hebrew Bible. Through close examination of these Mesopotamian texts and selections from the Deuteronomistic History and Chronicles, Kim develops a theology of rest from each body of literature and employs a comparative approach to illuminate the rest motif in the Hebrew Bible in light of Mesopotamian literature. 

Reading the Epistle of James: A Resource for Students, Resources for Biblical Study 

Darian R. Lockett
Associate Professor of New Testament

SBL Press, November 2019

This accessible introduction to contemporary scholarship on the Epistle of James begins by considering possible sources and backgrounds used by the author of James, the book’s genre and literary structure, and major theological themes. Building on this foundation, subsequent chapters examine James through social-scientific readings, perspectives of Latin American immigrants and the marginalized, and major recent developments in textual criticism. The final chapters address the relationship between the epistle and the historical James, the Early Church’s reception to the epistle, and major Catholic and Protestant interpretations of the book in the Reformation era.

Counseling and Mental Health in the Church: The Role of Pastors and the Ministry 

Kevin Van Lant ('91, M.A. '94, Ph.D. '97)
Associate Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership 

Co-editor and contributor
Cognella Academic Publishing, March 2019

Featuring chapters written by mental health professionals who are also experienced Christian practitioners, Counseling and Mental Health in the Church: The Role of Pastors and the Ministry provides ministry leaders with a foundational understanding of common mental health issues, typical approaches to treatment, and sage advice for supporting those experiencing mental health concerns. Recognizing that parishioners may seek guidance from pastors or others within the church before seeking help from mental health specialists, this text equips ministry leaders with the critical knowledge and helpful resources they need to successfully support and advise members of their congregation, or to direct them to additional useful resources.