Books for Loving God with our Minds and our HeartsAuthor: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Baptism, Books, Ministry, Preaching
On my way back from Pepperdine I had several hours in the dark by myself. During those dark hours I listened to Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. This Pulitzer Prize winner is a fascinating attempt to understand the incredible economic and technological disparity that has existed between various segments of humanity. Or to put it differently “Why did Europe come to dominate the modern world?” Digging (and thinking) deeply into such realities as how geography and even food production has impacted human development since 11,000 B.C. I confess that I do not buy into all of Diamond’s interpretations but this is a book that really helps us wrestle with the reality of just “why” the world is the way it is.
I recently purchased two books on baptism and is history. Daniel Keeran’s Ancient and Medieval Baptismal Fonts and Everett Ferguson’s Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries. Keeran’s is a small book consisting basically of photographs baptismal fonts in Israel, Italy, and other Mediterranean cultures. Christianity has left more than literary remains and Keeran has shared an important slice of Christian history by looking at the “archeology” of baptism so to speak. This book will … without even saying so … deepen our appreciation for the practice of baptism in the early church. One baptismal basin is illustrated on pages 18 and 19. It dates to the 4th and 5th centuries and is located about 25 miles southwest of Beersheba. It is so interesting because it is in the shape of a cross and vividly illustrates such texts as Romans 6 or Colossians 2.12.
Ferguson’s book is massive! I have only surveyed this work so far and I cannot wait to sink my “teeth” into it. More soon …