Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JBTM 16:2 (Fall 2019) p. 74
[Electronic Edition Editor’s Note: The footnotes in the print edition restarted with each individual book review. In this edition they have simply been numbered consecutively. The original numbers have been retained within the body of the footnote text.]
Against God and Nature: The Doctrine of Sin. By Thomas H. McCall. Foundations of Evangelical Theology. Edited by John S. Feinberg. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019. 442 pages. Hardcover, $40.00.
Thomas H. McCall (PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical and systematic theology and director for the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Among his publications, he has authored or edited several volumes on the doctrine of the Trinity and an introduction to analytic theology. The volume under consideration is a new release in the Crossway series titled Foundations of Evangelical Theology.
The book is well organized, featuring a series introduction, preface, explanation of abbreviations, eight chapters, an appendix, and Scripture and general indexes. In chapter 1, McCall introduces the study by highlighting the significance of the topic and noting the unity among Christian theologians on the broad view that general revelation informs humans that something is wrong and that only the special revelation of Jesus Christ clarifies the problem and solution. Also, the author describes his theological method. McCall regards Scripture as the norming norm, uses a canonical-theological interpretation of Scripture, interacts with the broad Christian tradition, and regards philosophy as serving a minor, assisting role in formulating a doctrine of sin.
Chapter 2 provides the biblical-theological treatment and, at eighty pages, is the longest chapter. After briefly surveying five OT and six NT terms for sin, McCall provides a “biblical theological overview” of the canon in eight sections, devoting four sections to the OT and four to the NT. Each section narrates the biblical storyline, focusing on the presence and impact of or solution to sin. For example, “Sin in the Beginnings” commences at the creation account and moves through the shattered shalom in the garden to human responsibility, further damage to creation and creatures, as well as the protoevangelium and covenant promises to one man, Abraham, and extending to his family—which culminates in the cross and reverses the damage initiated by the first man. Also, this first section tells the story of sin in the other four books of the Pentateuch. The next three sections address sin in the books of OT history, wisdom, and prophetic literature. McCall interacts throughout this section with Mark Boda’s A Severe Mercy...
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