Good things sometimes do come in small packages, and this book is one of them. I may only be 128 pages long, but it is packed with close reasoning and reflections that we have come to expect of a scholar of Richard Bauckham’s caliber, and on top of all that, it is readable, accessible not just for scholars but also for pastors and educated lay persons. The book involves lectures Richard gave at Acadia in Nova Scotia, as well as in Ethiopia, hence the interesting Ethiopian Christian art on the cover and sprinkled throughout the book. Since we are going to dialogue about the substance of this book in subsequent posts, I will simply say this book is not merely thought provoking, especially on the topic of God’s sovereign freedom and use of his name, but also soul nourishing. Here below is our first exchange….
BEN: Richard they say that good things come in small packages, and this is certainly true about Who Is God? I realize these chapters mostly come out of two lectureships you did, but I am wondering what challenges you see in dealing with such a complex subject in such a short, and I might add, very accessible format? How hard was it to boil things down or simplify without trivializing this important topic?
RICHARD: Not hard in this case. Three of the four chapters originated as lectures, and I’m very used to writing lectures that take a broad overview and are accessible to students or to audiences with a real interest in the subject. Turning those lectures into the published version was just a matter of expanding a little here and there and generally tidying up the text. Of my other short books, two of them (Bible and Mission, God Crucified) originated as lectures in the same way. I think short books are a good idea. More people read them, and more people read them right through. My short books have been wisely read, but of course long books are necessary too.