God has given me (J. Alexander Rutherford) a passion to write, and He frequently gives me ideas to write about. During the last eight years of studing I have begun several large writing projects. Prevenient Grace: An Investigation into Arminianism, my first project, was published in September, 2016. Since then I have been busy and am at various stages in the writing of the following books. Though I provide expected release dates below, these are tentative and dependent on many factors. So, as God wills it, I will finish the following projects in the near future.
God’s Kingdom Through His Priest King: An Analysis of the Book of Samuel in Light of the Davidic Covenant
By J. Alexander Rutherford under James Rutherford.
Though many studies have probed the significance of the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:1-17) within the biblical canon, few have endeavoured to explore its significance within the narrative of Samuel. The various allusions to the Davidic Covenant woven throughout the books of Samuel suggested to the author of this thesis that it would be profitable to explore the text of Samuel with the following question in mind, “how has the author of 1 and 2 Samuel used the Davidic Covenant to fulfill his narrative purpose?” This thesis presents the findings of such a query: it is argued that by weaving references to God’s promises made to David (collectively known as the Davidic Covenant) throughout his narrative, the author of Samuel reveals God’s will to strip away all human pretension by bringing His promises to fulfillment through the lowly David, whose ascension to kingship and endurance therein is owing all to God. In this way, the author fulfills his purpose to demonstrate God’s sovereign working in history to establish His kingdom on earth through His chosen priest-king, a descendant of David, in fulfillment of the promises He made beforehand.
Setting aside historical and text-critical issues for the most part, this thesis presents a close reading of the passages in Samuel where allusions to the Davidic covenant are found, expounding the influence the covenant promises have on the surrounding narrative. Chapter 1 considers 2 Samuel 7, chapter 2 the Davidic Covenant as it appears in the account of God’s promises unfolding (1 Sam 1 – 2 Sam 5), and chapter 3 the Davidic Covenant as it appears in the account of God’s promises being tested (2 Sam 8-24). In the fourth chapter, the threads of this exegesis are brought together in a synopsis of the book of Samuel, presenting an outline of the book and an overview of its overall purpose, themes, style, and canonical placement (thus, a literary-canonical synopsis).
Available now at the John Richard Allison Library (Regent College) and through TREN.
The Book of Habakkuk: An Exegetical-Theological Commentary on the Hebrew Text
By J. Alexander Rutherford
It has been my experience that most commentaries on the book of Habakkuk, a little known book of the Old Testament, get so caught up in the minutiae of scholarly controversies that they miss what God has to say for the church today through Habakkuk. This commentary is the author’s attempt to bring scholarly rigour and thoughtfulness together with faithful attention to the purpose and significance of this book for us today. It strikes a balance between technicality, working through the Hebrew text and its difficulties, and practicality, applying each major section of the text to contemporary needs. After an extensive introduction discussing the significant issues and laying the groundwork for interpreting Habakkuk, this commentary walks through the text paragraph by paragraph and verse by verse. With a balance of theological reflection and exegetical depth, a wide variety of readers will find something to take away from this commentary.
A first draft of this commentary is on track to be completed by the end of 2018.
Series – The Gifts of God for the Christian Life
By J. Alexander Rutherford
God has not left His people without help in the day of trouble—or in the day of prosperity for that matter. The Bible is God’s gift to His people, revealing to them Jesus Christ and the salvation He has accomplished. But the gift of Scripture does not end in revealing our need for salvation and God’s provision for it; Scripture is sufficient for the entire Christian life (2 Tim. 3:16-17). In this series, J. Alexander Rutherford unpacks how God through the Bible has given what we need to live faithfully in this World. Each volume unpacks the Scriptural teaching against the background of contemporary culture and shows how the Bible provides a firm foundation for our lives. Each volume is intended to be short, 110-150 pages, and accessible to the interested reader. The primary audience is theologically interested lay-Christians (Christians who are not in paid ministry and have no formal theological training), students, and pastors. Three parts are planned, but only the first is in progress.
Part 1, the Christian Worldview, addresses the questions raised by philosophy. In this first part, a biblical epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysic (theory of reality), hermeneutic (theory of reading), and ethic (theory of appropriate living) will be presented.
Vol. 1 – The Gift of Knowing: A Biblical Perspective on Knowing and Truth
Where do we turn amidst the chaos of this world? Where do we go when the very concept of truth is cast in doubt? Our culture says we should turn inward—look to ourselves. However, the Bible teaches that we need to turn to God if we are to have any hope of living in and knowing His creation. Placing our current crisis in the context of the history of philosophy, the Gift of Knowing shows how God has provided us the Bible as the only foundation for knowing and living in His created world. It is argued that the Bible is sufficient to give us confidence that there is truth and that we can know it. In fact, it is necessary if we are to know truth.
A first draft of The Gift of Knowning is completed and the final draft is in the final editing process. God willing, it will be available late 2018 or early 2019.
Volume 2.1 – The Gift of Reading: Part 1, A Biblical Hermenuetic
An essential question facing the Church today is this: how can we be sure of what the Bible says? Beneath this lies an even more pressing question: how can we be sure that one interpretation of Scripture is truly right, that we can know the Bible at all? These are ultimately questions of “hermeneutics,” understanding how to interpret a book. In The Gift of Reading, the author focuses on the Bible and argues that God gave it to us as a covenant document to be read and used by His people. Focusing first on the question of what the Bible is, the author then argues that knowing what the Bible is gives us the essential tools to know how to interpret it. The approach presented can be summarized by three phrases: having eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand. That is, to read the Bible a Christian needs three things: 1) an appropriate view of the Bible and its teaching, which comes only through faith and particaption in the body of Christ; 2) the skills of listening to the text, reading it closely and carefully to see what is there; and 3) a humble heart to submit to God and follow the text wherever it leads. The simplicity of this approach makes another volume necessary, addressing alternate views of reading the Bible.
A first draft of The Gift of Reading is near completion, it is expected to be finished early to mid-2019.
Volume 2.2 – The Gift of Reading: Part 2, Other Lenses
In volume 1 of The Gift of Reading it is argued that the Bible is a covenant document given by God to His people. This leads to certain conclusions concerning how it is read. In fact, how one answers the question “What is the Bible” will determine ones answer to the question “How do we read the Bible?” In the second volume, other answers to the question “What is the Bible?” are addressed. These other answers include the view that the Bible is an authoritative historical document concerning God’s interaction with His people (associated with grammatical-historical exegesis), that it is a record of religious evolution (associated with historical-critical exegesis), and that it is a book God has chosen to function authoritatively in the lives of his people (associated with allegorical, liberal, and neo-orthodox methods). The volume will be more technical—though not overly so—than the rest of the works in this series.
The ground work is in place for this volume but writing will only begin after the completion of Volume 1.
Vol. 3 – The Gift of Being: A Biblical Perspective on God and Reality
Metaphysics, or ontology, is usually considered the study of “being” or “reality.” Yet even this definition presupposes a non-Christian view of reality. Beginning with the distinction between God the Creator and the universe, His creatures, the author addresses the key issues of metaphysics from a biblical perspective. Metaphysics has a significant impact on how we live, yet many today reject even the possibility of metaphysics, leaving their presuppositions about reality carefully buried in the background. It is shown that only the Bible can offer a coherent vision of reality and a way of appropriately understanding God, history, and the world around us.
A first draft of The Gift of Being is in progress, its completion is expected to be late 2019 into 2020.