God has given me (J. Alexander Rutherford) a passion to write, and He frequently gives me ideas to write about. During the last 9 years, 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 depend on many factors. So, as God wills it, I will finish the following projects in the near future.
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 Mind
Part 1, the Christian Mind, addresses the questions raised by philosophy and culture concerning the nature and possibility of knowledge and truth. In this first part, a biblically grounded theology of the Christian mind is presented, encompassing epistemology (the structure and nature of knowledge), metaphysics (the relationship between the human mind and the objects of thought), and Biblical hermeneutics (the way we interpret the Bible, our ultimate authority) will be presented.
Volume 1 — The Gift of Knowing: A Biblical Perspective on Knowing and Truth
The Gift of knowing is now available, as of February 2019. See here.
Volume 2.1 — The Gift of Reading — Part 1: Reading the Bible in Submission to God
The Gift of Reading – Part 1 is now available, as of September 2019. See here.
Volume 2.2 — The Gift of Reading — Part 2: A Biblical Perspective on Hermeneutics
The Gift of Reading – Part 2 is now available, as of September 2019. See here.
Volume 3 — The Gift of Seeing: A Biblical (Meta)Metaphysic
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 Seeing is in progress, however because it is a less technical form of what will be my PhD disseration, I have decided to put this project on hiatus until I have finished my dissertation.
Part 2 – The Christian Scriptures
Part 3 – the Christian Life
In the third part of “God’s Gifts for the Christian Life,” I intend to present several different perspectives on the way God calls us as Christians to live. I am still working on the concepts for the 2nd and 3rd volume, but I suspect they will address in different fashions ecclesiology, or the doctrine of the Church, and theological method. I may finish the series off with a volume on eschatology, or the end times (in which, according to the Bible, we are now living).
Volume 1 – Gospel Insurgency: A Primer for Exilic Christianity
I have now finished the first several drafts of this work, so I am confident (God willing) it will be prepared for publishing by early 2021. In this book, I consider how God would have us as Christians engage with our cultures, especially Western culture. I am writing against a trend I have witnessed among Evangelicals to make saving Western culture a priority, to varying extents of course. After sketching the way the Gospel has shaped what is best in Western culture, I then evaluate several positions on Christian cultural engagement that have a high view of Western culture. This includes Transformationalism or Neo-Calvinism, Reformed 2 Kingdoms teaching, and various approaches of ressourcement, or looking to the past for answers to present cultural issues. In the final part of the book, I use the themes of ecclesiology, soteriology, and eschatology to present several principles for Christian cultural engagement.
Prevenient Grace: An Investigation into Arminianism – 2nd Edition
I have been working for a while now on updating my first book, Prevenient Grace. I have tried to answer criticisms that it was to rhetorically sharp, seeking to model as best as I can humility and gentleness in this necessarily polemical work. I have also attempted to clean up as much of the typographical errors as I have been able. I expect to release the 2nd edition September 2020.
Revelation, Retribution, and Reminder: A Biblical Exposition of the Doctrine of Hell
This short book is now finished and in the process of editing. I hope to release it sometime in 2021. In this work, I attempt to offer a practical perspective on the Doctrine of Hell. Instead of defending the doctrine or explaining why we ought to believe it, I begin from the Biblical position that Hell is indeed real and terrible and I attempt to show why Hell has an important role in the Christian life, now and in the new heavens and new earth to come. I argue that Hell is a revelation of God’s character, retribution against the sins of humans and angels, and a reminder of key Biblical truths.
Expected 2022 and Beyond
In addition to the books above, I have been working for several years on a few other projects. I have no idea when I will complete these projects, though they are all in various states of completion. As promised in my Believe the Unbelievable, my Habakkuk study guide, I am working on a pastoral commentary and Hebrew reader for the book of Habakkuk. Though I have most of the content prepared for both works, there is an extensive amount of editing involved in bringing them to completion.
I have been thinking through issues of theological method for many years now and have put together several papers on the matter. The first part of my series God’s Gifts for the Christian Life touches on many issues of theological method, but I intend to provide an accompanying manual that will explain the nature of theology and how to go about doing it well. I am intending this to be a short work, between 50 and 100 pages long.
I have also been drafting introductory Hebrew and Greek grammars that would employ the insights from my epistemological and hermeneutical work in “God’s Gifts” and my PhD thesis. My hope is to make learning to read these languages quicker and more natural for the beginning student.
In addition to these, I have toyed with writing a book presenting different Biblical portraits of Jesus. I am not sure I am capable of writing such a book, but it remains on the shelf in case I find the inspiration to do it.