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 God’s Gifts 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.
This series is intended to fill the spot of prolegomena in a systematic or dogmatic theological work. However, the vision of theology laid out in these volumes is not that of a traditional systematic theology. Instead of laying forth the presuppositions and methods for constructing a system of doctrine from the Biblical data in conversation with tradition, God’s Gifts for the Christian Life is meant to lay a foundation for the theological life. It is prolegomena in the sense that it is meant to lay forth a framework for faithful, thoughtful Christian life in the West and beyond. Theology, as laid out in this series, is the application of the Word of God by God’s people to every area of life (following John Frame in The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God). This series is meant to show how God has made it possible to live a truly Christian life and how the Christian life can and should involve thoughtful, intellectual engagement with culture in order that we might save those who are now perishing. All life is a gift and the Bible, accompanied by the Spirit in the lives of God’s redeemed people, is a gift preeminent, sufficient and clear so that we might have the confidence to live boldly and faithfully for God in this world.
Part 1: A Biblical Perspective on 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 Perspective on Ontology
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.
I intend to publish The Gift of Seeing on December 16, 2022.
Part 2 – A Biblical Perspective on the Christian Scriptures
Volume 1 — The Gift of Revelation: A Doctrine of Scripture
I intend to publish The Gift of Revelation on September 20, 2021.
Volume 2 — The Gift of the Old Testament: Promises Given
I intend to publish The Gift of the Old Testament on June 16, 2022.
Volume 3 — The Gift of the New Testament: Promises Fulfilled
I intend to publish The Gift of the New Testament on September 20, 2022.
Part 3 – A Biblical Perspective on 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.
Volume 1 – The Gift of Purpose: A Biblical Perspective on the Christian Life
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.
I intend to publish The Gift of Purpose on December 18, 2020.
Volume 2 — The Gift of Theology: A Biblical Perspective on Theological Method
I intend to publish The Gift of Theology on December 16, 2021.
Volume 3 — The Gift of the Church: A Biblical Perspective on Ecclesiology
I intend to publish The Gift of the Church on March 21, 2023.
A Journal for the Hebrew Scriptures
From November 2020 – December 2024, we hope to release the entire Hebrew Bible according to the Masoretic text with an attractive layout, no verse and chapter markings, and extensive room for note taking. Read more about this project here.
Habakkuk: An Intermediate Reader and Commentary
I Intend to publish this work on June 16, 2021.
Habakkuk: A Pastoral Commentary
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.
I intend to publish this work on March 21, 2022.
Teleioteti – Part 1: A Critique of Contemporary Christian Education
I intend to publish Teleioteti – Part 1 on December 16, 2023.
Teleioteti – Part 2: A Biblical Perspective on Training Ministers
I intend to publish Teleioteti – Part 2 on March 21, 2024.
Teleioteti – Part 3: A Biblical Perspective on Theological Research
I intend to publish Teleioteti – Part 3 on June 16, 2024.
I have also been working on several Biblical Hebrew and Greek resources that would employ the insights from my epistemological and hermeneutical work in “God’s Gifts.”. 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.