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Speaking the Truth:
Preaching in a Pluralistic Culture

By Samuel Wells
Dean of Duke Chapel and
 Research Professor of Christian Ethics

Abingdon Press, September 2008
Paper, 196 pages, $20.00

Contemporary pastors are called to speak from the pulpit and in public to those who don’t always want to hear what they have to say. They also are called to speak the truth of God in Jesus Christ. Wells urges clergy to preach the Scripture in a manner that is both intellectually generous and authentically faithful and invites listeners to choose, with conviction and humility, how their own stories will be heard.

The Word Leaps the Gap:
Essays on Scripture and Theology
in Honor of Richard B. Hays

Edited by J. Ross Wagner, Kavin Rowe, and A. Katherine  Grieb
Eerdmans, November 2008
Hardcover, 720 pages, $70.00

This festschrift in honor of Richard Hays’s 60th birthday, presented in November at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, reflects the contributors’ gratitude for Hays’s many contributions to New Testament scholarship. Authors include Duke’s own Douglas A. Campbell, Stephen B. Chapman, Ellen F. Davis, Susan G. Eastman, Stanley Hauerwas, Joel Marcus, C. Kavin Rowe, D. Moody Smith, David C. Steinmetz, and Allen Verhey.

Seeking the Identity of Jesus:
A Pilgrimage

Edited by Beverly Roberts Gaventa and Richard B. Hays
Eerdmans, October 2008
Paperback, 336 pages, $28.00

Seeking the Identity of Jesus gathers an interdisciplinary group of leading scholars — from the fields of biblical studies, theology, and church history — to focus on the complex problems surrounding the quest for the historical Jesus. Their perspectives are informed by Scripture, testimony from the church’s past, and experience of the risen Jesus in the present.

Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture:
An Agrarian Reading of the Bible

By Ellen F. Davis
Professor of Bible and Practical Theology
Cambridge University Press, October 2008
Paper, 238 pages, $23.99

Ellen Davis’s new collection of essays receals Scripture’s pervasive concern for the care of arable land. In so doing it develops a theology and ethics of land use through critical biblical exegesis. Davis’s work explores the theme that we came from the earth and will return to it, and therefore we must care for it as a divine creation. Davis finds that many images of beauty in the Bible — in the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Song of Songs — show a righteous people living in harmony with the land and in full intimacy with God.

The Fourth Gospel in Four Dimensions

By D. Moody Smith
George Washington Ivey Professor Emeritus of New Testament
University of South Carolina Press, October 2008
Paper, 286 pages, $29.95

This collection of D. Moody Smith’s seminal works from the past two decades focuses on the four major issues that define contemporary studies of John. Smith places the Gospel within its Jewish milieu, examines the relationship between John and the historical figure of Jesus, considers John’s account against the Synoptic Gospels, and explores how the Gospels, especially John’s, became Scripture and are now interpreted in conjunction with one another.

Restoring Hope:
Decent Care in the Midst of HIV/AIDS

Edited by Jeffrey V. Lazarus, Ted Karpf, Todd Ferguson  and Robin Swift
Palgrave Macmillan, November 2008
Hardcover, 192 pages, $74.95

In Restoring Hope, Robin Swift and her fellow editors have gathered essays that explore the concept of “decent care” based on philosophical and religious definitions of dignity, respect, agency, and integrity. Swift draws on her earlier experience working with HIV patients to illustrate the personal journey that one undertakes in caring for those with the disease. This book re-examines assumptions about health care and urges caregivers to support HIV patients to become full partners in designing and implementing their own health plans.