cover image Incandescence: Light Shed Through the Word

Incandescence: Light Shed Through the Word

Ben Witherington, III, Author . Eerdmans $15 (188p) ISBN 978-0

Witherington (The Problem with Evangelical Theology ), professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, has collected sermons from his 25 years of preaching. There is no central theme, but they are arranged according to the church year. The section for Advent includes sermons on the Second Coming of Christ and on God as the source of life. Epiphany—as expected—covers the journey of the Magi and ideas about worship, while Lent explores forgiveness and death. Through Holy Week, Pentecost and Kingdom Tide, Witherington talks about sin, temptation, creation and prayer. While individual sermons have their strengths, they appear to have lost something in the translation from spoken to written word. Strangely enough, the introductory essay by a colleague of Witherington's points out some of the book's flaws, including illustrations which occasionally overshadow the point of the teaching and humor that doesn't appear to be directly related to the matter at hand. The sermons do not follow the simplistic bullet-point outlines used in many churches today, but at times they wander without a clear direction. Too many thoughts—and even quotes—are repeated from one sermon to the next. Overall, the collection is rather bland, though it may be welcomed by Witherington's devoted readers. (June)