Thursday, April 28, 2011

John Goldingay's To the Usual Suspects: Eisenbrauns Sale

Today's DEAL OF THE DAY from Eisenbrauns is a moving little book by John Goldingay, the David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary since 1997.  It is the Paternoster edition (1st ed.), released in the UK in 1998, of To the Usual Suspects: One Word Questions.  The American edition is titled Walk On: Life, Loss, Trust, and Other Realities and was published by Baker Academic in 2002.

To the Usual SuspectsTo the Usual Suspects
One Word Questions

by John Goldingay
Paternoster Press, 1998
v + 202 pages, English
ISBN: 9780853649274
List Price: $12.99

The price at Eisenbrauns is awesome (today only for $1.60 plus $4.95 shipping).  If you take advantage of this offer from Eisenbrauns or not, I hope that you will at least add this to your wish list.  It is currently out of print, so you will most likely have to purchase it from a second-hand source.

What's it about?
This little book offers a view into the heart of John Goldingay, the Christian, the husband, friend, scholar, theologian, and biblical commentator.  The order here is intentional, because the primary threads around which the tapestry of Goldingay's theological musings has been woven are his faith and his relationships, especially his relationship with his late wife, Ann.  I prefer the American title because it communicates the purpose of the book more clearly.  This book is about life, pain, faith, joy, tears, separations, and new blessings.  I recently mentioned to some friends that reading through this book moved me like none other (save the Scriptures).

What the UK titles adds, is that each of the chapters is a one word topic, or question.  In the preface, Goldingay states that this book was written in the few weeks prior to his move from the UK to Pasadena, California and was edited and prepared for publication during the few weeks after his arrival in the US. So, what you get is a quick, diary-like collection of sketches on living the Christian life, or walking on in the light of Christian faith.  Goldingay does not tell you how to live the Christian life, but he removes the curtains shrouding his own life and experience and invites you to walk with him through some of the most trying, yet blessed days of his life.

What I found most interesting?
There are three things that fascinated me as I read through this book: the first was the story of his wife's struggle with MS, the second was his frequent comments on favorite music, musicians and movies, the third, was the way he walks through the OT applying its toughest lessons to life.  Learning about MS from Goldingay's perspective has helped me to understand some of the difficulties those who suffer from this disease are having to deal with.  I also enjoyed Goldingay's thoughtful engagement with the music and movies he enjoys.  He values stories that are true to life; stories that do not make light of the joys and sorrows of life, but that do an excellent job at helping the audience to appreciate and enter into the emotions of life.

What else has Goldingay written?
If you have heard of John Goldingay at all it is probably with reference to either his three-volume Old Testament Theology or his three-volume commentary on Psalms.  Here's a list of some of his works: