I was very excited to get this in the mail today: From Crisis to Christ: A Contextual Introduction to the New Testament (Abingdon Press), by Paul N. Anderson, my New Testament colleague here at George Fox. I was able to read this work at various stages of its development and I really appreciated the strong grounding in historical situations, contexts, and “crises.” Too often, New Testament introductions introduce NT “texts” as if they were free-floating theological discourses. Once we put them into the context of history, they are so much more riveting and gripping. To borrow language from David deSilva, historical approaches as we have with Anderson are able to put “flesh” on the “soul” of the New Testament.
My personal opinion is that this would make an excellent textbook for an undergraduate introductory course on the New Testament. I will especially consult this book as I develop and refine lectures on the Gospels.
This is my endorsement for the book:
“Truth be told, most New Testament survey books I have read are utilitarian – they offer basic information about the biblical text. Paul Anderson has achieved something rarely found in such textbooks. From Crisis to Christ is engaging as well as informative. He takes the biblical text, often treated in a static black-and-white way, and sets it into the brilliant colors of real life in the world of Jesus, the apostles, and the first Christians. I warmly recommend it for beginning students.”