A wise friend of mine says, “The plural of anecdote is not data.” Robert Wuthnow would agree. He brings the eye of the sociologist to the life of the church and gives us insights that sometimes confirm but often confound our anecdotes.
Laments over the current state of academic biblical study abound, but Bockmuehl moves beyond his penetrating critique of the discipline to offer constructive proposals for reorienting New Testament study around the implied readers who are members of ecclesial communities and around the apostolic memory of Jesus.
When I talk with Christians about their struggles in faith, the question of evil invariably surfaces early on. When I talk with those who have come to faith as adults, very often I hear stories of how God or one of God’s angels in human form has been very present to them in times of suffering.