Review: What Can Love Hope For?

Questions for Faith Seeking Understanding, by William Loader, Cascade Books, 2020

This recently published book was written by William (Bill) Loader, a well-known and respected New Testament scholar. The book is subtitled ‘Questions for Faith Seeking Understanding’, hoping to address how the New Testament should be interpreted.

The book is dedicated to people “who love their faith and want to take it seriously and engage their minds to embrace it.” It comprises of three major sections about faith, hope and love, looking at it from the perspective of love, with Jesus being the main focus throughout.

Faith – what can love believe? Hope – what can love hope for? Love – what can love do?

At the end of the book is an afterword, which gives the reader a look into William’s journey of faith and scholarship with a link to an earlier published book called ‘Dear Kim, this is what I believe: explaining the Christian faith today’.

This book gives an extensive answer regarding William’s faith, what he believes and what he questions, and could be read as a companion to the book under review, especially as it appears that he does not give too much away regarding his own faith in the book, but concentrates on the subjects mentioned. William obviously knows the subject material, which is presented clearly with references to books written by himself previously, and other books he has drawn material from at the end of the book, rather than bothering the reader with footnotes and references within the main text, except for references to Bible verses.

Although many commentaries have been written about both the Old and New Testament of the Bible, William manages to keep things interesting – even faith-challenging at times – by showing how various sections of the New Testament should be seen and are often misinterpreted. He provides new insights, backgrounds and perspectives, which could provide footnotes in both the various New Testament books in one’s own Bible(s) and in commentaries, referring to this book’s subjects and explanations.

This book is written in an easy to read and understandable form, and it would be a good and worthwhile addition to one’s personal library or bookshelf. The book is full of questions, which are addressed and answered clearly and extensively, but in line with the subtitle of the book – Questions for Faith Seeking Understanding – an open mind is sometimes called for.

John van den Berg

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