Books

Book Review - Is College Worth It?

William (Bill) Bennett was Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan and apparently is now a talk-show host (though I’ve never heard his program, nor even heard mention of it outside this book).

Current accumulated American college tuition loan debt exceeds one trillion dollars, and continues to grow. More than half of all students are in debt from college, with an average—average—debt of $23,000. Horror stories of graduates—or non-graduates—with $50,000, $100,000, even $200,000 of debt and no employment prospects in the field of study are quite common, with very limited hope of paying off that debt in 10, 20 or even 30 years. And this debt cannot be disposed of by bankruptcy. The situation for those who seek or secure graduate degrees is even worse.

Part of this massive avalanche of indebtedness is due to aggressive and less-than-fully-disclosing college recruiting (in both private and public not-for-profit, as well as for-profit schools) that encourages and enables students to secure easy-to-get government loans. A second cause is the fact that the government is the primary lender (creating money to loan out of thin air), rather than banks and other lending institutions, as it was in the past. Banks have a self-interest motive to investigate “ability to repay” factors before making loans, while government bureaucrats have no such motive, and hence are more open to saddling a borrower with unpayable debt (this latter, my observation, not the authors’).

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Book Review - Invitation to Biblical Interpretation

Andreas J. Köstenberger, Richard Patterson
Kregel Academic & Professional (2011)
Hardcover, 896 pages

This large volume has already positioned itself as a premier textbook for hermeneutics for evangelicals. The authors; one an OT commentator, and one a NT commentator, have put a lot of thought into their production. The publisher has produced an attractive, well planned volume.

But why buy this book over others? The collaboration of Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard,Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (2nd ed.), covers all the main introductory issues. The Kaiser/Silva Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics (2nd ed.), intriguingly allows digression between the authors. Bauer’s Inductive Bible Study updates Traina’s famous manual. I am partial to Zuck’s Basic Bible Interpretation as a “safe” starter. And, of course, there are many others. So what does this book have going for it?

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