Boersma, Hans. Scripture As Real Presence: Sacramental Exegesis in the Early Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017. ISBN: 9780801017032.
Scripture As Real Presence is an exercise in retrieving early Christian metaphysics. In simpler terms, Hans Boersma shows how early Christians viewed the Bible as a book that pointed to deep truths. The Bible is a sign or sacrament that points to a deeper reality.
Boersma explains it in this way: “I have long been convinced that the notion of sacrament should not be limited to the ecclesial rites of baptism and Eucharist. My Christian Platonist convictions persuade me that everything around us is sacramental, in the sense that everything God has created both points to him and makes him present” (1).
Boersma’s aim is not simply to retrieve the past, however. He wants to make the past relevant for the present: “my aim is to make clear why patristic readings of Scripture continue to be relevant” (17). He goes on to explain: “I limit myself to the argument that a sacramental reading of Scripture lies at the heart of patristic interpretation, and it is this common patristic sensibility that I am convinced the church needs to retrieve today” (17).
Overall, Boersma’s work is a helpful overview of early Christian metaphysics, albeit with significant flaws.