Worldview: Seeking Grace and Truth In Our Common Life by Martin Olasky

51xgu3r8gvl-_sx331_bo1204203200_In all my years of reading, granted that is only been the last three decades, there have only been a few works which are produced contrary to the modern writing style. By this I mean a writing style in which each chapter builds upon the previous one, even in cases which a work is broken into various sections, and in the case that each of the sections, even ones dealing with radically different topics, still for the most part of cohesive overarching theme of the book.   There must be some unity or a work will not flow naturally.
Marvin Olasky’s new work, Worldview: When Seeking Grace and Truth in Our Common Life, is one of these ever mentioned anomalies. This and the previous statements are not meant dispel the helpfulness of this work nor to prop it up as a new innovative way to write, rather the uniqueness must be noted for it changes how one reads this work.  By this I mean you can read any chapter you want in any order without concern of confusion.
Speaking about the content of this book, the author has a fascinating take on culture and how it Christian must act and react to it. Due to the long-form nature of the formulation of this book, spanning almost 20 years, View is very nuanced and has a wonderful almost pastoral tone to it. His views on current events and culture have been on display in his World magazine. And his personal thoughts are on display in this book. Despite how this book is laid out, the content is invaluable and should be consulted by Christians confused about areas of culture that they do not see how to act bibilcally in it.
This book was provided to me free of charge from New Growth Press in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

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Title: Worldview: Seeking Grace and Truth In Our Common Life

Author: Martin Olasky

ISBN: 978-1945270833

 

Landing Page: http://stores.newgrowthpress.com/worldview/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Seeking-Grace-Common/dp/1945270837/

CBD.com: https://www.christianbook.com/world-seeking-grace-truth-common-life/marvin-olasky/9781945270833/pd/270833

Moments with Martin Luther: 95 Daily Devotions by Donald K. McKim

415ak-t1vjl-_sx331_bo1204203200_2017 was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. While the anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg, October 31st, has come and gone this is still the year of this momentous celebration. Therefore it is fitting that a plethora of Works have come to fruition that are studying The Works of the great reformer. One of these such works is titled, Moments with Martin Luther: 95 Daily Devotions, by Donald K. McKim.
McKim brilliantly takes 95 of Luther’s most Innovative and thought-provoking treatises and arguments to formulate a 95 day devotional. Now while many of Martin Luther’s works are hard to decipher due to their translation from Greek to English and sometimes primarily aimed at a scholar rather than a Layman, this work is aimed at the average churchgoer. To open this work McKim gives a portrait of Luther as well as a rationale for this work. With this in mind he then dives into a deeply profound yet meditative study on Luther’s most important words.
In regard to the devotional itself, I would hardly call it a devotional rather a focus study in Luther’s thought on practical Christian Living. Each devotional begins with a short quote from Luther’s works followed by a biblical argument proving it as well as how to live it out practically. Well this is an interesting concept I do not see it as a devotional due to its primary focus is not God’s word Luther’s interpretation of God’s word and then another authors commenting on it using scripture. Now I do not mean that this work is useless, on the contrary rather this work is a very profound work examining Luther’s thought and passion as well as McKim’s understanding of it. Unfortunately to be used as part of a person’s Daily Devotional would be a sad appropriation of a wonderful work. I therefore cannot recommend it as a devotional but I can recommend moments with Martin Luther, as a resource to be used in addition to a daily devotional studying God’s word as a primary source.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Westminster John Knox Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Between Wittenberg and Geneva by Robert Kolb and Carl R. Truman

51kk7dn15xl-_sx330_bo1204203200_October 31st, 2017 was the 500th anniversary of the initiation of the Protestant Reformation. When Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the doors of Wittenberg. Since then a large group has formed the Protestant church. Due to Luther’s shot heard round the world, Protestantism’s break from Catholicism sent ripples to all corners of the world. Yet after Luther made his historic break there were many who agreed with Luther in principle to break from the Catholic Church yet or in disagreement with him on theological issues. One of the most pronounced has become the chasm between Lutheran and reformed theology.

Is there fitting to have such a book come out during this historic celebration of the Reformation. The book I am referencing is Between Wittenberg and Geneva: Lutheran and Reformed Theology in Conversation by Robert Kolb and Carl R. Truman. Both of these men are respected Scholars in their own historical theological view. Kolb is the Systematic Theology professor at Concordia Seminary while Truman is the professor of historical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Each of these men have a healthy respect for one another and for the theological position the other holds. It is therefore out of this mutual respect that this book is formed. In between Wittenberg and Geneva the authors discuss eight points of contention between Lutheran and reformed theology. In every chapter each theological position is presented and descended and then contrasted with the other. Each argument and counter-argument are thorough and scholarly yet are accessible enough to the Layman.

If you are in either theological tradition you will find a plethora of information detailing the theological viewpoint as well as some questions regarding it. As a minister in the reformed tradition I found this work exhilarating and profound in challenging my viewpoints yet at the same time confirming them to be true. I came away with a greater appreciation for Lutheran Theology and for Luther himself, for that matter. From this work a person can come to a a greater understanding of the church as a whole, from understanding the theological roots of their specific tradition. I therefore recommend this work to anyone and everyone who seeks to have a greater understanding of either Lutheran and reformed theology in a form that is both respectful yet sperm in their personal convictions to said theological position. This is a book that you will want to have in your possession, for it truly informs in a way few books, on theology, to this point ever have.

Between Wittenberg and Geneva: Lutheran and Reformed Theology in Conversation

© 2017 by Robert Kolb and Carl R. Truman

Publisher: Baker Academic

Page Count: 272 Pages

ISBN: 978-0801049811

Publishers Website: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/

Book Landing Page: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/between-wittenberg-and-geneva/350241

Psalms: Volume 1, 1-41, (KEL) by Allen P. Ross

51rv8kfusgl-_sx336_bo1204203200_If you are looking for an evangelical commentary on the Hebrew of the Psalms, then A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 1 (1-41)by Allen P. Ross published by Kregel Publishers is the commentary you are looking for.  This volume is the first in a three volume work in the very growing Kregel Exegetical Library series (KEL).  KEL is a series which is synonymous with excellent exegesis and superior application, this volume continues the long legacy.  This volume is one of the most in depth exegetical studies on the Psalms that I have have the privilege to read.  While Ross is no stranger to Biblical commentaries this is his first foray into this first-rate commentary series, which he follows up with the final to volumes of this work.

A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 1 (1-41), begins with a through yet accessible introduction to the entire Psalter.  Ross gives a spectacular see you want Circle study on the value of Psalms not only to an individual or to the rest of the Bible but to the modern-day reader. To further this and his introduction he takes painstaking effort to place the entire Pslater in the original context it was intended. This helps the student of scripture understand the original intent of the psalm instead of placing his own contextualisation on top of it. Also included in this introduction is a study on the titles and headings of the songs themselves. Concluding his introduction Ross gives a valiant defense of using Psalms in corporate worship as well as the functions of the Psalms themselves and as individual Psalms.

With regard to the commentary on individual Psalms themselves Ross gives a detailed analysis of the Hebrew text, including its composition and contacts. Furthermore he also examines any textual variants that are present in a particular song. This is particularly helpful to the Hebrew student who wishes to give a proper treatment of the Hebrew text. When Ross begins to to get his exegetical analysis on the psalm he gives a very pastoral summary as well as a detailed exegetical outline, which is gold to the exegetical preacher. Furthermore the commentary on the text itself is thorough yet not overwhelming. Each is dealt with intern foregoing the modern tendency to do passage by passage or thought by thought. What was of the greatest joy to see in this commentaries was his section on how to apply the psalm to preaching / teaching. Ross has this section at the end of each song which turns this commentary from solely exegetical commentary to an application based commentary hybrid. There are few commentaries like this on the market that are of high scholarly caliber, conservative nature, yet pastorally focused.

With regard of recommending, A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 1 (1-41), to others I would whole heartily recommend this commentary to students of scripture, with one caveat.  By this I mean I recommend this work to Pastors, Bible Teachers, Bible College Students, there is enough scholarly weight to this work to understand a particular issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text.  The caveat is in rearguard to laymen, unless a person has a basic understanding of Biblical Hebrew, a person can not dive into the meat of the commentary.

There are many commentaries about the second book of the Pentateuch available at this moment but A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 1 (1-41) of the Kregel Exegetical Library series are a giant leap above all other commentaries on the first 41 Psalms of the Psalter.

These books was provided to me free of charge from Kregel Press in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 1 (1-41)

© 2012 by Allen P. Ross

Publisher: Kregel Press

Page Count:  936 Pages

ISBN: 9780825425622

Exalting Jesus in John (CCE) by Matt Carter and Josh Wredberg

51qfeiwfdcl-_sx331_bo1204203200_If you are looking through and evangelical commentary on the the Gospel of John, then, Exalting Jesus in John, by Matt Carter and Josh Wredberg  published by B and H Publishers is what you are searching for.  This commentary is a recent volume in the The Christ Centered Exposition commentary Series, a series which is synonymous with excellent exegesis and superior application, this volume continues the legacy.  This volume is one of the most articulate and practical modern commentaries on the Gospel of John.

is a great introduction commentary for pastors and laymen alike and requires no knowledge of the Biblical Greek language. Yet this commentary is part of a growing trend of added girth in the The Christ Centered Exposition series. Weighing in at just under 400 pages this commentary is almost the length of a mid-range commentary. Yet the accessibility of this commentary makes it a wonderful introduction to the gospel of John. I own and have read many commentaries on the gospel of John and this new commentary is one of the greatest additions to that lineage. Furthermore this commentary shows great potential in giving phenomenal application combined with superior exegesis.

With reference to the commentary sections on John, Carter and Wredberg, expertly navigates the text showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader.  He also uses a pastoral tone in many of his comments yet never sacrifices his scholastic approach.    The outlines that he provides are also of great use for a pastor looking to preach though the Gospel of John.

In recommending, Exalting Jesus in John, to others I would whole heartily recommend this commentary to students of scripture, with one caveat.  By this I mean I recommend this work to Sunday School teachers, Bible Teachers, and to educated and uneducated Laymen looking to teach a Sunday school class, there is enough scholarly weight to this work to understand a particular issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text.  There are many commentaries about the Gospel of John available at this moment but, Exalting Jesus in John, of the Christ Centered Exposition series is a giant leap above the rest.

This book was provided to me free of charge from B and H in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Exodus 1-18 & 19-40 (EEC) by Eugene Carpenter

If you are looking for an evangelical commentary on the Hebrew of Exodus, then Exodus Volume 1 and 2by Eugene Carpenter published by Lexham Publishers is the commentary you are looking for.  These two commentates are some of the more recent volume in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series edited by H. Wayne House, a series which is synonymous with excellent exegesis and superior application, this volume continues the long legacy.  This volume is one of the most articulate and practical modern commentaries on the second book of the Pentateuch.  While Carpenter is no stranger to Biblical commentaries this is his first foray into this first-rate commentary series.  Furthermore it was a joy to see this commentary come to fruition at all due to Carpenter’s accidental death in 2012.

41x2b2bfrzdml-_sx338_bo1204203200_The first volume, Exodus 1-18, begins with the typical introductory section. As with most technical commentaries, Carpenter spends just over 50 pages with these important introductory matters. Carpenter’s focus is the discussion of textual issues regarding the original Hebrew text. In this section he has a few well-formed conclusions. The most important of which being that the original text is well preserved in the final manuscript that we have in our Bibles today. Secondly when discussing authorship, Carpenter, holds to Mosaic authorship as well as Exodus being the true title of the second book of the Pentateuch. In a day when Mosaic authorship is always questioned, it is Illuminating to see a scholar of Carpenter’s caliber hold fast to Moses being the author / editor of the book of Exodus. And other issues such as date Carpenter does not truly add any new ideas to the discussion rather giving a nebulous date to its formulation.

In the next section, of Exodus 1-18, as with all Evangelical Exegetical Commentaries, Carpenter dives headlong into the theological elements of the specific biblical book, in this case Exodus. In this section Carpenter discusses themes such as the God who speaks in Acts, the people of God, and how Exodus is a lasting paradigm for the mighty acts of God. Each of these themes is discussed brilliantly in short form and should be a great aid to any Minister preaching exegetically through the book of Exodus. One further note in the introduction is Carpenter adds a very thorough outline and bibliography which will be a great use to any Minister teaching exegetically or non-exegetically through the second book of the Pentateuch.

With regard to the commentary section of this first volume Carpenter spins just shy of 600 Pages dealing with the text of Exodus 1 through 18. The thoroughness in which Carpenter goes through must be commended. He diligently gives his own translation of the Hebrew text while giving a full body commentary to the textual notes and the text itself. Sporadically Carpenter also adds comments on biblical Theology and application and devotional implications. Furthermore at the end of each pericope he adds a pinpoint focused bibliography and at that pericope itself. Each of these traits is extremely helpful to the pastor as well as scholar.

41g82girybl-_sx338_bo1204203200_In the second volume, Exodus 19 through 40, Carpenter continues his commentary pericope by pericope, through the end of the book of Exodus. While there is still the same great commentary on the Hebrew text in regards to text textual analysis, commentary, and application, Carpenter does seem to have less to say about the final twenty-one chapters then he did up the first eighteen. A feature of note inside the second volume is the numerous experiences that carpenter has to end the second volume. These excursuses include the historicity of Moses, the date of Moses, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, questioning the large numbers in Exodus, and a study in the Covenant whole structure in Exodus. Each of these excursuses while short and length are very impactful to anyone who plans to study the second book of the Pentateuch.

With regard of recommending, Exodus 1-18 and 19-41, to others I would whole heartily recommend this commentary to students of scripture, with one caveat.  By this I mean I recommend this work to Pastors, Bible Teachers, Bible College Students, there is enough scholarly weight to this work to understand a particular issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text.  There are many commentaries about the second book of the Pentateuch available at this moment but Exodus 1-18 and 19-41, of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series are a giant leap above all other commentaries on this book of the Bible.

These books was provided to me free of charge from Lexham Press in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Exodus 1-18: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary

© 2017 by Eugene Carpenter

Publisher: Lexham Press

Page Count: 688 Pages

ISBN: 978-1577995746

 

Exodus 19-40: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary

© 2017 by Eugene Carpenter

Publisher: Lexham Press

Page Count: 544 Pages

ISBN: 978-1577997245

Publishers Website: http://www.lexhampress.com

The Gospel of John (NICNT) by J. Ramsey Michaels

51ogkakbnnl-_sx336_bo1204203200_The Gospel of John is an New Testament commentary, written by J. Ramsey Michaels and published by Eerdmands.  Commentaries on the Gospel of John can be either highly critical or devotional in nature.  I therefore was pleasantly surprised when I read Michales work and found it to be more or less on the conservative side while still engaging with high criticism scholarship.  It has been a long time since a scholarly mostly conservative work has been published on the Gospel of John and Michales did not disappoint, weighing in at almost just over 1000 pages.

This commentary is a newer edition of the famous New International Commentary on the New Testament Series, a series which is synonymous with excellent exegesis and superior application, this volume not only continues this legacy, but truly propels it to new heights.  This volume is one of the most articulate and practical commentaries on the one of the books of history which is usually bogged down by from criticism and or long discussions on genocide.    Yet while Michales does answer these critical issues, something he does flawlessly by the way, he interacts with critical scholarship in a way most conservative commentators don’t.  From this it is easy to see why Michales is a highly regarded scholar and superior exegete.

The Gospel of John has two main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by a insightful exegetical commentaries on the Gospel of John.  With regard to the general introduction it is the typical study into the introductory matters of the book and how they relate to the Bible as a whole.  This is a serious scholarly work which dives into contextual as well as the as the different methodical approaches to study of this book  Michales takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader.  He does not use his own translation of the Greek text, yet this is not common in the NICNT series as a whole.    I  do wish though that there was more application to some of the more difficult passages.

While I disagree with Michales on a few minor issues with regard to New Testament date of writing, the arguments he makes are sound I just adhere to a earlier date of composition.  One are I did greatly enjoy is Michales discussion of the eight I am statements.

Michales is innovate in his interpretation and application while staying stalwart in his commitment to orthodoxy. In the vein of recommending, The Gospel of John, to others I would recommend this commentary to pastors and scholars, yet I would highly recommend pastors, such as myself, to pair this scholarly commentary with one that is one that has more of a pastoral tone.  There are many commentaries about Gospel of John available at this moment but The Gospel of John of the New International Commentary on the New Testament series is a very scholarly works worthy of your time.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Eerdmans in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

The Gospel of JohnNew International Commentary on the New Testament

© 2010 by J. Ramsey Michaels

Publisher: Eerdmans

Page Count: 1132 Pages

ISBN: 978-0802823021

Christianity Explored (An Evangelistic Outreach Program)

31uyisjm6sl-_sx366_bo1204203200_Every generation there comes a an evangelistic resource which sparks that generation into a outreach frenzy. Christianity Explored: What’s the best news you’ve ever heard? Is that resource. Not since the master plan of evangelism by Robert Coleman was released in 1986 has there been such a spectacular resource to evangelize the lost without using outdated slogans or Christianize jargon which ultimately turn a non-Christian off.
Christianity Explored is a multimedia presentation which can be used on an individual basis or for an entire church outreach program. Produced in partnership with The Good Book Company, Christianity Explored Ministries has been in existence for some time producing books and resources which are top notch for the purpose of evangelism. This program itself is the out working of some of the brightest minds and evangelicalism today. To begin this program one only needs to purchase the leaders kit. In the leaders kit there is a DVD with the sessions and video trailers as well as the leader’s handbook, a handbook for guess, a quick start guide as well as a code to download the videos on the DVD.
There are seven sections which detail different yet interconnected foundational Christian principles. Wally goes without saying that having an inspirational person lead such a presentation is a benefit one does not need a inspirational person to lead it. The leader’s handbook is a very thorough and thick guide to presenting this multimedia presentation to non-believers in a way that is simple yet thought-provoking to hear. As a minister of the Gospel I feel quite confident and having my leaders lead this Evangelistic program despite some of their lack of experience. That is how great yet simple this program truly is.
One caveat is that the videos have an Englishman, Rico Tice, speaking, whom I respect immensely. While his accent is not thick for understanding, it is important to note for American audiences, not to be thrown by some British slang which Americans might not be accustomed to, for which there is very little. Regardless of this small caveat, I cannot highly recommend this program enough. I plan on using this program for the foreseeable future hoping that every non-Christian I need will be able to be witness to using these programmatic scriptural truths so that they will know Jesus and then make Him know.

This book was provided to me free of charge from The Good Book Company in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Christianity Explored: What’s the best news you’ve ever heard?

© 2016 by Christiabity Explored Ministires

Publisher: The Good Book Company

ISBN-13: 978-1784980818

Theologygrams by Rich Wyld

41dztbykqjl-_sy315_bo1204203200_Do you need a laugh that will make you say, “that’s so true!” Theologygrams: Theology Explained in Diagrams, is the book for you. The only two grams is a work published by IVP and is the out workings of the personal website of Rich Wyld who is an Anglican minister who originally posted these comedic yet thought-provoking diagrams on his personal blog.  Not often can a book be both humorous and thought-provoking while remaining theologically. Yet Wyld does a phenomenal job of blending the three. Some of the diagrams directly appeal to the person in the Pew While others are directed at Ministry leaders themselves.
Or reading this book I could not stop laughing at each and every page. This is a book that I will keep on my bookshelf when I need a laugh, for it pokes fun at myself through satirical diagram humor. As a bonus if you are a very nerdy person, whether a theological nerd or a science fiction nerd you will find this book a treasure trove of humor. While this book may not win any Scholastic Awards it deserves to be read due to the thought-provoking satirical nature of the writer. I highly recommend it.
This book was provided to me free of charge from IVP Academic in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.