Missiology, Edited by John Mark Terry

51nwd74up4l-_sx331_bo1204203200_To date there have been very few, exceptionally few, history and strategy  of missions books. Of those few only one can be considered both accurate and readable, this book was Jerusalem to Jaya by Ruth A. Tucker.  While this work was considered the standard, it has been challenged and in many ways surpassed buy a new work titled Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions. This work by John Mark Terry, takes a different approach than Tucker did. For Terry as editor compiled a scholarly collection of articles detailing missions as a whole instead of individual biographical accounts.

Furthermore while this is a scholarly work it is very readable and can be used in teaching missions to a wide variety of ages from teenagers on up. Even more I would suggest that this work could be adapted to be a Early College text book. While there is definitely a Baptist bent to this work, it does not exclude missions efforts from other theological views. I commend this work to anyone who is serious about missions as a study to understand and apply the history and strategies of world missions up in through the modern era.

I received this book from B&H Academic free of charge for an unbisaed review, I was not required to write a positive review.

Interpreting the Wisdom Books: An Exegetical Handbook by Edward M. Curtis

511ir5mt76l-_sx331_bo1204203200_The Biblical wisdom books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs are some of the hardest parts of scripture to interpret and preach on. Due to this, unfortunately many pastors and teachers shy away from these integral pieces of scripture. Thankfully Edward M. Curtis has answered pastors and teachers cry for exegetical help in his new work, Interpreting the wisdom books: an exegetical handbook. This is one of the newer works in the series handbooks for Old Testament exegesis. Each work in this series has been magnificent. Unsurprisingly interpreting the wisdom books, Rises to the occasion producing a small, just over 200 pages, work that packs a sizable punch.
Curtis looks at four different aspects of interpreting wisdom literature, in six chapters. In these chapters he discusses the themes that are found in each wisdom book as well as the wisdom books as a unit. He also discusses how to interpret each wisdom book as well as the unit and General guidelines for deeper exegetical interpretation. His last chapter in this work not only sums up the entire book but is of the most help to the preacher. For just like a book on exegetical analysis, chapter 6, putting it all together colon from text to sermon, lays out for steps on how to preach a sermon in any of the wisdom books.
These four steps are a tried-and-true method, which can be found in other literature, but packed with the previous chapters understanding and other helpful to bits this chapter goes above and beyond most exegetical handbooks. The only downside to this work is its length.  Before I praised its ability to be short and yet still impactful , yet  there is  rum for  a  deeper and wider study of some of the exegetical topics addressed in the wisdom books. Yet  even with this  small issue , the size  will help  a busy pastor  to work through the text  in a shorter amount of time . Therefore I recommend this text to preachers and teachers who wish to dive further into the text who have a basic understanding of the Hebrew language, and who desire to teach and preach exegeticaly.  You will not be disappointed with this purchase.

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

Matthew: A Social-Rhetorical Commentary by Craig S. Keener

51xm0qs5tfl-_sx336_bo1204203200_The Gospel according to Matthew is one of the most studied books in the entire Bible. Not only due to its sheer size, nor its placement in the New Testament, but to the theological that is found within its pages. Therefore there has always been a disproportionate amount of commentaries about this first book of the New Testament. Yet out of all of these commentaries very few are considered worthy of her preachers time and study. One of these such commentaries is Matthew: A Social-Rhetorical Commentary, by Craig Keener.  Keener’s greatest asset to this commentary is its format. For he embarks on a study on the Gospel of Matthew studying with a sociological and rhetorical emphasis. This is important to note since the Matthew has many unfamiliar sociological and traditions to Gentile believers. Unfortunately not many commentators realize the importance of understanding sociological issues and seem to miss the details of the book in the narrative portions of scripture.

This book is superb and it’s analysis of culture, writing style, and textual analysis, unfortunately the shortness of this commentary is a downfall. That is not to say that what is found within this 700 pages of commentary is not phenomenal, rather the work leads you begging for more exposition of this type. I look forward to using this commentary in conjunction with others as I preach through the Passion section of Matthew (Chapters 21-28) soon.

Another point of note, it is the author’s dedication to orthodox theology. I therefore recommend this work to pastors who seek to study Matthew with a sociological and rhetorical emphasis, though I do suggest this work being used in conjunction with a more thorough exegesis of the Greek text.

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

Graciousness: Tempering Truth with Love by John Crotts

crotts_john-_graciousness_cover__52015-1515524014-1280-1280Graciousness by John Crotts is a wonderful book produced by Reformation heritage Books, a publisher and author who stand on the foundation of Sola Scriptora and dealer from the mountaintops that it is in Christ alone, through Faith Alone, in Scripture Alone, by Grace Alone, so that the Glory may be to God Alone.  This work focuses on the grace that God gives through his son, Jesus, applies it to the daily life of a believer.  Crotts truly understands that Christians trudge through life and forget the basics of grace and living in love.  Furthermore this is a short work which can be read one long sitting or in a few short sittings.  It is perfect for an addition to a personal devotional, or as the basis for a small group book study. In a sea of legalistic Christianity Graciousness is a breath of fresh air, focusing on the grace that Christ brings and how to live the grace you have been given by Christ alone.  I recommend this book without reservation.

I received this work free of charge from Reformation Heritage Books, via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an unbiased review.

The Healthy Living Handbook by Laura Smith

51-o9kgpfpl-_sx322_bo1204203200_The Healthy Living Handbook by Laura Harris Smith is a book that, instead of focusing on just one area of being healthy, such as diet or exercise, focuses on the three parts of a person. She believes that only by cresting habits that nourish each part of a person  (body, mind, AND spirit) can we truly be healthy.

The book is divided into three sections-spirit, mind and body. In each section she goes over the top 10 healthy habits for that part of a person, making it easy to flip to what one is looking for instead of reading the entire book.
This book is definitely set up to be a reference guide more than a “read it once and done” kind of book, which I like.
Overall, I would recommend this as reading to anyone looking to embark on a healthier lifestyle.
I was provided this work for the purpose of a review by chosen publishers via crossfocusedreviews.  I was not required to provide a positive review.

The Song of Songs (TOTC) by Iain M. Dugid

41amv6jhpql-_sx327_bo1204203200_The Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series produced by IVP academic, is a highly respected Commentary series for the educated Layman on up. In the last decade IVP has begun a vast revision of this celebrate series. The newest volume in this sweeping revision is the Song of Songs, by Iain M. Dugid. Dugidhas taken the mantel from G. Lloyd Carr who authored the previous volume entitled The Song of Solomon. It might seem nigh impossible to replace this theological giant yet Dugid uses his masterful understanding of the Hebrew combined with cunning wit to explore these interconnected books for the glory of God.

With regard to the introduction to the commentary, Dugid, does not spend a good deal of time on the authorship or introductory matters on the Book of Song of Songs yet in a stark contrast he spends over 36 pages on the introduction to judges. Sadly it seems that’s the entire commentary on the Song of Songs as a whole is very weak. This does not mean that it is not helpful, rather it seems to be a short summary of greater and just as recently published works, without many new theological insights or application points. While there are a few instances which I disagree with Dugid on in regards to his study on this wisdom book, he keeps the correct theological view in how to interpret this somewhat perplexing book of scripture.  I recommend this commentary to Layman as a great tool in preparation for teaching Sunday school as well as a great introduction for the pastor, yet I would use in in conjunction with a volume which would dive deeper into the themes as well as meaning of this love letter.

God’s Mediators (NSBT) by Andrew S. Malone

41xfq8pzupl-_sx331_bo1204203200_God’s Mediators: A Biblical Theology of Priesthood by Andrew S. Malone is one of the newest volumes in the longstanding series New Studies In Biblical Theology by IVP Academic Publishing.  This admirable series is edited by D.A. Carson is renowned for its impeccable research, its engagement with current scholarship, and conformity to the basic tenants of orthodoxy.  The focus of this book is the office of priest in the Bible.

Now the concept of the priesthood is not taught one by pastors much but is usually relegated to Scholars.  This sad truth is what this book is trying to change. In God’s Mediators a long and broad history of interpretation and this work strives to explore the vast landscape of various Biblical Theological interpretations of this office while evaluating which interpretations are sound with some advice on which interpretive methods to take.

In regard to the text of the book itself, there are seven various interpretive lenses to view the this office of priest through, some of which connect well, while others contradict one another.  In each of these interpretive systems the authors are careful to look at the meaning of the text in its own context as well as the broader view of scripture as a whole.  Furthermore in each of the interpretations there are a handful of themes which the authors shine a light the importance of this office in both the Old and New Testament as well as the Church’s priestly commission.  Of these themes the most insightful was the famine theme.

In the end I would wholeheartedly recommend God’s Mediators to any Pastor, Bible Teacher, or Sunday School teacher who is preparing for a long in-depth exposition of the office of priest.

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

God’s Mediators: A Biblical Theology of Priesthood (NSBT)

© 2017 by Andrew S. Malone

Publisher: IVP Academic

Page Count: 248 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-0830826445

The Message of Kings by John W. Olley

41ypsbsep7l-_sx331_bo1204203200_“Enriching and Relateable”. These are the words you will be thinking when you finish “The Message of Kings” by John W. Olley, as it is one of the most well written books on 1 and 2 Kings that I have had the privilege of reading. This book is parts of the ever-growing series called “The Bible Speaks Today”, produced by IVP Academic.  “The Bible Speaks Today” is a thoroughly Evangelical series which serves as an introduction as well as practicality explaining the Books of 1 and 2 Kings through a thoroughly Evangelical perspective.

In the introduction, with regard to the dating of Kings, Olley argues well for an early date while, briefly, against critical arguments for older dating. His arguments systematically destroy any critical arguments that have been put forth to this time. His arguments are up today and even focus on the most critical and modern viewpoints, even ones that have just recently been published.

Olley’s is a excellent old testament exegete specifically and when it comes to the period of the kings in Israel and Judah, it shines in this volume.  Olley makes sure that the reader is getting an important look into the culture of the day and its influence on the text. Through this process Olley brings about conclusions which are gold for any pastor preaching exegetically through the Books of 1 and 2 Kings.

Through exegeting the narrative portions of 1 and 2 Kings, Olley demonstrates why he is one of the greatest Old Testament scholar of the modern age, which makes this introduction to the Books of 1 and 2 Kings a must-read by pastors preaching or Layman teaching through the Books of 1 and 2 Kings either in the Pulpit or in the Sunday School room. I highly recommend this volume as an aid in either of these circumstances.

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

The Message of Esther (BST)

© 2012 by John W. Olley

Publisher: IVP Academic

Page Count: 378 Pages

ISBN: 978-0830824359

Deuteronomy (Apollos) by J. G. McConville

414wujjuynl-_sx335_bo1204203200_Deuteronomy is an Old Testament commentary, written by J. G. McConville published by IVP Academic, one that this pastor, has been anxiously awaiting for since it’s announcement.  It has been a long time since a conservative yet highly scholarly work has been published on the Book of Deuteronomy and J. G. McConville did not disappoint, weighing in at almost 544 pages.

This commentary is the newest edition of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series with editors David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, 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 fifth book of the Pentateuch.  Yet while McConville 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 McConville is a highly regarded scholar and superior exegete.

Deuteronomy has two main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by a insightful exegetical commentaries on the fifth book of the Pentateuch.  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  McConville takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader.  He also uses his own translation of the Hebrew text, which demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the text itself.    I  do wish though that there was more application to some of the more difficult passages

While I disagree with McConville on a few minor issues with regard to Old Testament interpretation, the arguments he makes are sound and brought up new ideas I had never considered before.  McConville is innovate in his interpretation and application while staying stalwart in his commitment to orthodoxy. In the vein of recommending, Deuteronomy, 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 Exodus available at this moment but Deuteronomy of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series is a very scholarly works worthy of your time.

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

Deuteronomy: Apollos Old Testament Commentary

© 2002 by  J. G. McConville

Publisher: IVP Academic

Page Count: 544 Pages

ISBN: 978-0830825059