Ruth (Apollos) by L. Daniel Hawk

41g9zkx2xclRuth is an Old Testament commentary, written by L. Daniel Hawk published by IVP Academic.  This commentary is a recent 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 propels it to new heights.  This volume is one of the most articulate and practical commentaries on two historical books of Holy Scripture which outside of a few passages gets unfortunately glossed over.  Hawk is a highly regarded scholar this is her first foray into this relatively new commentary series.

Ruth has two main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by a insightful exegetical commentaries on the historical book of Ruth.  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  Hawk 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 Hawk on a number of issues with regard to Old Testament interpretation, I have a different approach to Ruth and Boaz on the threshing room floor, yet his scholarly work on this historical book is very well researched and written, and a very good read. In the vein of recommending, Ruth, 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 Ruth available at this moment but Ruth 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.

Mark (TNTC) by Eckhard J. Schnabel


Just like we’re placing a Hall of Fame sports figure, replace a legendary volume in a scholarly Commentary series is no easy task. Needless to say Eckhard J Schnabel had his work cut out for him to replace R. Alan Cole’s commentary on the gospel of Mark for the spectacular Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.

Eckhard J. Schnabel who also serves as a general editor for the series is a distinguished scholar and is no stranger to commentaries in the New Testament. And Schnabel apostrophe s academic credentials shine in this studious commentary. The Tyndale New Testament commentary is a great introduction commentary for pastors and laymen alike and requires no knowledge of the Civil Greek language. Yet this commentary is part of a growing trend of added girth in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series. Weighing in at 441 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 Mark. I own and have read many commentaries on the gospel of Mark 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.

Mark, begins with the typical study into the introductory matters of this book of the Bible, yet while introductions are common, is atypical for Fee is so through with his research and interaction with recent scholarship.  In a day where these matters are either glossed over to get to the exegesis of the text or are so cumbersome that they become useless, Fee found a good balance in being thorough, communicating depth and attention to recent scholarship, without losing the message of the text.

With reference to the commentary sections on Mark, Schnabel , 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 Mark.

In recommending , Mark, 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, and to a limited extent educated 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 Mark available at this moment but, Mark, of the TNTC series is a giant leap above the rest.
This book was provided to me free of charge from IVP Academic in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Second Edition) by Craig S. Keener

41wrjcyimrl-_sx323_bo1204203200_Out of context, many times we take books quotes and other things out of their proper context to suit our own personal needs. This happens at Foley in the secular world but often in matters relating to Holy scripture. We live in the twenty-first century and we live in a contact very different from that of Holy Scripture, there are so many cultures represented by that of the ancient near East, the physical nation of Israel, and the Greco-Roman Empire as well as second temple Judaism, just to name a few. All of which are vastly different from our culture today. Each of these cultures and how they operate are usually out of the purview of many people, including pastors. Which is why a study into these ancient cultures is necessary. Yet without getting a degree in archaeology, how does one attain this needed information.
The answer has arrived. I do p academic has recently published a great “commentary” , I bet more of a reference work on the cultural background of most cultures represented in the New Testament of Holy Scripture. Authored by noted New Testament scholar the Craig S. Keener this work adds a new dimension to sermon preparation. Keener has taken each section of the New Testament of scripture and added a see a logical commentary on these vs. Well he does at his own personal exegesis to this passage Keener does a phenomenal job in breaking down the wall in front of the reader so that scripture, specifically that of the New Testament, can be read in its proper context.
Now just a reminder, this work is not a traditional commentary. You will not see exegesis of each word, phrase, or section. Despite this, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Second Edition), is a phenomenal tool for pastors, Scholars, and laymen alike.  Keener, does described in part to the, New Perspective on Paul, which color some of his cultural investigation, yet the majority of the work in this book is exceptional and becomes invaluable when teaching for preaching. Furthermore the accessibility of this work is second to none for no matter what level of Education a person has they can understand the culture of which a particular section of scripture was written in. In the end this book is needed resource to any and all who read it, so that any and all people they understand the proper context of Holy Scripture.
I received this book through IVP Academic Publications for the purpose of writing a review, I was not required to write positive review.

Do baby bears have Mommies?

615pxx1ur3l-_sy498_bo1204203200_Children are always asking questions, God made us this way so that we could learn about him, his creation, and our role in it. In the new book, Do baby bears have Mommy’s?, Crystal Bowman and Terry McKinley do a fantastic job and taking the natural tendency of children to ask questions and answer a selection of their most important / common questions.
All of these questions are answered from a Biblical worldview with the anticipated understanding how they preschool. When reading this book to my preschool-age daughter she was actively engaged and asked to have this book read again as soon as we finished it. I recommend this book to any parents or grandparents or even child care provider who is looking to engage with a child on their level answering questions in a manner which is fun as well as educational.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Tyndale Kids in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Reformation Women by Rebecca VanDoodewaard

41lqbolrl4l-_bo1204203200_As a minister I study of variety of topics, one of the most interesting is that purchase tree and as the father of two daughters I am always on the lookout for biographies of women of God who helped expand his kingdom here on Earth. While there are a few well-known women, most women of God who helped shape history have it remained in the shadows. Specifically when it comes to women in the sixteenth Century who aided in the church’s Reformation. This task that’s just become immensely easier. In the recently published book, Reformation Women: 16th century figures who shaped Christianity’s rebirth, author Rebecca Vandoodewaard compiles the historical accounts of 12 God-fearing women who reformed the church. Each of these accounts are short, a few pages each at most. These short narrative accounts detail of lives of each Godly women and what they accomplished by God’s Sovereign will. These women are from all walks of life and each of them aided and the important work of the Reformation of the church.
I highly recommend, Reformation women, to any Pastor looking for historical illustrations as well as to every father to tell read these accounts to their daughters to aid in their spiritual growth, as well as to all women to give them a role model to inspire to . This is a book you do not want to miss out on.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Reformation Heritage Books via CrossFocused Reviews in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Ephesians: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary

© 2017 by Rebecca Vandoodewaard

Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books

Page Count: 136 Pages

ISBN: 978-1601785329

Learning to Change: Congregation Transformation Fueled by Personal Renewal

The book, Learning to Change: Congregation Transformation Fueled by Personal Renewal, is a convicting, humbling, and worthwhile read. Authors Harrington and Tricia Taylor demonstrate to Ministry leaders that the current way in which churches attempt to grow is not the easiest nor the best way to go about it. They demonstrate that the keys to real change cannot always be seen in numbers but in spiritual transformation. Seeing people come to Christ and grow in his grace. From this idea Harrington & Taylor give 4 core essentials that’s Church should hold to.

After establishing these core fundamentals the authors give practical advice in how to instill these core fundamentals into ministries of every congregation.

All in all this work was an interesting accomplishment of Harrington and Taylor due to the team they put together to assist in the writing of this work. While some of the key fundamentals of this work are extremely helpful such as the core values of Integrity authenticity courage and love, there seems to be a lack Focus on the primary purpose of corporate worship EG. The priority of preaching. This seems to have come about not in a antagonistic way but in a way to incorporate Unity and fellowship rather than corporate worship.

In regard to recommending this book I would recommend it to Ministry leaders who have a sharp eye so that they can wade through some of the more progressive bits while seeing the fundamentals as a starting point to develop their core values.

I received this book through Kregel Publications for the purpose of writing a review, I was not required to write positive review.

One by One: Welcoming the Singles in your Church by Gina Dalfonzo

41kdq3n-i8l-_sx322_bo1204203200_The fastest growing demographic in the church today might not be what you think.  For the fastest growing demographic is single adults.  Now by single adults I do not just mean people who are recently graduates of high school or college or those who went straight into the workforce.  I am referring to adults 30 and older who are single.  This demographic is not only growing in our churches but in our country as a whole.  Due to this monumental shift in delaying marriage and children, how a church ministers to this new demographic must shift as well.  Yet as pastors we often fail in ministering to this new demographic for it is a demographic we did not encounter in large numbers before.

In Gina Dalfonzo’s new book, One by One: Welcoming the Singles in your Church, she examines how the American church has failed in its challenge to minster to this growing group of people.  She examines personal stories as well as methods of inclusion and ministry.  The greatest part is that she does not fully advocate setting these singles aside to form a new ministry but rather to include them in the church body as a whole.  This book is a thought provoking work which appeals to the minster as well as any ministry leader who minster’s to adults.

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

One by One: Welcoming the Singles in your Church

© 2017 by Gina Dalfonzo

Publisher: Baker Books

Page Count: 240 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-0801072932