Luke: A Commentary (NTL) by John T. Carroll

31qjbzecgbl-_sx333_bo1204203200_Luke, is an New Testament commentary, written by John T. Carroll published by Westminster John Knox Press.  This commentary is one of the most well written volumes in the New Testament Library Commentary, a series which is synonymous with thought provoking critical scholarship, this volume continues this legacy.  While Carroll is no stranger to Biblical commentaries this is his first foray into this renowned commentary series.

Luke, begins with the typical study into the introductory matters of this book of the Bible, yet while introductions are common; this introduction is atypical of most commentaries. It is not that this work does dive into history and recent scholarship which Carroll, does a phenomenal job of rather; it is the thoroughness that he takes with these introductory matters which makes this commentary atypical. 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, Carroll though has found a good balance in being thorough, communicating depth and attention to recent scholarship, without losing the forest in the trees. In reference to the commentary section on the text of this Gospel, Carroll takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader.

With regard of recommending Luke, to others I would recommend this commentary to scholarly students of scripture. By this I mean I recommend this work to Pastors, Scholars, Bible Teachers, Bible College Students, and Seminary Students, there is enough academic weight to this text to understand a particularly issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text. For a Pastor who is more on the conservative side I would recommend this commentary in tandem with a commentary which examines the Gospel of Luke from said point of view.

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

Luke: A Commentary: The New Testament Library
© 2012 by John T. Carroll
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Page Count: 560 Pages
ISBN: 978-0664221065

Acts of the Apostles (PNTC) by David G. Peterson

5124ay2rfdl-_sx331_bo1204203200_The Acts of the Apostles, is an Old Testament commentary, written by David G. Peterson published by Eerdmans.  This commentary is one of the finest volumes in the Pillar New Testament Commentary Series with famed editor D.A. Carson, a series which is synonymous with superior exegesis and excellent application, this volume continues this legacy.  This volume is one of the most articulate and practical modern commentaries on the book of Acts.  While Peterson is no stranger to Biblical commentaries this is his first foray into this renowned commentary series.

The Acts of the Apostles, has three main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by an group of insightful treaties on the theology of the book of Acts, followed by an exegetical commentary on Acts.  With regard to the general introduction it is the typical study into the introductory matters of the book of Acts while demonstrating its place within scripture as a whole.   The introduction is neither long nor relatively short at fifty pages, Peterson interacts with modern, older, and critical works.  This is a serious scholarly work which dives into contextual as well as the as the different mythological approaches to study this book, a needed aspect when studying the book of Acts.

In reference to the commentary section on the text of this historical narrative, Peterson takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader.  He also uses his the TNIV as a translation, something this whole series does, but also interacts with other translations and inserts his own translation when he differs with all other translations, which demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the text itself.

With regard of recommending in, Acts of the Apostles, 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 some extent Laymen, 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 to the laymen that is looking for a devotional commentary this is not a devotional type of commentary and it would be hard to use it as such.  There are many commentaries about the book of Acts available at this moment but Acts of the Apostles  of the Pillar New Testament Commentary series is one of the greatest treatments on the Biblical book that has ever been.

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

Acts of the Apostles: Pillar New Testament Commentary

© 2009 by David G. Patterson

Publisher: Eerdmans

Page Count: 846 Pages

ISBN: 978-0802837318

God Loves Mommy and Me by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

51rcn9mfzql-_sx258_bo1204203200_God Loves Mommy and Me, written by Bonnie Rickner Jensen, illustrated by Laura Watkins, and published by Tommy Nelson, is a cute board book written for babies and toddlers. It is all about the things God has designed for a young child and their mother to enjoy as they spend time together. It talks about small manners as well, like saying please and thank you and apologizing when one has done wrong, and how the other person can forgive. This book has allowed us to introduce simple concepts to our toddler in a way that she understands.

Each of the pages in this book features a mommy and baby animal. The art is simple and cute, suited for the small children the book is intended for. It enriched my daughters reading and seeing experience so that she is not only able to hear the book but to understand it in such a way that it will directly impact her life. My daughter, who is two, likes to name each animal and talk about what that animal says.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an infant or toddler.

This book was provided to me by Tommy Nelson via – in exchange for my honest review.

The Presbyterian Creed by S. Donald Fortson III

41ik0bhemxl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Presbyterian history is a subject which is usually ignored by many, even by those who identify as Presbyterian. Yet if one ignores this topic they fail to understand why they have the tradition they practice or why certain confessions are in their constitution, while others are ignored. One of the greatest books on this subject is the Presbyterian Creed: A Confessional Tradition in America 1729 – 1870 (Studies in Christian History and Thought), which focuses on the idea subscriptionism to the Westminster Confession of faith in the Presbyterian Church.  This seminal work comes from the pen of distinguished scholar S. Donald Fortson III, a noted professor of church history at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. This work is an expansion and revision on his doctrinal dissertation.
1729 – 1870 was a tempestuous with time in the history of America having the events which led to and continuing through the American Civil War, all which had countless repercussions on the American Presbyterian church. With Fortson and scholarly approach and cunning wit he navigates through a time of History which from a Presbyterian perspective goes a largely unstudied.
Fortson does an admirable job of detailing the events of the adoption of the confession, the Old Side/New Side Schism, the Old School/New School Schism, to the reunion of the Old School New School factions which lead to the eventual foundation of the PC(US). This tempestuous time in history was when brother fought against brother, spiritual families fought against each other and large spiritual battles were found in every home yet Church Government still continued to act and establish policy, one of which was the Adopting Act of 1729.  The Adopting Act of 1729 required full subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith rather than what was “Essential and Necessary”.
Unfortunately these problems exist even now, there is even a full range of disagreements over this subject matter, and it is quite riveting to say the least. The way Fortson illustrates thsee accounts makes the reader feel as if they were sitting in the corner while these events took place. This is one of the best readings on the subject matter I have ever seen having the content being top notch and the information well Source inaccurate. Fortune is at the top of his game in this work I highly recommend it to Presbyterian scholars and Presbyterian pastors who want to know more about the Presbyterian tradition they are in and how their own denomination was formed.

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

The Presbyterian Creed: A Confessional Tradition in America 1729-1870 (Studies in Christian History and Thought)

© 2016 by S. Donald Fortson III

Publisher: Paternoster

Page Count: 304 Pages

ISBN: 978-1842274248

Katharina and Martin Luther by Michelle DeRusha

51cfzm6ychl-_sx322_bo1204203200_2017 is the 500th anniversary the Protestant Reformation. In the five hundred years since the Reformation begin many biographical accounts have been told of the reformers, from that of Luther, Calvin, Bullinger, Zwingli, Knox, and Cranmer, just to name a few. Yet most of these works focus on the life of the reformer, for instance in a biography of Martin Luther the majority of the book with focus on his life and very little would be focused on his marriage to Katharina, a marriage which should be famous but is sadly lost in the shadows of the greatness that was Martin Luther’s life. This marriage is explored in great detail in the new book, Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway nun and Renegade Monk, by Michelle De Rusha and published by Baker books.

Katharina and Martin Luther explores their important marriage, and DeRusha makes it captivating from beginning to end. Without giving the account of their lives away, this work is scholarly yet readable by all. If one just looks at the biography section in the book the this notion can easily be seen. Yet there are some areas which could be expanded upon, yet this would have made the work far too long and extended the basic premise too far. Needless to say this marriage, which was a radical thought at the time, is more or less the expected portrait for marriage in Ministry, having the minister discipling his family and congregants while keeping the most heart-wrenching hearts of his ministry out of the home as much as possible.

Katharina was a strong woman who helped a a great theologian teach the word of God through her ministry to her husband, this is the case with most Christ centered marriages with minsters and their spouse. In this she helped others to seek God where he may be found and Aid in helping others Proclaim it to any and all who’ll hear. I hope that my spouse and I taking note of what the losers did in focusing on Christ as the center of their relationship, so that my marriage and all who read this work will fulfill their purpose to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

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

Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway nun and Renegade Monk

© 2017 by Michelle DeRusha

Publisher: Baker Books

Page Count: 320 Pages

ISBN: 978-0801019104

This Changes Everything: How The Gospel Transforms The Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe

51wspvldxil-_sx326_bo1204203200_When I picked up, This Changes Everything: How The Gospel Transforms The Teen Years, I expected it to be a book about youth ministry from the perspective of either a newer or veteran youth worker.  With a subtitle of  “How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years” why would I not. Yet as I came to the introduction I realized that I was dead wrong. This book is a work written by a teenager about teenagers. After this I became skeptical, yet when I finish this book I realized how wrong my thinking had been.
There are so few books written by teenagers, and for good reason, for they do not always know how to communicate in a written way which is helpful. This Changes Everything, however is a notable exception. Every page of this work delves deep into explaining the simple yet life changing act of God’s love. Author Jaquelle Crowe explains in her book how one must find their identity in Christ and all aspects of the Christian life which flow from it.
While many books have been written to adults about this topic comma this book asks the simple yet profound question “What does it look like for teenagers to live a life transformed by the gospel?”  The shorter answer is it effects every single aspect of their lives. Crowe does a fantastic job of explaining this in intricate detail in a manner that teenagers will not only understand but resonate with comma calling each and every one of them to stand fast on the word of God so that they may glorify him in every aspect of their lives from their identity to their relationships in the church to their relationships with others outside the church. The gospel impacts every part, if it does not then you have not been transformed by the Gospels redeeming power. This book is not only recommended to be read by every teenager but by every youth worker to demonstrate to them the impact they must have on the life of a teenager under their care.

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

This Changes Everything: How The Gospel Transforms The Teen Years

© 2017 by by Jaquelle Crowe

Publisher: Crossway

Page Count: 160 Pages

ISBN: 978-1433555145

The “Disciple Investing” Life by Rod Culbertson

51ofzq36a5l-_sx312_bo1204203200_Discipleship is a key concept of the Great Commission yet many Christians do not know how to go about the task of discipleship. In this new landmark work The “Disciple Investing” Life: Helping Others Grow in Their Relationship with Christ, Rod Culbertson, beloved professor of practical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte North Carolina, explores this long yet important process of investing in others lives to train them in the things of God to transform them into disciples. The “Disciple Investing” Life is a book that is highly practical yet grounded in scholarly biblical exposition. Culbertson calls out every Christian to live out their life calling, to live as imitators of Christ by discipling others.

Culbertson uses his decades of experience in discipleship to help a Christian navigate this process. Not only does he explore the makeup and attitude of a discipler but he examines the possible problems and pitfalls that a “Disciple Investor” may encounter as they continue their biblical mandate.  Whether you are a new believer, who was wanting to invest in the lives of others, or season saint who is looking to fine-tuned their discipleship skills in either case, The “Disciples Investing” Life, is a book that not only you will want to read once but reread again and again which will enable you to keep finding nuggets of wisdom brought about by a lifetime of discipleship.

This book will not only help you in the future but directly apply to your present daily life so that you may honor and glorify God in your obedience to the Son’s final command, the Great Commission.  If you have been discipled, this book lets you take a stroll down memory lane to discover how Christians in your life invested in your spiritual growth and let you plan for the future as you look to invest in the discipleship of others. If you have not this book gives you the blue prints for becoming a “Disciple Investor”. I highly and fully recommend this book to any and all Christians who want to take the next step in discipling those who Christ has placed in your life.

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

The “Disciple Investing” Life: Helping Others Grow in Their Relationship with Christ

© 2017 by Rod Culbertson

Publisher: Wipf and Stock

Page Count: 166 Pages

ISBN: 978-1532606960