Reviews: Books on the Apostle Paul, missions, prayer and worship

Reviewers consider Paul Behaving Badly, Transcending Mission, Talking with God and The Worship Pastor.

Origen: Reviews: Books on the Apostle Paul, missions, prayer and worship

The Hermeneutical Spiral by Grant Osborne

The Reagan Review

book spiral

This massive book lives up to its subtitle of “a comprehensive introduction to Biblical interpretation”. It’s the fullest volume I have seen on the subject and it brings the word encyclopedic to mind. There’s no way that you could find any subject in the field of hermeneutics not mentioned in this book. Its greatest strength may also be its greatest weakness as it may be simply to prolix for some people. Still, Grant Osborne has had as much direction in the scholarly world for hermeneutics study as anyone in the last 30 years. Additionally, this busy scholar has written a few important commentaries along the way.

His conception of hermeneutics as a spiral form from text to context has become the preeminent academic theory of biblical interpretation today. In this book, he breaks down the hermeneutical spiral in great detail. In his lengthy introduction, he explains the issues of interpretation…

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The Fourfold Gospel

Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Cover Art

2017.03.07 | Francis Watson, The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016. ISBN: 9780801095450

Review by Jeremiah Coogan, University of Notre Dame.

What modes of reading does the fourfold gospel imply? To answer this question, Francis Watson (Durham University) presents “a theological reading of the New Testament portraits of Jesus.” As the indefinite article makes clear, Watson does not assert a prescriptive reading; rather, the specific readings demonstrate the fruitfulness of reading the fourfold gospel as a complex literary and canonical unity. He invites the reader to experience a different mode of reading, guided by a number of “pre-critical” exegetical insights. Both Watson’s reading and his argument about reading succeed, although this reviewer found the latter more abundantly fruitful than the former.

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Review: Rediscovering Discipleship

Skip Holman reviews Rediscovering Discipleship: Making Jesus’ Final Words our First Work by Bobby Gallaty.

Origen: Review: Rediscovering Discipleship

Last call for a book giveaway

Bible, curiosity, and the NIV Faithlife Study Bible

niv-fsb-blogger-bannerThe first character that comes to my mind, when I put the terms Bible and curiosity together, is the Ethiopian eunuch. In Acts 8:34 we read: “The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” (NIV). The preceding verses tell us the eunuch was reading the Book of Isaiah the Prophet and that he went to Jerusalem to worship. We can infer this man had a high level of curiosity about God and His Word, and the result was that the eunuch was saved and baptized that day on his way home.

Salvation is by grace, period. However, there are plenty of passages in the Bible that make it clear God rewards those who seek Him (e.g. Heb 11:6). Then, we can conclude that the element that must be always present, in anyone trying to meet  and know God, is curiosity. If we could only transmit some degree of curiosity about God and His Word to nonbelievers then we would have a seed planted in their hearts, and they would try to find a way to water that seed of curiosity. And of course, curiosity about the Bible can only be placated by studying the Word of God.

descargaIn so doing, we always need the appropriate tools, and study Bibles are, perhaps, one of the most helpful resources we can acquire for our personal or group study. The NIV Faithlife Study Bible (Zondervan, 2017) is called to become one of the most appreciated and valuable study Bible in the following decades, and there are multiple reasons for that. Firs, this Bible offers thorough notes and commentaries in every chapter. These notes are always helpful to understand passages that are not always clear to us. They are abundant, illuminating and constructive. Every book in this Bible is preceded by an introduction that helps readers to put the book in perspective and context. Introductions are in some cases accompanied by timelines.

Secondly, the NIV Faithlife Study Bible is full with tables, charts, and images that can help anyone to better understand what is being said in a given passage. Figures and other graphic resources can be extremely helpful for our personal study. These resources are in full color, which is always appreciated as it makes study time refreshing and vivid. If you are a visual learner, you will love this Bible.

Thirdly, this new study Bible can be of great help for both experienced Christians and new believers, or even to nonbelievers seeking to feed their curiosity. When I first opened this Bible and started to explore it, I had the feeling that, as a pastor, this is going to be a Bible I will always have at hand. But I also noticed this Bible can be extremely helpful for new Christians who are establishing the basis for their faith and growing in their knowledge of the Scripture.

This Bible is available in hardcover edition, imitation leather, and bonded leather. Of course, prices vary depending on the edition you chose.

Summarizing, Zondervan has produced an outstanding Bible, a Bible that, if used as it is intended to be used, will help generations of Christians to grow in our personal lives and feed our curiosity about the Word of God. Highly recommendable to any Christian at any stage of their Christian life. Congratulations, Zondervan, and thank you for providing us with such a comprehensive Bible.

Here are some additional resources that will help you to get to know this Bible in depth:

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

February 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

Pursuing Veritas

february-2017-bscWelcome to the February 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival!

Assembled below are the very best articles written this past month from around the Biblioblogging world.  I know this firsthand because I have spent all month sifting through as many blogs as possible to find the finest that scholars and students have to offer. This month’s carnival includes submissions from the categories of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, Early Christianity, Reading Phil Long (an homage to the Godfather of Biblical Studies Carnivals), Theology and Hermeneutics, Book Reviews, Tools and Resources, and News.

Looking forward to future Carnivals, March will be hosted by Jonathan Robinson and April by Joshua Gillies of Theologians, Inc. (@Whitefrozen). Cassandra Farrin (email) of Ethics and Early Christianity hosts in June, Reuben Rus of Ayuda Ministerial/ Resources for Ministry hosts in July, and Jason Gardner of eis doxan hosts in August.

You’ll note that this schedule…

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Threefold book giveaway

Hi everyone. I am doing a threefold book giveaway. Those wishing to participate (must live in the USA) are required to write a comment on this post letting me know they want to participate. There will be three winners; one for each book. Winner #1 will receive the book Time in the Book of Ecclesiastes, by Mette Bundvad. Winner #2 will receive the book Evangelical, Sacramental and Pentecostal: Why the Church Should be All Three, by Gordon T. Smith. And winner #3 will receive the book Praying for your Pastor, by Eddie Byun. The winner will be announced one week from today, which is March 8 at 12 PM. Comments posted after March 8, 11:30 am will be not included for the purpose of this giveaway.

Feel free to share and reblog this giveaway.

Thanks and have a blessed day.

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KJV Word Study Bible

9780718085452-jpgCreating a new study Bible has become a difficult task due to the large amount of study bibles available in the market. Publishers are required to be creative and innovative at the same time in order to provide a new and state-of-the-art product. And folks in Thomas Nelson know how to do it.

One of the latest study bibles released by Thomas Nelson is the KJV Word Study Bible. Unlike other study bibles, the Word Study Bible does not provide footnotes. This Bible offers notes for keywords found in every chapter. Strong numerical system can be found for both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The method this Bible offers to note the word that is emphasized is by underlying that word, so readers can easily identify the word whose meaning is explained in detail. Every word comes in its original language and referenced to other passages where the same word is mentioned.

Every book of the Bible is preceded by a brief introduction and a section called “Watch Words” referring to key words found in a particular book.


The outer design offers a well-designed aspect; notably elegant. The material is a brown leathersoft, an alternative material to top-grain leather. The double perimeter stitching in brown provides a cutting-edge aspect to this Bible at the same time it makes the cover stronger.

It really surprised me the small separation on the spine binding when holding this Bible from broth front and back cover. That means the spine and cover are well crafted and glued. Margin is little bit more than an inch wide; not wide enough to take notes.


This Bible is not only ideal for personal study but also to take this Bible with you to Church or other Christians events, since this is not a heavy volume.

You can buy this Bible here from publisher

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

A Review of Holman’s CSB (Christian Standard Bible) Large Print UltraThin Reference Bible, in Black Goatskin Leather.

Snyder's Soapbox


I know many of you are waiting out there to see what this revision of the H.C.S.B. is all about.  It isn’t a formal equivalent, it isn’t a dynamic equivalent.  F.Y.I. Holman calls it an optimal translation.  Here is an excerpt from their site, “The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.”

If you are like me, you might be wondering what is the difference between the two.  Here is another excerpt from their site, ” The Christian Standard Bible is a revision of the HCSB, updating translation and word choices in order to optimize both fidelity…

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Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature: An Exegetical Book, by Richard A. Taylor and David M. Howard Jr.

descarga-1Apocalyptic literature requires a special consideration from interpreters and Bible students. There are some special steps that must be taken in interpreting apocalyptic literature in order to be successful in our interpretation and exposition.

The book Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature: An Exegetical Book, by Richard A. Taylor and David M. Howard Jr. (Kregel, 2016) is one of the most recently released books on the subject of apocalyptic literature. This volume is part of the Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis, a series published by Kregel Academic. The authors present a very well-developed and structured text. They include the basic and beyond for readers to obtain the tools to interpret apocalyptic literature.

The book is composed by six chapters. Chapter 1 answers the logical and foundational question: What is Apocalyptic Literature? The information provided by the authors in answering this question is sufficient and clear enough. Even readers who are not familiar with apocalyptic literature could understand what they are sharing in this introductory chapter.

In chapter 2 the authors present major themes in apocalyptic literature. They consider representative texts (Daniel, Old Testament Prophets, among others) as an example of apocalyptic literature, and provide a brief overview of these texts. The also cover themes deriving from apocalyptic literature.

Chapter 3 prepares the road for interpretative aspects (Preparing for Interpretation of Apocalyptic Literature). The authors not only cover textual issues as figurative language, or issues of text. They also provide a section where they provide tools to work with original languages such as bible study software, lexical resources, and grammatical resources.

Chapter 4 deals with interpretation. Taylor and Howard provide guidelines for interpretation where they cover foundational aspect students need to consider in the study of apocalyptic literature. They also cover some pitfalls students need to identify and avoid in interpreting this style of literature.

Chapter 5 is devoted to proclaiming apocalyptic literature. This chapter is of great value as preaching apocalyptic literature requires special considerations. An exegetical outline as well as a homiletical outline of Daniel 7 is provided, so students can have an illustration of what is being said. Pastors and preacher will find this chapter very useful for their ministries.

In chapter 6, the authors present sample texts from apocalyptic literature. Both an exegetical and a homiletical outline of Daniel chapter 8 are provided in this closing chapter. In addition to that, a section called Lessons from Locust (Joel 2:28-32) is also included in this chapter. These two examples are illustrations of how to do an exegetical study of text from apocalyptical literature and what needs to be done to move form exegesis toward the exposition of the text.

I found this text to be very valuable for pastors, preachers and bible students in general. The authors write in a very accessible and concise way, providing a 200 pages book full of indispensable information for serious Bible students.

You can buy this book here from publisher or here from Amazon

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

The Dangerous Business of Bible Publishing in the Sixteenth Century

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

by Carl Nellis, Associate Editor

‘It was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth, except the Scripture were laid before their eyes in their mother tongue.’
—William Tyndale [1]

The story of printing from the invention of Gutenberg’s press in 1450 to the work of the Reformers has been told and retold in every subsequent generation. This year, celebrations commemorating Luther’s bold act in Wittenberg in 1517 lead us to consider the whole period of the Reformation and the long legacy of that work we inherit today.

In particular, we at Hendrickson Publishers look back to the Reformation as the early period where our own trade began to take shape, as publishers of thoughtful Christian books and, especially, as Bible publishers.

Sixteenth-century printers and publishers played a key role in the cultural shifts that made Luther’s choices possible and powerful. As Patricia Anders, Hendrickson’s editorial director, noted in

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Mark, A Commentary, by M. Eugene Boring

descargaThe Gospel of Mark presents many challenges for preachers and students who are immense in the study and exposition of this dynamic gospel. That is why it is always helpful having thorough commentaries. Mark, A Commentary, by M. Eugene Boring (Westminster John Knox Press, 2006), is one of those commentaries that will help expositors have a broader perspective on this gospel.

This volume is part of the well-known series The New Testament Library. The author provided us with a very complete volume. In his introduction, Boring addresses every pertinent issue regarding the Gospel of Mark; genre, authorship, date of composition, story, and other pertinent discussions.

The commentary section is both informative and constructive. The author divides the text in major blocks and then he follows a verse by verse pattern. Boring presents different points of view and interpretations when the text requires so, not necessarily forcing readers to adopt one interpretation or the other. The author also provides a variety of excursuses on topics that are worth of further discussion, and he does that with a great insight. Excursuses are to clarifying or to provide additional information, and Boring does so in a magnificent way.

The table of contents serves as the outline of this gospel, and it is written from an exegetical perspective. This commentary is an exegetical commentary from the beginning to the end. The textual notes provided by the author are illuminating and informative. Greek terms are included. However, Boring makes use of Greek terms when necessary and with the purpose of helping readers to better understand a given verse and without interrupting the reading of the text. The bibliography is so complete and will help readers to expand their study of the Gospel of Mark.

Summarizing, this is an outstanding commentary on the Gospel of Mark that will provide pastors, expositors, and students with a great amount of information in a well-organized approach. Perhaps you already have good commentaries on the Gospel of Mark, but Boring’s volume will be an excellent addition to your library as well as to your own life.

Buy this book from publisher or from Amazon

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

The New Interpreter’s Handbook of Preaching

the-new-interpreters-handbook-of-preachingThere has been a revival related to preaching and homiletics in general. As seminaries have increased the offer in theological and pastoral studies, the need of more books on preaching has also increased. Most of these books are focused on how to prepare a sermon, providing the mechanical process of the preparation of a sermon. However, there is a need for more than that.

The book The New Interpreter’s Handbook of Preaching (Abingdon Press, 2008) is a very thorough resource that covers every single aspect and theme concerning preaching. The general editors are Paul Scott Wilson, Jana Childers, Cleophus J. LaRue, and John M. Rottman. The list of contributors is so extensive and all of them are very reputable scholars from different denominational backgrounds.

Articles are abundant and informative. Some themes presented in this book are “Illustration and Stories”, “Narrative Preaching”, “Preaching to Children”, “Preacher’s Creative Process”, and many more. The articles are divided and arranged into eleven major themes:

  1. The Bible
  2. Bible Genres
  3. Ethics
  4. Literary Criticism
  5. Poetics
  6. Preacher
  7. Social Location
  8. Experience
  9. Rhetoric
  10. Sermon
  11. Theology

This book includes an alphabetical list of articles that makes it easier for readers to find a given topic. Long articles include and outline containing the points developed in the article. Every article includes a bibliography at the end of it, which is always helpful for further reading or investigation.

Readers must be aware this is not a book that focuses on the preparation of a sermon, though that theme is included and well discussed. This book goes beyond that as topics like dressing and the preacher’s personal aspects are also included. Readers will find this book discuss anything you can think of preaching. This book can help readers to understand that preaching is more than the sermon and its preparation.

Pastors, preachers, and anyone in the pulpit should have this highly recommendable book. I fall short if I say that I recommend this book.

Buy it from publisher or buy it from Amazon

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Grandes Temas Bíblicos, por Lewis Sperry Chafer

descargaUno de los males que aqueja a la Iglesia hoy en día es la falta de un fundamento sólido, en lo que a doctrina se refiere. La mayoría de pastores y líderes no invierten en instruir a sus congregaciones doctrinalmente. La falta de recursos no es una excusa aceptable porque hoy, más que nunca, abundan libros de todos los niveles de enseñanza. Es fácil encontrar teologías sistemáticas, libros de doctrina cristiana, diccionarios o comentarios bíblicos para todos los gustos.

Cuando uno se da a la tarea de enseñar doctrina cristiana en la iglesia y a personas que nunca antes habían estudiado ese tema, es crucial encontrar un libro de texto que aúna enseñanza efectiva e informativa y clarividencia a la misma vez. El libro Grandes Temas Bíblicos, escrito por Lewis Sperry Chafer y revisado por John F. Walvoord (Editorial Portavoz), es un libro que cumple a la perfección con ese cometido. Si bien es cierto que el libro fue escrito originalmente en inglés a principios del siglo XX y traducido al español a mediados del mismo siglo, este es un libro que no pasa de moda.

Tanto del autor como de quien hizo la revisión del libro, hay poco que decir que no se haya dicho antes. Chafer fue el fundador del Dallas Theological Seminary (Seminario Teológico de Dallas) del cual Walvoord fue profesor por muchos años. Chafer es sobradamente conocido como autor, especialmente por su Teología Sistemática. Walvoord también fue un autor prominente, sobresaliendo su comentario bíblico Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation.

Las 52 enseñanzas que este libro contiene siguen siendo pertinentes a la Iglesia hoy. En sus casi 450 páginas, el lector encontrará desarrollados todos los temas que, de manera básica, todo creyente debiera de conocer y manejar con desparpajo. La Biblia, Dios, el concepto de la Trinidad, el hombre, angelología, la Iglesia, o escatología, son algunos de los temas que se desarrollan en este libro. El punto de vista interpretativo de los eventos futuros es de la escuela dispensacionalista, si bien el autor también presenta otros puntos de vista existentes.

Al ver el contenido del libro, algunas personas podrían sentirse intimidadas por la terminología empleada. Lo cierto es que la lectura del libro es accesible para cualquier persona, incluyendo aquellos que nunca antes han estudiado doctrina cristiana. Los temas están desarrollados de manera sistemática, y siempre respaldados por pasajes bíblicos que apoyan lo descrito por el autor. La longitud de cada capítulo es la apropiada para estudiantes noveles, sin que ello denote simplicidad. Lo admirable en este libro es la capacidad del autor de aportar información relevante y profunda a la vez que concisa. Eso es un arte que no muchos escritores aplican. Ello hará que el lector tenga una sensación de plenitud sin experimentar empacho de información.

Este libro es ideal para grupos de estudio bíblico, seminarios, institutos bíblicos, o discipulado. Al final de cada capítulo se presentan una serie de preguntas para que el lector las desarrolle y pruebe su comprensión con respecto a lo aprendido. Es un idóneo para discusiones en grupo y en clase.

En resumen, si usted está buscando material que le ayude a crecer en su conocimiento sobre temas bíblicos, este libro le puede resultar de gran ayuda. Así mismo, este libro es altamente recomendable para pastores y líderes de iglesias que quieran hacer grupos de estudio bíblico asegurándose que los participantes van a crecer en sus bases doctrinales.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible

9780310431589-jpg_11One of the most important aspects in Bible study is context. Every preacher and anyone conducting a Bible study needs to understand the context of the passage under study, and understanding the context requires a full understanding of the cultural background of a given passage. If you want to gain knowledge regarding cultural backgrounds in the Bible, then the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible (Zondervan, 2016) is the resource you need to pursue that objective.

This Bible is designed to take Bible students to a higher level in understanding times and customs from the Bible. This amazing Bible comes with notes addressing cultural issues as well as exegetical and theological concerns. Notes are abundant, so potential readers should expect a Bible that demands a serious commitment to study it.

The design Zondervan has chosen for text in this Bible (NIV) is a two-column design. They have placed cross-references in a bar dividing the biblical text. This bar comes in light-brown color, which makes the cross-references easier to differentiate from the biblical text. Every chapter and heading is in red color to make it easier to identify them.

Every book in the Bible is preceded by a introduction, but unlike other study bibles, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible does not include outline or theological themes. Instead, introductions to biblical books include historical settings and literary settings, with key concepts. This is obvious due to the emphasis this Bible has on cultural and historical backgrounds.

As expected in a study Bible, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible is full charts, diagrams, maps, and full-color pictures and images. This makes Bible study to be more dynamic and pleasant. A concordance is also included at the end of the Bible. And if that was not enough, this Bible includes a Hebrew to English translation chart, a chart showing ancient text relating to the Old Testament, an Old and Testament chronology, a study of the time between the Testaments, a list of key New Testament terms, and an introduction to biblical text divided by genre (the Torah, narrative literature, wisdom and hymnic literature, etc…). As you can see, this is a very complete Bible, a great addition to any pastor’s library.

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As for the material, the volume reviewed in this review is a hardcover edition. Imitation leather and bonded leather are also available, varying in colors and price. The hardcover Bible I received feels strong and well crafted. It comes with a removable jacket to protect the hardcover. Price range is $34.99-$89.99.

Summarizing, this is a highly recommendable, a must have Bible for pastors, those in ministry, Bible students, and anyone seeking to deepen his or her knowledge on the subject of cultural backgrounds in the Bible. You will not regret it.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Preaching Old Testament Narratives, by Benjamin H. Walton (Kregel, 2016)

44258xPreaching the Old Testament narratives always represents a challenge for both the preacher and the audience. For that reason, pastors and preachers need to be instructed in the art of preaching Old Testament Narratives as this part of the Bible requires an especial attention.

The book Preaching Old Testament Narratives, by Benjamin H. Walton (Kregel, 2016) can be a very helpful resource for those seeking to deepen their skills in preaching Old Testament narratives. The book is divided in two major sections: Part I: Discover the Message and Part II: Deliver the Message.

Part I (chapters 1-3) is devoted to the process of selecting and studying a passage from the Old Testament narratives. Walton leads the reader through a hermeneutical process. Chapter 2 (OT Narratives: From Text Selection to Take-Home Truth) is especially practical since the author presents a step by step approach for the preparation of a sermon. This process is illustrated in chapter 3, where a brief study of 2 Samuel 11-12 is presented.

Part II (chapters 4-13) deals with the skill of delivering a message. In this section, Walton leads the reader through a detailed homiletical process on how to prepare and deliver a sermon from an Old Testament narrative passage. The author uses many examples and practical illustrations that will help readers to visually see what is being said. This section is a step by step approach and is extremely useful for preachers.

Summarizing, this is a very complete and practical volume for preachers and pastors. Part I is focused on hermeneutical issues while Part II is focused on homiletical issues, and both disciplines combined result in a must have book for those in ministry.

You can buy this book here 

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Review: Excellent Preaching



Why is good preaching so difficult to accomplish, and why is excellent preaching so herculean a feat?

In this short book, Craig G. Bartholomew, the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, and the principal of the Paideia Centre for Public Theology, explains how to land a plane. Every Sunday you might feel like you’re on a repeat viewing of “Airplane!” It’s like you’re speaking jive and no one understands you. You have a message, it’s based on the text of the Bible, but now you need to land the plane and get God’s truth to sit in the lives of your congregation. How do you impact their hearts and thoughts? You do you penetrate their lives and get them to think about how to live in a transformed way?

And often times, even when you do land the plane, you either land…

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Paul’s Graeco-Roman Context

9789042932715-1In recent decades, the figure of the Apostle Paul has gained the attention of scholars and researchers. New studies on personal issues as well as his ministry als the Apostle to the Gentile are being released almost every day.

Paul was a first century Jewish who held the Roman citizenship. The time and place he lived requires studying Paul within his cultural and political context. The book Paul’s Greco-Roman Context, (Peeters Publishers, 2015), by Cilliers Breytenbach (general editor) is, perhaps, one of the most complete resources for the study of the Apostle Paul’s context.

This volume is a collection of essays written by different and respectable scholars from different countries, predominantly from Europe and the USA. It contains thirty-four essays written in French (4), German (10), and English (20), in 751 pages. Those readers who can read these three languages could benefit from reading the thirty-four essays (this review is only focused on the essays written in English as this reviewer cannot read French or German languages). This book is the volume #277 of the reputable series Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium published by the aforementioned publishing house.

The topics addressed by the authors are varied, having in common the figure of the Apostle Paul. Paul and Popular Philosophy, Paul and Ancient Civic Ethics, Elements of the Graeco-Roman Context in the Christian Community of Philippi, are some of the themes readers will find in this thorough volume. Essays are twenty pages long (average) and transmit the sensation of reading the writings of serious scholars who have the ability to condense all their knowledge in twenty pages without leaving readers uninformed. Every essay will make readers feel as if they have read a hole book.

Reading a book written by different authors has many advantages, though some people see some disadvantages as well. One of the advantages of reading a multi-author book is that readers can get different point of views from different cultural backgrounds concerning a given topic (in this case, Paul and his context). In this volume, this factor is an element that contributes to make this book a must have resource for scholars, Bible students, pastors, and anyone interested in learning more about Paul as a prominent figure in the Bible.

If you live in Europe, you can buy this book directly from the publisher here.

For those living in the USA, you can buy this book from Amazon

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

IVP Academic’s Skills For Effective Counseling – Rating 8.9

The Christian Reviewer

Skills for Effective Counseling: A Faith-Based Integration“Skills For Effective Counseling: a Faith-Based Integration” was a very pleasant surprise for me.  IVP generously sent me a copy of this book for me to do a review and there is a lot of excellent content in this book.  Providing a very unique approach to learning counseling skills, the authors start with

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