• Review

    Book Review: For the Glory of God

    I recently had the privilege of working through For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship by Daniel Block. Published in 2014, For the Glory of God is a masterful work, relying on Block’s extensive teaching and research experience. In many ways it is exhaustive, hitting the subject of worship from every conceivable perspective. Looking at the table of contents gives that impression. The book is divided as follows: Toward a Holistic, Biblical Understanding of Worship The Object of Worship The Subject of Worship Daily Life as Worship Family Life and Work as Worship The Ordinances as Worship Hearing and Proclaiming the Scriptures as Worship Prayer as Worship Music as Worship Sacrifice and Offerings as Worship The Drama of Worship The Design and Theology of Sacred Space Leaders in Worship There are also three appendices covering (A) Doxologies of the New Testament; (B) Hymnic Fragments in the…

  • Old Testament,  Review

    Book Review: The Case for Biblical Archaeology

    Last year, Shepherd’s Theological Seminary launched their Department of Biblical Archaeology. Although it lacked fan fare and an inaugural dig (due to Covid restrictions), there has been much excitement about the prospect of future digs in Israel and Jordan. Since I am a part of the program, I wanted to write a review of John Currid’s book, The Case for Biblical Archaeology: Uncovering the Historical Record of God’s Old Testament People, published by P & R in 2020. Having a good introductory resource for archaeology is imperative for the student, and Currid’s book definitely fulfills that need. The book itself is printed on quality paper, and has a collection of impressive color photographs and maps. In and of itself that helps aid the student, but it obviously increases the price somewhat. However, at the end of the day, the quality of the paper and photos are worth the extra price.…

  • Review,  Theology

    Book Review: Discontinuity to Continuity: A Survey of Dispensational & Covenantal Theologies

    Typically, when there is a multiple-views book, it is a multiple-author attempt to persuade the reader to a certain theological position. These books have a needed place in the church, but it is certainly not the only way to compare different theological viewpoints. Most recently, I read a refreshing book on the multiple-views theme by a single author, Ben Merkle. I want to highlight this book as a valuable resource in the field of understanding eschatological systems because of its unique approach. Merkle’s book, Discontinuity to Continuity: A Survey of Dispensational & Covenantal Theologies (Lexham Press, 2020), is a multiple-views book by a single author (Merkle). However, rather than attempting to persuade the reader to any particular theological system, Merkle takes great pains to remain purely descriptive of the theological systems. I think he does a remarkable job in doing this, and to Merkle’s credit, he is able to describe…

  • Review

    Book Review: Forsaking Israel

    One of the main reasons I came to Shepherds Theological Seminary was because of Dr. Larry Pettegrew. He had an impeccable reputation as a humble scholar who loved the Lord and his family. The most recent effort which validates his well-deserved reputation is the book, Forsaking Israel: How it Happened and Why it Matters (Kress, 2020). Forsaking Israel contains years and years of research and study on behalf of Pettegrew and some other distinguished colleagues at Shepherds Theological Seminary. The book is divided into two main sections. The main thrust of the first section is church history, and a discussion of the Church Fathers and why Israel began to be neglected in early church history. This section of the book also includes one of the most detailed analyses of the history of Covenant Theology and how the theology itself contributed to a downplaying of Israel as God’s chosen people. The…

  • Ethics,  Review

    Book Review: Understanding Transgender Identities

    I know I am not the only one who has had a heightened interest in assessing the cultural revolution over the last 10 years. Over that short time, the culture has moved from a negative view of the sexual revolution to a full embrace. And today, although the cultural battle is essentially over, the battle of defining sexuality continues to rage in the church. Case in point, one of the most important conversations today is the issue of transgenderism. To help with this conversation, Baker Academic has published a four-views book (2019). James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy have edited the book which is entitled, Understanding Transgender Identities. Beilby is professor of systematic and philosophical theology at Bethel University. Eddy is professor of biblical and theological studies also at Bethel University. They have co-edited six multiview volumes together, and this is the latest one. There are five contributing authors…

  • Biblical Languages,  Review

    Book Review: A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible, 2nd ed. (Zondervan Academic)

    Because I am involved in teaching the biblical languages at the seminary level, I am regularly asked about Greek and Hebrew Reader Bibles. I have not had much experience with Reader Bibles so I asked Zondervan to let me review their 2nd edition of A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible. I hope this review will be helpful both to my students as well as the academically-inclined reader of the blog.   The Aesthetics, Bulk, Weight, etc. First of all, I was impressed with the texture of the hard cover and the quality of the binding. Granted I am no expert on book bindings, but it seems very solid, and lays flat immediately. It is one of the more annoying things to have a book that doesn’t lay flat, so this is much appreciated! It is 4 LBS, and contains 2272 pages. It seems comparable my Biblia Sacra which is about…

  • Biblical Languages,  Review

    Book Review: Dictionary of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Languages

    I love teaching the biblical languages. It is extremely rewarding to help students learn Greek and Hebrew in order to better understand God’s revelation. However, one of the difficulties of being a language teacher is the inability of many students to think and speak grammatically about English. The Dictionary of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Languages is a helpful little resource (140 pages) which aims to help with this kind of problem. A couple years ago I remember reading a book on cognitive learning. One of my major takeaways from the book was that students cannot learn well if they are not using the same vocabulary as the teacher. That was very eye opening to me, and I have endeavored to help students use the same words as I from day one of the class so they are on the same page. That’s what makes this such a great…

  • Review

    Biblical Studies Carnival 170 (April 2020)

    Each month, Phil Long (from Reading Acts) organizes a host for the Biblical Studies Carnival. Basically, the goal is to showcase some of the blog posts of the month in the area of biblical studies. Last month (March) Brent Niedergall did a great job of hosting it, and this month (April) I have the privilege of hosting the 170th edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival. The May 2020 Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted by Bobby Howell at The Library Musings. Phil is also looking for hosts for June through the end of the year, so if you have been a host in the past, now is the time to volunteer again. This carnival is a collection of blog articles from a variety of sources. Some came from the news feed on Nerdy Language Majors and Nerdy Theology Majors, two academically oriented discussion groups on Facebook. Some of the articles were…

  • Review

    Book Review: Authorized—the Use & Misuse of the King James Bible

    Every so often I try to write a brief book review on a book that interests me. Because I have written in some detail about the King James Version, I was sent Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible, written by Mark Ward. Mark received his PhD in NT Interpretation at Bob Jones University, and currently works for Faithlife. He works in a variety of capacities, one of which is being an academic editor for Lexham Press. He also blogs at By Faith We Understand. Authorized is an interesting take on the KJV Only issue because it approaches the issue from an English language perspective. Most books that deal with the KJV deal with mistranslations or inadequate manuscript support. However, the approach in this book is to have a serious discussion about some of the problems of reading the KJV in English. Reading the KJV in English…

  • Review,  Theology

    An Important Primer on Dispensationalism

    Concerning dispensationalism, I have tried to set the record straight by blogging on Beliefs that DON’T Define Dispensationalism and beliefs which all dispensationalists hold to. In keeping with that theme, (and because I know it may be of interest to some), I want to write a brief review of a primer on dispensationalism by Dr. Mike Vlach, entitled Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths. I have really enjoyed this work, and it was just updated this past March (the previous edition is dated 2008). The updated version includes some additional material, including a significant discussion on the differences between dispensationalism and covenant theology (Chapter 5). What follows is a brief review, and I hope it will be helpful. The biggest complement that I can give the book is that it is easy to read. Both times I read it (2012 and 2017) I read it through in one sitting. It…