Tags: Colossians, commentary, cross focused reviews, Sufficiency of Christ
Christ All Sufficient, An Exposition of Colossians by Brian G. Hedges
This is a new work, published in 2016 to add to the list of commentaries on Colossians. The author is the pastor of a local church and writes with that perspective in mind. As you read through the commentary you will see that this author is also a scholar.
Even though in the introduction Hedges claims that this is not a technical commentary, he says that he has benefited from the scholarship of others (pp. 15-16). He makes good use of endnotes and gives the reader a very good Selected Bibliography. The bibliography will give you an idea of some good commentaries to buy and use.
The outline will help students of Colossians as they study through the book. The theme of Christ being all sufficient for the believer is upheld throughout its pages. It is easy to read, understand and apply the truth from its pages.
Reading through the commentary you will find a textual approach with insight into the meaning of what is being said and how it applies. It’s almost as if you are reading his sermons on Colossians. That is a good thing.
Pastors will find this a good addition to their libraries because it will offer a practical balance to technical, scholarly works. I personally benefited from it and wish I had it in my library while I was preaching through the book of Colossians.
I received this book for free for review purposes from http://www.crossfocusedreviews.com and was not required to give a favorable review. I give the book four stars out of five. Buy a copy for yourself and buy one for your pastor.
Tags: making disciples, rediscovering discipleship
Book Review of
Gallaty, Robby. Rediscovering Discipleship. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2015, 238 pp.
Here is a book about a subject that has been around longer than most of us realize. Most Christians have heard about discipleship. The problem is they may have never been discipled. This book can help Christians know what discipleship is; where it comes from; and get practical ideas on how to get this ministry going in their lives and churches.
Two main sections and thirteen chapters comprise the body of the book. The author uses endnotes instead of footnotes. I was surprised at the number of references in a book on this subject. A lot of research went into this book. It is not just a testimonial on how discipleship has helped the author.
The first section, “Know the Man Before You Go On Mission” gives the reader background information on discipleship. We learn how making disciples was practiced, developed and was forgotten over time. This is an interesting section that pastors and church leaders will benefit from reading.
The second section, “The Method of Making Disciples” helps the reader with practical advice and examples. While moving through this section I hope most readers will be thinking that they can do this. There is no guilt here for those not involved in making disciples. But there is plenty of encouragement and motivation to not only be a disciple but to make disciples.
This is an easy book to read and come away with feeling good about making disciples. It is well worth the time for pastors, leaders and teachers to read and practice. A Biblical ministry method is laid out for the readers to learn and apply. The practice of making disciples will revolutionize any church.
I received this book for free from www.crossfocusedreviews.com for review purposes. I was not required to give a favorable review.
Tags: evangelicals adrift book review, Matthew E. Ferris, review of sacramentalism
Ferris, Matthew E. Evangelicals Adrift: Supplanting Scripture with Sacramentalism. published by Great Writing; 2015, 248pp.
This is a challenging book to read, not simply because of its subject but also because of the research compiled within its pages. There are multiple citations from different scholarly works. I truly appreciate the use of footnotes instead of endnotes. This makes my reading and checking quotations easier.
The author presents a high view of Scripture over and above tradition or creeds. He does not bash Catholics or those who hold to a high view of sacramentalism. He simply presents these views in the light of Scripture.
The author presents the views of many people from different times in history. He asks that the reader look at these views in the light of Scripture. Famous people from Church history are quoted and the views they hold are looked into through the lens of Scripture.
There are ten chapters, an index of modern authors, a bibliography and a subject index. Almost every page contains footnotes. This is a book that could be used as a reference tool for further study. This book is not one sided in its approach because the author admits that “the book is not an apology for Protestantism” (p. 24).
Personally, I appreciate the work that Matthew Ferris has done for this book. I learned a lot that I did not previously know or paid attention too. In the future I can see this work being an interesting reference work to consult. I wish we examined every tradition, creed or sacrament in the light of Scripture.
This book is not for everyone, but if you want to read an in depth study of sacramentalism in the light of Scripture it will be worth your time and money.
Tags: book review, Christ, cross focused reviews, Desert, symbolism, Tabernacle, typology
Christ and the Desert Tabernacle by J. V. Fesko
It has been a while since I’ve blogged or reviewed a book and I wanted to get started with both again. I was intrigued by the title and thought this would be a good book to start with. I have read the Biblical account of the Tabernacle many times before but I’ve never studied it. So when the book arrived I looked it over and liked what I initially saw.
After picking the time to get started with my reading I made a small pot of El Salvador Teopan Pacamara (www.staufs.com) so I could enjoy two of my favorite things at the same time. The coffee could be a different review for another time. Usually I start looking over a book by going through the table of contents and the bibliography. There are thirteen chapters here and no bibliography. I was a little surprised and looking forward to the read.
The introduction starts the book out well and gives the reader some information on the background of the author and how he came to this study. Then each chapter basically follows the format of a Scripture passage to be read; an introduction to the part of the Tabernacle; an explanation or description of the part; how it applies to us and a conclusion.
Each chapter contains a lot of Scripture references and I am grateful for that. This was a refreshing difference from many recently published books. After reading the book you come away with the thought of knowing what Fesko believes about the Tabernacle. The author even motivated me to pull a couple of other books on the Tabernacle off my bookshelf and read them and compare them to his.
I guess that is the best praise or endorsement I can give this book. Reading it encouraged me to know more about the Tabernacle. The author obviously has a high view of Scripture and its authority in our lives. He also has a balanced view of the typology and symbolism here and how to interpret it through the lens of the New Testament.
With thirteen chapters this book could be used as an adult Sunday School study or small group study. A good teacher would find it user friendly and be able to develop discussion questions for their group study.
I am passing this book on to some individuals in my church so they can read it, learn from it and enjoy it. I would recommend this book for pastors and teachers. I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews (www.crossfocusedmedia.com) and was not obligated to give a favorable review.
Tags: Bethany House Publishers, book review, Deeper into the Word New Testament, Keri Wyatt Kent
I just posted a book review by my wife Kim. You can read it by going to the Book Reviews page. The book is: Kent, Keri Wyatt, Deeper into the Word New Testament. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2011. 247pp.
Tags: book review, live free or die, mark steyn, martin sanders, mentoring, the power of mentoring
I posted a book review of The Power of Mentoring, Shaping People Who Will Shape the World by Martin Sanders.
I found this older article, “Live Free or Die!” by Mark Steyn interesting also. You can find it here: http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2009&month=04
I hope you are encouraged and learn something new from the reading.
Tags: Don't Quit, endurance, keep pressing on, manhood, overcoming difficulty, spiritual warfare, Stu Webber, William Gurnall
Sometimes circumstances or people can give us a swift unexpected kick. At times like that we have to remember some foundational truths. One being, Christians are involved in spiritual warfare. We live in a war zone, all day, and every day. But there is help and there is hope. They are found in the person of Jesus Christ and the promises of the Word of God.
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12 NIV)
Second, those of us who are in Christ, who know Him personally as Lord and Savior, can be assured of His presence in our lives. Whether in good times or bad times we can be confident of His presence and provision. Our enemy may throw fiery arrows at us trying to get us to doubt the Word of God. But we need to remember that is part of the Christian life.
“But,” the doubting soul may ask, “what if I cannot grasp this assurance, or vouch for those evidences which I once thought to be true?” Then try the following prescriptions as a tonic for your ailing faith.
First of all, renew your repentance, as if you had never repented. Put forth fresh acts of faith, as if you had never believed, and you will beat Satan at his own game. Let him tell you that your former actions were hypocritical, or that they are old and worthless. What can he say against your present affirmation of faith? In this way, the very accusations he uses to drive you away from God, instead draw you closer to Him.
If he still haunts you with fears of you spiritual condition, then apply to the throne of grace and ask for a new copy of the old evidence, which you have misplace. The original is in the pardon office in heaven, of which Christ is the Master. And if you are a saint, your name is on record in that court. Appeal to God, and hear the news from heaven, rather than listen to the tales your enemy brings from hell. If you would argue less with Satan and pray more to God about your fears, they would soon be resolved. Can you expect truth from a liar, or comfort from an adversary? Turn your back on him and go to God. Try not to worry. Sooner or later you will receive your certificate of assurance. (from The Christian In Complete Armour by
William Gurnall, Feb. 16)
Third, my brothers and sisters, we have to keep pressing on. Don’t give up on your faith in God. Don’t believe the father of lies who tries to tell you that either God doesn’t care or He simply can’t do anything about your problem. Remember the words of Paul, Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Phil. 3:12). We have a responsibility to lay aside what easily entangles us and look toward Jesus and press on. He has overcome and in Him we are overcomers! Don’t quit, keep pressing on!
You Mustn’t Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must – but never quit.
Life is queer, with its twist and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out;
Stick to your task, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with one more blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt –
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that YOU MUSTN’T QUIT.
– author Unknown, from Along The Road To Manhood
by Stu Webber, p. 92.
Tags: awesome God, pray, pray for our president, prayer
“(1) I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – (2) for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (3) This is good, and pleases God our Savior, (4) who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave Himself for all men – the testimony given in its proper time. (1 Timothy 2:1-6 NIV)
When was the last time you prayed for our president and his family? They need our prayers. I am not going to rant or take sides politically right now. If for nothing else than respect for the office of president, let’s pray for him and his wife and his children. Most of us will never meet him, but we can pray for him. We’ll never meet his wife or children, but we can pray for them.
There are enough people criticizing him and his decisions. There is a place and time for that. There are enough people hoping to vote him out of office during the next election. Like him and his agenda or not, Jehovah God has allowed him to be the president of the United States of America. Almighty God raises up and He lowers down whom He wants to. We need to show the president some respect and pray for him.
- He, his wife and children will come to a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior if they don’t now have that.
- He and his family will be protected from violence and harm.
- He and his family will be healthy and safe both physically and emotionally.
- He will be a loving husband and father.
- He will think clearly and make the right decision and not a politically correct decision.
- He will be a man of integrity, truthfulness, honor and courage.
- His closest advisors will come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.
- He will get godly counsel and follow it and that ungodly counsel will be thwarted.
He may never know we pray, but God does. Our God is an awesome God! Let’s pray according to Scripture like He is. Thank you for praying.
Bill (Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11-12)
by Rich Mullins
Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God
Tags: boys, male, male behavior, masculinity, men, men in church, mentoring, warriors, wildmen, wimps
There has been more talk and writing recently about what it means to be a man. Within this discussion people voice their concerns and thoughts about masculinity or the absence of it. There is always the concern about the lack of role models for boys to emulate. There is also concern about men taking longer to grow up and be responsible. Now there are churches trying to have tough men and macho ministries. Many men and women have sought to find an answer to why men don’t attend church regularly or at all.
Over the next few weeks I will seek to give my perspective and thoughts on this subject. From my vantage point and experience I have broken the discussion down into three areas. There are boys and men in every category. You may already be thinking of where some man fits. I also hope to give an illustration from Scripture of a man in each category. What does God’s Word have to say about wimps, wild men and warriors, if anything at all? Today is just a brief overview to set the stage.
WIMPS: better known as sissy’s. “Sissy” is not a politically correct word. No boy or man worth anything wants to be called a sissy. More dumb dares have been accepted just to prove that you are not a sissy. Back in the day, it was connected to girlish behavior. But let’s stick to the word, “wimp.” It conjures up pictures of Popeye’s friend, Wimpy. The overweight, out of shape glutton who was borrowing the price of hamburger with the promise of paying it back tomorrow. Who really wants to be known as a wimp?
WILDMEN: to some boys or men, this is the ideal. The do what I like when I like to whomever or with whomever I like kind of man. He’s the brash, in your face adventurer. To show my hand a little, I have a simple question that I have asked a number of men for a few years. No one has yet given me a good Biblical answer. So if there are any Eldredgeites out there, “where in Scripture are we told to be wild men”? Please show me where God wants boys or men to have hearts that are wild.
WARRIORS: just what is a warrior? Does modern society (especially boys and/or men) understand what a warrior is? The word is used so loosely that I am not sure that we understand the real definition. Is it someone who just toughs it out when things are bad? Or is there more to it than that? When we understand what a warrior was in Scripture is there any application to present society? Is being a warrior a role reserved for men only?
I have my perspective, beliefs and practical application. Not everyone will like what I have to say. That’s o.k. with me. I will leave you with some questions to think over. So now, where is the Church in all of this mess? Where is the Church learning about masculinity, maleness, manhood, and just being a man? How do we let boys be boys while helping them learn to be a man? What is a man supposed to act like? How do men balance being tough with being tender? How do men balance humility with ambition?
I have a lot more questions, but I’ll stop here. I will try to ask and answer some questions next week. I will also give an illustration from the Bible. I hope you will be back to learn about wimps. I just don’t want you to be one!
Much grace and peace to you,
Bill (a fellow-laborer)
(Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11-12)
(copyright: Bill Mazey)