Jan 3, 2009

My Reading Report

I was interested to read this article on President Bush’s reading habits. For the last twelve years I have kept a record of the books that I have read cover-to-cover as it were. I also read the newspaper almost every day and the Bible through every year (except one year in the last twelve). I do not keep track of the reading that I do in commentaries (unless I read the whole commentary), theologies, monographs, journals, magazines, blogs, etc. Altogether, I estimate that what I don’t keep track of actually accounts to more than what I do keep track of. But I digress.

For the year 2008 I read sixteen books (a number which pales in comparison to the forty read by the president this year). My goals for each year are to read in three broad categories. One category is biblical studies. This year I read eight books in this category: Poetics and Biblical Interpretation (Adele Berlin), The Heart of the Old Testament (Ronald Youngblood), Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel (J. Andrew Dearman), Acts (J. Bradley Chance), Jesus’ Promise to the Nations (Joachim Jeremias), The Blue Parakeet (Scot McKnight), An Introduction to the Gospels and Acts (Charles Puskas and David Crump), Paul and the New Perspective (Seyoon Kim). You might have noticed that I try to read books related to both Testaments.

I also read books related to ministry. Here I read Preaching and Preachers (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones), Inspired Preaching (C. Richard Wells and Boyd Luter), and Telling God’s Story (John Wright).

A third category that I try to read in every year relates to the biblical languages. In 2008 I read Basics of Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek (Constantine Campbell) and Philippians: A Greek Student’s Intermediate Reader (Jerry Sumney). Alas there was not a Hebrew book this year.

Other than these categories I read Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller), Assaulted by Joy (Stephen Simpson), and as I have already noted above, the Bible.

I already have at least two books on tap for 2009 for which I have committed to reviewing and I know that there will be a great deal of reading pertaining to the dissertation I will be writing.

Feel free to let me know what you have been reading.

Jan 2, 2009

Free Downloadable Hebrew Resources

DailyHebrew.com has a helpful list of downloadable Hebrew resources including grammars, lexicons, and special studies. You can access the list

Free Audio Download of Oswald Chambers Biography

Christianaudio.com is currently offering a free download of David MacCasland's biography of Oswald Chambers:
Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God. Go here and add the download format of Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God to your cart and then enter the coupon code JAN2009 when prompted during checkout.

Jan 1, 2009

Decker on the Genitive Absolute

Rodney Decker has a nice explanation of the Greek genitive absolute. Read it

Keller on Preaching Hell in a Tolerant Age

Tim Keller has posted an interesting article on preaching hell in a tolerant age. You can read it

Dec 31, 2008

Video: I Think My Wife's a Calvinist

Those of you who are predestined to watch this will.

Review of Preach the Word

Peter Mead has posted a review of
Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching in Honor of R. Kent Hughes, edited by Leland Ryken and Todd Wilson . You can access the review here.

Bolen on the Top Eight Archaeological Discoveries in 2008

Todd Bolen has a nice post on the top eight archaeological discoveries in 2008. You can read it

Dec 30, 2008

Themes in Acts

A few years ago I taught a course entitled "Themes from the Book of Acts." In this course I developed the following eight themes.

1. The expansion of the Church
2. The Holy Spirit
3. The spread of the inclusive gospel
4. The sovereignty of God
5. Opposition to the spread of the gospel
6. The person and work of Christ
7. Prayer
8. The ministries of Peter and Paul

As I was reading through Puskas and Crump's An Introduction to the Gospels and Acts (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), I noted that they identify the following as key themes in Luke-Acts (pp. 128-52). Although I did not include Luke in my listing of themes I thought that a comparison of themes might be interesting and/or helpful. The themes they identify are:

1. Salvation to the Gentiles
2. The progression of the gospel
3. The Holy Spirit
4. Prayer
5. Wealth, poverty, and the marginalized
6. Faithful Israel
7. Roman tolerance.

It is encouraging to note that there was significant overlap between the lists. But I wonder if there might be some other major themes. Suggestions anyone?

Dec 29, 2008

Video on J. Vernon McGee

Here is a fifteen minute video on the life and ministry of J. Vernon McGee.

A man who made a difference

Cook on Funerary Practices and Afterlife Expectations in Ancient Israel

Stephen Cook has posted his November 2007 Religion Compass article in toto. The abstract to the article reads:

Ancient Israel was thoroughly familiar with existence beyond death. Individual personalities survived the death of the body, most Israelites believed, albeit in a considerably weakened and vulnerable state. The ensnaring tentacles of Sheol constantly threatened the living-dead, but the fortunate among them were able to use the power of kinship bonds to keep Sheol’s threats at bay. The traditional ties of lineage and kin-bonding, according to biblical Yahwism, were an actual way for the living-dead to pull themselves back from death’s devouring suction. Ancient Israel’s funerary practices and afterlife expectations are greatly illumined by recent archaeological studies and by a new comparative model that draws on data gleaned from African ethnography.

While one might debate the specifics of ancient Israel's conception(s) of the afterlife, it is refreshing to see someone acknowledge that ancient Israel had a conception of an afterlife. You can access Cook's article here.

Dec 28, 2008

Commentaries on Song of Solomon

Keith Mathison Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of his top five commentaries on Song of Solomon at the Ligonier Ministries blog. Mathison acknowledges that, “It is somewhat difficult to recommend a "Top 5" list on the Song of Songs because one's inclusion of commentaries in the list will largely depend on whether one takes an allegorical or non-allegorical approach to the book. The list below is based on my own non-allegorical approach to the book.” That being said, I would suggest that Duane Garrett (either or both his work in the NAC and WBC) is a better choice for the top two slots than either Gledhill or Carr. (Garrett takes a non-allegorical approach.) I would also add David Hubbard, Michael V. Fox (The Song of Songs and the Ancient Egyptian Love Songs), Tremper Longman (Cornerstone), and Jack Deere in The Bible Knowledge Commentary to the runners-up. In any case, the top five Mathison listed are:

1. Tom Gledhill -- The Message of the Song of Songs (The Bible Speaks Today, 1994).
2. Lloyd Carr -- The Song of Solomon (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 1984).
3. Richard S. Hess -- Song of Songs (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, 2005).
4. Tremper Longman -- Song of Songs (New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 2001).
5. Iain Provan -- Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (NIV Application Commentary, 2001).