Author Archives: booksneezed

Extending Exegesis to Everyday Saints

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Exegesis is one of those theological words that scare away Christians and intimidate rookie seminarians. But this does not have to be so. Kregel Publications has been producing handbooks for quite some time that address the subject matter that is often not addressed by others. They do this to make what seems inaccessible become accessible. Once again, they have done a good job and this time with Apocalyptic Literature.

The contributors have zoomed in on the book of Daniel and it’s content to help readers understand the process of interpreting the book properly, which will therefore lead to proper application. This is the goal of interpretation – to understand the text and rightly apply it once it is understood correctly.

This is a resource that will be a companion to readers as they investigate the apocalyptic literature. The benefit of this resource is that it covers everything that accompanies this sort of subject matter. This is honestly a textbook in nature and leaves no matter unaddressed. Therefore, the reader will be thoroughly equipped and trained to rightly divide the word of truth in apocalyptic content.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

It’s Happening…

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Some of the best reads are those that are true stories. Readers often find themselves wrapped up in the stories as if it is re-happening right before them.

This book which highlights the real work of Jesus in the midst of the next generations will move you to tears, passion and prayerfulness. It all begins with a small spark created by the Holy Spirit in the life of one person. Next, it is what does that person do with the Spirit alive in them?

Brian Barcelona gave his life to Christ & therefore became on mission with Christ, but his mission field was the high school campus(es). That is how this book came to be. It is the documented work of God in the student bodies.

This story will move you to exhibit greater faith & therefore believe & invest in younger people. So often, we hear about how the younger generations are the “future”, but honestly, the question is, “Why not now?”

This book will help shatter stereotypes of younger people & see them as moldable, teachable and reachable vessels for the Kingdom of God.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

Devotional Commentary

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Bible Studies on Mark is a very well-prepared resource for soul nutrition. A great meal takes time to prepare so that is can be thoroughly enjoyed.

When you sit down with this running commentary/bible study you’ll notice that this author & editor took their time to simmer over the gospel of Mark and other gospels for that matter.

Bible Studies on Mark reflect on Mark’s perspective of Christ in relation to the other gospels. You’ll notice how Christ served & suffered with great passion. You’ll also see how Jesus spoke to others with truth in love & compassion.

This is a commentary that does not fit the academic mold because the author was careful to format this as a conversation-based bible study. However, in no way does that diminish the scholarly truths of the Gospel of Mark. But the author was careful to tread in both waters of exposition and application.

There are 21 sessions of commentary & study through this book that will help you grasp & see the Gospel of Mark in it’s beauty & conviction.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

90 Days…

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Some people are wired for reading large chunks over the course of time. Others are not and want to experience a little bit at a time to make sure it is sinking in.

This 90 day spiritual journey through scripture is designed to help those who want to experience God’s Word deeply a little at a time.

The 90 days are devotionally formatted with exposition through scripture & talking points of application based on questions that get the student interacting with God’s Word. The Word is God’s main channel through which He speaks to us & this bible study is designed for just that.

But do not let “devotionally formatted” scare you into thinking this is a light-hearted study. Keller & Allberry do great work in exposition of each text to confirm proper biblical interpretation so that clear and whole application takes place in the reader’s life.

This is another great resource to get you into God’s Word so that God’s Word gets into you.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

Found it!

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Looking back at the injuries from my childhood, I can remember the hesitation to accept proper care or medicine, for fear that it would sting or hurt. When I think about forgiving others, at times I have been reluctant for fear of how much it would hurt to do so. But when I come to the realization that being unforgiving hurts me even worse, I begin to wonder about true healing for myself & the one who offended me.

Stanley Gale has taken a nose-dive into the subject of forgiveness, which means he is also swimming in grace, mercy & peace – those are bi-products of forgiveness.

Let me say up front; this is not a self-help guide on becoming a better person or a strategy about being nice and keeping the peace. In fact, this book is quite the opposite as it reveals how to make peace and why that is vital to the soul. If you’re wanting to understand who God is and what Jesus is like, this book will unfold that for you. Reason being is that forgiveness only becomes possible through the grace of Christ. He is the foundation & standard of what forgiveness is. Apart from Him, we would be unable to forgive and find it to be undesirable to do so.

But He changes that, completely.

I found this book to be first theological in nature, as it relates to God’s character and the manner in which He addresses people. But because God is love & love is an action, this book becomes practical in nature.

Gale’s perspective is here’s why we are to forgive & here’s how to forgive. This is a solid book on a subject that is easier said than done.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

Don’t hide from the Old Testament

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Many people will avoid reading from the Old Testament in the similar manner that some preachers avoid preaching from the Old Testament. What happens is a treasure goes without seeking for and truth in the Old Testament is not sought after, but left to neglecting.

But, what we have here in this book is a pleading from the author to preach the Old Testament and to do it the right way. The narratives of the Old Testament can be intimidating, so rather than diving in and tackling the stories, they are left alone or skipped over.

In this book, the author gives clarity on how to preach the Old Testament narratives and of course, why they are important to congregations and pastors. The author goes into great detail on theory of these types of sermons, but also covers great detail on crafting these sermons.

Walton does his due diligence to make sure every nook and cranny of sermon cause & effect is explored. This is a book to not shy away from, but to run to for encouragement on preaching the Old Testament. Walton leaves no page unturned in helping to prepare you to preach the Old Testament. For example, he goes to the length of even providing sample outlines and the process of preparing sermons from the Old Testament. Anecdotes, illustrations, transitions, and more are all covered and obviously extremely helpful in showing how it can be done.

This book is both a seminary textbook and guide for pastors who are far removed from the classroom. I found this book to be extremely helpful and profitable for sermon preparation. It is quite clear that Walton is seasoned in preaching and an expert in both preparation and delivery of Old Testament passages.

I appreciate Walton’s style and approach to preaching. He is a believer in the tools of preaching and does not shy away from anything that will help the preacher. There are some preachers who are in the camp of no stories, illustrations or anything that gets in the way of the Spirit illuminating the text. They place full stock in the Word of God and preach and teach it with so much dryness, because they believe stories and illustrations replace the text and dumb down the point(s). Walton does a great job of explaining how it all works together for the glory of God in preaching while helping both the preacher and the listener to become better preachers and listeners of the Word of God.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Humble Heroes

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Western Civilized Christians tend to approach short-term mission trips with a hero complex. “Here we come & here we are to fix things…”

This approach is something common within short-term teams that aim to serve & provide for those less fortunate. However, this approach can be dangerous and often do more damage then actually helping.

For example, let’s say a team goes into another country with the goal to build a building for a church to meet in. They arrive with great excitement and heroism and get the job done in record time. So the church has a place to meet and starts to do so after the team returns homes, proud of their work. After a while, the building begins to require repairs and upkeep, but the church group has no idea how to do that, because they have never had to do that before. So in the beginning, this building seems like a grand idea, but in the long run, it is hurtful, because the church now has taken a few steps backward.

In this book, you will see what it looks like to be helpful with short-term missions and to accomplish work that breeds itself to furthering ministry, kingdom-work and leaving an impactful mark of encouragement on a group or church.

Books like these need to be in the hands of churches on mission so that more good works can be done in the right manner with the right lasting effect. I cannot begin to share how many trips I’ve been on where when I arrived, I had a hero complex, but amongst the serving and training, realized I had no idea how to help out for the benefit of the kingdom in the long run.

I would strongly suggest this resource and others in these volumes so that you can do good works that glorify God and benefit others greatly.

Thank you to MP Newsroom. I received this book from MP Newsroom for the purpose of an unbiased review. 

Here I read…

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Martin Luther is famous for stirring up the age of the Reformation. But does anyone know what brought him to that point of being stirred spiritually? Simonetta Carr’s young readers edition on Martin Luther is a goldmine on the life of the former monk.

What starts out in his birth & upbringing ends with his great stance on justification by faith. But Luther’s arrival at the doctrine of justification by faith alone through Christ alone did not come easily.

This is where the reading gets good! Young readers & older readers alike will appreciate the background on who Martin Luther is & where he came from along with all the experience in life that led him to his staunch biblical convictions.

I found this book to be very enjoyable and worthwhile because of what I learned about Luther that I did not already know. The benefits of these young reader editions is that the author & editor leave no page unturned in the biographies of these spiritual giants.

One would think that a book for younger readers would not emphasize church history. So if you’re a betting man, you would’ve lost the bet, because you will learn a solid portion of church history in this edition on Luther.

I cannot recommend these young reader editions enough to both young and older readers. These editions cover a lot of ground in the life & history of the characters and the church. I look forward to more editions on other historical figures of the faith.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

In the Beginning…

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The creation of man and the fall of man is something that is not clearly accepted with the same understanding across all theological levels. The interpretation and the application of creation and the fall can be sort of a mixed bag when it comes to what people believe about what happened.

Therefore, a comprehensive guide has been published by the faculty of the Master’s Seminary and it covers as much ground as possible from in the beginning. The faculty sees the beginning as the foundation for all understanding about life as we know it. From the beginning we set our worldview, our reality, and therefore our decision-making as well. As you can see, to overlook or underestimate the beginning is a travesty.

What this guide covers leaves no leaf unturned. Whether it’s theology, family, science, or psychology,  this guide will address it from a historically biblical perspective that puts God at the center. Therefore, not all readers will agree with the content, because that is one reason why this book has been published. But nonetheless, this is a worthwhile resource for studying the beginning of man.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Guided Discovery

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A good craftsman, well even a skilled craftsman will have a variety of specialized tools by his side while he works. He knows that the tools can aid him in being precise and specific in his work.

In a similar manner, a wise teacher / student is going to have tools of their own by their side as well. For this case, Discovering the Septuagint, is the tool necessary for discovering deeper understanding of God’s Word, specifically the New Testament, in it’s origin.

This guide will unfold and open the reader’s eyes to a greater understanding and appreciation of what is in the text. Biblical interpretation is not the simplest exercise, but it is certainly attainable. This guide will help the reader reach levels of interpretation with clarity of what the text means. For this fact alone, this guide is worth having by your side.

The editor, Jobes along with her student colleagues have poured over this resource in a way that other students can use this with ease. There is no reason to be intimidated by the nature of this resource. It is edited and put together for use by students for students. It simply doesn’t get better than that when it comes to format.

If you’re into the languages or want to be more into the languages of the scriptures, this is a solid tool that will be helpful to you.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.