Announcement: 2 More of My Books Are Now Published!

book meant

This book is designed for those who want to learn to study the Bible. Filled with charts to aid understanding, the book is laid out in the order I taught a class. It makes an emphasis on arriving at a proper interpretation before jumping into application. Sadly, many pastors are skimping on careful methods for handling the text of God’s Word. This book is offered as an antidote.

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This book covers the precious, but little known Pilgrim Psalms (120-134). They are a fascinating guide to coming to God’s presence.

Dr. Scott Pauley says, “This is a book to read with your Bible open. You will find that these amazing Psalms serve as a road map for the journey we are all on. As an evangelist who spends a great deal of time in travel these “Pilgrim Psalms” have become very special to me. Pastor Jimmy Reagan has been used of God to help them come alive in my heart. I recommend this resource to you and hope you will share it with other travelers along your journey!”

Pastor Tom Otto says, “Pastor Jimmy Reagan’s study on Psalms 120-134 in the book “The Pilgrim Psalms Our Pilgrimage to God’s Presence” is wonderful. As we travel with the Old Testament pilgrims on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, we quickly see the parallels of their journey to our own journey. Each of these psalms are thoroughly examined, explained, and applied to the modern day Christian. As a pastor, I was reminded of the seriousness of my personal journey as it relates to those journeying with me. A great study for an individual, a Sunday School class, men’s group or ladies’ group. I would highly recommend this and all of Pastor Reagan’s works.”

I’ve come to really enjoy writing and appreciate all those who have encouraged me along the way.

Follow this link to My Books Page for more information.

 

Rediscovering Paul (2nd Ed.) by Capes, Reeves, and Richards

book redis paul

If you are looking for a quality textbook on Paul, then you should consider this second edition of “Rediscovering Paul” by David B. Capes, Rodney Reeves, and E. Randolph Richards. It addresses enough of modern scholarly debates on Paul to please students while being well-written enough to please pastors or Bible students.

I felt that chapter 1 about placing Paul in his times and world was worth the price of the book. It read so well, and so engages the reader, that it was a pure joy. Some works that explain to us how we err in viewing Paul through Western eyes are so dry, but that could not be said of this one.

The next chapter addresses what the authors call the Christophany. Some modern scholars almost paint Paul and Christ as rivals, but these authors do a good job of making them friends. Still, they reference and interact with some of those wild scholarly theories. In fairness, as a textbook they had no choice.

Chapter 3 looks at Paul as a letter writer and contains some interesting information I had not seen anywhere else. The next four chapters consider Galatians, the Thessalonian letters, the Corinthian letters, and Romans. The other Pauline letters are addressed in chapters 8 and 9. The final chapters consider Paul’s theology, his legacy, and then viewing his letters in modern times.

There are some maps, a very helpful glossary for students, a lengthy bibliography, and several helpful indices at the end of this attractive hardback.

There were some capitulations to some of the newer scholarly conclusions that I couldn’t agree with, but overall this is a quite helpful book. It succeeds on every level as a textbook, but as a pastor I’d label it an asset to the rest of us too. It’s engaging writing style was its best asset. Some of the interesting asides covering no more than a page or so were also appreciated. I warmly recommend this volume.

I received 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.

Jude (EEC) by Bateman

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These early volumes of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series are impressive. Just think, if they hadn’t decided to start printing these formerly digital-only volumes, I would’ve missed it completely. This volume on the Book of Jude by Herbert W. Bateman IV is of the same high quality of the earlier volumes I’ve seen.

Bateman has turned out a fine Introduction to the Book of Jude. I love the way he clearly expresses his conclusion at the end of each section. He begins with discussing some of the textual issues before he jumps into authorship and place of writing. As you would expect, he discusses which Jude this book is about and other theories of authorship. His conclusions are conservative. When he addresses the recipients of the letter, he seems to feel that we are to decide between either Jewish or Gentile Christians. He concludes a Jewish ethnicity of Jude’s readers and that affects everything he discusses thereafter. He next discusses dating the letter and has an outstanding overview of other scholarly opinions. He sees it as written during the apostolic period.

He reaches a unique conclusion that the revolutionary forces of the Judean rebels are the false teachers, or opponents, of Jude. To be honest, I wasn’t convinced of his conclusion, but found it fascinating. You couldn’t accuse this volume of being a regurgitation of some other commentary for sure. The Introduction is thorough and including the bibliography almost reaches 100 pages.

The commentary is outstanding and holds up well with any major exegetical commentary. The depth is good, the options well-defined, and the conclusions are carefully stated. He interacts with scholarship both ancient and modern in this carefully researched volume. Every passage receives an introduction, textual notes, translation, and detailed commentary, followed by biblical theology comments and application and devotional implications.

If you pick up this commentary, I think you’ll agree that it has to be in the running for the best exegetical commentary we have on the Book of Jude today.

I received 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.

Understanding Your Teen by Jim Burns

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Jim Burns is president of Homeword and a radio broadcaster. His other books are in the area of parenting or family issues. In this volume he comes right at the issues that are so prevalent for teens today. He makes you feel at ease by confessing his own shock when his children reach the teenage years even though ministering to families was already his lifework. At 200 pages it’s pitched just right for busy parents today.

Part one is made up of 11 chapters that deal with big picture ideas about parenting teens. The first two chapters aim at helping us understand our teenagers and how they develop. Then he gets into how it might affect behavior appropriately and help their spiritual life. His chapter on a media-safe home is very thorough and balanced. He tackles the subject of sexuality by suggesting we teach healthy sexuality. He further talks about how to handle homework, keep communication open, and our forcing ourselves as parents to understand the changing culture our teens live in. He wisely added the chapter on intimacy between the parents as a way to help your teams. Many overlook this important aspect. The final chapter of the first part is how to deal with a troubled teen. Everyone hopes that will not be their situation, but if the dreaded happened, here’s a great guide.

Part two has 13 chapters that are shorter and narrower. I almost see them as pointed discussions of how to implement the broader concepts learned in the earlier chapters. Here he covers bullying, dating violence, depression, dinnertime, driving, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, obesity, self-injury, sexual abuse, sleep, suicide, and dealing with tragedy.

I appreciate the calm way in which he advises us. He seems at once to be telling us to be diligent and patient. He encourages us not to lose our cool, nor our resolve. He doesn’t suggest that parenting isn’t hard work, yet he explains how the individual responsibility of the teen can never leave the picture.

This book is a solid help in these difficult times for raising teens. I recommend it.

I received 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.

Dictionary of the Old Testament Prophets

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The Dictionary of the Old Testament Prophets is another of IVP’s successful “black” dictionaries. It’s edited by two respected scholars: Mark Boda and J. Gordon McConville. It is, perhaps, one of the most helpful of these black dictionaries because the prophets are clearly one of the trickiest genres. Though some of the entries are clearly aimed at those in major scholarly study, any Bible student could find much to glean from in this volume.

For first-time users there’s a guide at the beginning explaining how to use this dictionary as well as a list of abbreviations. If you scan the list of contributors, you will see several highly respected scholarly names.

The dictionary approaches an incredible array of subjects in alphabetical order. You will be hard-pressed to think of a term, even an obscure scholarly term, that affects prophetic study, and not find it in this volume. Additionally, you will have the equivalent of a scholarly introduction such as you would find in a major commentary on every prophetic book of the Old Testament. Most of the main issues will be covered such as structure, composition, and theology.

For example, look at the article on marriage and divorce. You will have a discussion of the practice of each in Israel, what it could be used as a metaphor for, and how it was used in various prophetic books. It’s really fascinating!

Some of the contributors will reach more critical conclusions that I’m comfortable with, but the scope of this volume makes it a winner. I’m not aware of any real competitor to it, and I highly recommend it.

I received 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 Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon: Volume 1–Collector’s Edition

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I love this Collector’s Edition! This book is a call for celebration for any Spurgeon lovers or any who appreciate great preaching in general. If you are like me, you already read often from the pool of sermons available in either the New Park Street Pulpit or the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit sermon sets. Perhaps you would agree with me as well in saying that Spurgeon is one of the greatest preachers who ever lived. This gorgeous volume is the first in what will be an indispensable set.

Spurgeon himself meant to publish these sermons from his earliest ministry, but it never worked out. His notes have languished in storage for these many years. Now Christian T. George has rescued the sermons and B & H Publishing has blessed us all by committing to print them in quality, beautiful editions. What will be obvious the minute you pick up these volumes is that both Mr. George and the publishers have treated the sermons as a labor of love.

Once you open this beautiful volume you will find a treasure trove. You will read a history of how the project came together, an interesting timeline that puts Spurgeon in historical context, and introduction, two interesting essays on Spurgeon, and an essay about the sermons themselves. Mr. George then describes his sources and methods and even gives a sermon analysis that reviews the number of words in his sermon notes and other interesting facts. I must confess that I found every page of the introductory material to be interesting reading. Don’t miss the incredible amount of information in the footnotes as well.

Then there’s the sermons. Many of them are only an outline, but Mr. George has put such incredible research of interesting tidbits both historical and personal that are loads of fun for Spurgeon fans. Who would’ve thought that Spurgeon’s first outline mostly came from John Gill! As I read the sermon outlines, I could tell that these were, perhaps, before Spurgeon completely hit his stride, but they still showed the homiletic genius that he was. It also demonstrated how Spurgeon can teach us all to find great sermons in unlikely texts.

This Collector’s Edition contains the same content as the regular volume as you will see when comparing each Table of Contents, but is still worthwhile to check out. I suspect many Spurgeon fans will prefer it. ( I do!)  It has the look and feel of those heirloom volumes that existed in Spurgeon’s day and have lasted until ours. It comes in a slipcover box and is a cloth over boards volume with leather spine binding. In addition, there’s genuine gold foil on the spine as well as gilded page edges. I’m a book lover and own many, but this collector’s edition is easily the best I’ve seen published these days. Don’t miss the incredible pictures either that have been added in unnumbered pages at this end of this book–they aren’t found in the other edition.

I look forward to getting each volume as they come out and can’t wait to have the set completed. If you are a book lover, this is the release of the year. I pray this series has great success and mark me down as its first admirer.

I received 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 Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Rev. Ed.)-Volume 12, Ephesians-Philemon

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Volume 12 of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC) is a major revision of volume 11 of the old series that also covered Ephesians through Philemon. Only two authors revised their earlier works and every other commentary is a new treatment by a different scholar. What we have here will be a real blessing to pastors and Bible students.

The Book of Ephesians is now handled by William Klein. Considering the importance of Ephesians, some will label it a very concise volume. Still, don’t see the brevity as superficiality. This volume is well done. In the Introduction he discusses authorship, structure, setting, date of composition, purpose, the relation to Colossians, theology, and textual issues. There’s also a fine bibliography and outline. If you see a negative review of this one, you may find that it’s not for any lack of quality work, but his corporate view of election and the fact that he’s a complementarian may be the real reason. I appreciate this work.

The Book of Philippians now has highly-respected scholar David Garland as its commentator. That’s a coup for this series. The writer of massive, major commentaries has proven himself adept here with a briefer entry. In the Introduction, he discusses background, date and place of origin, integrity of the letter, purpose and occasion, literary form, followed by a bibliography and outline. The commentary itself is outstanding.

Todd Still does Colossians. In his introduction he begins by discussing the overarching Christological theme. He surveys all the other typical introductory issues, also providing a bibliography and outline. The commentaries in the same fine style as the rest of these in the series.

Robert Thomas revises his earlier work on Thessalonians. Some criticize him for his dispensational viewpoint, but I’ve always enjoyed reading it. It appears to me that he took care in doing the revision and it’s even a far better work than before.

Andreas Kostenberger replaced two authors from the old series in his handling of the Pastoral Epistles. He has since written other commentaries on those epistles and this is a fine improvement over the older series (though I like them as well). He tackles each of those three epistles separately. Again, this is a quality commentary for pastors to have.

Philemon sees a revision by the previous author and continues to be a very usable entry.

This book is another economical, wonderful tool for pastors and teachers. Many of us have used the older set for several years, and appreciate the care that went in producing this new set that will last for years to come. I give it the highest recommendation.

I received 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 Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Rev. Ed.)-Volume 2, Numbers-Ruth

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Volume 2 in this revised edition of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC) now covers from Numbers through Ruth. It’s a huge volume of over 1300 pages! You will find the same quality commentary throughout that the series is known for. It is a pastor’s favorite for many.

The Book of Numbers has been revised by Ronald Allen. He was given more space in the old set and that continues to be true in the 450 pages of quality commentary we have here. Though there has been some updating, the Introduction is still divided into the same 12 parts. Some of the most provocative are the two sections that outline the problem of the large numbers and the suggestion of a solution.  I can’t personally follow his theory there, but appreciate the overall conservative approach. The commentary itself is one of the better available today.

The commentary on Deuteronomy has been replaced with a new one by Michael Grisanti. The Introduction is short, but covers the basis. The bibliography is extensive, and some helpful maps have been added to the commentary. The commentary itself is successful because of its clarity and conservative conclusions.

The commentary on Joshua also has a new author in Helene Dallaire. Though briefer than Numbers and Deuteronomy above, it has still been well received as a mid-length commentary. The Introduction gives an overview of the book, and one of Joshua,  followed by a discussion of authorship and composition, literary form, historical background and dating, the people of the land, and theology. There’s also a bibliography and outline. Since the scholarly world is really varied in dating Joshua, the author gives a good synopsis of both conservative and liberal views. There are some helpful charts throughout the commentary too. I would label this commentary as solid and helpful.

The commentary on Judges also has a new author, this time by highly respected Mark Boda. He stays within the confines of the series, which limits page number, but still succeeds in providing a concise, yet penetrating volume. He approaches Introduction by discussing in turn, its canonical forms, its historical contexts, its sociological dynamics, it’s a literary shape, it’s rhetorical purpose, and its theological potential. He also has a nice bibliography and outline. In using it you will easily see the hand of a seasoned commentator.

George Schwab provides a new commentary on the Book of Ruth. I had a lot of trouble agreeing with his conclusions in the Introduction. The chart on page 1308, however, was outstanding. The commentary itself is helpful, but I found a few conclusions in the commentary a little over the top as well. I’m not saying it isn’t worth consulting, just that it wouldn’t be my favorite.

I don’t see how you could go wrong with this thick commentary covering five books of the Old Testament. When you think about what you’re getting, you could even call it an economical value too. This is really a nice one!

I received 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.

 

Mark: Through Old Testament Eyes by Andrew T. Le Peau

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This book is the inaugural volume in the Through Old Testament Eyes commentary series. Series editor Andrew T. Le Peau contributes this volume on the Gospel of Mark. As we are starting to see such a proliferation of commentary series these days that the market is almost glutted, so a new series especially needs a unique contribution to not get lost in the multifarious market. If this first volume is any indication, I think this series is going to have something to say that’s not found in others. The Old Testament angle is only part of its success.

Be sure to read the Series Preface to see how it’s set up. In the Introduction to Mark’s Gospel, you immediately see that this series is aimed at pastors and Bible students, not academic types. He gives a long movie analogy of movies borrowing from older movies to describe Mark’s borrowing from the Old Testament. It’s in this Introduction that you find one of the highlights that will be carried through the whole commentary. Scholars often make a discussion of structure a quite nebulous exercise, but he takes it and in a few paragraphs turns it into something truly helpful. Compared to others, the Introduction is short, but I think it succeeds for what this series intends to be.

Every passage has commentary with an emphasis on its relation to the Old Testament. That does help where other commentaries sometimes lack. It’s those sections in the dark shading that I love the most. They contain all kinds of helpful information. It often involves explaining structure. Many times there’s a helpful chart that aids understanding even more.

I see this commentary as the perfect secondary commentary. It holds up well with the other serious paperback commentaries on the market. If this series can sustain what we have here, it will likely be quite successful. In any event, this first work on Mark is a winner.

I received 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.

Reformation Commentary on Scripture (NT XIII) on Hebrews and James

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Though several titles have been released in this Reformation Commentary on Scripture series, this is my first opportunity to review or use one of its volumes. Immediately I’m impressed by the hardback volume and its attractive dust jacket. Since this series is different than most that I use, I really appreciated the guide to using the commentary that was provided at the beginning of the volume. That is followed by a general introduction to the whole series that explains what its producers are hoping to accomplish. The editors are seeking to help modern interpreters and preachers, as well as furthering historical understanding and Christian scholarship. There’s a great deal of helpful information on that history and how exegesis fared in Reformation times. It was thrilling to see a sympathetic view of Anabaptists from that time as well.

Next, we have an introduction to Hebrew and James that reviews things as they stood in the Reformation period. The commentary itself is easy to follow. The person quoted is always listed at the beginning with a more detailed bibliographic entry at the end of the periscope. Hebrews and James are tricky for totally different reasons, and that makes this step back to Reformation times even more interesting. There were some authors quoted that I’ve read Spurgeon loved that I’ve not seen anywhere else that was icing on the cake for me too.

It’s all really fascinating. It’s a terrible mistake to assume that only our generation has anything to say. Though the years aren’t equal, the Reformation seems like the midway point between New Testament times and today in my view. It’s great to see what was believed at that time. Plus, you must respect the men who returned to the Bible at such cost in their generation. What they have to say is at least worth listening to.

I think I’ll be checking out other titles in this fine series. IVP is to be commended for providing us today with such a valuable asset.

I received 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.