My Recent Blogs External to DrBarrick.org

Over the past month I have produced some blog posts for ParkingSpace23’s blog and The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). The following listing and links will take you to those blogs on the topic of Pauline missions strategy (and methodology) and the subject of the Christian living in a time of violence (engaging in politics and/or governmental response (war, peacemaking, military service, and police).

Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 1 (Oct 9, 2017)
Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 2 (Oct 23, 2017)
Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 3 (Final) (Nov 13, 2017)

Practical Pauline Missions: Paul’s Mission to Philippi (Oct 20, 2017)
Practical Pauline Missions: Paul’s Mission to Pisidian Antioch (Nov 10, 2017)
For another blog post in this series, but on a different web site, see Practical Pauline Missions: Athens (Sept 25, 2017).

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, November 12

Phil Parshall’s The Cross and the Crescent: Understanding the Muslim Heart and Mind was published fifteen years ago, but I find it still speaks with contemporary clarity. Parshall served for years as a missionary among Muslims in the country of Bangladesh–that’s where I first met him and became aware of his published works. Through the years I have continued to read his volumes and to watch his development of the picture every Christian needs in order to witness to Muslim friends and neighbors at home or abroad in a Muslim country. No one describes the phenomenon of folk Islam better than Parshall. In this volume he explores the spirituality of both Islam and Christianity — comparing, contrasting, explaining, and drawing significant conclusions. Readers will find this book filled with insight, compassion, humility, and a Gospel-driven heart to proclaim Christ.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, November 5

OK, I admit it — I have favorite authors and theologians. When it comes to the New Testament and the doctrines of grace, Schreiner never disappoints. Thomas Schreiner’s Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification lives up to my lofty expectations. This volume addresses the issue with thoughtfulness, clarity, biblical exegesis, and theological insight. It is part of The 5 Solas Series superbly edited by Matthew Barrett (one of the best editors I’ve ever worked with). Contrary to the disappointing disappearance of indexes from hard copy books nowadays, this volume includes both Scripture and Subject Indexes, making it handy for future reference. Schreiner covers the historical background of Sola Fide from the Early Church through to John Wesley. He comprehensively examines the biblical and theological details and implications of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He concludes with a look at the contemporary challenges to this biblical teaching.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, October 29

History informs the wise. Those who do not consider history’s lessons are doomed to repeat those same mistakes and failures. In the Christian church we often feel like we are the first to face certain theological issues having a significant bearing upon how we live for Christ in today’s world. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Sinclair Ferguson’s The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance — Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters examines and draws contemporary implications from a debate taking place in the Church of Scotland early in the 1700s. It addresses some of the issues we often encounter in our churches today: works and grace, law and grace, law and gospel, justification and sanctification, legalism, antinomianism, and biblical assurance. This volume will challenge the reader — it is not a light read. However, it will reward the diligent reader with a greater understanding of the perennial issues it addresses. Read it — learn from church history — avoid repeating the theological errors of the past.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, October 15

9Marks produces a lot of good books for pastors and church leaders. Jeramie Rinne’s Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus stands out as one of the best. Our board of church elders chose this book to read individually and discuss as a group chapter by chapter. We have found this little volume worth far more than its size. The “Introduction” sets the tone: “I’m an elder. Now what?” Eight chapters walk us through the answer: 1 – “Don’t Assume”; 2 – “Smell Like Sheep”; 3 – “Serve Up the Word”; 4 – “Track Down the Strays”; 5 – “Lead without Lording”; 6 – “Shepherd Together”; 7 – “Model Maturity”; and, 8 – “Plead for the Flock.” This is a must read for men wanting to prepare for church leadership and for those who already lead.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, October 8

If you plan to make a visit to the British Museum in London, having a guide like Through the British Museum with the Bible by Brian Edwards and Clive Anderson helps to direct your experience. With this guidebook in hand, you will be able to locate, identify, and understand the significance of the individual finds displayed so marvelously in this world class museum. The present edition is updated as of 2013. Due to the ever changing displays, there will be a few items that will not be present at the time of your visit. However, having the information remains valuable and the book speaks to the vast majority of displays. Even if you do not get to the British Museum, this book provides dependable information on a large number of archaeological finds demonstrating the historical integrity and accuracy of the Bible.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, October 1

Dr. Eugene Merrill’s A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles is one volume in the Kregel Exegetical Library series. As he explains in his “Preface,” the Chronicler sets forth the history of his people as the last, if not one of the last, writers of the Old Testament. The writer presents the covenant violations of his forefathers. However, he also understands that God plans to restore and redeem His people. Therefore, Merrill seeks to develop the full theological implications while interpreting the details of the text. Since the Chronicler records genealogies, Merrill provides readers with a superb introduction to the study of biblical genealogies. Adhering to a firm conviction in biblical inerrancy, he interprets the text with a literal, historical, and grammatical methodology. Thirteen charts help elucidate the text.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, September 24

Photo Companion to the Bible: The Gospels (DVD from BiblePlaces.com) offers its users more than 10,000 PowerPoint slides illustrating the four Gospels verse by verse. The photographs represent some of the collections of Dr. Todd Bolen, Dr. Steven Anderson, and Mr. A. D. Riddle. These slides are a priceless addition to the study of the text of the Gospels. Each slide is beautifully composed with all of the essential information. For example, this set includes 144 slides on Matthew 13 alone. Each slide (above right) includes the biblical clause which the photograph, artifact, or art work represents. A description appears at the bottom left and the verse reference appears at the bottom right corner. This sample is one of the slides for Matthew 13:55.

 

Click on title under the picture of the DVD cover (above left) for link.

My Recommendations: Books of the Week, September 17 — Drs. Thomas & Toussaint

On September 5 Dr. Stanley D. Toussaint entered glory and the following day Dr. Robert L. Thomas went to heaven as well. Interestingly, both men were born in 1928 (Dr. Toussaint in Minnesota and Dr. Thomas in Georgia). Both also were New Testament scholars majoring on the Gospels, the Book of Revelation, dispensationalism, and eschatology. Dr. Thomas contributed many significant articles to The Master’s Seminary Journal, which he edited from 1990 until 2011. Dr. Toussaint published around twenty-five important articles in Bibliotheca Sacra. Dr. Thomas began his seminary teaching ministry in 1959 and continued full-time until 2008 — he taught first at Talbot Seminary and became the first full-time faculty hire at The Master’s Seminary in 1986. Dr. Toussaint started teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary and continued until his retirement in 2012.

 

As a contributor to ParkingSpace23, I posted Two Fallen Towers and Two Fallen Giants about the two men on September 11. In addition, at Dispensational Publishing I contributed a comment to Remembering Two Great Teachers and then they posted my Reflections on the Life of Robert L. Thomas, Th.D.

Below I have supplied links below to these two scholars’ best published works. Their labors will continue to bless many students of the New Testament for years to come. They were faithful men who loved the churches in which they served. Both men employed sound exegesis to prepare great expositions of the Word of God. Both of these two spiritual giants impacted the lives of literally hundreds and hundreds of students who continue to follow their example. We praise God for these two men, who still speak through the examples they left us and the products of their labors in both lives and published materials.

The photo above shows Dr. Robert Thomas (right) with one of his favorite students, and his boss, Dr. John MacArthur (left), on the occasion of celebrating Dr. Thomas’ 50 years of seminary teaching in 2009.

The photo at left shows Dr. Stanley Toussaint teaching for a YouTube video.

Click on book thumbnails below for links to the books on Amazon — the first three rows are Dr. Thomas’ books and the last two rows are Dr. Toussaint’s books.

My Recommendations: Books of the Week, September 10

I’ve taken the unusual step of recommending two books on the same topic this week. Too often, commentaries on Genesis 1-3 and Psalm 104 (just to cite two examples) conclude that “cosmic-conflict mythological language” permeates the biblical account (Longman, Psalms, TOTC, 360, about Psalm 104:5-9). Some Old Testament scholars in evangelical circles persist in identifying the Hebrew tehom (“deep”) in Genesis 1:2 with the goddess Tiamat and Chaoskampf. Adherents to the defunct Gap Theory do the same. It gets downright embarrassing to read such statements by evangelicals who evidently do not realize that evangelical and non-evangelical scholars alike have debunked this kind of association with ANE myths in the Bible. The following two books present the case against such associations.

The earliest of these two books is David Tsumura’s Creation and Destruction: A Reappraisal of the Chaoskampf Theory in the Old Testament (Eisenbrauns, 2005). He carefully surveys the potential links between the biblical text and some of the ANE myths (especially the Babylonian and Canaanite myths). He demonstrates that Genesis 1:2 does not refer to a chaotic state for the created earth. In addition, he also develops his argumentation regarding the proper interpretation of Genesis 2:5-6. Tsumura’s detailed research of both the biblical text and the ANE myths leads him to conclude that the biblical texts about creation and divine sovereignty merely employ metaphorical language about storms and floods. The biblical record of creation has nothing at all to do with primordial combat or Chaoskampf.

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In 1895 Hermann Gunkel published his Schöpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit (translation: Creation and Chaos in Primeval Time and End Time) proposing that ancient near eastern myths formed the background for the biblical accounts of creation, chaos, conflict, and eschatology. Creation and Chaos: A Reconsideration of Hermann Gunkel’s Chaoskampf Hypothesis (Eisenbrauns, 2013) presents the work of current scholars who have found it more prudent to modify Gunkel’s hypothesis on the basis of a more thorough analysis of the extant data. This volume’s essays contradict the ongoing claim by some evangelical scholars who insist on associating tehom with Tiamat and represent Genesis 1 creation as a battle against hostile elements. Töyräänvuori’s essay raises a significant question: Shouldn’t the biblical account of creation (written by Egyptian-trained Moses) contain more associations to Egyptian mythology than to Babylonian? Perhaps the Egyptians borrowed from the Hebrews’ western Asiatic narratives instead of the other way around. Feinman’s essay makes the point that it is high time scholars cease treating the early chapters of Genesis as a “free-floating, immature, hazy, primitive, oral geographic tradition” (184), rather than with the real world. Evangelical references to and identifications of Chaoskampf in the Genesis record need serious reconsideration, if not outright correction. An overall evaluation of this volume reveals (1) the absence of serious consideration of the role of divine revelation in regard to the biblical record and (2) the potential that all of the ancient near eastern myths might represent independent flawed and skewed memories of either the original divine revelation of creation or of the original events of the Flood and the tower of Babel. Still, this volume needs to be read and Chaoskampf needs to be eradicated from evangelical commentaries (other than to identify the error of seeing such primordial conflict in the Scriptures).

Click on picture for link.

Books I’ve Endorsed

Dr. Barrick’s Books or Publications

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