My Recommendations: Book of the Week, April 24

What Happened in the Garden: The Reality and the Ramifications of the Creation and Fall of Man, edited by Abner Chou (Kregel Academic, 2016) offers a collection of essays by Dr. John MacArthur and the faculty of The Master’s University. Its three parts consist of “Reality of Genesis 2-3,” “Theological Ramifications of the Creation and Fall,” and “Worldview Ramifications of the Creation and Fall.” The contributors represent a variety of academic disciplines including theology, science, ethics, history, sociology, and biblical counseling. You may have had someone ask you, “What difference does it make what we believe about creation and fall?” This volume supplies lots of material on the biblical answers to such a question. Every pastor should read this volume. The topic is too significant and too applicable in today’s world to ignore. Too many pastors and teachers ignore the early chapters of Genesis, taking an agnostic attitude. This does immense harm to the cause of Christ and to the inspiration and integrity of the written Word of God.

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Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 5 Complete

The final two verses of Psalm 5 (vv. 12-13, Hebrew verse numbering) close out the psalm on a very high note. It expresses a climactic crescendo of rejoicing, a six-fold emphasis centering upon Yahweh Himself, and a series of parallels with the first stanza of the psalm (vv. 2-3, Hebrew verse numbering). A striking and memorable analogy completes this psalm that in itself blesses the righteous. Please be aware that the file is large (114 slides) and will take a little time to download. These slides include the discussion and presentation of the psalm’s structure, final summaries verse-by-verse, and a closing slide containing suggested preaching propositions.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.

Hebrew Whiteboard

Structural or logical line diagramming serves as one of the chief means by which the exegete can identify verse structure in the Hebrew Bible. Since this method unlocks so much of the biblical text, I have begun a series of study helps in order to enable others to learn the method and to gain a better understanding of how it aids the process of exegesis. With this methodology the student of the Hebrew Bible will be able to examine the text with a view to its

  • psalm superscription and subscription,
  • poetic lines (by means of Masoretic accentuation),
  • grammatical relationships,
  • literary/poetic devices,
  • micro- and macrostructures,
  • resulting interpretive implications, and
  • preaching propositions.
 Below are links to the materials currently available:

Each new addition to an individual psalm will be announced by means of Hebrew Whiteboard Updates and each new psalm will be added to the list on Hebrew Whiteboard.

For my most highly recommended commentaries and studies on the Psalter, check out the following (listed in order of personal preference):

Commentaries

 

Psalms Studies

 

Imprecatory Psalms

Christ’s Resurrection and Missions

Resurrection Sunday has just passed and we have, hopefully, spent a significant amount of time contemplating the importance of our Savior’s resurrection from the dead. Our contemplation, however, might have neglected a key influence of Jesus’ resurrection with regard to His church: how the resurrection empowers, instructs, and provides the driving force for world missions in the proclamation of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ. My blog on this very topic has been published at ParkingSpace23: “The Resurrection of Christ and Missions.” Please visit this site and read the blog. It consists of more than just a doctrinal evaluation–it concludes with practical implications for you, your local church, and your relationship to world missions. He is risen! – He is risen indeed! Now, “Go into all the world . . .”

The following books are my top recommendations on the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, April 17

The ministry of Bible translation has occupied a good portion of my own life and ministry. My shelf is filled with books about Bible translation and Bible versions, as well as Bibles in many languages. I first heard Dave Brunn speak about his book in a session he conducted at the national meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society. We immediately found many viewpoints in common. His book, One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? (IVP Academic, 2013) provides a fresh and winsomely written look at the complementary nature of different translational methodologies and their representative English translations. At the same time, Dave Brunn reveals a lot of valuable information about translating the Bible into other languages–his own experience was among the Lamogai of Papua New Guinea. Brunn is director of education for the New Tribes Mission Missionary Training Center.

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Hebrew Whiteboard Update

As David pens Psalm 5:10-11 (Hebrew verse numbering) he uses the poetic device of chiasm (mirror image or inverted parallelism) to reveal multiple emphases. The artistry of one verse with its four lines, four negative descriptions of the wicked, four body parts, and four chiasms stands out and builds literary momentum as the psalm nears its concluding verses (vv. 12-13 in Hebrew). Boomerang justice stands out as one of the themes in David’s prayer. And, he leaves no doubt about who will judge the wicked–God Himself.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5:1-11 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, April 10

Have you been looking for a replacement for the magisterial Greatness of the Kingdom published years ago by Alva J. McClain? Look no farther. Dr. Michael Vlach’s He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God (Lampion Press, 2017) offers the most up-to-date treatment of the topic from a consistent dispensational viewpoint. This work goes beyond all of his other writings on dispensationalism and premillennialism. McClain’s classic will remain, but Vlach’s new volume will become the go-to volume for years and years to come. It is difficult to avoid using many superlatives; this book cannot be described with anything but superlatives, in my opinion. Thankfully, after other publishers turned down the opportunity to put this volume into print, Dr. Wayne House at Lampion Press stepped up to the plate and hit a home run with this publication. It is currently available in hardcopy and Kindle.

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Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Psalm 5:7-9 (Hebrew verse numbering) highlight God’s character and His abhorrence of liars and deceivers. In v. 8, however, David turns back to himself to express the means by which he is enabled to be present and worship in the Tabernacle. David then uses imperatives (v. 9) to request from God the leading he so desperately needs as he attempts to deal rightly with his opponents. Our analysis of Psalm 5 continues with just four verses to cover in the next two Hebrew Whiteboard Updates.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5:1-9 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, April 3

Elliott Johnson and I first crossed paths in 1998 on a tour of Israel with Master’s Seminary and Dallas Seminary students. We had a great time together and found that we were kindred spirits theologically, hermeneutically, and academically. When I got word that A Dispensational Biblical Theology (Allen, TX: Bold Grace Ministries, 2016) was available, I ordered it immediately. This volume is significant because it is exactly what it claims to be: a “biblical theology”–not a systematic theology. When I was a seminary student the closest theology book to this volume was Alva J. McClain’s The Greatness of the Kingdom (Moody, 1959). McClain’s volume belongs in every Bible student’s library and ought to be read voraciously, with Bible in hand. However, Elliott Johnson’s volume goes beyond McClain’s by focusing on more than just the Kingdom. No matter whether you are dispensational or covenantal, you ought to read this volume. It presents the most cogent case for and explanation of dispensationalism available today.

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Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Psalm 5:4-6 (Hebrew verse numbering) starts off with David’s second direct address to Yahweh. The double reference to “morning” follows to identify the time of David’s prayer–thus the attribution of a morning prayer for this psalm traditionally. The psalmist’s focus is on God Himself, the kind of God He is, and what that means for mankind generally and David specifically. One of the significant studies in these verses will involve our analysis of Hebrew words (and phrases) for identifying wicked people–those whose character opposes the character of God. In these verses the Masoretic accents play a special role at key points in the text by clarifying the emphases.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5:1-6 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.

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