After much prayer and thought, I have decided to take some of the material that has been posted on this blog and make it available in a printed format. Here is a taste of what has already been published.
Forward from Feeding the Sheep Commentary Series:
This series began as a blog which I created to prepare the church for the Lord’s Day preaching of the Word. It has long been my custom to help the people prepare to come and hear the Word of God being preached as much as I can. The idea was to give something of a preview earlier in the week so that when they arrive on Sunday morning, their minds would already be tuned to the text. This method has been modestly successful, but I wondered if we could take this same principal to the next level.
Commentaries are wonderful tools, but few Christians buy them or would even know how (or care) to use them. Part of the problem lies in the commentaries themselves. Either they are written for people that at least possess a graduate degree in the biblical languages or they are so “devotional” and stuffed with fluff to be devoid of any real value. It is my prayer to change that.
My approach is based upon the assumption that (1) God’s people possess His Spirit and are therefore divinely enabled to understand His Word and (2) that people do not appreciate being spoken down to. I have written these books as a series of plain expositions of the biblical text. These books are not designed to enter the ivory halls of learned scholars and compete for the newest take on the Hebrew text or argue the finer points of Greek grammar. But neither are they written as some sort of “chicken soup for the soul” or other such emotionally charged drivel. It is my passion to teach God’s people God’s Word. I find delight in seeing the light bulb come on in people’s faces. I desperately want the laity to know the Word of God to the best of their God-given ability.
At the conclusion of each chapter, you will find a series of questions for your consideration. These questions are tied to the text and asked in such a way to encourage you to now put into practice what you have learned. With the addition of these study questions, these books can be utilized as personal devotionals, group Bible study consumables, or as simple and affordable study tools. In any case, it is of little profit to know God’s Word if we do not apply God’s Word (James 1:22). Those who know and obey will be those who also proclaim.
My prayer is the prayer of William Tyndale, who gave his life to translate the Bible into English. It was his wish that every plowboy in England know the sacred text better than the Pope. Yet we already have the holy text in our own tongue. Why is it that we know our Bible no better than the pagan Pope?
Brother. Sister. This is the reason I wrote this book and others like it. The whole point of the Feeding the Sheep Commentary Series is just that, to feed Christ’s sheep. This not something I wanted to do. This is something that I had to do. I can no longer sit idly by and watch my fellow Christians walk through life in a fog of undiscerning drunkenness and lackadaisical confusion. They must know God’s Word so that they might know God. I pray that this volume blesses you and that you come to a deeper understanding of the text. For in so doing, you will come to a deeper communion with your God.
As of this moment, there are only two works in this series: “Knowing the God of the Word through the Word of God”, a collection of my work through Psalm 119 and “The Servant of YHWH: Victory through Suffering”, a study of Isaiah 52:13-53:12. It is my plan and desire to continue to add to this series as I preach verse by verse and book by book.
In addition to straight-line exposition, there is content on this blog that attempts to investigate issues of the church and Christian living. I have just released a stand-alone work call Divine Design, a primer to a biblical understanding of the family unit and the church as a part of God’s very good creation.
Preface to Divine Design:
I have come to the opinion that there are only two kinds of “Christian” books. There are the kinds of books that explain Scripture, such as commentaries and works on theological topics, and the kind of books that apply Scripture. Many works within this second category are little more than self-help morsels that are easily swallowed and savory to the taste. Unfortunately, these are also the kind of books that many self-professing Christians consume at a voracious rate.
But there are many books that approach the application of Scripture from the correct point of view. These are the kind of books written by pastors who first explain the text and then walk the reader through the many implications the Word of God addresses regarding the topic at hand. I pray the work you are reading falls into this last category.
The topic at hand is two-fold: the family and the church. Some may say that two separate works should be written on these matters (for they are two entirely different topics). This sort of thinking is exactly why I am convinced that such a work is needed. There are many problems facing both the family unit and the church of Jesus Christ. But if we stop addressing the symptoms and get down to the root problem, we will find that there are more similarities than we may have first admitted.
The aim of this book is very simple. First, I will attempt to show through the Scriptures how God designed both the family and the church to stand and function. Second, I hope to prove to you, the reader, that what we say about the family is also true of the church (and vice versa). These two bodies are connected in God’s mind as revealed in His Word.
The reader should be warned from the onset that this work does not take into account the many broken and shattered contexts of the family and the church. This is not necessarily a work designed to fix broken homes and dysfunctional churches. The arguments you will read are meant to reveal what God has designed the family and the church to look like and how they are meant to function. Little will be said regarding how to cure various maladies with both the family and the church. However, any steps toward repentance and correction must first consider God’s original and very good design.
In addition to this discussion, I would encourage you to consider Paul Shirley’s book, “The Christian Home” which studies the individual roles of the family unit. In some ways, this current volume could be seen as a preface to Shirley’s work.
Only by understanding God’s good design for both the family and the church can we begin to understand the root problems that besiege us. And only by getting to those root problems can we begin to repent of our failures and run the race of endurance that has been set before us. I can only speak for myself, but my goal is to lead my family and serve Christ’s church on HIS terms and not my own. I pray that this is your desire as well and that this humble offering blesses you and leads you to a life of obedience.
Divine Devotion is intended to follow in the footprint set by Divine Design as a simple primer for Christian worship. I covet your prayers as I put this work together and point the reader to what the Bible, not our culture or denominational creeds, have to say about the corporate gather and our duty to worship the Living God. I anticipate this work will be available to you before the end of this year.
As always, I pray that these works edify and build up Christ’s church, call sinners to repentance, and gives all glory to God. May He receive all honor and praise.
Soli Deo Gloria!