This is an encouraging book, looking at the Pauline epistles to the Thessalonians.
The author gives many pointed, convicting questions, yet is humble aThis is an encouraging book, looking at the Pauline epistles to the Thessalonians.
The author gives many pointed, convicting questions, yet is humble and encouraging, pointing to Christ's power. I don't know where he got "Jameson" from in the book of Acts--it's Jason in all the versions I looked up--so that is one distracting thing, but probably a typo, though written several times that way. Maybe it's that way in the Greek.
It's good enough that I want a pencil with me while I'm reading it, in order to underline or mark parts I like. Here are a few of the quotes I've marked:
'Like those new believers in first century Thessalonica, what we know today is this: Jesus has utterly revolutionized our lives. To the world, we turn everything upside down. To the believer, God is making everything right side up. The world has fallen and it is God who is picking it up. The world is like a shattered vase and it is God who is restoring it. The world is like a filthy mirror and it is God who is renovating its luster.'
'We are to persevere in prayer that we might persevere by prayer.'
'Not to be totally sold out to the Word of God is to lack that joy, that fruitfulness. Not to give yourself to it more than all riches is to lack, is to struggle, is to trip, and is to stumble along in our Christian life.'
'When people saw the Thessalonians, they saw love, zeal, and gospel. When the world sees you, what do they see? Do they see arrogance? Do they see you being stuck up? Do they see you as too good for them? Does the world see you projecting a "holier than thou," "I'm better than you," attitude? Or, are you an example of a sinner saved by grace? Do they see you as a jar of clay that has been broken into a thousand pieces that God himself is putting back together; and even as he puts you back together those cracks are still visible? Our evangelistic zeal must be shown in our lives living amongst the world; in truthfulness of who we were; in honesty about what we are; in hope of what we will become. Like a masterpiece of art shown in a window, show the world what God can do.'
He quotes from many good writers/preachers, including John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon, as here:
'Describing preaching, C. H. Spurgeon once put it like this: "when we speak as ministers, and not as men; as preachers, instead of penitents; as theologians instead of disciples, we fail."'
'The devil hid himself in the serpent with Adam and Eve so that he could distract them with the question, "Hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1; KJV). The devil came and tried to drown out God's clear command with his noise, speaking his own version of the gospel--a gospel of self-help and a gospel of your best life now.'
'We can praise God in the midst of being sifted, in the midst of being persecuted by Satan himself because we know that our faith is a gift of God and that as a gift of God it is unassailable, it is invincible, it cannot be destroyed, it cannot be snuffed out. We can praise God for the Devil's temptations because they are signs to the true believers of true faith. The Devil's temptations are signs to us that our faith is real. We can stand up in true confidence against the Devil. We know he wants our true faith to be destroyed, but it can't.'
I don't agree with every point, since my eschatology is different than those of Reformed faith, but at least the author doesn't focus on that. I think he assumes too much when he intimates that the authors of Left Behind were just in it for the money--who can read their minds? And if they are true believers, they likely had more noble reasons for writing. Besides that part, I enjoyed the book, and underlined a few things, but it didn't stand out as an amazing book. I kept catching typos, too, but only here and there, so it's minor....more
This book was a bit deep for a lay-person like me, but especially the appendix, which had comparisons of ancient literature styles and various thoughtThis book was a bit deep for a lay-person like me, but especially the appendix, which had comparisons of ancient literature styles and various thoughts on how they do or don't relate to the Scriptures.
Each chapter is a mini message about a certain Bible passage, with notes that include word meanings, related passages, and study questions. The beauty of creation is laid out, as well as reasons for believing the earth was created in six literal days, not on top of an evolving past. I appreciate that each chapter is quite short, and has smaller sections dividing them. There is a lovely chapter involving thunder, and many other good chapters. Sometimes a bit technical, looking into the Hebrew, but it is also interesting and helpful in that way if you can concentrate.
Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for giving me a copy to review! ...more
This is an excellent book about the prophet, Jonah. The author's unique insight into the Hebrew text makes this extra special. He brings out things IThis is an excellent book about the prophet, Jonah. The author's unique insight into the Hebrew text makes this extra special. He brings out things I had hardly considered before in the account of Jonah, and speaks to the heart of the reader. We are all like Jonah from time to time, and yet there is God's amazing grace. Mr. Maoz doesn't skip over the wrath and judgment of God, either, but tells of that in light of God's grace. I quite highly recommend this book. It is scholarly, yet an easy read. 4.5 stars....more
Yes, it took me nearly an age to finish reading this (five and a half years), but it was so good! There were many thoughts that bolstered and encouragYes, it took me nearly an age to finish reading this (five and a half years), but it was so good! There were many thoughts that bolstered and encouraged through difficult times, lifted me to greater love for the Lord, and all in all helped me understand the psalms better. On to book two!...more
These had shorter thoughts about the psalms than Andrew A. Bonar's, and generally less scholarly-sounding, but still encouraging and somewhat easier tThese had shorter thoughts about the psalms than Andrew A. Bonar's, and generally less scholarly-sounding, but still encouraging and somewhat easier to digest....more
This book gave me new insights into the psalms. I hadn't realized how many psalms were (or could be interpreted as) Messianic in part or whole. He seeThis book gave me new insights into the psalms. I hadn't realized how many psalms were (or could be interpreted as) Messianic in part or whole. He seemed to be able to point out almost every psalm as having the voice of Jesus. It is sprinkled quite lavishly with Hebrew and occasionally with Latin, so I can't say I "read every word" of it, but basically I did....more
It's kind of hard to know how to rate this, as I think it's not as good as some commentaries, but better than some of the books I read. So I guess thrIt's kind of hard to know how to rate this, as I think it's not as good as some commentaries, but better than some of the books I read. So I guess three stars is about right. This commentary does bring some of the book of Chronicles to life by applying it to today, but perhaps it overdoes it in that respect, too, slightly. Though I think the temple does have some correlations with the church, I wouldn't say it does totally, especially all the different denominations of "churches" (some of which I believe are not true, Biblical churches, so I use that term loosely). The author is a bit too ecumenical, although I do believe we should love our neighbors, irregardless of religion. The author also seems to think (I could be wrong) that the Biblical writers relied solely on other records or eyewitnesses, while I think there was definitely an element of revelation & inspiration, too (it was all inspired by God, as 2 Timothy 3:16 says). Before my dad died, he wrote a couple of correcting notes or crossed out things he disagreed with, so that is nice for me. However, overall, it's a book that might be worth your time and does has some good thoughts....more