Book Review: An Introduction To Ugaritic

An Introduction to UgariticRead Nathan Albright’s review of An Introduction to Ugaritic by John Huehnergard!

Edge Induced Cohesion

An Introduction To Ugaritic, by John Huehnergard

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Hendrickson Publishers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

What would lead someone to want to introduce themselves to Ugaritic, an extinct member of the Semitic language family that was spoken and, for at least a couple generations, written in an unusual cuneiform alphabet in the city of Ugarit on the coast of present-day Syria?  For one, the language itself is fairly similar to biblical Hebrew and not that much more distant from Arabic, and contains a great deal of influence from Akkadian, the first known written Semitic language.  For another, although most known Ugaritic texts are either letters from elites, legal texts, or heathen religious writings about Baal and other false gods, the language does help explain some difficult passages within biblical Hebrew and also provides some of the context of the heathen…

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Genesis by Meredith Kline

Jimmy Reagan takes a look at Meredith Kline’s Genesis commentary in the following review.

The Reagan Review

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Meredith Kline is someone I’ve not really read much, but was intrigued as I have read several things mentioning the insight and even uniqueness of his writings. This volume turns out to be a posthumous work where his grandson, Jonathan Kline, found this manuscript in his grandfather’s things and lovingly edited it for publication.

Though this book is clearly not written as a major commentary, it is a pithy help on Genesis that reflects the mature judgments of an influential scholar in the twilight of his career. Unlike some modern commentaries, this book is not dry. Even better, he is not afraid to see Christ and His glorious Gospel revealed on the pages of Genesis. For that matter, he even sees Moses as the author, which is unfortunately too uncommon in our day.

I couldn’t personally agree with all his thoughts on the covenant, nor a few of his thoughts…

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How to Evangelize — An Interview with R. Larry Moyer

R. Larry Moyer 101 Tips for EvangelismHendrickson recently published 101 Tips for Evangelism: Practical Ways to Enhance Your Witness by R. Larry Moyer.

Dr. Moyer, founder of the well-known evangelization organization EvanTell, offers some of the practical wisdom he’s gleaned in over four decades of evangelism. His 101 brief, easy-to-read tips address dealing with difficult people, balancing grace with truth, asking God for more opportunities, the importance of listening, and much more. In fact, we are thrilled to share with you the introduction of the book:

There’s nothing on earth I’d rather do than evangelize. God, in His gracious kindness, has allowed me to present the gospel to hundreds of thousands over the last forty-plus years.

As I have done so, under God’s guidance, I’ve learned tips through Scripture and experience. I can sincerely say that God has used them to make me a more effective evangelist. Along the way, I’ve often thought, “Wow! I wish I would’ve learned that sooner.” But God knows what He is doing and in His own time, He has enabled me to learn and grow.

I hope as I share these tips with you your love for unbelievers is enhanced and your desire to reach them increases. If that happens, this book will be worth all the time and effort. Most of all, thank you for cultivating a heart for the people who need to hear the greatest message of all: Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead.

Dr. Moyer has been kind enough to give us some snippets of these tips in the following interview!

1. What inspired your desire to help others evangelize?

The simple principle of multiplication. Take the number 10 and add the number 2 to it 10 times. Now take the number 10 and multiple it by 2 10 times. The number is vastly different. I believe that training others to evangelize is a way to impact the world for Christ.

2. Which tip do you think holds particular weight in the matter of evangelization and why?

I would say number 1! “Evangelism always starts with obedience.” God directs a moving object. He will help us overcome any struggle we have in evangelism as long as we’re willing to give Him our obedience.

3. What would you say to someone who is feeling really discouraged in regards to their attempts to evangelize?

I’d emphasize several things. First, God is on their team, not on their back. He’s a God of grace. He doesn’t lambast us for any struggle or difficulty we’re having in evangelism or any discouragement we’re facing. He’s just there to help. Secondly, with that in mind, we need to concentrate on Hebrews 4:16 and come boldly to Him in prayer, recognizing that He has the grace to help us in time of need, whatever need that might be in evangelism. A third thing that I would emphasize is the need for experience. The more you evangelize, the more there might be discouraging moments, but there are also very exciting ones. Those exciting ones make the discouraging moments fade in importance.

4. How can fear be a healthy part of the evangelism process?

It teaches us to depend on Him. When we are afraid and depend on Him, He gives us the boldness to overcome the fear, instead of the fear overcoming the boldness. God has more than food and finances, the two things that we often ask Him for. He has a generous supply of boldness. We recognize as with every area of the Christian life that we cannot do it in our own strength. We can only do it through His.

5. For a new Christian who wants to evangelize, how soon is too soon?

When it comes to sharing Christ one-to-one, no time is too soon. In fact, when I lead people to Christ, I encourage them to tell at least two people that they trusted Christ that day. It helps them start doing immediately what they should do the rest of their lives—tell others!

6. If you are evangelizing to someone of a different religion, how important is it for you to be familiar with their beliefs?

You don’t have to know what they believe; you have to know what you believe. Always remember that God sent them across your path for you to talk to them, not for them to talk to you. Besides, most people in a particular religion are not there because of what that religion believes. They are there because someone gave them a sense of belonging.

7. For some, evangelizing is a long and complicated process. What would you say to those who have been praying for the conversion of someone near and dear to them for years?

Keep praying and never stop. I know of people who have come to Christ because someone had prayed for them for over 30 years. As you pray, ask God to send someone in addition to you to speak to them. Often God uses many people to lead one person to Christ.

8. If you feel comfortable sharing, what is an evangelism experience that didn’t go the way you planned, and what did you learn from it?

I had an appointment to talk to a man about Christ who I felt was ripe and ready for the gospel. I couldn’t have been more excited. Not only did I find out that he was not ready to trust Christ, but the longer we talked, I felt that he was further from Christ than when I met him. That’s always hard for me because nobody is promised tomorrow. At the same time, I always have to remind myself of what I tell others: “God holds me responsibility for contact, not conversion.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 reminds us that the issue is faithfulness, not fruitfulness.


R. Larry Moyer 101 Tips for EvangelismDr. R. Larry Moyer, founder and CEO of EvanTell, is a frequent speaker in evangelistic outreaches, training seminars, churches, and classrooms across the world. He has earned degrees from Cairn University (BS), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (DMin). In 2001, Cairn University also awarded him the honorary doctor of sacred theology degree. He is an evangelistic speaker for EvanTell’s Evangelism events, designed to equip believers in evangelism and to reach non-Christians. He has published 12 books. He is a regular guest lecturer in evangelism at Word of Life Bible Institutes in New York and Florida and visiting professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Moyer and his wife reside in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. They have one grown son who is married.

For more information about 101 Tips for Evangelism and to order online, visit our website.

10 Quotes About Christmas from Charles Spurgeon

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  1. “Do you not feel, my brethren, that the gospel of God is peace to man? Where else can peace be found but in the message of Jesus?”
  2. “And when the Lord Jesus has become your peace, remember, there is another thing: good will towards men. Do not try to keep Christmas without good will towards men.”
  3. “May God give you peace with yourselves; may he give you good will towards all your friends, your enemies, and your neighbors; and may he give you grace to give glory to God in the highest.”
  4. “Though creation may be a majestic organ of praise, it cannot reach the compass of the golden canticle—Incarnation! There is more in that than in creation, more melody in Jesus in the manger, than there is in worlds on worlds rolling their grandeur round the throne of the Most High.”
  5. “For, first, the birth of Christ was the incarnation of God: it was God taking upon himself human—a mystery, a wondrous mystery, to be believed in rather than to be defined.”
  6. “But, now, when the new-born King made his appearance, the swaddling band with which he was wrapped up was the white flag of peace. That manger was the place where the treaty was signed, whereby warfare should be stopped between man’s conscience and himself, man’s conscience and his God. It was then, that day, the trumpet blew—’Sheathe the sword, oh man, sheathe the sword, oh conscience, for God is now at peace with man, and man at peace with God.’ Do you not feel, my brethren, that the gospel of God is peace to man? Where else can peace be found but in the message of Jesus?”
  7. “We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give thanks to God for the gift of His dear Son.”
  8. “Do not go to the synagogue of long-faced hypocrites to hear the minister who preaches with a nasal twang, with misery in his face, whilst he tells you that God has goodwill towards men. I know you won’t believe what he says, for he does not preach with joy in his countenance, he is telling you good news with a grunt, and you are not likely to receive it. But go straight way to the plain where Bethlehem shepherds sat by night, and when  you hear the angels singing out the gospel, by the grace of God upon you, you cannot help believing that they manifestly feel the preciousness of telling.”
  9. “This glorious word Emmanuel means, first, that God in Christ is with us in very near association. The Greek particle here used is very forcible, and expresses the strongest form of ‘with.’ It is not merely ‘in company with us as another Greek word would signify, but ‘with,’ ‘together with,’ and ‘sharing with.’ This preposition is a close rivet, a firm bond, implying, if not declaring, close fellowship. God is peculiarly and closely ‘with us.’”
  10. “As we think today of the birth of the Savior, let us aspire after a fresh birth of the Savior in our hearts; that as he is already ‘formed in us the hope of glory,’ we may be ‘renewed in the spirit of our minds;’ that we may go to the Bethlehem of our spiritual nativity and do our first works, enjoy our first loves, and feast with Jesus as we did in the holy, happy, heavenly days of our espousals.”

spurgeon-quote

 

Book Review: Genesis: A New Commentary

51um8ezgqjl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Nathan Albright’s review of Meredith Kline’s commentary on Genesis does excellent justice to this noteworthy book.

A quote from the review that I particularly enjoyed: “The author’s unwillingness to exceed the firm foundation of his text and his generally charitable attitude towards the reader make this book feel like one is listening to the author give a friendly graduate seminar or a conversation over dinner while pouring over the Bible in English, Hebrew, and the Greek.  While such an experience is no longer possible in this life, this book is the next best thing and a worthy introduction to the works of a worthy biblical scholar.”

Edge Induced Cohesion

Genesis:  A New Commentary, by Meredith G. Kline

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Hendrickson Publishers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Upon reading this book, I was somewhat surprised that this was the first book I remember reading from the noted and late Presbyterian theologian.  Upon reading, for example, his breakdown of the chiasmic structure of the book of Genesis, I was immediately reminded of previous readings of books likely influenced by his instruction of other conservative Presbyterians [1] in decades of faithful teaching work.  Given the fact that this work was a very refreshing and thoughtful commentary on the book of Genesis, although given that Kline has been dead for eight years, it is hard to tell how new this commentary is in some senses, it is likely that this will not be the last book I read from this author by any means…

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Review: Dictionary of Daily Life: Volume 4

Jimmy Reagan takes a look at the Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity O-Z Volume 4 in this review:

The Reagan Review

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This is the final volume of an unique set. Editors Edwin Yamauchi and Marvin Wilson continue the high quality of work, here  covering O-Z, that we found in the previous volumes. Many scholars joined forces to provide us with this special resource. The setup that even includes a few pictures at the end matches the previous volumes. Together these volumes make an attractive paperback set.

The feature that makes this a special set is what it chooses to cover. It does not limit itself to specific Bible words, but addresses daily life issues in the way we think of them.  That means that things like sanitation, spectacles, trade, and viticulture get covered. There are also things that you would expect like slavery, taxation, and threshing and winnowing, but at more detail than you would imagine. Touchy subjects like prostitution and same-sex relations are well covered too. Those articles were solidly…

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Review: Genesis: A New Commentary

Check out John Kight’s review of Meredith G. Kline’s Genesis: A New Commentary!

Sojourner Theology

51um8ezgqjl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Few things should be more exciting to contemporary readers of the Bible than a previously unpublished work by Meredith G. Kline. Kline was an influential American Old Testament scholar and a formative voice of Covenant theology within the Reformed tradition. Kline received a ThB and a ThM from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Dropsie University. With a teaching career that stretched over five decades and a list of publications that is equally as impressive, it is hard to imagine exactly how far the influence of Kline has reached. Nevertheless, Genesis: A New Commentary, edited by Kline’s grandson, Jonathan G. Kline, is yet another shining reminder of a legacy that sought nothing more than to illuminate the Savior through an unquenchable passion for the Old Testament Scriptures.

Genesis: A New Commentary is in many ways a brief, more distilled companion commentary to Kline’s well-known magnum opus Kingdom Prologue:…

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Book Review: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction To His Thought

9781619708501Nathan Albright’s excellent review on Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction To His Thought by Sabine Dramm.

A quote from his review: “Nevertheless, this is an excellent book about an excellent subject, and Bonhoeffer continues to have a lot to say to contemporary Christianity in complex ways. Had he lived longer, or lived in less dangerous times, he would likely have engaged his world in far different ways. To the extent that we face the threat of prison, exile, or death for being decent people in an indecent world, understanding the thought and practice of Bonhoeffer is important in helping to inspire our own responses to our own social, cultural, political, and religious context. This book is a worthy help for that difficult and important task.”

Edge Induced Cohesion

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction To His Thought, by Sabine Dramm

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Hendrickson Publishers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

As someone who has read a fair amount by and about the noted German theologian and anti-Hitler conspirator Dietrich Bonhoeffer and who will likely read much more by and about him in the future [1], I found this book to be a highly quotable and thoughtful introduction to his thinking concerning matters of theology, philosophy, and culture.  The author of this book wonders aloud about the various factors that could keep Bonhoeffer’s thought and practice, some of which is admittedly radical and much of it is rather deeply complicated and even paradoxical and conflicted, on the sidelines and in the ghettos of Christian thought.  However, as biased a reader as I am, I think that these worries are overblown, because as long…

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Review: The Illustrated Bible

Rene Sloan

I am not a huge comic book fan. I have never been one to be interested in comics. This book is different. It is 31 stories from both the Old Testament, and the New Testament, in graphic, comic book style. Stories that I have heard all my life, to those I may not understand so well are illustrated in such a way, that I can finally put an image with words! This is so exciting to me! I am so thankful someone was inspired and responded to the call of God to create this wonderful book! This is a great way to spread the word of God to those who may never have picked up a bible otherwise! The illustrations are phenomenal. They correspond perfectly with the stories, and are bright and attention-catching. The wording is simple, and easy to understand.

I highly recommend this this book to all. Comic…

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Review: The Miracles in the Gospels

The Miracles in the Gospels: What Do They Teach Us About Jesus? by Keith Warrington is an important and timely study. Warrington has brought a new sense of depth to an aspect of Jesus’ ministry that is far too often oversimplified and underemphasized in Christian circles today. ”

Many thanks to John Kight for an excellent review of The Miracles in the Gospels!

Sojourner Theology

9781619708327oKeith Warrington is Vice-Principal and Director of Doctoral Studies at Regents Theological College, Malvern, United Kingdom. Warrington did graduate work under R. T. France and James D. G. Dunn, received a PhD from King’s College, London, and has authored numerous articles and books, including Pentecostal Theology: A Theology of Encounter (T&T Clark, 2008) and The Message of the Holy Spirit (IVP Academic, 2009). Most recently, Warrington has published a landmark exploration on Jesus and the recorded miracles of the Gospels.

The Miracles in the Gospels: What Do They Teach Us About Jesus? takes the reader on a comprehensive journey through every miracle performed by Jesus in the Gospels and offers an intentional look into how each demonstrates the divinity of Christ. As Warrington explains, “to miss this portrait of God as he is radiated in Jesus through the writings of the Gospels is to rob oneself of extraordinary opportunities to…

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