Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book Review - 40 Questions on Baptism and the Lord's Supper

40 Questions on Baptism and the Lord’s Supper 

By John S. Hammett

This particular series has proven very helpful as it addresses topics of importance to any believer in the 21st century. The present tome is no exception. It has a wealth of information on the Christian practices of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (others call the latter, Communion or The Eucharist). The author’s point of view is theologically conservative, accepting the Bible as the Word of God; which is refreshing, given the current academic trend of disbelief. The author got his Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and therefore, the reader should not be surprised to learn he favors Baptist doctrinal stances.
            Hammett does address what others believe about baptism and the Lord’s Supper and he does it in a respectful tone and endeavoring to be fair. This is also refreshing, given the polemic nature of Christian disagreements on these and other doctrinal topics. He does not simply knock down straw men; although, I’m sure proponents of alternative views will be able to point out where Hammett has misunderstood or unintentionally misrepresented their doctrine.
            My own perspective differs from the author’s, but I can appreciate the work he put into his research. I love the format of the series and trust we will get more quality work in other areas of theology and Christian doctrine

4/5 Stars

Disclaimer: The book was received for free from Kregel Ministry books in exchange for an unbiased opinion.

Book Review - For the Love of God's Word


For the Love of God’s word: An Introduction to Biblical Interpretation

By Andreas J. Köstenberger and Richard D. Patterson

Köstenberger was academically influenced by Grant Osborne and D.A. Carson, two heavy-weights in the interpretation department; that fact alone makes one expect a quality book. But Köstenberger is a scholar of the first rank on his own merit and this book ably demonstrates that fact (I apologize for not knowing enough about the co-author Richard Patterson). Written to be used as a simple textbook on Biblical interpretation, the book contains not only the essentials, but the fundamentals on the art and science of interpretation.
            The book is an abridged version of their more academic Invitation to Biblical Interpretation, but if you have never read the bigger tome, you will not think anything is missing from the abridgment. The authors have carefully distilled the fundamental content and made it more accessible. This is good news for readers that do not have much time but do need to hone in their hermeneutical skills.
            Throughout the book there are shaded boxes with a synthesis of the chapters contents and these are very helpful. They will give you outlines of steps, definitions, arguments, procedures, etc. that you can refer back to when you are done reading the book. They will serve as an excellent refresher for years to come. They also will test you on whether you understood and learned what the authors intended for each chapter in question. The examples given throughout the book are very useful and capably illustrate the hermeneutical principles being studied. There is a useful glossary at the end of the book for the technical/academic jargon used in case one is not familiar enough with it.
            For my taste, the layout of  Scott and Hays’ Grasping God’s Word is more inviting for first time students; but I would recommend the present text as a handy reference to further explore certain types of hermeneutics or if in need of exegetical examples of proper interpretation processes.

4/5 Stars

Disclaimer: The book was received for free from Kregel Ministry books in exchange for an unbiased opinion.