For Our Good Always

Congratulations to Daniel I. Block on a festschrift (celebration-writ) presented to him by his students, edited by Jason DeRouchie, Jason Gile, and Kenneth Turner, For Our Good Always: Studies on the Message and Influence of Deuteronomy in Honor of Daniel I. Block.

Here’s a personal testimony to the generosity and magnanimity of Dr. Block: I was a PhD student here at SBTS in the days when Dr. Block was part of the faculty here. My sweet wife worked as a secretary on campus the first year, and the word among the student wives serving as secretarial staff was that profs proved their Christianity in the way they treated secretaries. Dr. Block had a great reputation among those dear ladies, and one time he had a cookout at his home for the secretaries and their husbands. It was one of those evenings in Louisville that makes me think of the word halcyon. Dr. Block’s lawn and hosta beds were like the garden of Eden.

On another occasion, I had written an 80 page (!) paper that was related to my dissertation. Dr. Block disagreed with my conclusions, but he agreed to read it. I realize now how generous it was of him to agree to read that long paper. He not only read it, he provided detailed, handwritten feedback. I am grateful.

Congratulations, Dr. Block, and thanks for your good example.

Here’s the publisher’s description of the book:

With a title adapted from Deut 6:24, For Our Good Always is a collection of 25 essays from evangelical scholars on the message of Deuteronomy and its influence on Christian Scripture. No other book colors the tapestry of biblical thought quite like Deuteronomy. It synthesized the theology of the Pentateuch, provided Israel with a constitution for guiding their covenant relationship with Yahweh in the promised land, and served as a primary lens through which later biblical authors interpreted Israel’s covenant history. Recent advances in scholarship on Deuteronomy and developments in biblical interpretation are raising fresh questions and opening new paths for exploration. This collection of studies wrestles with Deuteronomy from historical, literary, theological, and canonical perspectives and offers new questions, presents original discoveries, and makes innovative proposals.

The volume is offered in honor of Daniel I. Block on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Few Old Testament scholars have worked so ably, carefully, and intentionally to help the church and the academy grasp the message of Deuteronomy. Block’s own studies always exhibit an admirable balance of exegetical rigor, literary and theological awareness, and pastoral care, and for well over a decade he has, like the priest-scribe Ezra, devoted himself to the study, practice, and teaching of the deuteronomic torah (Ezra 7:10), helping and urging others to hear the life-giving gospel of Moses in Deuteronomy. The international group of specialists that contributed to this volume consists of Daniel Block’s colleagues, friends, and former students. It is their hope that these studies will in various ways supplement Daniel Block’s work, serving the church and the academy and honoring the God of Israel.