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SBTS Publications in 2014

Here are some ideas for Christmas and/or birthday gifts for the pastor, theologian, missionary, evangelist, seminarian, or teacher/student of the Bible in your life. Last year I posted a list of books from the SBTS Faculty in 2013, and I’m following it up with this list of books from the SBTS Faculty in 2014.

I may have missed something. If so, please bring it to my attention and I’ll update the list.

It’s an honor to serve the greatest cause with these great men. List alphabetical by author’s last name.

Gregg R. Allison, Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment

Dan Dewitt, Jesus or Nothing

Dan Dewitt, The Owlings: A Worldview Novella

Duane Garrett, Exodus

James M. Hamilton Jr., Ezra and Nehemiah: Rebuilding People and Wall

James M. Hamilton Jr., With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology

James M. Hamilton and Thomas R. Schreiner, (contributors), Adam, The Fall, and Original Sin

Michael A. G. Haykin, George Whitefield

Michael A. G. Haykin, Patrick of Ireland

Michael A. G. Haykin and C. Jeffrey Robinson Sr., To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Missional Vision and Legacy

Oren R. Martin, Bound for the Promised Land: The Land Promise in God’s Redemptive Plan

Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones, Proof

Jonathan Pennington and Stephen Wellum (contributors), Heaven

Thomas R. Schreiner, editor, with James M. Hamilton Jr., Michael A. G. Haykin, Gregg R. Allison, Shawn D. Wright, and Bruce A. Ware (contributors), Shepherding God’s Flock

Zane Pratt, M. David Sills, and Jeff K. Walters, Introduction to Global Missions

Mark A. Seifrid, 2 Corinthians

M. David Sills, El Llamado Misionero: Encuentre su Lugar el el Plan de Dios para el Mundo

Donald S. Whitney, Finding God in Solitude: The Personal Piety of Jonathan Edwards. . .

Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

May the Lord bless your study, and may the Lord bless the administration, faculty, students, graduates, and supporters of SBTS and similar schools seeking to advance the gospel. If you’d like to know more, head on over to sbts.edu.

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SBTS Alumni Academy on Biblical Theology

Is there anything more important than the Bible? Jesus said Scripture can’t be broken, and he prayed that the Father would sanctify his people in the truth, then said, “Thy word is truth.”

God’s people need God’s word.

The word doesn’t work like a magic formula, however. We don’t just pass our eyes over a meaningless series of symbols. No, for the word to work it has to be understood.

To understand the Bible we need biblical theology.

Why? Because biblical theology enables us to understand the trees as they stand in the forest, and it enables us to see the shape of the forest formed by all those trees.

Biblical theology helps us see how the biblical authors understood the Scriptures and their own situations. Biblical theology shines the light on how later authors picked up the storyline started by earlier authors of Scripture, summarizing and interpreting it in their use of symbolism, imagery, typology, and significant patterns.

God has spoken to us in his word. We want to understand what he has said. God’s people need to hear his voice.

Are your ears trained to hear him?

We want to do biblical theology because we want to know God and love God’s people by giving them the fullness of what God has revealed in our preaching and teaching.

Join us at the next SBTS Alumni Academy for two days (Jan 8–9, 2015) of biblical theology. If we are to teach the nations to obey everything Jesus said, we have to understand what it means.

Register here, that all the ends of the earth might fear the Lord.

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Spanish Translation of “Family Discipleship in the Old Testament”

All families of all nations need to know what the Scriptures say about the training and discipling of children, so I rejoice that Saul Sarabia L. has rendered my essay, “That the Coming Generation Might Praise the Lord,” into Spanish:

Discipulado Familiar en el Antiguo Testamento: Que la Generación venidera Alabe al Señor

And here are Saul’s previous translations:

The Glory of God in Salvation through Judgment

The Church Militant and Her Warfare

A Biblical Theology of Motherhood

Were Old Covenant Believers Indwelt by the Holy Spirit?

The Center of Biblical Theology in Acts

Biblical Theology and Preaching

The Seed of the Woman and the Blessing of Abraham

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Books from SBTS Faculty in 2013

This year (2013) the SBTS faculty published the following books (alphabetical by author’s last name):

Chad Brand, Flourishing Faith: A Baptist Primer on Work, Economics, and Civic Stewardship

Chad Brand and Tom Pratt, Seeking the City: Wealth, Poverty, and Political Economy in Christian Perspective

Denny Burk, What Is the Meaning of Sex?

Dan Dewitt, A Guide to Evangelism

James M. Hamilton, The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids (children’s book)

James M. Hamilton, What Is Biblical Theology? 

Michael A. G. Haykin, Ardent Love for Jesus: English Baptists and the Experience of Revival in the Long Eighteenth Century

Michael A. G. Haykin, A Consuming Fire: The Piety of Alexander Whyte (Kindle ed.)

Dr. Haykin was also presented with a festschrift in his honor: The Pure Flame of Devotion: The History of Christian Spirituality

Heath Lambert, Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace

R. Albert Mohler, Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (contributor)

Tom Nettles, Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon 

Robert L. Plummer, The Story of Scripture: How We Got Our Bible and Why We Can Trust It

Robert L. Plummer, Understanding the Bible: A Guide to Reading and Enjoying Scripture

Thomas R. Schreiner, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments

Owen Strachan, Risky Gospel: Abandon Fear and Build Something Awesome

Brian Vickers, Justification by Grace through Faith: Finding Freedom from Legalism, Lawlessness, Pride, and Despair

Members of our faculty also contributed to the following edited volumes:

From Heaven He Came and Sought Her

In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture

The Call to Ministry

Acting the Miracle

Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling

I think I got everyone–if you see something I overlooked, please do bring it to my attention!

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The Glorious Calling of the Mother

Just yesterday I was asked: does the Bible teach that women are to do anything more than schlepp kids and keep house?

Proverbs 31 has lots to say about what wise women do, but this video turns the question on its head, capturing the profound majesty of mothering:

3 Queens from Matt Bieler on Vimeo.

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Gunner’s Review of Wenham’s Psalms as Torah

Someone said: Only a Philistine could fail to love the Psalms.

David “Gunner” Gunderson doesn’t just make last second shots, he thinks and writes well, and I’d encourage you to check out his important review of an important book, Gordon Wenham’s Psalms as Torah. Here’s a snippet:

The Burden of the Book: The Shaping Power of Praying the Psalms

Christians often talk about “the power of prayer,” and rightfully so. But what’s usually meant is the power of prayer to change things by summoning the sovereign power of God. This book is all about the power of prayer, but Wenham is taking a different angle. He wants us to see that prayer not only reshapes the landscape of our lives by moving mountains but reshapes the landscape of our hearts by recrafting and renewing our attitudes and commitments.

[P]rayer has an impact on ethical thought . . . If we praise a certain type of behavior in our prayers, we are telling God that this is how we intend to behave. On the other hand, if in prayer we denounce certain acts and pray for God to punish them, we are in effect inviting God to judge us if we do the same. This makes the ethics of liturgy uniquely powerful. It makes a stronger claim on the believer than either law, wisdom, or story, which are simply subject to passive reception: one can listen to a proverb or a story and then take it or leave it, but if you pray ethically, you commit yourself to a path of action (57).

Therefore, it’s not enough for the church to retell the narratives, preach the gospels, and exposit the epistles. We must also pray the Psalms, individually and corporately. [the whole thing]

We love the Psalms. Often in family devos around here we will be reading a Psalm nightly until the whole family can recite it. Right now we’re reading Psalm 29.

I’m hoping and praying for the creatives among us to come up with more and more tunes for singing the Psalms in ways that resonate today. May the Lord bless us with his word.

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How to Grow in Humility: Experience the Greatness of Jesus

Muhammed Ali said, “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.” He also said, “Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”

We see the opposite of that pride in John 3 from John the Baptist, and the reason John’s perspective is so different from Ali’s comes down to two things: he knows the identity of Jesus, and he knows the part Jesus plays in God’s plan.

From those realities I make these two assertions about true humility:

1)    True humility results from encountering Jesus, who is true greatness.
2)    True humility arises from knowing the part Jesus plays in God’s big plan.

Two applications: knowing the greatness of Jesus and the part he plays keeps us from thinking that we’re the world’s Savior, and it helps us to know what our own role is and isn’t.

From what the Baptist says in John 3:27–33, we see 15 things that he knew that kept him humble:

1. What can’t be done:

“A person cannot receive even one thing . . .” (John 3:27a)

2. Where gifts come from:

“unless it is given him from heaven” (3:27b).

3. Who he is:

“You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ’” (3:28a)

4. What his role is:

“but I have been sent before him” (3:28b)

5. Who Jesus is:

“The one who has the bride is the bridegroom” (3:29a)

6. What his relationship to Jesus is:

“The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him” (3:29b)

7. How to respond to Jesus:

“rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete” (3:29c)

8. What must happen:

“He must increase, but I must decrease” (3:30)

9. Where Jesus is from:

“He who comes from above” (3:31a)

10. What place Jesus occupies:

“is above all. . . . He who comes from heaven is above all” (3:31b, e)

11. Where he, the Baptist, is from:

“He who is of the earth belongs to the earth” (3:31c)

12. How he speaks:

“and speaks in an earthly way” (3:31d)

13. How Jesus speaks:

“He bears witness to what he has seen and heard” (3:32a)

14. How Jesus is rejected:

“yet no one receives his testimony” (3:32b)

15. What it means to receive the testimony of Jesus:

“Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true” (3:33)

Pride comes from thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. By recognizing that he is not the Messiah, the Baptist has accepted the fact that he is not Israel’s king, not Israel’s champion, not Israel’s Savior. John knows who he is and who he is not. John also knows what his purpose is. His purpose is to prepare the way for Jesus. John knows his own origin. He is from earth, not heaven. John knows that he has nothing he has not received (1 Cor 4:7), and that whatever he has received has come as a gift from God (John 3:27).

One reason we are not humble is the fact that we have not experienced greatness. We have not encountered majesty, so in our ignorance and lack of experience we begin to think that we are grander and greater than we really are. We begin to overestimate our own importance. This doesn’t happen to John because he has experienced greatness, majesty, authority, incomparability in the person of Jesus. John knows that Jesus is the bridegroom (John 3:29) who comes from above, that is, heaven (3:31).

One manifestation of our pride is the assumption that we will succeed where others have failed. What keeps John from that pride? He knows that there has never been a better witness than Jesus, and “yet no one receives his testimony” (John 3:32). No one has a better perception of reality than Jesus. No one has more right to be heard than Jesus. No one could communicate more clearly than Jesus. And his testimony was not received.

What do you expect will happen to your testimony? What right do we have to think that we will have more success than Jesus had?

We cannot receive what has not been given. We are not Messiah. We are not from heaven but from earth. We are not the world’s Savior. We were created to reflect the glory of the image of the invisible God. We were made for Jesus, not the other way around. Therefore we should feel what John articulates about himself and Jesus in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

From “He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease,” preached at Kenwood Baptist Church on October 27, 2013. 

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Despite Doubt by Mike Wittmer

Mike Wittmer is one of my favorite theologians. Heck he’s one of my favorite people. So I’m glad to see that he continues to find ways to say Don’t Stop Believing, the latest being a new book entitled Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith.

Here’s a trailer for the book:

Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith by Michael E. Wittmer from Discovery House Publishers on Vimeo.

Mike has preached a sermon with this title. I suspect Mike’s preaching will strengthen your confidence and bring a smile to your face.

This is a short book of short chapters. Despite Doubt will speak to those wrestling with big questions and seeking to know the truth.

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Gospel Transformation Bible Releases Today

Dane Ortlund has the details on the most important thing you’ll see online today: the release of the Gospel Transformation Bible.

I’m eager to consult these notes and grateful for Crossway.

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Coloring Pages for The Bible’s Big Story

The more senses we involve in an activity, the more we learn. I am delighted that Christian Focus has posted three “coloring pages” from The Bible’s Big Story. Here’s hoping these will bring tactile delight and result in deeper awareness of the world’s true story, a story of sin, promise, and triumphant redemption.

We print coloring pages from the web all the time in our house. Now you can print the following three pages, and your little ones can work some crayola magic on them:

Adam and Eve

Abraham and Sarah

David and Goliath

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The Blind Boy Who Played Football, Got a PhD, and Is Now a College Professor

Some of God’s people are truly inspiring. Travis Freeman is just such a person. This good brother experienced an awful tragedy as a 12-year-old when he contracted a horrible disease that took his sight. Though it took his sight, it did not take his hope, his perseverance, or his faith in God.

Travis Freeman continued to play football, not only earning a spot on his high school team but even becoming a starter. The blind man really did play football. But that’s not all. Through all this, Travis continued to trust God and felt a call to serve others by telling his own story and preaching God’s word. In spite of the difficulties and challenges, Travis did everything he possibly could to complete his college degree, his Master of Divinity, and his PhD.

Imagine all that PhD students must read: Travis had to take all that in through his ears. What other PhD students could scan or read quickly, Travis had to acquire on audiobook and then listen to such that he comprehended all that he heard.

Travis is a man with an amazing memory, having memorized vast portions of Scripture as well as his own sermons and talks. Having had the privilege of serving as his pastor, I testify that this brother is a true inspiration. I am glad to know that a movie is being made about his life. You can read more of the details here.

May the Lord continue to bless Travis Freeman, and may the story of Travis encourage you to persevere through the difficulties you face. You have not yet suffered to the point of shedding your blood, and if you’re reading this, you have not lost your sight.

There is much you can do. Press on!

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Death by Living Trailer

HT: Douglas Wilson.

Hitchcock said a good story was life with all the boring parts taken out. That’s what N. D. Wilson summarizes in this powerful clip:

I’m looking forward to reading Death by Living.

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Mr. Leithart Comes to Louisville

Peter Leithart is one of the most stimulating and well-rounded scholars of the present generation. He and his wife have 10 children, and he pastors Trinity Reformed Church and teaches at New Saint Andrews College.

He has written more books than I’ve had time to read, but I’ve enjoyed his introduction to the Old Testament, his commentary on 1–2 Samuel, his book on hermeneutics, and his biography of Dostoevsky.

The wide-ranging oeuvre broadens apace: he has defended Constantine, written on Athanasius, Jane Austen, Dante, Shakespeare, and more.

How many details he must have forgotten!

I am really excited that he’s coming to Louisville. He’ll be at Community Presbyterian Church doing a conference with Jeff Meyers November 1, 2, and 3 of 2013.

Leithart will be doing an introduction to postmodernism, and Meyers will teach on Ecclesiastes. The conference is entitled, Solomon Among the Postmoderns, drawn from yet another Leithart book title.

You can register here.

I hope to see you there!

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