A Journey to Christ-Centered Bible Study

In case you missed it, my wife and I are transitioning to full-time missionary staff with Cru in 2017. Since last week, we’ve been in Daytona Beach at Cru’s new staff orientation. Today, we interacted a bit with Keith Johnson, Cru’s director of theological development. Meeting him face-to-face for the first time reminded me when I first served with Cru as an intern (2007-08), Keith was one of a few men who helped me develop a Christ-centered approach to the Bible. I was tasked with writing a Bible study commentary for 1-2 Samuel. (To this day, I have no idea how or why they asked me.) … Continue reading A Journey to Christ-Centered Bible Study

Review: ESV Journaling Bible

I love the English Standard Version Bible. In my personal reading and study and in my preaching and other ministry, this is the primary version I use. I’m thankful to God for such a literal yet readable translation. So I was happy to receive a free copy of the ESV Journaling Bible published by Crossway to review. I’m not reviewing the text of Scripture, here, but let me offer some brief thoughts on why the ESV is a worthy translation. It’s not a perfect translation. You should consult other trusted translations (e.g. NIV, NASB, HCSB). We are spoiled with how many good translations we … Continue reading Review: ESV Journaling Bible

Review: The Message 100

Just a few years ago, I was not a fan of The Message, Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible. I could never put my finger on it. Perhaps I found its vocabulary a bit too colorful. Perhaps I thought one man surely couldn’t “write the Bible.” I’m not sure. I just knew I didn’t like it. But then I met Eugene Peterson. I didn’t meet him in person. I met him watching an old pastor share stories in YouTube interviews. I met him at the gym on my iPod in seminary guest lectures. I met him on vacations and on cold, dark mornings in books on pastoral … Continue reading Review: The Message 100

A Simple Way to Pray

I’ve been writing a bit lately on prayer (see here and here), with more to come. In between posts I wanted to provide you with a resource for your prayer life. It is a short booklet by Martin Luther called A Simple Way to Prayer. You may already be familiar with it, and even if you are it’s worth another read. In this booklet, Luther helps Peter Beskendorf, his barber, understand how to pray. One might be inclined to think that Luther, a theological giant in church history, would complicate prayer, making it difficult for non-theological giants like us. That couldn’t be further … Continue reading A Simple Way to Pray

Review: Women of the Word

My wife Carly was kind enough to read and review a recent release from Crossway by Jen Wilkin, a Bible teacher and author from Dallas. Here are her brief thoughts on the book (and I can speak for her: she gives it five stars!). Jen Wilkin. Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. $9.94 (Amazon). Jen Wilkin is an author and Bible teacher who attends the Dallas mega-church The Village. In this new book intended to help women in their study of Scripture, Jen reveals her own struggle with being … Continue reading Review: Women of the Word

A Reading List for 2014

One of the great joys of being a pastor is that taking time to read books is part of the job. You cannot effectively teach, shepherd, rebuke, exhort, and develop yourself in mind and heart without reading good books. The great British preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.” So here’s a reading list for me this year. There … Continue reading A Reading List for 2014