A Greek guide for the book of Luke and a FREEBIE too!

How’s your Greek? I’ve got a book review as well as a freebie that might peak your interest.

Christmas will be here before you know it, and taking the effort to work through the Greek text of the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke might help kickstart a habit that will bless you and your ministry for years to come. And if you need a recommendation to get you started, look no further than the volume on Luke in the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) series.

In the interest of full disclosure, I asked Broadman and Holman to bring Christmas to me early this year by sending me a review copy, but that’s because I’ve already invested in a few of the other books in the series.

Luke was written by Alan J. Thompson. He’s got strong academic credentials, having studied under Eckhard Schnabel and D.A. Carson. He also has a few academic books on his resume, including an upcoming volume on Acts in the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series.

Like other volumes in the EGGNT series, Luke begins with introductory materials covering authorship, date, audience, and purpose—standard commentary fare—though the extensive outline at the end of the book (five pages, single-spaced) is more of what you would expect from a much larger commentary.

Once you get past the introductory materials, the real fun begins. Because of size limitations (the book is over 400 pages), there’s no full Greek text or English translation. A Greek New Testament or an interlinear necessary to make full use of the book. Thompson works verse-by-verse through the Gospel of Luke, providing comments on grammar, syntax, textual variants, and translation options. It truly is a comprehensive guide to the Greek text of Luke.

Using this and other volumes in the EGGNT series has brought my Greek back from the brink. It had been a couple years, and I had forgotten so much, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pick it up again. When I saw how helpful one book was, I bought another, and another…

It was a little unwieldy for me at first because of all the abbreviations, but a few visits to the section listing abbreviations, and it didn’t take long to adjust.

Now for the freebie! Rob Plummer does a daily video working through a verse in the Greek New Testament on his website Daily Dose of Greek. Starting November 6 he will begin working through Philemon. As a special incentive, you can download Philemon from the EGGNT on My Word Search Bible, a website from Broadman and Holman for FREE. Check out his post for the details here.

A Sermon Every Southern Baptist Pastor Needs to Hear

I’m married with four children, an SBC pastor, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Udemy, YouTube, and iTunes (Podcast).

This sermon was preached by Mark Dever (bio) at the Together for the Gospel Conference 2016. It’s titled, “Endurance Needed: Strength for a Slow Reformation and the Dangerous Allure of Speed.” I’ve dealt with  discouragement and seen many of my fellow pastors deal with discouragement as well, not because of anything the Bible says, but because of arbitrary quotas and extra-biblical standards concerning “successful” ministry. Remember friends, the goal is to be faithful to God’s word, not to be “successful” based on a man-made standard. You are free to pursue faithfulness. Enjoy God through being a faithful pastor.

If you want to download the audio of this sermon, right click this link and download it.

Here are some quotes from this very helpful sermon:

-“I want you to see the difference between the joys of the spotlight and the joys of the elder’s chair.”

-“We present edited lives on Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, fictions of only success in lives and ministries to create real success in fact. We crave instant significance. Many churches today are built exclusively around one pastor’s drive, gifts of preaching or speaking or encouraging or motivating.”

-“Have you ever heard it said that numbers never lie? Friends, numbers lie all the time, about what is right and wrong, about what is significant, about what is of little value.”

-“The gospel cannot be a product the church sells because there are no consumers for it.” -David Wells

-“We need to forsake hype and over-selling and self-promotion that seems to be endemic to social media, and we need to rediscover humility and word-of-mouth by personal testimony and prayer.”

-“Brothers and sisters, I am concerned that in rushing our ministry for today’s statistics, too many false conversions occur, too many churches are prematurely born, too many church planters are sent out poorly equipped and poorly supported.”

A Sermon Every Southern Baptist Pastor Needs to Hear

I’m married with four children, an SBC pastor, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Udemy, YouTube, and iTunes (Podcast).

This sermon was preached by Mark Dever (bio) at the Together for the Gospel Conference 2016. It’s titled, “Endurance Needed: Strength for a Slow Reformation and the Dangerous Allure of Speed.” I’ve dealt with  discouragement and seen many of my fellow pastors deal with discouragement as well, not because of anything the Bible says, but because of arbitrary quotas and extra-biblical standards concerning “successful” ministry. Remember friends, the goal is to be faithful to God’s word, not to be “successful” based on a man-made standard. You are free to pursue faithfulness. Enjoy God through being a faithful pastor.

If you want to download the audio of this sermon, right click this link and download it.

Here are some quotes from this very helpful sermon:

-“I want you to see the difference between the joys of the spotlight and the joys of the elder’s chair.”

-“We present edited lives on Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, fictions of only success in lives and ministries to create real success in fact. We crave instant significance. Many churches today are built exclusively around one pastor’s drive, gifts of preaching or speaking or encouraging or motivating.”

-“Have you ever heard it said that numbers never lie? Friends, numbers lie all the time, about what is right and wrong, about what is significant, about what is of little value.”

-“The gospel cannot be a product the church sells because there are no consumers for it.” -David Wells

-“We need to forsake hype and over-selling and self-promotion that seems to be endemic to social media, and we need to rediscover humility and word-of-mouth by personal testimony and prayer.”

-“Brothers and sisters, I am concerned that in rushing our ministry for today’s statistics, too many false conversions occur, too many churches are prematurely born, too many church planters are sent out poorly equipped and poorly supported.”

Bruce Ashford Interview, St. Louis Baptists and Refugees, and Reaching the Nations in North America Conference

AshfordThe When Heaven and Earth Collide podcast, Episode 06 with Dr. Bruce Ashford, Provost and Professor of Theology & Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians and One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics. Bruce also has a fantastic blog called Christianity for the Common Good at bruceashford.net. If you aren’t reading his stuff, you really should. Bruce Ashford is becoming one of the most significant voices on theology and culture in the SBC today – and beyond.

In this interview, we start by talking about what God might be doing in regard to immigrants and the worldwide refugee crisis – a question that I asked everyone that I interviewed at the Southern Baptists Convention in St. Louis. However, Bruce immediately took us down some unexpected roads into a fascinating discussion involving the worship of God, mission, and the glorious light that God was committed to shine upon Himself through the nations of the world. There are things that I heard in this interview that I had not thought about before – or, at least I had not put it together the way that Bruce did. In seeking to develop a biblical perspective on immigrant and refugee ministry, this type of discussion is exactly what is needed.

We talked about Revelation 5, 21, and 22, Isaiah 60, and about what his local church, Summit, in Raleigh-Durham, is doing to engage and serve the nations that have come to them. Bruce serves there as an elder. We went on to talk about the witness of the church in our nation, the need for immigration reform and what it might look like, what justice drenched in mercy would be in this situation and why we need it. We also talked briefly about the incredibly unproductive nature of the current political discussions on immigration. You’ll be interested in what Dr. Ashford had to say about that.

Without question, this will be the most informative 12 minutes and 45 seconds you will spend all day!

Listen to the podcast directly HERE. You can also subscribe to future podcasts on iTunes.

stlouisrefugees

St. Louis Metro Baptist Association to Minister to Refugees

This morning, I ran across this incredible article about what the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association is doing to reach refugees who are going there. Darren Casper, the associate executive director of the association is a friend of mine and it is great to see his heart here for refugees. I am not at all surprised. Darren started Church at Bevo in the midst of the Bevo community in St. Louis where tens of thousands of refugees came in the 90’s. What he says here, he says from experience. I am glad to see him leading his association to #tellabetterstory this time!

ST. LOUIS – Nearly 20 years ago, Missouri Baptists here missed an opportunity to reach the nations, but the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association is preparing for a second chance at gospel impact.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, thousands of Bosnians—many of them Muslims—fled for refuge to St. Louis after the collapse of former Yugoslavia. Today, tens of thousands of Bosnians live in the area, making St. Louis the home for the most Bosnians worldwide, outside of their native homeland.

Today, the Bosnians in St. Louis make up a tight-knit community, one that is hard to penetrate with the gospel. According to Darren Casper, associate executive director of the St. Louis Metro. Association, Missouri Baptists missed an opportunity to befriend and share Christ with these refugees when they first arrived in St. Louis.

“Frankly, I feel like we missed the boat with the Bosnian people when they came here,” Casper told members of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Executive Board last month. “We just weren’t ready. We weren’t prepared when they came 20 years ago.”

But Casper and other leaders at the St. Louis Metro Association are laboring to prepare Missouri Baptists for reaching another wave of refugees that are now coming to St. Louis. According to Casper, 800 refugees from across the world—primarily from Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Congo—are coming to St. Louis in 2016. This number is expected to jump to 1,200 next year.

Read more here.

This is huge. What if every SBC association and churches all over the country took on this attitude toward refugees and immigrants who have come here? What if we reached out with love, compassion, service, and relationship-building to immigrants and refugees who are coming here from around the world? That is what we will be talking about late next week at the Reaching the Nations in North America Conference in Brentwood, Tennessee. (a joint NAMB, IMB, NC Baptist, and TN Baptists conference). If you can make it, you should be there! I really believe it will be a groundbreaking time. Could it be that a movement of SBC churches across the country – especially in the South – toward immigrants and refugees – could that movement be the very thing that unleashes renewal and revitalization of our churches? Praying for that.