Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament

advancesThis is a book well worth reading if you teach Greek or if you are a relatively advanced Greek student:

Constantine R. Campbell. Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015.

Many modern grammars seem like they are stuck in the late 1800s or early 1900s, and Con Campbell skillfully explains how Greek grammar has advanced in the last hundred years or so. Topics he addresses include linguistic theories, lexical semantics and lexicography, deponency and the middle voice, verbal aspect and Aktionsart, and discourse analysis. [Read more…]

Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts

BernsteinLeonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic are excellent. Bernstein recorded these for CBS from 1958 to 1972.

My three daughters and I just finished watching all 25 programs in this Special Collector’s Edition 9-DVD Set. Each program is a little under an hour, and we watched one together each Saturday morning. [Read more…]

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden

biggestKevin DeYoung. The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015.
This book targets children ages 5–12. As with Kevin DeYoung’s other publications, he writes clearly, creatively, and soundly. It’s short enough that I read the whole book in one sitting to my three girls (at the time ages 7, 4, and almost 3). They followed it intently. And a few months later my wife read it to the girls in several sittings.

This book isn’t ideal to use to teach children the Bible’s detailed storyline; it’s too brief for that. It makes more sense if you already know the Bible’s basic storyline so you can follow the witty story-telling and fill in the gaps. But what it does, it does very well. No wasted words. Compact. Crisp. Compelling.

Kevin explains the book’s background here.

See also some brief reviews:

  1. Ray Van Neste
  2. Carl Trueman
  3. Doug Wilson

Praying the Bible (Not the Same Old Things about the Same Old Things)

Whitney“Since prayer is talking with God, why don’t people pray more? Why don’t the people of God enjoy prayer more? I maintain that people—truly born-again, genuinely Christian people—often do not pray simply because they do not feel like it. And the reason they don’t feel like praying is that when they do pray, they tend to say the same old things about the same old things.”

That’s from page 11 in this book:

Donald S. Whitney. Praying the Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015.

In Praying the Bible, Whitney says more winsomely and practically what I argue for in this essay:

Andrew David Naselli. “12 Reasons You Should Pray Scripture.” Themelios 38 (2013): 417–25.

Religious Demographics of the Twin Cities

Shortly after my family moved to Minneapolis a few years ago, my wife and I went on a morning bus tour of the city that John Mayer led. Incredibly fascinating.

citySo I was eager to read the latest edition of his religious demographics of the Twin Cities:

John A. Mayer. Cityview Report: Twin Cities. 16th ed. Minneapolis: City Vision, 2015.

How well do you know Minneapolis? Mayer shares this list of 47 statements to pique your interest (p. 8): [Read more…]

Tim Keller on Prayer

prayerTimothy Keller. Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. New York: Dutton, 2014.

This is probably the best overall book on prayer that I know of because it shrewdly addresses the issue from three angles:

  1. theological
  2. experiential or devotional
  3. methodological or practical

It seems like every book Keller writes is the best all-around book on that subject.

This chart is particularly helpful (p. 141):



I agree with Andy Davis’s review.

John Murray’s Motivational Words for Seminary Students

murrayIn 1944 while America was fighting in World War II, some young men enlisted at Westminster Theological Seminary instead of enlisting for military service. This is the opening address in which Professor John Murray welcomed them on June 30, 1944. Murray’s words—especially the ones I bolded below—are a motivational perspective for students who are currently enrolled in seminary (HT: Chris Brauns).

* * * * * * *

John Murray. “Greeting to Entering Students, 1944.” Pages 104–6 in Collected Writings of John Murray, Volume 1: The Claims of Truth. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976.

[page 104] In the name of the Faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary it is my duty and privilege now to welcome to the fellowship and work of the Seminary the members of the incoming class. On behalf of the Faculty I therefore extend to you cordial congratulation and welcome. [Read more…]