Below is an insightful excerpt from Mark Dever, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus, 9Marks (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016), 101–3. I bolded the most punchy paragraph and underlined the sentence that made me laugh out loud. So true.
D. A. Carson, “I Am the Truth,” in The God We Worship: Adoring the One Who Pursues, Redeems, and Changes His People, ed. Jonathan L. Master (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2016), 157–58:
Knowledge of the Word does not sanctify us by mere education. I have now lived long enough and have belonged to enough professional biblical societies that there are not many front-rank New Testament scholars in the world whom I have not met. Some of them are very brilliant minds indeed. [Read more…] about Don Carson on How Knowing the Bible Does Not Automatically Make You More Holy
I added a new page on my website titled “Endorsements.” (It’s on the dropdown menu under “Publications.”)
This list helps me (a) keep track of what I’ve endorsed and (b) point people to resources I’ve endorsed.
1. Omit needless words, and be clear.
- Avoid passives and nominalizations.
- Avoid convoluted sentences and paragraphs.
- “Don’t try to dress up your writing.” Don’t try to sound smart.
- Everything from your paper’s title to its introduction, thesis, headings, and conclusion should clearly indicate what and how you are arguing. Is your approach inductive, deductive, or a mix? (See Don Carson’s advice about two ways to approach writing a dissertation.)
- Be more specific than “points” or “things.”
- Correct typos. Read your draft aloud, and then make your computer read it aloud. Sometimes your ears will hear errors your eyes miss.
- See “Six Useful Books on Writing.”
John Frame stirred the pot about how a seminary should train church leaders in “The Academic Captivity of Theology,” John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings: Volume Two (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2015), 59–76. He follows up with a new essay: “What Seminaries Can Do Without,” in John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings: Volume Three (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2016), 145–56. He provocatively elaborates on seven items he thinks seminaries can do without: [Read more…] about Should Seminaries Require Students to Write So Many Academic Research Papers? John Frame Says No
Michael Kibbe. From Topic to Thesis: A Guide to Theological Research. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016.
Kibbe lists “the kinds of errors that are most likely to make your professors pull their hair out—what will really drive them nuts!” [Read more…] about Ten Things You Should Never Do in a Theological Research Paper
Two handbooks for pastors released in 2015:
Helopoulos, Jason. The New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2015. Fantastic: short, to the point, wise, convicting, encouraging.
Hughes, R. Kent. The Pastor’s Book: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Pastoral Ministry. Edited by Douglas Sean O’Donnell. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. A massive practical reference work.