ESV Men’s Devotional Bible

esvmdbThis releases on October 31:

Sam Storms, ed. ESV Men’s Devotional Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015.

Here’s the list of contributors, which includes several people associated with my school, Bethlehem College & Seminary:

  1. Sam Storms, board member (general editor; Joshua, Jonah)
  2. Jason DeRouchie, associate professor of OT and biblical theology (Deuteronomy)
  3. Brian Tabb, associate dean and assistant professor of biblical studies (Acts)
  4. Jason Meyer, associate professor of NT; Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor for preaching and vision (2 Corinthians)
  5. Sam Crabtree, board chairman; Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor for small groups (Colossians, Philemon)
  6. Todd Wilson, graduate of the The Bethlehem Institute’s first class (1–2 Timothy)
  7. Andy Naselli, assistant professor of NT and biblical theology (1–2 Peter, Jude)

[Read more…]

Bonhoeffer’s Seminary Vision: A Case for Costly Discipleship and Life Together

houseI anticipated that this book would be good, and it didn’t disappoint me:

Paul R. House. Bonhoeffer’s Seminary Vision: A Case for Costly Discipleship and Life Together. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. 32-page PDF sample.

After I read this book last May, I wrote this on the title page:

Very good book. It made me even more grateful that I get to train future pastors at Bethlehem College & Seminary in an environment that’s ideal for doing what Paul House advocates.

Some excerpts (#8 is a zinger): [Read more…]

John Piper’s Tribute to Tom Steller

StellerPiperIn this picture from September 1, 2015, John Piper has his arm around Tom Steller. They are in a staff meeting for Bethlehem Baptist Church, and John Piper is praising God for Tom Steller’s serving Bethlehem for 35 years. Here’s a transcript of what Piper said:

I taught Bible at Bethel for six years, 1974–1980. Tom took six of my courses, four in Greek and two exegesis courses. (I know that because it’s in my journal.) And at the end of those six courses the die was cast for a lifetime of partnership in Christian Hedonism, and the Piper-Steller fabric began to be woven. We have loved and praised and served the same glorious God on the same basis of glorious Scripture for 40 years together. [Read more…]

C. S. Lewis on His Church’s Hymns: “fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music”

“Is attendance at a place of worship or membership with a Christian community necessary to a Christian way of life?” The way C. S. Lewis answers that question could be far more compelling, but what strikes me is how he describes the hymns of his day and how he responded.

Assignment: Apply the bold words below to your own context. (This is from C. S. Lewis, “Answers to Questions on Christianity,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970], 51–52, bold added.)

That’s a question which I cannot answer. My own experience is that when I first became a Christian, about fourteen years ago, I thought that I could do it on my own, by retiring to my rooms and reading theology, and I wouldn’t go to the churches and Gospel Halls; and then later I found that it was the only way of flying your flag; and, of course, I found that this meant being a target. It is extraordinary how inconvenient to your family it becomes for you to get up early to go to Church. It doesn’t matter so much if you get up early for anything else, but if you get up early to go to Church it’s very selfish of you and you upset the house. If there is anything in the teaching of the New Testament which is in the nature of a command, it is that you are obliged to take the Sacrament [footnote quotes John 6:53–54], and you can’t do it without going to Church. I disliked very much their hymns, which I considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music. But as I went on I saw the great merit of it. I came up against different people of quite different outlooks and different education, and then gradually my conceit just began peeling off. I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren’t fit to clean those boots. It gets you out of your solitary conceit. It is not for me to lay down laws, as I am only a layman, and I don’t know much.

3 Reasons for a Pastor-Theologian to Get a PhD

theologianGerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson give three reasons for a pastor-theologian to get a PhD. This is from their book The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015), 104–5:

Strategy One: Get a PhD

We begin with this not because it is the most important strategy, but because it is a critical part of the preparation we believe is necessary for ecclesial theologians. The costs of a PhD—financial, emotional, familial—are significant and not to be taken lightly. For some, a PhD may not be possible or prudent. Yet those who aspire to be ecclesial theologians should think seriously about pursuing a PhD. True, Karl Barth didn’t have PhD. But until you’ve written something remotely akin to his Römerbrief, you should probably get on with getting one; it will almost certainly be necessary for pursuing the sort of vision we’ve laid out for the ecclesial theologian. We say this for at least three reasons. [Read more…]

Should You Be a Pastor or a Professor?

In his post “Should You be a Pastor or a Professor? Thinking through the Options,” Michael Kruger lays out six options in a chiasm:

1. The Pastor

2. The Pastor-Scholar

3. The Pastor-Scholar who is active in scholarly world

4. The Scholar-Pastor who is active in the church

5. The Scholar-Pastor

6. The Scholar

Kruger’s taxonomy (and the way he explains it) is insightful and helpful. [Read more…]