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Tim Challies

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August 2007

August 28, 2007
Tuesday August 28, 2007 New Tim Keller Book
The Keller boys have information about Tim Keller’s upcoming book.
New WorshipMatters
Bob Kauflin has rolled out a redesign of his blog.
From Hope to Reality
From Hope to Reality is the blog of Carolina Hope Christian Adoption agency. They have some good information about adoption and especially how Adoption (uppercase “A”) pertains to adoption.
The Machines is Us/ing Us
Here is an interesting (and thought-provoking) little video about the potential of Web 2.0.
Too Nice to Win?
Russell Moore asks “Is your candidate mean enough to be President of the United States?” and turns that question into personal reflection.
August 27, 2007

It strikes me often how life is cyclical; how things I wrestle with and ponder and pray about will come to the forefront of my life and faith a month or a year or two years later. One of the biggest blessings of having a journal (which is often how this site functions for me) is that I can go back and see how I dealt with these things in the past. It is good to see how situations repeat themselves but how my responses may vary with time and Christian experience.

In the past couple of years I’ve often given a lot of thought to the nature and strength of my faith: the things of God in which I have great faith, and those in which I have little faith or even no faith at all. These times of reflection has been both a delight and a sorrow; a joy and an embarrassment.

I have seen that my faith can be pictured as something like a line graph. Certain points along the x-axis are very high along the y-axis and, I trust, almost unshakable. I believe, for example, that God exists. This is a faith that God has placed in my heart and I do not believe that it can be shaken, or at least surely not destroyed. I never struggle with whether or not God exists. Beside that there are other high points in my faith: the Bible is God’s Word to us and is inerrant; God has saved me and adopted me into His family; God loves me; there is a heaven; Jesus Christ died to take the penalty of my sin. These are all areas in which I have a good deal of faith and I praise God for this.

As we travel down the x-axis, down towards the long tail (that portion of the graph which skirts the 0 on the x-axis, but doesn’t quite reach it), we come to areas where my faith is not quite so strong. Here we will find my belief that God truly does desire to bring me the best through adversity. Here we will find my belief that God does hear and answer prayer. These are things I believe, but without the strength of conviction of those I listed earlier. They are areas where I tend to see emotion come into conflict with knowledge—with what I know to be true but often don’t accept as truth.

This gentle slope continues almost until the line almost touches against the x-axis, the place where my faith seems to just run out. It just stops. Just like that we come to the edge of my faith and are left with those areas where my faith is vague and distant and shows little conviction. I know certain things are true in my head, but my heart rebels. And what is lurking down here? The one thing I’ve found through all my heart-searching is the faith that God will take care of my family if I cannot; that He can do far better at taking care of them than I can. You see, I desire heaven. I truly do want to be in heaven and to see an end to this life which is so filled with pain and discomfort and all manner of things that will be absent in heaven. I do desire to be with the Lord and know that this desire is healthy. Yet I must desire it just a little less than I desire to stay right here. And the principle reason for this, I’m convinced, is that I don’t trust God with my family.

I know that if I were to go to heaven I would leave my family here without me. Aileen would be left without a husband and my children would be left without their daddy. And who would take care of them? Who would support the family financially, bringing in the money to buy food and clothing? Who would put a roof over their heads? Who would continue my work in teaching my son to play baseball and who would tell my daughter she looks beautiful when she puts on her favorite pink dress and spins across the room? Who would cuddle and tickle the baby every morning? Who would make sure the doors are locked and quietly assure the children that “daddy is here, everything will be alright?”

I have given my family to God. I have said to God that He is free to do what He wills with them and I will accept His decision. And I’ve meant it, as much as I can. Of course I know that God is not dependent on me in this way, but it was a faith-building exercise for me. Likewise I have given Him my life, begging Him to live in and through me and to use me however He sees fit, even if that means bringing me home to Himself. But despite my pleas and despite my apparent faith in His goodness, I am still not ready to leave my family. Maybe in my head I am, but certainly not in my heart.

I guess what it comes down to is the harsh truth that I trust God with my life, but not with theirs. I trust that He will provide for them, but only through me. The hypocrisy in my heart is terrible, I know. Somehow I believe that God needs me to take care of my family. Somehow I believe that He will provide for them, but yet I don’t believe He can or will do it apart from me. Somehow I must believe that I am the one taking care of them.

But there must be a second factor at work here. I must also have too low a view of heaven. If all that God has revealed about heaven is true, and I believe it is, I ought to desire it more than anything. I should feel the same anticipation as the apostles who spoke continually about their hope being not in this life, but in the life to come. It is clear to me that I am basking in temporary, fleeting pleasures that are merely a shadow of what is to come, and enjoying these so much I am not looking forward to the real thing. I am licking my lips in anticipation of the crumbs that will fall under the table rather than anticipating the great feast that is to come.

And I guess the third factor is that I do not, in my heart of hearts, trust the church to fulfill its role in caring for the orphan and the widow. Sure they would be there initially and for a few weeks the freezer would be stuffed full of macaroni casseroles, but my faith does not extend to six or eight months down the road when I have long since been forgotten and the deepest loneliness sets in to the family.

So this is my confession based on much reflection. It is almost embarrassing to write about this. It is humiliating to come to the edge of my faith. Yet I trust that with His help He and I will be able to push the edge of my faith further up that slope. And God is good to reassure me, even through the very people I am so hesitant to leave. Just yesterday afternoon my daughter turned to me, completely out of the blue, and said, “Daddy, I don’t have to be scared if I wake up at night because God is holding my hand. It says in the Bible that God holds us in the palm of His hand. God will always take care of me.” What joy it brought to my heart to hear that simple expression of my daughter’s fledgling faith that there is a God and that He cares. And somewhere, somehow, despite the rebellion of my heart, I know that He will protect them no matter what, with or without my help.

August 27, 2007
Monday August 27, 2007 Expelled: The Movie
A new movie by Ben Stein will investigate the scientific community’s utter disgust towards Intelligent Design.
Husband-Wife Co-Pastors
Thabiti Anyabwile discusses the problems inherent with husband-wife co-pastor teams. “It’s been a silent revolution. Not many shots have been fired at all really. It has occurred like so many other errors in that camp of contemporary Christianity—while auditoriums are filled with people, Bibles open, taking notes, and swallowing the camel.”
Dr. D. James Kennedy Has Retired
“Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (CRPC) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced the retirement of Dr. D. James Kennedy, senior pastor.”
August 26, 2007

I thought it would be nice to have a guest blogger for the first time in a long while. Today I’m going to post a wonderful little article excerpted from one of George Whitefield’s sermons. In this sermon he exposited Luke 8:18 where Jesus said, “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” These pearls of wisdom will help you listen to sermons in a way that will bring great blessing to your soul. Or as Whitefield said, “Here are some cautions and directions, in order to help you hear sermons with profit and advantage.”

1. Come to hear them, not out of curiosity, but from a sincere desire to know and do your duty. To enter His house merely to have our ears entertained, and not our hearts reformed, must certainly be highly displeasing to the Most High God, as well as unprofitable to ourselves.

2. Give diligent heed to the things that are spoken from the Word of God. If an earthly king were to issue a royal proclamation, and the life or death of his subjects entirely depended on performing or not performing its conditions, how eager would they be to hear what those conditions were! And shall we not pay the same respect to the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and lend an attentive ear to His ministers, when they are declaring, in His name, how our pardon, peace, and happiness may be secured?

3. Do not entertain even the least prejudice against the minister. That was the reason Jesus Christ Himself could not do many mighty works, nor preach to any great effect among those of His own country; for they were offended at Him. Take heed therefore, and beware of entertaining any dislike against those whom the Holy Ghost has made overseers over you.

Consider that the clergy are men of like passions with yourselves. And though we should even hear a person teaching others to do what he has not learned himself, yet that is no reason for rejecting his doctrine. For ministers speak not in their own, but in Christ’s name. And we know who commanded the people to do whatever the scribes and Pharisees should say unto them, even though they did not do themselves what they said (see Matt. 23:1-3).

4. Be careful not to depend too much on a preacher, or think more highly of him than you ought to think. Preferring one teacher over another has often been of ill consequence to the church of God. It was a fault which the great Apostle of the Gentiles condemned in the Corinthians: ‘For whereas one said, I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos: are you not carnal, says he? For who is Paul, and who is Apollos, but instruments in God’s hands by whom you believed?’ (1 Cor. 1:12; 2:3-5).

Are not all ministers sent forth to be ministering ambassadors to those who shall be heirs of salvation? And are they not all therefore greatly to be esteemed for their work’s sake?

5. Make particular application to your own hearts of everything that is delivered. When our Savior was discoursing at the last supper with His beloved disciples and foretold that one of them should betray Him, each of them immediately applied it to his own heart and said, ‘Lord, is it I?’ (Matt. 26:22).

Oh, that persons, in like manner, when preachers are dissuading from any sin or persuading to any duty, instead of crying, ‘This was intended for such and such a one!’ instead would turn their thoughts inwardly, and say, ‘Lord, is it I?’ How far more beneficial should we find discourses to be than now they generally are!

6. Pray to the Lord, before, during, and after every sermon, to endue the minister with power to speak, and to grant you a will and ability to put into practice what he shall show from the Book of God to be your duty.

No doubt it was this consideration that made St. Paul so earnestly entreat his beloved Ephesians to intercede with God for him: ‘Praying always, with all manner of prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and for me also, that I may open my mouth with boldness, to make known the mysteries of the gospel’ (Eph. 6:19-20). And if so great an apostle as St. Paul needed the prayers of his people, much more do those ministers who have only the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.

If only all who hear me this day would seriously apply their hearts to practice what has now been told them! How ministers would see Satan, like lightning, fall from heaven, and people find the Word preached sharper than a two-edged sword and mighty, through God, to the pulling down of the devil’s strongholds!

August 25, 2007

Every book needs a cover and, as luck would have it, my book now has one. Choosing a cover was far more difficult than I would have imagined. Some readers may have noticed a white cover on the Crossway site. It was there for a short time before being replaced. Though I didn’t mind the white cover, I ultimately chose against it for two reasons. First, I thought it was too “zen,” looking a little bit too New Age for my liking; second, I thought it would blend too much into a white background. So instead I went with this cover, created by the great designers at Crossway.

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

There were several elements of this design that stood out to me. First, I like the colors. Though they are certainly bright, I know that the book is not going to get lost on the shelves. Second, I like the imagery. I wanted an image that somehow communicated discernment without being too obvious. To me, the little guy staring at the doors communicates discernment but without giving it all away (such as may have been the case with some other images). Third, I like its simplicity. The “action” all happens in a small portion of the design and that appeals to me.

The cover is not quite in its final form. Before it shows up in bookstores it will have “Foreword by John MacArthur” inserted somewhere. And there may be a couple of other minor changes to the graphics. But beyond this, it is pretty well as it will be.

While on the subject of the book, here is an endorsement that arrived just a short time ago courtesy of Dr. Ligon Duncan:

“One of my favorite John Murray sayings is “the difference between truth and error is not a chasm but a razor’s edge.” Spurgeon said something like it too: “Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather, it is the difference between right and almost right.” Both these giants are emphasizing the vital quality (and difficulty) of discernment. Unfortunately, in our time, even among Christians, discernment is long in demand and short in supply. This is but one reason I’m so delighted to commend to you Tim Challies’ The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. Tim reminds us that the Bible constantly commands us to cultivate discernment, but he doesn’t stop there. He tells us how, biblically. “

I’m still not entirely certain when the book will be available, but I think it will be very early in January.

August 24, 2007

A brief review of Lou Priolo’s book.

Lou Priolo - Pleasing PeopleAre you an approval junkie? Are you a person who depends too heavily, in spirit, conscience or morale, on the approval of others? How would you even know? These are the questions Lou Priolo tackles in his book Pleasing People. This is a book I read weeks ago and, for some reason, decided not to review. Yet over the weeks I’ve seen the fruit of reading this book in my life and in my walk with the Lord. I’ve seen shadows of the desire to please people not only in my life but in the lives of others. I felt it would be best for me to share the book with others.

August 24, 2007
Friday August 24, 2007 Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith
TIME has a fascinating article about Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith. “ ‘If I ever become a Saint — I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ I will continually be absent from Heaven — to [light] the light of those in darkness on earth,’ she wrote in 1962.”
Suffering and God’s Sovereignty
Timmy Brister posts what he describes as “a remarkable testimony of a brother who has sweetly tasted the all-satisfying excellency of the sovereignty of God in the midst of lifelong, bitter suffering.”
Create Your Own Comics
You know you’ve always wanted to create your own comic. With Stripgenerator you can!
August 23, 2007

An interview with the editors of the Reformed Expository Commentary series.

There have been a few times in the past few months that I’ve mentioned the Reformed Expository Commentary Series. This is a growing series of commentaries written from a distinctly Reformed perspective and targeted at both pastors and laypersons. Having used these commentaries for both research and personal devotions, I am very enthusiastic about them and am anxious to spread the word.

To that end I recently took the opportunity to ask the editors, Richard Phillips and Phillip Ryken, a few questions about the series—who it is for, how it can be used, how it has been created, and what the future holds for it. (Note: Phillips’ reply was sufficiently sufficient that, with the exception of the digs at his age, Ryken chose to simply give it an “amen.”)

Read to the end for a special (and exclusive) download from this series!

Tim Challies: Tell me about this Reformed Expository Commentary series: Why did you decide to produce this series of commentaries? With so many commentaries available, what niche did you anticipate this series filling? What makes them unique?

Richard Phillips: I think this kind of large project inevitably flows from one’s own experience. Long before I was a minister, I found that substantive biblical exposition was the most useful devotional material. Too many “devotionals” are simply too short or do not ground their teaching in the text of Scripture. I began the practice of reading the kind of Bible exposition authored by James Boice, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spurgeon, or some other theologian/preacher and have been enormously blessed by this practice. So my interest in this kind of commentary flows from my own benefit both as an individual and as a preacher from this kind of Bible exposition. I think most of us write the kind of books that we like, and we are writing the kind of commentaries we find most beneficial ourselves. (I already find that if an REC volume is available for a book of the Bible I am preaching, it is the first one I turn to.) Lastly, we are aware that not all preachers – and almost all lay Bible teachers – are able to devote themselves to study to the extent that we are able. So we want to make convenient to others the best from the wide range of study that we are able to do. Our goal all along has not only been to produce excellent and accurate commentaries, but also eminently useful commentaries.

It undoubtedly is not by chance that the two series editors, Phil Ryken and I, are both proteges of the late James Montgomery Boice, who was known for accessible, doctrinal, and practical Bible commentaries. We wanted to carry forth that kind of work into our generation. In fact, the REC series had its genesis in conversations Phil and I had when we were preaching together at Tenth Presbyterian Church. Our goal all along has not only been to produce excellent and accurate commentaries, but also eminently useful commentaries.Dr. Boice had recently died and we were giving counsel to his wife, Linda, about his literary legacy. Meanwhile we both had been writing books of biblical exposition and were thinking about how to best direct our expository preaching ministries into our writing ministries. It was obvious to us that we should not co-opt the Boice series, and also that our writing ministries were distinct from his in the sense of being more than just duplicating Boice’s work. We both wanted to make original contributions both in the pulpit and in the books. We ended up deciding to work together and to bring in others who could make outstanding contributions both as editors and authors. It was also providentially the case that both Phil and I were emerging out of our “apprentice” years, ready to seek to do our best work and hoping to have a good many years ahead of us to do it. So the idea of a large-scale project like this commended itself.

As for the need for this kind of commentary series, I think of several answers. First of all, most preachers and Bible-study teachers know that while there are usually an abundance of academic commentaries available, there often is very little of use that goes beyond exegesis to exposition (that is, that goes beyond answering the technical questions but actually proclaims and applies the passage). What is available is always worth its weight in gold. So we hope at least to partially fill this need with a series that (d.v.) covers the whole Bible. Secondly, when it comes to the commitments that we cherish, there is actually very little available elsewhere. Mainly, I am referring to a Christ-centered reading of the Bible and a vigorously Reformed doctrinal stance. I remember doing a paper in seminary on Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32, and not finding a single commentary in the seminary library that made any reference to Jesus Christ from this passage. So we want to provide robustly Reformed and Christ-centered commentaries to the church. Thirdly, we believe that the theology of the church is best performed in the pulpit of the church. We are grateful for the work of many outstanding and faithful academics, but we also want to see the church pulpit play a more vocal role in biblical theology.

TC: How and why are these commentaries “Expository?”

RP: One of our goals in the series is to promote and model “expository preaching” for other pastors. We believe that the best way to serve a pulpit ministry is by preaching successively through whole books of the Bible, giving a thorough teaching of the text, and grounding the message and authority of the sermon in the clear teaching of the Bible. And that is what these commentaries are: thorough, clear expositions of whole books of the Bible, passage by passage. The REC commentaries will proclaim, explain, and apply the whole text within coherent units appropriate for sermons or Bible lessons.The REC commentaries will proclaim, explain, and apply the whole text within coherent units appropriate for sermons or Bible lessons.

TC: In the series introduction you state that all of the contributors are pastor-scholars and that, as pastors, they will first present the expositions in his pulpit ministry. Why did you decide to make this a requirement?

RP: We are aiming both to serve and to model pulpit ministries. Therefore, these have to be “real” sermons. Naturally, we edit them between the pulpit and the printer, but not all that much. If you listened to the CD of the sermon with the book open in front of you, you would say, “Yep, that was what he preached.” We don’t want to model a scholarly approach that we think inappropriate for our own churches. We also want to combat the belief today that serious, authoritative preaching is bad for the church and will kill its growth. We find the opposite to be true, and we are contributing the fruits of our own pulpit labors to others.

This significantly affects the commentaries. For instance, the question will come up regarding technical matters dealing with exegesis, text criticism, theology, or historical studies. When we decide whether to put it into the commentary, we do so by asking “Would we put this into a sermon?” And when we decide that a sermon must deal with technical matters, we try to model how to do this, because this is how we actually preached it.

Lastly, we want to encourage other fine pastor-scholars by publishing a series in which they can contribute.

TC: Is there a primary audience for these commentaries or do you anticipate they will equally benefit both preachers and laypersons?

RP: Yes, we have a clearly defined audience that we make clear to all prospective authors. Our main audience is pastors, lay Bible teachers, and informed lay people who want substantive devotional materials.

TC: We know that the volumes are distinctly Reformed in their theology. With the series editors both being Presbyterian, should we anticipate that the volumes will take on a distinctly Presbyterian form or will they appeal to Reformed folk of all stripes? How will you approach controversial topics such as baptism and eschatology?

RP: Right from the start, we wanted to be unabashedly Reformed. So many people are downplaying Reformed doctrines and we want to do the opposite. But we want to advocate a Reformed faith that flows up from the text of Scripture rather than down from the systematic theology textbooks. We certainly desire to promote, explain, and defend Reformed theology in these volumes, but to do so by careful and accurate treatment of the Scriptures. For that reason, I think the commentaries will commend themselves to Reformed folk of all stripes, mainly because we share such strong convictions on core matters, especially as they relate to the doctrine of salvation. It is also true, however, that all the authors in this series approach it from an explicitly Westminsterian approach. This means that the Reformed doctrine espoused in this series will be that set forth in the Westminster Confessions. We will handle controversial topics like baptism forthrightly, preaching as we would preach in our own churches. We will deal with them when and where the text leads. But I am certain that those who take differing views – Baptists, for instance – will find their positions treated fairly and accurately. On other matters, such as eschatology, I suppose there may be some varying views among the authors. But probably not too much. We have already had a couple of matters in which there was vigorous debate between author and editors, but all within a strongly Westminsterian grid.

TC: To this point the six available volumes are written by four authors—the co-editors, and the two biblical editors (or testament editors), Iain Duguid and Dan Doriani. What other authors will be involved as the series unfolds? How have you gone about choosing contributors?

RP: We wanted to do the initial volumes ourselves to set the grid for future contributions. Now that we have done that, you will be seeing volumes from a wider group of authors. The four of us will continue to contribute extensively to the series, but we have upcoming volumes by Bryan Chapell and Derek Thomas in the works. We want to advocate a Reformed faith that flows up from the text of Scripture rather than down from the systematic theology textbooks.We have proposals from a number of other able contributors, but they aren’t as far along. We are also twisting the arms of other notables and we accept proposals from those who would like to submit. This is a big project and we can only contribute so much, so we greatly desire the contributions of outstanding pastor/scholars. I would say, however, that the prospective authors who are most likely to be accepted are those who already have established themselves as writers. We have a pretty demanding proposal process since the series is itself pretty demanding.

TC: Tell me, if you would, how these volumes are edited to ensure both skill and accuracy in all that is taught. What role do each of the editors play in this?

RP: The answer is that we are wearing ourselves out editing! And the reason is that we know that the only way to ensure sustained excellence is through a demanding editorial process. Normally, a volume will be slated for release two years after the draft is submitted. Each volume has a series editor (either Phil or me) and a testament editor (Ian Duguid for OT and Dan Doriani for NT). The testament editors are men with academic experience, and they especially focus on issues of scholarly concern. You might think of Phil and me as the ST editors and Ian and Dan as the BT editors, but that would be a gross simplification, since we all do both. But we did want to have testament editors who are up to speed on the current OT and NT literature. The editors go over every manuscript, and I think it is fair for me to say that pretty serious editing takes place. These edits go back to the author who responds to the edits and presents a final manuscript to the series editor, who has overall responsibility for the volume. Occasionally there is need for specific dialogue about a question that has been raised. When the series editor is satisfied with the final manuscript, it is sent to the publisher (P&R), normally 1 year prior to publication. P&R then has their own editorial process with the author, and the author interacts with them for copy editing and indexing. It’s a lot of work, but I find that I benefit enormously from the editorial process. Of course, I get the toughest editing since Phil does every single one of my volumes. I do try to get even when I can, though. There is never a time when we are not editing something, and most of the time Phil and I are both editing something the other has written. (And, yes, Phil, I am still plugging away at my overdo edits!) While it’s hard work, it’s also pretty fun because we are all in pretty regular contact. Since Phil and I are answering these questions, let me just say how much we have appreciated and enjoyed the partnership of Ian and Dan. They are absolutely essential participants in our editorial process. The commentary series would suffer notably without them and in all likelihood would not even be possible.

TC: Can you tell us who will be writing some of the more notable and more difficult (or controversial) volumes such as, say, Genesis, Romans, and Revelation?

TP: Nope. None of these are currently under contract, although I think one of us has dibs on one of them. I think we’re all waiting to get older and wiser before staking a claim to Revelation.

TC: I’ve noticed that, of the six volumes available, most rely on the ESV while one relies on the NIV as the default translation. Why the emphasis on the ESV but also the allowance for another translation?

RP: Our preferred translation is the ESV, but if someone has a strong preference for the NASB, NKJV, or the NIV, it is permissible. As you already know, the ESV is quickly becoming fairly standard among Reformed folks, so I expect to see much more ESV.

TC: How do you feel this commentary series can best be used by laypersons? Do you feel they are best suited for research and reference or are they best suited for devotional reading?

RP: I would say they have two main uses for laypersons. The first is for teaching. If you are leading a Bible study or teaching in some venue, we hope that our commentaries will be the single most useful resource you could use. Secondly, they are ideal for devotional purposes. I make it a point to use each volume for my own devotions after it is in print, even if I was the editor. (I have edited Phil’s Galatians and 1 Timothy, and Dan’s James – both were tremendous for devotions). I don’t use my own volumes for devotions though – that would be a bit weird.

TC: How do you feel this commentary series can best be used by pastors? Should this series serve as a primary commentary reference or should it be used in conjunction with others?

They are ideal for devotional purposes. I make it a point to use each volume for my own devotions after it is in print, even if I was the editor.RP: I would recommend every pastor to read as much commentary material as his schedule will permit. He should read more academic works, including those that deal closely with the original language text. But he will also be greatly helped by expository commentaries that not only teach the text but also illustrate and apply it. We are aiming to be of service in just this regard. We would hope that every pastor would read more than the REC, but we also would hope that every pastor would find the REC to be a go-to resource.

TC: There are currently six volumes available covering seven books. How many volumes will there be in the series? Which volumes are coming up next and when do you anticipate the series being completed?

RP: We are aiming to do three commentaries per year. The following are under contract and in various stages of production (in order of publication): Daniel (Duguid), Matthew (Doriani – 2 vols), Luke (Ryken – 2 vols), Jonah-Micah (Phillips), Ephesians (Bryan Chapell), Acts (Derek Thomas), John (Phillips – 2 vols). We have other volumes in the pipeline (for a series like this, you have to be organizing things years out), but this is all that is currently under contract. We are starting to get more proposals from other authors, so I expect that the coming months will see a fair number of contracts involving new authors. We don’t know exactly how many volumes there will be overall, but we are aiming for the entire Bible. I suppose it will mainly depend on the breakdown of the minor prophets. Some will necessarily be multi-volume, but only those that absolutely demand it. We don’t have a completion date, but if we get there it will be many years from now. (It’s a good thing we’re still pretty young, although Phil is starting to get pretty old.)

TC: What are your hopes for this series and how will you measure its success?

RP: Well, as always with the ministry of God’s Word, we simply offer our work up to the Lord for His pleasure and blessing. We have seen a need and the opportunity to meet it, so we’re just doing our best. But I think all of us look upon this as one of the chief works we expect from our lives. Obviously, we would like to see the volumes gain a wide reading and use and we are hopeful that as we continue our readership will continue growing. We also hope that our work in this series will have enough enduring quality to extend beyond our own lives. Some of our goals are harder to measure. As always with the ministry of God’s Word, we simply offer our work up to the Lord for His pleasure and blessing. We have seen a need and the opportunity to meet it, so we’re just doing our best.For instance, we hope to encourage pastors in the ministry of the Word and to model expository preaching for many. In that respect, we hope that our work will be spread through many, many pulpits. We are finding our volumes popping up almost everywhere within established Reformed circles, including overseas. We would very much like to be able to translate our commentaries for use in places where Christianity is growing so rapidly but where trained pastors are few. With these goals in mind, we are aiming for the long-run as much as or more than for the short-run. This is one of the reasons we are publishing with P&R, since we have confidence in their long-term doctrinal commitment. It is also with an aim towards enduring value that we are doing everything we can to produce the highest quality commentaries that we can. Overall, the sheer privilege of publishing biblical exposition is overwhelming, and the idea that preachers are relying on us and that simple Christians are being nurtured through our labors is overwhelmingly gratifying.

A Special Download

If you are interested in using this series with your times of personal devotions, P&R has been kind enough to provide an excerpt of the first five chapters from Hebrews. Feel free to download this file and to use it for that purpose. After five days you might just find yourself hooked!

Download File (Adobe Acrobat PDF File)

Buy Online

If you are interested in purchasing the series, the following six volumes (covering seven books of the Bible) are currently available for purchase from Westminster Books:

You can also follow these links to find a copy of the series introduction.