Dallas Willard wondered, “Is salvation itself a new and active attachment with God that forms and transforms our identities?”
We teach Spiritual Formation because we want disciples developing character, not just downloading information. Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline has been a favourite text, along with several from the late Dallas Willard. If you enjoyed those, check out Jim Wilder, Renovated: God, Dallas Willard, and the Church That Transforms. Continue reading “Spiritual formation as belonging”
Here it is. Our first commentary on a book of the Bible, from the perspective of the kingdom of God.
We covered Ephesians over six months. Those 50+ posts have now been compiled into a free, downloadable commentary.
As the reverse of the title page explains, you have permission to use it yourself, share it with others, use it academically — basically anything except selling it for profit.
Here’s the PDF (1.1 MB). This is the best format for general use. Enjoy.
For Logos users
If you use Logos Bible Software and would like to compile this as a Personal Book, here’s the DOCX (600 kb) and cover (62 kb). Continue reading “Ephesians: a kingdom perspective (free commentary)”
“A gift can be unconditioned (free of prior conditions regarding the recipient) without also being unconditional (free of expectations that the recipient will offer some ‘return’).”
The word “grace” encapsulates so much of the gospel, so I was blown away by John Barclay’s masterful study of this word: Paul and the Gift, published by Eerdmans in 2015. It’s big (672 pages), pricey (US $55), and academic, though at the time of this review it was available on Kindle for US $4.50.
If you just want a concise summary, choose Barclay’s Paul and the Power of Grace (Eerdmans, 2020, 200 pages). For me, the larger book was worth the effort. It’s a superb example of how to pursue a word study: I learned as much from his method as his content. Continue reading “On grace: John Barclay, “Paul and the Gift” (book review)”
If you’re in Perth and serious about serving Jesus, would you consider devoting a year to learning how to do it well?
In twelve months at Riverview College, you could have:
- a Diploma of Ministry (10574NAT),
- leadership masterclasses from experts like Tim Healy and Aash Parmar,
- hands-on ministry experience (internship).
The Diploma studies are your deep-dive into the Bible, theology, practical skills, and personal development: six hours of lectures each Thursday. On Wednesdays you’ll be engaged with the Riverview staff, soaking up the leadership masterclasses, and serving in the internship. There are also assessments to complete for the Diploma, and you will be serving in a ministry team on the weekends as well.
This Facebook video is your invitation.
Continue reading “Time to learn? (Riverview College)”
Update 2020-06-25: The links in this article have expired.
Grappling with Galatians is a free series of podcasts by N. T. Wright, provided by Regent College (Vancouver, Canada).
There are five podcasts (A, B, C, D, E), each 2 – 3 hours (70MB MP3), accompanied by 36 pages of notes (3 MB, PDF). Or you can download the podcasts and notes in one go as a Zip file (370 MB).
While I’m not a podcast junkie, you’ll find this set helps you come to terms with what Galatians meant to the people of central Turkey who first received the letter, and therefore what it could mean for us today. Continue reading “Tom Wright on Galatians (podcasts)”
Could you spend 2019 developing the knowledge and skills you need for Christian ministry?
Riverview College is offering an accredited Diploma of Ministry (10574NAT), with leadership classes and internship opportunities giving you a hands-on experience of practical ministry in one of the church’s departments.
We’d love to meet you, share all the details and answer your questions at the information night: 7pm 5 December 2018. It’s free, but please register.
If you can’t wait, the Riverview College website has information about the courses, college life, and things you might want to know, so you can apply.
Logos is the most powerful and efficient Bible study tool I’ve ever used. You can use it to like a Kindle app to read biographies on your tablet (iOS or Android), or you can use for PhD research of superbly hyperlinked and fully indexed academic resources on your computer (Mac or PC).
The new version released this week has integrated all the notes I’ve made in 10 years of using Logos — more than 7,000 annotations to my Bible, covering every book except 2 John.
It’s also telling me I’ve added 43,000 highlights to other books in my library. Top five: Continue reading “Using Logos Bible Software”
A commentary might help you study better. But how do you know what to choose?
For serious Bible study, you benefit from hearing what others say about the text. But how do you know which commentaries to buy?
Several commentators have chosen their favourites at BestCommentaries.com. Like everyone, they have their bias (Evangelical, with a Calvinistic bent), but it’s still a good indicator.
And the good news is that you’ll find many (not all) of the top commentaries for each book of the Bible on sale at Logos this month (May 2018).
Which Bible book will you study next? Pick up the commentary. Continue reading “Best commentaries”
Need help with Bible study? Get an expert on your tablet.
Update 2018-03-20: Logos March Madness winners are in. I’m buying NICOT/NICNT @ US $745 (less the volumes I already have).
Serious about Bible study? It helps if you have a friend who can tell you all about the text. Ideally, this friend would know the situation the text addressed, appreciate the nuances of its language, and tell you how other people have understood it. Sounds like a big ask?
You can have friends like that with you wherever you go. They’re called commentators. Commentaries are available for whatever level of Bible study you want. This month (May 2018) could be your best chance to get the good ones.
So what level of commentary do you need?
Continue reading “Time for some commentaries”
Logos is offering Karl Barth’s entire Church Dogmatics @ US $75
Karl Barth was one of the most influential theologians of last century. His Church Dogmatics is wordy and not easy reading, but I like the way he puts Jesus the centre of everything.
Continue reading “Barth’s Church Dogmatics”
What does it mean to be a leader in God’s kingdom? God desires “Shepherds After My Own Heart.”
The best study on Christian leadership I’ve ever read is Timothy Laniak’s book, Shepherds after My Own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible (IVP, 2006). Where many leadership books derive principles from business or bureaucratic settings, Laniak derives his from the heart of God, as expressed in the Biblical narrative. Continue reading ““Shepherds After My Own Heart””
Download a good commentary on the Gospel of Mark, free.
Free book of the month from Logos for September 2017 is David Garland’s commentary on Mark. It’s an Application Commentary on the NIV translation (NIVAC). For each passage, it gives you the original meaning, the bridging context to our time, and the contemporary significance. At over 600 pages, it’s worth around $30 as an ebook or $44 as a hard back. If you’ll ever study the Gospel of Mark, grab it now. Continue reading “Free commentary on Mark’s Gospel”
Would you be interested in a week’s formal study on what the kingdom of God is? Count me in.
What is the kingdom of God? A week-long intensive. Here in Perth, Western Australia. I’m in!
Derek Tidball is presenting, all the way from London. He has formal education in sociology (yep, a kingdom is a social entity), theology (yep, it’s God’s kingdom), and missions (yep, God’s kingdom is his mission — missio dei).
Dr Tidball has experience in both pastoral life and the academy. He’s written several commentaries, study themes, and other books published by InterVarsity Press, including: Continue reading “Intensive on Kingdom of God”
Some Bible Study tools at less than half price
Zondervan doesn’t often offer reference works at significant discount, so check out these six at 60% off: Continue reading “Zondervan reference works”
How do you take a book that tells you everything is meaningless?
How would you respond if a mature-aged person told you that everything is meaningless? You might conclude, “Well, I guess the poor cynic is right about himself.”
So, is the book of Ecclesiastes meaningless? Or is it a sharp tool to carve away the meaningless layers and sculpt something of significance from our existence? Continue reading “Ecclesiastes: a meaningless book?”
If you can only buy one book to give you background for your Bible study, buy a Bible dictionary. You can then look up all sorts of things as you read, e.g.: Continue reading “Resourcing your Bible study”
Do you keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, prayers, hopes, disappointments, challenges, uncertainties, joys, tears, and your attempts to follow God’s promptings? Continue reading “Do you journal?”
Update 2016-05-31: Today is the last day the free subscription accompanies this resource.
Christianity Today (CT) is one of the significant magazines discussing issues from an Evangelical perspective. You can read some articles on-line, while others require a subscription. Continue reading ““Christianity Today” magazine”
From time to time, I’ll post about special offers from Logos Bible Software since that’s what I use for my research.
Each month they offer a free book, and a heavily discounted one. For May 2016, these are both by Alister McGrath: Continue reading “Free book (Logos)”