Commentaries on 1 Peter

That would be ‘first’ Peter, not ‘one’, for those unfamiliar with the Bible.

So, I’m not going to review 1 Peter here, at least not in the usual book review sense. I may put a few notes out there later, but for now I want to leave a few thoughts on the commentaries I used.

First and foremost, you should be using a commentary.

We just wrapped up our study on 1 Peter this morning. It has been a great eight week study that had us deep in the text and introduced me to a few guys at our new church. I used a few different commentaries in my study – Tyndale was my main one, which I read word for word. I consulted Baker Exegetical New International,  as well as a little bit in the New Bible and the abridged Expositors.

I was surprised to find how readable Baker’s was. I have to say it was probably my first choice overall, the one I found the most insightful. I would definitely recommend Baker’s if you are going for a highly technical one.

Tyndale’s commentary was, as usual, highly readable and approachable, but 1 Peter was written by Wayne Grudem, so it is certainly technical enough. As he has written one of the most of the most popular and readable systematics, it’s not surprise this one pack so much in. If you are watching your budget, take Tyndale over Bakers, but if you can, do both.

I don’t think one is enough (ever really), but especially when you some tricky topics, such as Jesus proclaiming to the spirits in prison.  Baker’s Jobe as posits a somewhat different view of the audience than you’ll likely read in other commentaries. I found it very compelling and would say it’s very much worth the read. The New Bible Commentary entry was a bit short, but I will probably find that more and more as I use other, larger commentaries. Probably still a worthwhile read as an into to a book.

The abridged Expositor’s I found somewhat lacking. I’ll admit I didn’t jump into the unabridged, so, I may be more a byproduct of the editing than of the overall content itself. And of course, I used one of my study Bibles, in this instance, it was the Reformation one and it was also great as an overview.

It was overall a great study, sad to see it over. However, Mrs. MMT and I are now jumping into the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Her and I have never done a study, just us two, so I’m excited and interested to see how that works out. As always, I’ll have thoughts on the commentaries used and hopefully a few mediocre study notes posted.

If you are interested, you can buy the commentaries I mentioned:

1 Peter (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)
1 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
The First Epistle of Peter (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)
Hebrews – Revelation (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

Blogging Bavinck 3 – History of Dogma

Dogmatics, therefore, is not a dull and arid science. It is a theodicy, a doxology to all God’s virtues and perfections, a hymn of adoration and thanksgiving

I’m a big Ol’ History nerd, so I really enjoyed Chapter 3 – The Formation of Dogma: East and West (pgs. 115-142). Scripture is not a work of dogmatics or systematics, it is the inspired word of God and “the immediate expression of life.” He says that Scripture had not yet become the something that early believers reflected upon with a ‘thinking conscience.’

For this reason, the early church merely articulated dogmatics in epistolary writings and basic creeds. Outside of the canonical epistles, we have those that came later, i.e. Clement, Shepherd of Hermes, etc. As the church grew, we entered the era of apologetics. No longer writing just answers to questions of actions, we were forced to reflect more deeply on scripture in order to defend our beliefs in the face of persecution or our community being ostracized.

Educated converts such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus defended the faith against Gnosticism and created a ‘Christian vocabulary and worldview.’ Later through Tertullian and Origen, the foundations of Theology were set and Christianity increasingly became to be ‘understood primarily as a set of idea.’

The fourth century led to great developments in dogmatics as, after becoming the official religion, questions of theology moved from external attacks to internal struggles. The most compelling issues where those of the Christological nature, especially that of homoousia, that is the dual nature of Christ. Athanasius strongly asserted that the deity of Christ was the essence of Christianity; that is Christ had to be God to bring salvation. He along with others (Basil, the Gregorys, etc.) wrote polemic on this, the Trinity and the incarnation, all over and against the Arians and Macedonians. Orthodoxy was settled in 381 A.D. at the Synod of Constantinople.

The next four centuries were ones of turmoil for doctrine. For the eastern church the focus was that of humanity being subject to sin and corruption, and through Christ, we do not die but partake in life. The west focused on our relationship with God. We are guilty of violating the commandments, but through the work of Christ, we have grace. He notes that John resonates with the East and Paul with the West. I have no idea if this is still true of the Orthodox church today, but it always seemed to me there is a further division in the West, that the protestants resonate with Paul, while Catholics focus on Peter. Continue reading

Easter Sunday

Special edition of Metal Friday, Sunday version.

I’ve always found this song a powerful victory song. That’s what today is. He conquered death and the gates of hell will not prevail against Him. We worship a living God, we served the one that overcame the grave, that we may never die, but have eternal life.

Death – where is your sting, where is your victory?

They thought that You were bound by nature’s laws
He is risen! He is risen!
For the veil that was torn in two and the darkness that would ensue
A symbol alas that the debt was finally paid
When the stone it was rolled away, He was no longer where He lay
Surely our King had risen from the dead

From their CD Captors

Good Metal Friday

I hope that’s not sacrileges.

Think today, as we remember and reflect on the Lamb that took our place and suffered the Wrath of God. He, for our sake, was separated from God (hell) so that we would be counted righteous and be adopted sons, never to be snatched away, but spend eternity praising Him, who is on the Throne.

The Father of grace and mercy has poured out His wrath completely,
on His Son for our sake, we are free, brought the Lamb to slaughter for me

There is love! Here is love! This is love! There is love!!



Book Review: Confessions

Confessions– St. Augustine

 My Rating – If You Have Time

 Level – Moderate, seems longer than it is.

Basically his autobiography for the first nine chapters, then a chapter on memory, and wraps up his last three chapters in discussing the first chapters in Genesis. His life story is interesting enough, his mother was a Christian and that influenced him. He went off to school and talks about his shenanigans with his boys.

Later on he joins up with the Manicheans but, after the death of a friend, becomes disillusioned with them. Eventually he hears Ambrose preach and after discussion with friends and reading Romans in a garden, he converts and is baptized.

 My Thoughts
My confession: I didn’t really like this book. It’s considered a seminal work in Christian Literature, but I just never got into it. Maybe because of the translation (Penguin Classic), but I didn’t like the writing. It was one of those, say in 20 words what you could say in five type writing styles.

His time at school was probably the most interesting to me. His pondering as to why he would steal pears when he had his own, probably better ones. It certainly should make most people question these things in general, and resonates with males who engaged in general jackassary as adolescents in particular. The thoughts on memory are interesting in a philosophical way, and his chapters on Genesis are worth reading for his style of exegesis.

Overall, I just wasn’t a fan. I hesitated to rank as I have, instead of lower, at the same time, feeling I should rank it higher, due to its place in history. So, I guess, if you have time, check it out and see for yourself.

Book Review: Atlantis Trilogy

The Origin Mystery (3 Book Series) by A.G. Riddle 

My Rating –  Must Read for Sci-Fi or historical fictions fans. Put It On The List for everyone else.

Level – Fairly easy and medium length, reads quickly.

So, this is actually three books, but you knew that, because… ‘Trilogy’: The Atlantis Gene, The Atlantis Plague and The Atlantis World . I’m not really sure how to summarize this. Starts out with some spies, then a bunch of attacks across the world, then you get everything for the rest of the series – global plaques, ancient history, Nazis, aliens, cool Tibetan Monks, long (very long) running timelines and conspiracies. Just go buy it.

My Thoughts
I actually found the first book on the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library on one of the rare cases that it worked. I ended up reading the rest of the series through it as well. I found myself driving home after work thinking about the story and wondering what would happen next, looking forward to getting home and reading for an hour or so before Mrs. MMT and Sprout got home.

The story kind of bounces around different categories, as mentioned above, but I suspect, that overall if you don’t like some nerdy things, you may not like it. If you have any interest at all, the book will be great. I have to admit, towards the end of the third book, it winds down as if he (the author) isn’t sure how to ended, and it was just kind of done. You begin to see the ending coming anyway, so I don’t think it detracts too much, but it does end with a fizzle.

Still, go buy all three in paperback and knock them out at the beach or lake over the summer.

Why I Chose Olive Tree

I’ve looked into many of the electronic library options for a Christian resource library, the most popular being Logos, but there is also Accordance, Bible Works, Olive Tree and PC Study Bible. I also came across something from Zondervan called Praxis that appears to only have the full version of the Expositor’s Commentary Series. It also looks like its old enough to be run on DOS. I’ve also had some samples of the PC Study Bible. Ultimately, I went with Olive Tree.

It came down to a few reasons. Frist, its app based, this was particularly important because at the time I was looking, I didn’t have a computer with Windows. I had/have a Chromebook, so there isn’t even the possibility of installing software. Of course, I found out that Olive Tree doesn’t have an app for Chromebook. However, it does have it for just about everything else. I have it on my tablet that I use as my Bible for church and Study, my wife has the app on her phone for her Bible Study and I have it on both my home and work computers.

Probably the best feature to me was the ability to sync my notes. I can type my notes on the computer, then pull out the tablet at Chic-fil-a, hop on their Wi-Fi and have all of them there. My wife will also sync my notes to her phone when she has forgotten to read, so there’s that. I’m sure others may have this ability, but I liked Olive Tree’s setup the most.

What sold me the most, and what made me initially download the app was the Tyndale Commentary on the whole Bible (43 Volumes) for only $99. I saw it pop up once and skipped it, then regretted it. When it came up again, I jumped on it. Now I see it comes up about three or four times a year. This is a great deal and they have been very useful. I was also able to download the ESV Study Bible notes for $9. Again, tough to beat. The ESV text is free, along with many others.

Why not the others? Other than the portability issues, it was mainly because I didn’t want to buy any of the packages. The packages are massive and very expensive. If you are a full-time pastor or professor, Logos is probably worth it. If you are looking to enhance your study, it seems a bit much to me. I figure I’d be unlikely to read all of it. If I were to buy one of the systems with packages, it’d likely be PC Study Bible. They are much more affordable than Logos. Continue reading

Blogging Bavinck 2 – Prolegomena

Part 1

First and foremost, he continually uses a word so awesomely hilarious sounding, that it makes me wish I hadn’t bought the MMT domain: Dogmatician.

I thought my second write-up would be over a shorter section, but as I read through, that isn’t quite possible. Each of the four volumes is made up of part, which then have their own chapters. For example, book one has five parts and 17 chapter. I had one crazy idea that the chapters, spread out over all four volumes, would work out nicely as weekly post and I’d have over a year’s worth of material.

However, that doesn’t seem to be working out the way I wanted. For now, I’ll briefly review Part 1 of Book 1, which goes through page 114.

Many of the pages have an apologetic or polemic feel, as he argues definitions for dogmatics and critiques others approaches (as well as definitions). Roughly 30 pages are devoted to the order of a theology book. As in, doctrine of X should come first, followed by Doctrine of Y. He goes through a list of major works (Origen, Summa, Institutes, etc.) to show their layout and what was wrong with those.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is also the issue of antiquated terminology and debates (metaphysics). Additionally, he takes the view that everyone is familiar with church, as they have grown up in church and their understanding is shaped by whichever church they were apart of (hence, there is no way to have an unbiased writing). This is a little less true in modern America. Continue reading

Linky Links

Russell Moore asks if millennials are selfish.
He actually comes to the defense of millennials:

On the whole, though, I find the Millennial generation’s grasp of gospel Christianity far better than what we’ve seen in a long time. They tend to be better at articulating a Christian vision of life, because they’ve had to do so all their lives, never able to count on a pseudo-Christian culture to do pre-evangelism for them.

Anecdotal, I know, but I find this is accurate. My grandparents (the Greatest Generation), while not dogmaticians, new the Bible backwards and forwards. They thought it was an important thing to know. However, my parents (Boomers) didn’t seem to know much of either the Bible or Theology. Russell makes the point that they grew up in a Christian world. I (Millennial) and others arguable grew up in a post-Christian world.

I see it among people I know. Again, this is anecdotal, there are many who are not involved in church (not sure if this is generational or the fact that many people skip out of church in their 20s). However, those whom are involved, they tend to know much more because they want to know more. Maybe because church is optional for us; whereas it was basically a social requirement for the Boomers.

I tweeted this earlier, but he makes a great point about Millennials (you know, the selfish ones) searching for mentors in the church and coming up lacking. I could write a book about the failure of the church to mentor, so I’ll stop here.

Post on Modesty – points out the failure to make men accountable, among other things.

Finally for today – 6 signs of a call to preach or, for me, five reasons why I will never be a preacher.