Advances in the Study of Greek

New Insights for Reading the New Testament

review by Robert Strivens

Little seems certain any longer, in the study of New Testament Greek. Over the past decades, scholars have been raising fundamental questions about how we comprehend the language in which the NT was written. These affect, among other matters, the understanding of the workings of the Greek verb, the definition of words and the way in which sentences, paragraphs and larger sections of discourse are put together.  None of this requires major changes to the more reliable English translations of the Bible.

Big God

review by Robert Strivens

It is said that the generation that has heard Calvinist truth preached and been persuaded by it fails to preach it - the truth is assumed and so the next generation never learns it and it is lost. Are we in danger of losing reformed truth because we assume it and don't explicitly teach it?

IVP Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, 2nd edn.

review by Robert Strivens

This new edition of the IVP  Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels is indeed, it seems, very new: according to the Preface, 90% of the material from the first edition has been replaced, with a ‘host’ of new contributors. The object, as in the first edition, is to be ‘evangelical and critical at the same time’. The articles that I have read (I have not read the entire work) are clearly written and explain well the main points to be grasped or investigated. Each article is followed by an up-to-date bibliography.

George Whitefield

America’s Spiritual Founding Father

review by Robert Strivens

Accounts of George Whitefield have to date tended to fall into one of two camps, epitomised, on the one hand, by the inspiring but somewhat hagiographical two-volume study by Arnold Dallimore and, on the other, by works arguing that Whitefield’s success was largely down to his acting skill and marketing ability. Thomas Kidd writes as both an academic historian (professor of history at Baylor University) and as an evangelical Christian.

William Perkins & the Making of a Protestant England

review by Robert Strivens

William Perkins (1558-1602) has usually been viewed as a Puritan who, for the most part, was content to minister within the Church of England without making very much fuss about the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer. In this, he was unlike many other Puritans in the national church who argued for further reform.

Do You Feel Called by God?

Rethinking the Call to Ministry

review by Robert Strivens

I've just read Michael Bennett's book, Do You Feel Called by God? I admit to coming to it with a slightly heavy heart, thinking, 'Not another book dismissing the idea of an inward call to public gospel ministry'. In fact, I found that I agreed with it, up to a point.

The life and times of Arthur Hildersham

Prince among Puritans

This new work on Arthur Hildersham is superb in every aspect and is a must read for anyone with an interest in 17th century Puritanism or in the doctrines that the Puritans believed and taught.

Hildersham lived from 1563 to 1632.

Romans - some recent commentaries

review by Robert Strivens

Paul’s letter to the Romans continues to call forth new commentaries. This article reviews some recent works – mostly, but not all, commentaries.

The Intolerance of Tolerance

review by Robert Strivens

The benefits department of Dudley Council in the West Midlands apparently once banned all representations of pigs from its offices, for fear of upsetting Muslims. The Co-op Bank requested the organisation Christian Voice to close their accounts with the bank because of their public stance opposing homosexual behaviour. Dartmouth College, in the USA, forbade the distribution by Campus Crusade of C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, as that work might have offended non-Christians.

Every Good Endeavour

Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World

review by Robert Strivens

How is the Christian to live out his faith at work? In the Middle Ages, religious callings – monks, nuns, friars, the priesthood – were regarded as the really spiritual option. Everyone else had to make do with an ordinary job, which made them distinctly second-rate in religious terms. One of the great benefits of the Reformation was to eradicate this secular/religious divide and recognise the inherent value of all kinds of work, to be carried out in a godly manner as to Christ.