Book Review – 1-2 Thessalonians (Reformed Expository Commentary) (12/1)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often heard preachers comment that the Thessalonians are a ‘model’ church but strangely I seldom hear preachers preach on Thessalonians. This is why I’m glad I was given the opportunity to review this book.

1 & 2 Thessalonians (Reformed Expository Commentary)Richard D. Phillips pens another great commentary in the Reformed Expository Commentary Series. As with every commentary in this series, it seeks to present expository sermons on the passages to the readers. Each of the sermons reads excellently and will help budding preacher see how preaching can be exegetical and applicational.

Do note that Phillips prefers to preach on smaller sets of verses. For example, Phillips preaches 5 sermons on the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, which consists of 10 verses. There are also situations when Phillips preaches a larger set of sermon (e.g. 1 Thess 4:13-18), and then proceed to break the verses down into 3 sermons (4:13-14; 4:14-17; 4:16-18). Although I prefer exposition that takes a bigger chunk of verses, this commentary is still helpful as it allows me to slow down and examine the verses in smaller segments.

I especially like the chapter on the rapture, where Phillips goes against the popular teachings of the ‘secret rapture’. He shows the error in such teaching and then aims to give a correct and biblical understanding of the rapture. As with every commentary in this series. Each chapter seeks to be exegetical, expositional and applicational. Preachers who needs help or guidance in these areas ought to consult these and perhaps use these as their devotional/evening reading everyday as they prepare their preaching series.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping).
Or alternatively, you could also get 1 & 2 Thessalonians: The Hope of Salvation (Preaching the Word) both are excellent choice for expository preaching on 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

P.S. As announced in this blogpost by Richard D. Phillips, I’m looking forward to the upcoming commentaries on Song of Songs (Duguid), Ezra-Nehemiah (Thomas), Revelation (Phillips), Zephaniah-Haggai-Malachi (Duguid), and 2 Samuel (Phillips).

Book Review – 1-3 John (Reformed Expository Commentary) (19/11)

Preaching the word of God is a tremendously important task. Make sure you have good mentors who can show you an example of what good preaching is, is essential to that end. What I’ve always tried to do when teaching on any particular books of the bible is to find expository commentaries that preaches on the book and learn from them.

1-3 John (Reformed Expository Commentary)For those look for help in preaching the Epistles of John, they can consult this commentary. Within this commentary, Douglas Sean O’Donnell shows readers how he preached the epistles of John. He allows readers to understand how he interprets the passages, and why he makes the point that he makes. I have to say that O’Donnell has certainly been very exegetical within this commentary. He examines the passages phrase by phrase, looking into the meaning of each of them. Explaining them in the context of the passage and giving helpful illustrations along the way.

Although I did not find this commentary to be as sermon-like as his previously commentary on Ecclesiastes was (which was excellent). I do see a clear strength in his exegesis. I think for preachers who struggles with understanding what is good exegesis, or the difference between eisegesis and exegesis, this will be a good commentary to consult. O’Donnell will bring you through step by step his exegesis for the passage.

One sad ‘regret’ is how short this commentary is. However given how the epistles of John consist mostly of 7 chapters. It is understandable why this commentary is much thinner that the others within the same series.

Are you preaching on the epistles of John any time soon? Or perhaps aiming to study the epistles of John? Then do get this book and read it both devotionally and also gain some  exegetical knowledge on how to understand the passages.

As with every commentary in the Reformed Expository Commentary, this commentary is excellent for any preachers and seminary students who intends to study or preach this passage.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

P.S. I recommend as an alternative you can also consult 1-3 John: Fellowship in God’s Family. Get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.

Book Review – Ecclesiastes (Reformed Expository Commentary) (4/2)

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” C. T. Studd

Everyone wants to live a meaningful life, even atheists, who believe that man is a product of chance. Yet, too many find their own lives meaningless. Many spend their lives pursing after fame, riches and pleasure. Yet they never seem to give meaning to our lives.

Ecclesiastes (REC)Donald Sean O’Donnell has written an extremely helpful and readable commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes. This certainty is not an easy feat as O’Donnell states in his introduction that Ecclesiastes is not an easy book to understand. Further O’Donnell has also aimed to help the readers read Ecclesiastes christocentrically showing how even in Ecclesiastes, Christ is present.

O’Donnell takes the traditional view that Solomon is the preacher in Ecclesiastes and does not bore the readers with the details about why he thinks it is so. He does however gives some justification on why he think Solomon is the preacher. Next, O’Donnell moves on to preach the text section by section.

In general, I do like O’Donnell’s preaching, he’s uses jokes and illustrations very appropriately, often being able to laugh at himself. But the real stuff that this commentary comes out with is the biblical teachings that comes out from the text. O’Donnell takes the text and explains it to the readers. After explaining, he then brings out the application of the verses. More importantly, O’Donnell consciously always points the text to Jesus, making it thoroughly Christ-centered sermons.

I do encourage pastor to purchase this if they intend to preach through Ecclesiastes. Two benefits can be derived from it, first, it helps you grow devotionally, to mediate on the scripture, next, it helps growing in your preaching, to be better at it, and to bring your congregation to Christ.  Those seeking technical help on Ecclesiastes ought to look at other commentaries to compliment it, but this is still a great standalone commentary on it’s own.

Rating: 5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping).

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Review – 1 Peter (Reformed Expository Commentary) (6/1)

Good preaching will sustain the vitality of the church. That has always been something I deeply believed in. Alas, good preaching is also hard to come by. The good news however is that in this age, it is not hard to find good sermons recorded or written. This is where this commentary/expository sermon comes in.

1 Peter (Reformed Expository Commentary)As christians continue to move on to live in a post-christian society, 1 Peter will slowly become even more relevant to us — to live holy and upright livfes in the midst of being marginalised or even persecuted. I found the sermons in this book to be very clear and wholesome. Daniel Doriani has not written a work that will reach a wide audience, it is not too watered down, or technical for anyone who’s studying the text for the first time or the twenty-first time.

Doriani does not skim on the exegesis and explanation part, taking time to show the readers/listeners how and why derives at points he makes in each sermon. Alongside with theses, Doriani also uses helpful illustrations to showcase his points in a way that all would understand.

This commentary by Doriani serves as an excellent guide for pastors in terms of teaching pastors good exegesis and good preaching. Thought it will not serve as a technical verse-by-verse commentary, I’ve found it helpful to read and meditate on these sermons. I recommend pastors and lay christians who really want to dive in to study 1 Peter to get this commentary.

Rating: 5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping).

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Review – John (Reformed Expository Commentary) (19/9)

Note: This review is based only on the first chapter of each volume.

John (REC)Richard Phillips has finally published an expository preaching commentary on John. After reading his book, Jesus the Evangelist, I was looking forward to see how he will expound on the whole gospel of John, and now it has come.

As with every commentaries within the Reformed Expository Commentary Series, this is no exception. Phillips handles the text carefully, each verse is explained and expounded, and he does not skim over the text, unlike many preachers today who are pretty fond of doing this. He patiently explains difficult and hard verses unhurriedly, allowing the readers to join in the conversation, and think along with him.

Richards shows the readers how he does his exegesis by explaining his how he derives his point from the verse. It is truly expository preaching, with at least one or two applications for each sermon. I anticipate that this commentary would certainly be of help for preachers who wishes to preach through the whole of the gospel of John, and also for readers who wishes to have a devotional reading of the bible passage in a systematic way.

Rating: 4 / 5

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If you’re interested, you can get get yours here, and here (free international shipping).