Biblical Foundations Giveaway

Andreas Kostenberger (follow on Twitter) is hosting a giveaway of his recent volume Invitation to Biblical Interpretation at his blog, Biblical Foundations.  If you’re looking for a solid book on hermeneutics, this appears to be a sure bet!  I have not worked through this particular volume, but am well acquainted with Kostenberger’s scholarship and can confidently say that his work will prove to be a blessing to you and serve you well.  CLICK HERE to be redirected to the giveaway.  Be sure to bookmark the site as well!

Here is a brief description of the the book: 

Bible scholars Andreas Kostenberger (NT) and Richard Patterson (OT) provide a textbook utilizing the “hermeneutical triad” method. This approach to interpretation is based on giving due consideration to both the historical setting and the literary context, as well the theological message.

Working through the major genres of Scripture and showing how their method applies to each one, they provide interpretive examples to guide the student in proper exegesis. In addition to the examples, each chapter concludes with exercises and assignments. Also included is a helpful “Building a Biblical Studies Library” appendix along with a four-page summary chart, presentation slides, test bank, syllabus, and illustrations.

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REVIEW: Old Story New, by Marty Machowski

Family devotions…  Followers of Christ, whose families are growing, likely have the desire to do devotions as a family, but often are at a standstill when it comes to actually setting out to do so.  Whether it is time, organization, lack of content, or a bit of anxiety, the reasons abound for not getting into the rhythm of regular family devotions.

As a husband and a parent (of a quickly growing 10-month old), with both a full-time job and a part-time position in vocational ministry, I often struggle to establish regular, substantive times of devotions with my wife.  I know that what my wife and I establish now will be the foundation upon which we build our times of family devotions when our children are at an age of understanding.  In light of that, it is important to me that I find resources that will assist our family in establishing quality times of family devotion and worship.  And these cannot be  resources that merely market themselves as a “family devotional”.  They must be doctrinally sound, gospel-centered, graciously honest, accessible and applicable to a range of ages, and those that we can utilize well within our busy schedules yet remains substantive.  Though that may sound like quite the list of criteria to meet for a family devotional, I am excited to say that one in particular thoroughly passes this test!

In Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (New Testament) (New Growth Press, 2012), family pastor Marty Machowski provides a guide to lead your family through the New Testament in 78 weeks.  As the next offering in Machowski’s Gospel Story for Kids series, Old Story New remains true to the distinctives which set this series apart.  Here we have a resource that is keenly aware of the Bible’s grand story, rich in biblical theology, hermeneutically sound, and responsible in application that connects the reader’s point of need with the grace of the gospel at every pass.

Machowski begins with an altogether helpful introduction that sets families up to utilize the devotional to its fullest extent.  Beginning with a note on the sovereignty of God in salvation, Machowski explains what responsibility the parents have in training their children while trusting God for their child’s salvation in Christ.  He moves forward to explain the benefit of using the devotional in cooperation with its Old Testament/Hebrew Bible counterpart Long Story Short and the Gospel Story Bible.  As one acquainted with both of the aforementioned resources, I can honestly say I know of no other family devotional series that handles the entirety of Scripture so well.  If you choose to work through the Scriptures with the complete series, your family will be well equipped with a thoroughly Christ-centered understanding of the Bible’s grand story of the redemptive work of God from Genesis to Revelation.

For parents struggling to connect with children who may vary quite significantly in age, Machowski concludes the introductory chapter with extremely practical suggestions and insights as to how to connect each study with your children at various stages in their development.  Far from quick generalities, these suggestions are evidence of the years of experience Machowski has as a parent and pastor.

Moving into the devotional, each week’s devotional is clearly connected to a specific story in the Gospel Story Bible.  Though you do not need to own the Gospel Story Bible to benefit from or follow the week’s devotions, it does provide a helpful rendering of each story for a wide range of children.  The text of Scripture to be read with each devotional is clearly listed.  Each week’s story is then divided up into five days:

Day 1 – “Picture It” – This section helps your family understand the context, setting, and subject of the story.  It is then followed by a reading of the text, questions concerning the interpretation and application of the text, and a time of family prayer.

Day 2 – “Remember It” – This section helps your family recall and retain what they encountered on Day 1.  It is a time of open discussion as your family reviews the story and its significance.  Again, It is then followed by a reading of the text, questions concerning the interpretation and application of the text, and a time of family singing/prayer.

Day 3 – “Connect It to the Gospel” – Perhaps my favorite feature of Machowski’s devotional series, this section encourages your family to think about how the story either points forward to or back at the gospel.  A wonderfully helpful section that helps your family steer away from mere moralism and move toward an understanding of the Scriptures insofar as they tell the grand story of God’s redemptive work in Messiah Jesus.

Day 4 – “Remember It” – Having discussed a particular story for 3 days, this section helps get your family talking about the impact the story has had on their lives this week.

Day 5 – “Discover It” – Yet another unique feature of Old Story New, Machowski helps your family connect the New Testament story with its Old Testament roots (specifically the Psalms and Prophets).  This will give your family an increased awareness of the unity of the Scriptures and the grand story they tell.  Additionally, it may serve to awaken an interest in the Old Testament Scriptures among your children, as much of the OT, in some churches, is often left aside while a majority of time is focused on the NT.

Overall, I cannot say strongly enough how effective the structure and substance of this series is for developing quality times of worshipful, devotional study as a family.  God has given families a gracious gift in the resources and ministry of Marty Machowski, and I recommend Old Story New and the entire Gospel Story for Kids series with enthusiastic acclaim.

*As a part of the Old Story New Blog Tour, the publisher, at no charge, for the purpose of review, provided a copy of this book.  I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.

Old Story New Giveaway & Interview

Want to win a copy of Old Story New for your family?! CLICK HERE to check out the giveaway and my interview with Marty Machowski.

Old Story New: Feature and Giveaway

As a parent, one of the things I must do when selecting biblical resources for my son/family is sift through the myriads of unhelpful material that makes up so much of Christian literature today.  Simply because something sits on the shelf in a Christian bookstore doesn’t mean that someone has already done the work of discerning the soundness of theology within.  In reality, there are excellent, Bible-saturated, doctrinally sound, and substantial resources available, but many times you just need to be a little more pro-active in your search.  In an effort to point you in the right direction, I’d like to make you aware of an exciting children’s series and its latest family devotional.

The series is Marty Machowski’s Gospel Story for Kids collection of children’s resources, published by New Growth Press.  Susan, Gresham, and I have enjoyed reading from The Gospel Story Bible.  It is truly a joy to read a children’s Bible that is thoroughly Christ-centered, redemptive-historical, and one that responsibly condenses and applies each story.  Alongside The Gospel Story Bible, Machowski has written a children’s curriculum that focuses on understanding how the Old Testament points to Christ.

Additionally, Marty has written two family devotionals.  The devotionals are designed around a 10-minute, discussion-based format.  In 2010, New Growth Press released Long Story Short, which worked its way through the Old Testament with the intent of working through the text in order to draw families closer to Christ.  This month (October, 2012) marks the release of Machowski’s New Testament devotional, Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (New Testament).

In partnership with the generous folks at New Growth Press, over the next week-and-a-half I will be posting the first week of devotions from Old Story New, an interview with Marty, giving away 2 copies of the book, and posting my review as a part of the Old Story New Blog TourBe sure to check back tomorrow for the first excerpt and instructions as to how you can enter to win a copy of Old Story New.  You may want to subscribe via RSS or email to receive the updates automatically in your inbox or reader of choice.

In the meantime, here is a brief bio of Marty as well as some of the advance endorsements Old Story New…

BIO

Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for more than twenty years. As leader of their children’s ministry, Promise Kingdom, he has worked for many years to develop curriculum and devotional material that connect church and home. His passion is equipping families to understand the Bible as one gospel story and help them share that with their children. He is the author of The Gospel Story for Kids series including Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (OT)The Gospel Story Bible; and the Gospel Story Curriculum: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament and the forthcoming Old Story New (NT): Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God and Gospel Story Curriculum: Following Jesus in the New Testament. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

ENDORSEMENTS

“Marty Machowski has done it again! This book, along with the earlier Old Testament devotional book, Long Story Short, is another masterful devotional book for families. It is simple without being shallow. It is theologically robust without being pedantic. It is comprehensive without being overwhelming. Best of all, it is doable for busy parents with children.”
Dr. Tedd Tripp, Pastor; conference speaker; best-selling author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart
“So much of the family devotional material available today does little more than use the Bible to teach half-truths and full-out moralism. The reason my wife and I love Marty Machowski’s books and the reason they have become important resources as we seek to raise our children in ‘the discipline and instruction of the Lord,’ is their consistent focus on the big picture of the Bible’s big story. Old Story New is yet another wonderful resource that we gladly commend and look forward to reading with our children.”
Tim Challies, Author; pastor; blogger
“Marty Machowski ‘gets’ families. Even more importantly, he knows how to connect them to the Bible with simple, relatable New Testament studies that make much of Jesus in every lesson. If you want your kids to see the Savior through his Word, spend some time in this exciting new devotional.”
Dave Harvey, Church Planting and Church Care, Sovereign Grace Ministries; author of When Sinners Say I Do: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible

I use the ESV Bible as my translation of choice for personal study and devotion.  The accuracy and readability of the text, I believe, are unparalleled insofar as modern translations of the biblical text are concerned.  Moreover, the scholarly study notes, charts, tables, etc., in the Study Bible edition of the ESV are comparable to having a small theological library at your fingertips.

Every so often, I’ll post on a resource I hope to get my hands on in the near future…as well as those I think will be of great benefit to my readers.  That said, Crossway has just released a new edition of the ESV text in a single column, journaling format!  Crossway describes the updated edition of their journaling Bible, saying:

The ESV New Journaling Bible is a complete redesign of the original Journaling Bible. The Bible text is now laid out in an easy-to-follow, single-column format. Ruled lines in the extra-wide margins match up with each line of Bible text, enabling users to more easily align their notes with specific verses. With high-quality Bible paper and cover materials, the New Journaling Bible is a durable edition for anyone who wants to capture notes, prayers, or personal reflections in their Bible. (links added)

As one who tends to vigorously mark up and notate whatever I happen to be reading, this format is premium for those who, like me, take notes on jot thoughts on the text as they read.  I’ve yet to get my hands on the new addition, but I’m hoping to get a copy in the near future.  In the meantime, you can preview a sample of the interior by CLICKING HERE.

If you’re interested in grabbing a copy of the New Journaling Bible, check out the links below:

  • JOE THORN is giving away 2 copies of the New Journaling Bible over at his blog in a giveaway that ends on Wednesday, 8/22/12, at 10pm CST.
  • WTSBooks.com is offering the ESVJB, at 40% off the retail price, for $23.99.
  • Head over to Crossway’s site to see all the different editions of the ESVJB.  (Personally, I’d love a copy of the Red Edition!)

Baker Book Giveaway

Baker Academic is giving away a copy of G.K. Beale’s latest book, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation, at their blog. The giveaway runs until Friday, August 17, at 6AM EST.  CLICK HERE to be redirected to the giveaway.

Here’s a little info about the book:

Read inside (PDFs): Sample Pages

Publisher’s Description: This concise guide by a leading New Testament scholar helps readers understand how to better study the multitude of Old Testament references in the New Testament. G. K. Beale, coeditor of the bestselling Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, focuses on the “how to” of interpreting the New Testament use of the Old Testament, providing students and pastors with many of the insights and categories necessary for them to do their own exegesis. Brief enough to be accessible yet thorough enough to be useful, this handbook will be a trusted guide for all students of the Bible.

Contents:
Introduction
1. Challenges to Interpreting the Use of the Old Testament in the New
2. Seeing the Old Testament in the New: Definitions of Quotations and Allusions and Criteria for Discerning Them
3. An Approach to Interpreting the Old Testament in the New
4. Primary Ways the New Testament Uses the Old Testament
5. Hermeneutical and Theological Presuppositions of the New Testament Writers
6. The Relevance of Jewish Backgrounds for the Study of the Old Testament in the New: A Survey of the Sources
7. A Case Study Illustrating the Methodology of This Book

208 Pages
Published September 2012

FREE eBOOK FROM DESIRING GOD.

FROM DESIRINGGOD.ORG

Skillful listening is a non-negotiable skill for everyone who enters a church building on Sunday or plays a sermon through headphones during the week. Scripture calls us not only to consider carefully what sermons we listen to, but also how we listen to those sermons.

It is very easy to slip into what Scripture calls “dullness of hearing,” to hear the weekly sermons without faith, and to see little or no moral fruit in our lives as a result. As Jesus makes clear, ultimately it is how we hear that reveals who we are (John 8:43, 47, 10:4, 27).

Take Care How You Listen is an ebook on listening well. It is comprised of five unedited sermon manuscripts from the preaching ministry of Pastor John. We pray this resource will serve your personal reflection as you heed Jesus’ command to “take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18).

To download, click on the following format options:

Note: To load the ebook on a mobile device it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device and then to click the download option.

 

The 12 Days Before Christmas Book Giveaway!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted to the blog, and there have been a number of reasons that have contributed to that.  However, I hope in the very near future to begin posting more regularly.

Alright, on to the important stuff.  Bob Hayton and Shaun Tabatt have teamed up with some great sponsors/publishers and put together an amazing string of giveaways.  The 4th Annual 12 Days Before Christmas Book Giveaway is featuring scores of resources from such publishers as Reformation Heritage Books, P & R, New Growth Press, IVP, and many more.

I’m particularly excited about today’s giveaway as it features some outstanding gospel-centered books for children.  Why  does that excite me?  Because, Lord willing, my wife will give birth to our first child on Monday!  So, after you head over to Fundamentally Reformed to enter today’s giveaway, please say a prayer for us as we look forward to Monday!

CLICK HERE TO BE REDIRECTED TO THE GIVEAWAY!