Bitesize Biographies Samuel RutherfordSamuel Rutherford was 36 years old when he was exiled to Aberdeen, feeling that he was ‘an outcast and withered tree.’ He had served the little church at Anwoth in Galloway faithfully, but in those August days of 1636 he seems to have felt for a while that his useful service was over.

Little could he have known that his exile would end in less than two years when Scotland rose up to resist the king’s domination of the church. He could hardly have imagined that he would serve a key role in reasserting biblical doctrine, worship and government to the Scottish church. He would also play an important part in the Westminster Assembly, defining Christian doctrine for much of the English-speaking world for centuries to come, and nearly two dozen influential books would flow from his pen, winning the admiration of the Reformed churches of Britain and the Continent. He would even have the most prestigious universities in the Netherlands and Scotland clamor to have him fill their chairs of divinity, and as a professor of theology, he would mold the minds of a generation of Scottish pastors and theologians.

Alexander Whyte wrote, “No man of his age in broad Scotland stood higher as a scholar, a theologian, a controversialist, a preacher and a very saint than Samuel Rutherford.”

Nor could Rutherford have envisioned in his wildest dreams that a collection of letters that he sent to friends from his exile in Aberdeen would rank among the most beloved Christian classics, a timeless source of spiritual inspiration to millions of readers.

About Richard M. Hannula:
Mr. Richard Hannula received a B.A. in history from the University of Southern California and was selected for membership in the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Mr. Hannula holds a master’s in education from the University of Washington.

He is the author of Our Northwest Heritage: A History of the Pacific Northwest from a Christian Perspective and Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History.

He serves as principal of Covenant High School (in Tacoma, WA) and also teaches history, math, and speech. Richard Hannula, his wife, and their five children reside in University Place, Washington.

Book Information:

  • Publisher: EP Books
  • ISBN:  9781783970186
  • Page Count: 144

Blog Tour Details:

  • Tour Date: November 24-30, 2014
  • Available Formats: Paperback (Continental US Only) & PDF
  • We ask that reviewers post to their personal website/blog and Amazon.com.

The Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen Book Cover The Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen

Reformation Heritage Books
136

“The Foundation of Communion with God” introduces readers to the Trinitarian piety of John Owen (1616–1683). Ryan McGraw’s introduction to Owen sketches the major events of this important theologian’s life and shows how his circumstances shaped his thought on the themes of the Trinity and public worship. The second part of the book presents forty-one brief selections from Owen’s writings that trace his thoughts on knowing God as triune, on Scripture and worship, on heavenly-mindedness, and on covenant and the church. Appendixes provide readers with a chronological list of Owen’s writings and a guide to them for those who wish to delve deeper into this great theologian’s thoughts.

This week, the Cross Focused Reviewers are participating in a book review blog tour for The Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen (Reformation Heritage, 2014). Excerpts and links to the reviews will appear below as they are available:

“I recommend this book to anyone wanting to be introduced to the writings of John Owen.” Reviewer: Shawn Covington Rating: 3 Stars

“This volume is a welcome introduction to the thought and works of one of the giants of theology.” Reviewer: Josh Skinner Rating: 5 Stars

“I highly recommend this book for all Christians.” Reviewer: Beth Saathoff Rating: 5 Stars

“If any reader want a simple introduction to Owen, this book certainly fits the bill.”  Reviewer: Conrade Yap Rating: 4 Stars

“I found McGraw’s work, and the excerpts from Owen, to be informative and edifying.” Reviewer: James Pate Rating: 4 Stars

James the Just Presents Applications of Torah: A Messianic Commentary Book Cover James the Just Presents Applications of Torah: A Messianic Commentary

Messianic Jewish Publishers & Resources
Jul 15, 2012
152

When we view Ya'acov (James) for who he was: a chief rabbi, a Torah scholar, a Bible commentator, and akin to a high court judge, then we can better understand the purpose of his book. One of the main thrusts of Ya'acov's teaching is encouraging the practical application of the Torah's teachings.

This week, the Cross Focused Reviewers are participating in a book review blog tour for James the Just Presents Applications of Torah: A Messianic Commentary (Messianic Jewish Publishers & Resources, 2014). Excerpts and links to the reviews will appear below as they are available:

“I recommend this book to those interested in the Jewish background to the New Testament.”  Reviewer: Val Belley Rating: 4 Stars

“This is a great tool for pastors, seminary students, and all believers who wish to grasp what James was saying to that first century audience and how those truths relate to us today.”  Reviewer: Michael Boling Rating: 5 Stars

“I greatly enjoyed this book.” Reviewer: Tina Garrett Rating: 5 stars

“I recommend this book to those interested in the Jewish background to the New Testament.” Reviewer: Karen Lyons Rating: 4 Stars

“”This is an interesting and enlightening study on the Book of James.”  Reviewer: James Pate Rating: 4 Stars

“I recommend this book to those interested in the Jewish background to the New Testament.” Reviewer: Debbie White Rating: 4 Stars

“This is a helpful book.”  Reviewer: Conrade Yap Rating: 4 Stars

“This is a helpful book I plan on reading again.” Reviewer: Josh Wolf Rating: 3 Stars

“This is one of those commentaries that makes you stop and read … slowly.” Reviewer: Martin Pitcher Rating: 4 Stars

“Those who appreciate unwrapping the truth of biblical intent through its original language, and in it’s original background will truly appreciate this book.”  Reviewer: Xi Ming Rating: 4 stars

“This is a good introduction to the Book of James.” Reviewer: Cliff VanNostrand Rating: 4 Stars

Preaching by Ear by Dave McClellanAccording to Kenton Anderson, professor of homiletics at ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University, this volume represents “a powerful tool” because it offers a new (actually old) model of preaching. For centuries preaching has been shaped from a literary standpoint (i.e., reading, writing, outlining, and displaying sermons). But a pre-modern method of oral preparation and delivery largely has been forgotten. Preaching by Ear hearkens back to an earlier era when sermons were rooted inside the preacher and moved out in a natural and powerful way.

Table of Contents:
Prologue
Part 1: Preparing the Preacher
1. Something Old, Something New
2. The Wise Preacher: Augustine’s Homiletic
3. Baloney: Why We Trust Some Speakers and Dismiss Others
4. Quintilian: A Surprising Preaching Tutor

Part 2: Developing an Orally Based Model of Preaching
5. Why God Is Partial to the Spoken Word
6. Tongue before Text: Introduction to Orality
7. Finding the Sermon That’s “Already There”
8. Swallowing the Word: Building a Sermon Inside You
9. Going Off Script: The Internalized Sermon in the Live Room

Praise for Preaching by Ear:

“McClellan understands the embodied miracle of communication, in which speech reaches from the vocal chambers and mind of the speaker to the ear and interiority of the listener, heart speaking to heart. In the authenticity of his preaching life, he also knows the commitment of putting one’s whole life at the service the Word. In his scholarship, Pastor McClellan has paid forward his understanding of the arts of rhetoric and his love of the preaching life to hundreds of preachers—and I am one of them. Like Cicero and Augustine, and with the clarity of seasoned insight, McClellan knows how to teach, to delight, to persuade.”
—Gregory Heille, O.P., Professor of Homiletics, Aquinas Institute of Theology, Past President, Academy of Homiletics

“Sermons are delivered orally, so why should they be conceived and gestated in literacy? Using Augustine, Plato, Aristotle, and especially Quintilian, Preaching by Ear explores the art and science of orality. Homiletics owes much to classical rhetoric, and McClellan continues to show us why. He challenges us to live lives of curiosity and worship, study and pray ourselves deep into the text, ‘map’ (not outline) the sermon, practice aloud, and then step out in faith without the safety net (or is it a straightjacket?) of written notes. Written by a pastor and scholar, Preaching by Ear will inform and challenge you.”
—Jeffrey D. Arthurs, Professor of Preaching and Communication; Chair, Division of Practical Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

About Dave McClellan:
Dave McClellan is senior pastor of The Chapel at Tinkers Creek in Streetsboro, Ohio, and an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and John Carroll University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Grace College and a Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary before completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Communication from Duquesne University. Dave has served as an editor for Homiletics and contributed to the Journal of the Evangelical Homiletic Society, Leadership Journal, and Preaching Today. He is married to Karen and they have two grown children, Kelsey and Kyle.

Book Information:

  • Publisher: Weaver Book Company
  • ISBN:  9781941337028
  • Page Count: 192

Blog Tour Details:

  • Tour Date: November 17-30, 2014
  • Available Formats: Paperback (Continental US Only), .mobi eBook (Kindle), & .epub eBook (Nook, Apple iBooks)
  • We ask that reviewers post to their personal website/blog and Amazon.com.

Thank you for your interest in reviewing the Biblical Preaching for the Contemporary Church Series. This book review blog tour is now full. You can see our current list of available review books here: LINK.

Invitation to PhilippiansThis six-volume series by veteran preacher and teacher of preachers provides a model of preaching using a combination of solid scholarly study, fidelity to the meaning and intent of the biblical author, oral clarity, contemporary relevance, humor, and creativity. “Pastors who plan on preaching through any of these biblical books,” says Sunukjian, “could be drawn to these sermons as models or as stimulating prompters for their own messages.”

Titles include the following:

  • Invitation to Philippians: Building a Great Church through Humility (124 pages; $14.99)
  • Invitation to James: Persevering through Trials to Win the Crown (134 pages; $14.99)
  • Invitation to the Life of Jacob: Winning through Losing (168 pages; $14.99)
  • Invitation to Galatians (forthcoming)
  • Invitation to Joshua (forthcoming)
  • Invitation to Mark (forthcoming)

Praise for the Series:

“Preaching is the rudder of the church; it provides direction, clarity, and the raw material the Holy Spirit uses to transform lives. Every honest pastor wants to become a more powerful and effective communicator and Sunukjian’s Models of Biblical Preaching series is one of the most effective tools I know. His coaching and example have had a significant role in shaping how I teach God’s Word today and I highly recommend his work to you.”
—Chip Ingram, Senior Pastor at Venture Christian Church; Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry

“These model sermons remind us that exposition should be interesting, relevant, and at the same time thoroughly biblical. These messages should not just be read by pastors, but by anyone who wants their soul blessed by the transforming truth of the Scriptures.”
—Erwin W. Lutzer, Senior Pastor, The Moody Church

About Donald Sunukjian:
Donald R. Sunukjian holds a Ph.D. from UCLA in Speech Communication and a Th.D. in Bible Exposition from Dallas Theological Seminary, where he taught preaching for more than ten years. He is now Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, where he has taught preachers since 1996. He has also served as senior pastor for fourteen years.

Sunukjian is the author of Invitation to Biblical Preaching: Proclaiming Truth with Clarity and Relevance (Kregel), which is a leading textbook on the craft of preaching. It was awarded the annual preaching book award for PreachingToday.com in 2007, and it has been translated in French, Korean, and Spanish. He has contributed to The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Biblical Preaching, Bibliotheca Sacra, Walvoord: A Tribute, and The Big Idea of Biblical Preaching. Dr. Sunukjian has conducted pastors’ conferences in most metropolitan centers of the United States and maintains a regular preaching schedule.

His passion is to see God’s Word presented with accuracy, clarity, interest, and relevance. With doctorates in theology and communication and fourteen years as a senior pastor, he brings both scholarship and experience to these six expositions.

Book Information:

  • Publisher: Weaver Book Company
  • Invitation to Philippians: Building a Great Church through Humility
    • ISBN: 9780989167147
    • Page Count: 124
  • Invitation to James: Persevering through Trials to Win the Crown
    • ISBN:  9781941337042
    • Page Count:  134
  • Invitation to the Life of Jacob: Winning through Losing
    • ISBN:  9781941337103
    • Page Count:  168

Blog Tour Details:

  • Tour Date: November 10-23, 2014
  • Available Formats: Paperback (Continental US Only), .mobi eBook (Kindle), & .epub eBook (Nook, Apple iBooks)
  • We ask that reviewers post to their personal website/blog and Amazon.com.

Thank you for your interest in reviewing the Biblical Preaching for the Contemporary Church Series. This book review blog tour is now full. You can see our current list of available review books here: LINK.