Confessionally Reformed Reviews

Tag: P&R

2 Corinthians (Reformed Expository Commentary) by Trent Casto

Trent Casto’s “2 Corinthians” stands as a valuable addition to the Reformed Expository Commentary series, providing readers with a theologically rich and pastorally insightful guide through this complex New Testament epistle. From the perspective of a confessionally reformed pastor, Casto’s work offers a meticulous and practical examination of 2 Corinthians, delving into its historical context, theological nuances, and the application of its teachings to contemporary Christian living.

One of the commendable aspects of Casto’s commentary is his commitment to exegetical depth without sacrificing accessibility. The commentary demonstrates a thorough engagement with the Greek text, yet Casto skillfully communicates his insights in a manner that both scholars and lay readers can appreciate. For instance, when unpacking the challenging passage in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, Casto elucidates the treasure in jars of clay metaphor, stating, “Here, Paul illustrates the paradoxical reality of the gospel’s power residing in the fragility of human vessels” (p. 87). This balance between scholarly rigor and pastoral clarity makes the commentary a valuable resource for a diverse audience.

Casto’s treatment of key theological themes within 2 Corinthians showcases his commitment to the Reformed tradition. His discussion on the ministry of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 reflects a robust understanding of God’s redemptive plan, with Casto noting, “In Christ, believers become ambassadors of reconciliation, proclaiming God’s invitation to be reconciled to Him” (p. 156). This theological precision aligns with the expectations of a confessionally reformed perspective and strengthens the commentary’s contribution to the broader body of biblical scholarship.

The practical application sections throughout the commentary further highlight its pastoral utility. In addressing the challenges faced by the Corinthian church, Casto draws parallels to contemporary issues, fostering a connection between the biblical text and the struggles of present-day believers. For instance, when discussing Paul’s call for generosity in 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, Casto writes, “The Corinthian believers’ generosity, rooted in the gospel, serves as a timeless model for Christians today in sacrificial giving” (p. 212). Such practical insights make this commentary a valuable resource for sermon preparation and personal study.

To appreciate Casto’s contribution fully, readers can turn to his insightful analysis of 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. Here, he navigates the contentious issue of the “thorn in the flesh,” offering a nuanced interpretation that aligns with Reformed theological perspectives. Casto emphasizes the transformative power of God’s grace in weakness, stating, “Paul’s thorn highlights the paradoxical nature of divine strength manifesting through human frailty” (p. 309). This nuanced approach exemplifies Casto’s commitment to handling complex theological issues with care and precision.

In conclusion, Trent Casto’s “2 Corinthians (Reformed Expository Commentary)” emerges as a valuable resource for pastors, scholars, and lay readers seeking a thoughtful exploration of this New Testament epistle. The commentary’s theological depth, pastoral insight, and practical application make it a worthwhile addition to any library.

Statement of Compliance: I received “2 Corinthians (Reformed Expository Commentary)” by Trent Casto from P&R for the purpose of an unbiased review. I have not received any compensation for providing a positive review. My opinions are entirely my own and reflect my sincere evaluation of the book.

Title: 2 Corinthians (Reformed Expository Commentary)

Author: Trent Casto

Publisher: P&R

The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible: Revised and Enhanced by B.B. Warfield, edited by John J. Hughes

In the vast landscape of theological literature, B.B. Warfield’s enduring work, “The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible,” stands as a beacon of intellectual rigor and spiritual insight. Edited with precision by John J. Hughes, this revised and enhanced edition from P&R continues to illuminate the foundational principles of biblical inspiration in a manner that captivates both the scholar and the layperson.

Warfield’s genius lies not only in his mastery of biblical languages but also in his ability to convey complex theological concepts with clarity and conviction. One cannot help but be drawn into the depths of his thought as he explores the divine nature of Scripture. Early on, he establishes a firm foundation, asserting, “Inspiration is coextensive with the whole of Scripture, and inspiration belongs to all the words of Scripture, and all the words of Scripture equally” (p. 34). The reader is compelled to grapple with the implications of this assertion, recognizing the profound impact it has on the understanding of the Bible’s authority.

The strength of Warfield’s argumentation lies in his meticulous examination of biblical texts. He navigates the intricacies of both Old and New Testaments, offering exegetical insights that bolster his case for the divine origin of Scripture. For instance, his exploration of 2 Timothy 3:16 is a theological tour de force: “Theopneustos, God-breathed, is a predicate not of the writings but of the Scriptures. It is not the men who were ‘borne’ or ‘carried along’ by the Holy Ghost, but the Scriptures” (p. 82). This emphasis on the inherent authority of the written Word lays a solid foundation for the book’s overarching thesis.

The meticulous care taken by the editor, John J. Hughes, in preserving Warfield’s original text while enhancing its accessibility is commendable. The footnotes and annotations provide valuable context, aiding the reader in navigating the dense theological landscape. Hughes succeeds in maintaining the integrity of Warfield’s work, ensuring that the essence of his scholarship remains intact.

Warfield’s engagement with historical theology adds a layer of richness to his argumentation. Drawing on the insights of theologians across the centuries, he weaves a tapestry of theological continuity, demonstrating that the doctrine of inspiration has been a cherished truth throughout the history of the Christian church. This historical rootedness adds weight to his assertions and invites readers to consider the broader theological tradition in which they stand.

One of the book’s strengths is its relevance to contemporary debates surrounding the authority of Scripture. Warfield’s insights, though rooted in his own historical context, speak directly to the challenges faced by the church today. In addressing objections and alternative views, he displays a keen awareness of the intellectual currents of his time, a quality that renders his work timeless.

“The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible” is not merely a theological treatise; it is a call to revere and submit to the Scriptures as the authoritative Word of God. Warfield’s concluding words resonate with a sense of urgency: “Our faith in the Holy Scriptures will be in exact proportion to the simplicity and godly sincerity of our souls” (p. 135). This exhortation challenges readers to approach the Bible not merely as an academic subject but as the living and active Word that demands allegiance and obedience.

In conclusion, Warfield’s “The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible” remains a seminal work that deserves a place on the bookshelf of every serious theology student. Its timeless relevance, coupled with the enhancements provided by John J. Hughes, ensures that this edition will continue to shape the theological landscape for generations to come.

Statement of Compliance:
I want to clarify that I received this book from P&R for the purpose of an unbiased review. I have not been paid to write a positive review. My assessment is entirely based on my genuine impressions.

Title: The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible: Revised and Enhanced

Author: B.B. Warfield

Edited by John J. Hughes

Publisher: P&R

Genesis by Richard D. Phillips (Reformed Expository Commentary)

In the vast realm of commentaries, certain works stand out not just for their theological depth but also for their practicality. “Genesis” by Richard D. Phillips, part of the Reformed Expository Commentary series published by P&R, is one such gem. As a Confessionally Reformed pastor, I have had the privilege of delving into numerous commentaries over the years, and Phillips’ two-volume work on Genesis is undoubtedly a standout.

Volume 1: Creation and Fall (Genesis 1-11)

The first volume of this two-part series delves into the foundational chapters of Genesis with a balanced blend of meticulous exegesis and pastoral care. Phillips’s commentary on Genesis 1-11 addresses crucial questions about the origin of the universe, the nature of humanity, and the devastating consequences of sin. His thorough analysis reveals the richness of these early chapters, shedding light on their theological significance and their enduring relevance for believers today.

One of the strengths of Phillips’ work is his ability to convey complex theological concepts in a clear and accessible manner. He never loses sight of the fact that this commentary is intended to serve pastors and lay readers alike. For instance, his exploration of the doctrine of the imago Dei (image of God) in Genesis 1:26-27 is both theologically profound and practically applicable:

“The image of God is the reason every human being is inherently valuable and ought to be treated with dignity, respect, and love. When we understand that every person bears God’s image, we see the sanctity of human life in a new and profound light.” (Genesis 1:26-27, p. 45)

Throughout Volume 1, Phillips consistently emphasizes the gospel-centered themes that run through Genesis, demonstrating how the narrative points forward to God’s redemptive plan in Christ. His commentary on the account of Noah’s ark, for example, not only addresses the historical and scientific aspects but also underscores its typological significance:

“Noah’s ark is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, who is the true Ark of salvation. Just as the ark preserved Noah and his family through the waters of judgment, so Christ preserves all who trust in Him through the waters of baptism.” (Genesis 6:9-8:19, p. 153)

Volume 2: Covenantal Blessings (Genesis 12-36)

The second volume of Phillips’ work continues the journey through Genesis, focusing on the covenantal blessings and challenges encountered by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. This portion of Genesis is rich with narratives that explore the complexities of faith, obedience, and God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Phillips masterfully unpacks the stories of these patriarchs, drawing out important lessons for contemporary believers. His exposition of Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek in Genesis 14 is particularly illuminating:

“Melchizedek points us to Christ, our ultimate High Priest and King. Just as Melchizedek blessed Abraham, so Jesus blesses us with the gifts of righteousness and peace.” (Genesis 14:17-24, p. 234)

Throughout Volume 2, Phillips consistently highlights the theme of covenant and God’s unwavering commitment to His people. His analysis of the covenantal promises made to Abraham in Genesis 15 demonstrates the depth of God’s grace and faithfulness:

“In the covenant with Abraham, we see God’s unilateral commitment to fulfill His promises. Even when we fail, God remains faithful to His covenant.” (Genesis 15, p. 303)

A Comprehensive Resource for Pastors, Teachers, and Lay Readers

Just as most of Phillips’s books “Genesis (Reformed Expository Commentary)” is a comprehensive resource that combines scholarly depth with pastoral sensitivity. Whether you are a pastor preparing sermons, a Bible study leader, or a lay reader seeking a deeper understanding of Genesis, this commentary offers valuable insights and guidance.

Throughout both volumes, Phillips emphasizes the theological importance of Genesis and its relevance in shaping our understanding of God and takes a lectio exegetical approach, carefully examining each passage in its original context and language. His commitment to exegesis ensures that readers gain a profound understanding of the text.

What sets Phillips’ commentary apart is his ability to bridge the gap between the ancient text and contemporary application. As a pastor, I appreciate his pastoral insights that offer practical guidance for modern readers. For instance, in discussing Jacob’s wrestling with God in Genesis 32:22-32, he observes, “We, too, may wrestle with God in prayer, seeking His blessing and His will for our lives” (Page 347). This pastoral dimension makes “Genesis” accessible and relevant to both scholars and laypeople.

Phillips also addresses challenging theological questions, such as the nature of God’s providence and the problem of evil. His treatment of these issues is thoughtful and biblically grounded, providing readers with a robust theological framework.

In conclusion, Richard D. Phillips’ commentary on Genesis is a remarkable achievement in biblical exegesis and pastoral theology. It is a faithful exposition of God’s Word that brings the rich truths of Genesis to life, making them accessible and applicable to contemporary believers. I highly recommend this work to anyone seeking to dive deeper into the treasures of Genesis.

Statement of Compliance

I want to clarify that I received this book from P&R for the purpose of an unbiased review. I have not been paid to write a positive review. My assessment is entirely based on my genuine impressions.

Genesis by Richard D. Phillips (Reformed Expository Commentary)

Author: Richard D. Phillips

Publisher: P&R

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