“From the Pen of Pastor Paul” is a medium-sized, well-produced, non-technical paperback commentary by EP Books (an increasingly valuable publisher in England) of ~ 330 pages divided into 32 chapters of two major sections corresponding to the Apostle Paul’s two letters to the church in Thessalonica, a result of 10 months of sermons on those letters. The author is Rev. Danny Hyde, a URCNA pastor in Southern California, who has developed a growing reputation for excellence in writing as a biblically, theologically, historically well-informed, astute pastor and thinker.
Appropriately taking his lead from the biblical text, Hyde addresses a multiplicity of topics that arise naturally, authentically from that canonically authoritative text (exegesis), a biblical exegesis that is firmly based on the essential Christian principle of ‘sola Scriptura’ (Scripture alone as the final, ultimate authority for Christian faith and practice along with the other four ‘solas’ flowing from the world-shaking 16th century Reformation of the Christian faith). Some of the topics covered are:
– The urgent need to be growing in that apostolic faith in steadfast, healthy, solid manner.
– The essential need of continuing in morning and evening prayers to God, as basic and vital to the Christian life as breathing is to the body.
– The importance of Christian preaching, a true preaching in Christian worship that clearly presents the law (what God demands of us as sinful persons but beyond our sin-impaired capabilities) and the Gospel (how Christ has perfectly, permanently fulfilled those demands on behalf of His elect) via the divine imputation of a righteousness that has been gifted to us via the Spirit’s implantation of faith in us through His mysterious converting / regenerating acts in His sovereign, gracious timing and choosing via the means of that preached Word. For every one so converted, God has given us a personal gift (faith) that is now our permanent possession, something He requires of us that we guard, nourish, and otherwise care for each day of our lives, by both our own actions and as wisely, carefully guarded and nurtured by those divinely set in authority over us (pastors and elders).
– The effects of such preaching during worship on both the unconverted (evangelism) and converted (in its primary purpose, edification / sanctification of the converted), a growth in the faith that optimally produces godly thinking and character in all believers.
– The tenses of the Christian life: past (conversion to God), present (genuine, solid growth in grace(s) and truth), and future (the authentic hope of anticipating of Christ’s return in judgment and reward as he, in divine perfection, sets all things right beyond our wildest imaginings).
– There’s much, much more in this book, but for that you’ll need to purchase it and read it carefully, thoughtfully, prayerfully, and with those letters open before you.
These letters of Paul reveal, in a unique manner among his other writings, a deep insight into the life and thinking of a godly, seasoned pastor uniquely gifted as an Apostle, and carefully trained, formed, and led by the Holy Spirit. As such these letters are important and necessary to all Christians for our growth in grace, truth, love, and fruitfulness of our lives. Rev. Hyde’s book is a very helpful guide to these letters. It is a deep, solid, yet readily accessible commentary on those canonical letters. It is always a delight to read an accessible commentary by an author whom you know has the skills, apparent piety / character, depth and breadth of knowledge, and other necessary attributes to open up the text in greater fullness.
Positives: Clear, insightful writing. Also Hyde’s interesting approach of using commentaries in selecting the best from distinct periods of church history – in this case Chrysostom (Patristic), Aquinas (Medieval), Calvin (Reformation), James Ferguson (Puritan), F.F. Bruce and Stott (Modern).
Negatives: End notes
QUOTES / RESOURCES:
“Our people must become practically what they are theologically. “ p. 22
See Danny Hyde’s other books on Amazon, Westminster Seminary, Monergism, etc.
A copy of this book was provided to me gratis by EP Press and Cross-Focused Reviews for an honest review – thanks!