Tuesday, February 9, 2016

From the Pen of Pastor Paul

From the Pen of Pastor PaulFrom the Pen of Pastor Paul by Daniel R. Hyde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the Pen of Pastor Paul is a gift to the church. Daniel Hyde has given the church a resource that is simple, clear, and immensely practical. This commentary of 1-2 Thessalonians is not an academic exercise to impress other academics. It is not encumbered by footnotes and convoluted, ivory tower argumentation. It is simple and clear; confrontational and comforting. In a word, it is pastoral. Hyde uses the Word of God in this series of sermons to exhort and encourage the people of God to faithful living and to urge unbelievers to repent and believe.

Since this is a series of sermons, there are some sections that are repetitive. In fact, some sections appear repeated almost verbatim. This is an understandable aspect of sermons week-to-week, but it would have been beneficial to the book and helpful for the reader for it to have been edited more strictly. Also, the use of cliché in spoken dialogue is not as glaring as it is in writing – especially when they show up multiple times. It is not that “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care” is untrue, clichés become cliché because they speak to truths. But their use can distract from greater points because it can cause the reader to check out a bit. Again, this is not an issue in a sermon from week-to-week, but when you are sitting down with a book and it comes up every other chapter, it is noticeable.

However, that is not to say that repetition is not warranted or necessary. Most of the repetitive aspects of the book are incredibly helpful. Hyde has a particular cadence that makes reading his words feel like you are hear a sermon, and that is very enjoyable. It is important to recognize that we all need to hear the same, simple truths time and again, whether it is from the pulpit or from a pen.

One area that Hyde emphasizes is the necessity of a member praying for his pastor. With (very helpful) repetition, Hyde exhorts his hearer to give his pastor the gift of persistent, consistent prayer. He also addresses the need of the believer to prepare for worship. Also preaching as a means of grace, and the seriousness of the Sabbath, and understanding eschatology’s relationship with Christian living, and so many other issues are addressed forcefully, graciously, simply,…in a word, pastorally.

So I guess that would be my one word description of this book: pastoral. In that way, it will serve pastors in demonstrating how to handle a text in a pastoral manner and believers of all occupations in being faithfully shepherded though 1 and 2 Thessalonians. And, if you are able to get an unbeliever to spend time with a few of these sermons, they will hear the Gospel presented and an urgent, loving, forceful call to repentance and faith. This is a good book for any who would take up and read.

I received a review copy of this book.


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