The Common Rule | Book Review


“We are all living according to a specific regimen of habits,” writes Justin Whitmel Earley, “and those habits shape most of our life.” Even more, “they form our hearts.” In The Common Rule, Earley outlines a “rule of life” or “program of habits” to help readers fulfill the biblical commandment to love God and neighbor (Matthew 22:34–40). Earley calls this program “the common rule” because it has to do with “common practice by common people.” Its focus on laity rather than clergy distinguishes it from the well-known “rules” of Benedict or Augustine, although its basic purpose is the same as theirs. The … Continue reading The Common Rule | Book Review

How to Read the Former Prophets for Preaching | Influence Podcast


“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” writes the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16. While all Christians agree that Scripture is useful, we don’t often understand how to use it. Today, I’m starting a series of occasional podcasts designed to help pastors improve how they read Scripture so that they can preach Scripture better. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. My guest today is Rick Wadholm Jr., associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Trinity Bible College and Graduate School in Ellendale, North Dakota. Rick received his PhD from … Continue reading How to Read the Former Prophets for Preaching | Influence Podcast

ESV Archaeology Study Bible | Book Review


The Bible is God’s Word in human words. As God’s Word, it is inspired and inerrant, the final authority for what Christians believe and how they behave. As God’s Word in human words, it reflects the time and place of its original composition. Interpreting Scripture correctly, then, means understanding both its divine message and its human forms. Archaeology is one of several academic disciplines that help us do the latter. The interpretive fruit of archaeological investigation is evident in the recently published ESV Archaeology Study Bible, edited by John D. Currid and David W. Chapman. Notable features include the following: … Continue reading ESV Archaeology Study Bible | Book Review

Review of ‘Finding the Will of God’ by Bruce K. Waltke


Bruce K. Waltke, Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016). In this book, Bruce K. Waltke asks a provocative question: “Is finding God’s will a biblical idea?” He concludes that it is not. Indeed, he claims that phrases such as “finding God’s will” and “seeking the will of God” reflect “a pagan notion” and amount to “divination,” which the Bible condemns. This is a strong claim, of course—perhaps a bit too strong. On the other hand, Waltke is right to point out at least two faulty assumptions in the notion of “finding … Continue reading Review of ‘Finding the Will of God’ by Bruce K. Waltke