Make no mistake about it; I am a huge nerd. I got a small book order in the mail yesterday, and I am so excited to dive into these books! Check them out:
When I get a commentary, I try to find one that's been written recently. This is not because I'm a cultural snob (though I probably am), but because the newer commentaries, at least the good ones, will deal with the most important, relevant, and best material from the older commentaries. Biblical studies is a field that has developed and changed over time, and methods of interpretation have evolved since the Bible was first written. A good commentator will give you the best thoughts of those who have written before him, as well as adding the best of his own research and thinking.
I don't know what kind of a value you place on reading, but I can honestly tell you that I would not be where I am, who I am, or doing what I'm doing right now if it weren't for the books I have read in the past decade. Reading is my primary form of learning. I take in information, process it internally or here on the blog, and then it slowly integrates its way into my life, forming me and shaping me. I believe this process is taking place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and it is a part of what he is doing in and through me to conform me into the image of the Son of God. Not only that, but as the pastor of a church, I take it as my responsibility to engage with serious thinking regarding Scripture, Theology, and Doctrine on behalf of the congregation, and then to translate that information in such a way that it works into their hearts as it has worked into mine. That is part of what I try to do in my preaching, and also, in a freer way, here at the blog.
Before I can get to these books, I have to finish King's Cross by Tim Keller, which is also an excellent read. I hope to get back into the habit of doing book reviews here. Lord knows I've got plenty of good material to work with!