Book Review: Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Samuel (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary), by Heath Thomas and J. D. Greear
Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Samuel is the latest volume in the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series. The series is designed for pastors, teachers, and small-group leaders. Rather than being academic and exegetical in its focus, the series is presented in a readable and pastoral style. The material is presented as sermons with a main idea, illustrations, lessons, application points, and a collection of “Reflect & Discuss” questions. In conjunction with the title, the authors and editors seek to exalt Jesus from every book of the Bible.
In the introduction to this volume on 1 & 2 Samuel, the authors discuss the background of the book, the major characters, the structure, and the plot of the book. They also dig into some of the challenges for interpretation and preaching such as the fact the book is written in a different time and culture than present readers, as well as how the backdrop of the book is set against a culture of honor and shame.
If there is a weakness to the book, it is the fact that it is brief and concise. On the one hand, that helps a busy pastor who doesn’t have time to do a great deal of research. However, it can lead to a lack of depth in one’s understanding of the book and Scripture passage.
While a book and series like this has great value, it should be consulted last during the process of sermon preparation. A pastor should do his own exegetical research and study before reading someone else’s sermons and ideas. Fast food may be convenient at times, but one learns more about health and nutrition when you plan the menu, shop for the groceries, and prepare the meal yourself.
Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program http://www.bhbloggers.com/. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.