Sunday, January 08, 2006

I want this book

Mark Dever - The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept

PDF of pages 1-25

More information, at

Basically, its a write up of a series of weekly sermons taking one whole book of the Bible per sermon. Big picture style! Its not what you'd want every week but how awesome to get spend sometime looking at the landscape.
"I was discipling a recent Muslim convert and asked him to teach me the book of Hebrews in three meetings (I thought he would learn it better by teaching me). At each meeting, I would read a sentence or two from Hebrews and ask him where the verse fit into the book’s argument. I did not so much care if he could tell me chapter and verse references; I was more concerned about whether he understood the overall flow of the book, and how any one idea from the book fit into that flow.

As we worked through Hebrews this way, I found that an overview was beneficial not just for my friend but also for me as a pastor. When I preach a passage like Ephesians 2, do I approach the chapter in context? That is, am I using chapter 2 in the same way Paul uses chapter 2 within his larger argument as it unfolds in phesians?

The Hebrews overview also got me to thinking about my congregation. I want the members of my church to become so familiar with the books of the Bible that they know how to turn there as easily as they turn to popular Christian books. So when members of the church struggle with conflict, I will encourage them to read the book on conflict resolution by Ken Sande, but I also want them to have been trained by an verview sermon to immediately ask themselves, “I wonder what James says about this situation?” When members want to learn about the Christian life, let them read C. S. Lewis and J. I. Packer; but let them also think to read 1 Peter and 1 John! When people struggle with discouragement, by all means read Ed Welch on depression; but also read Revelation! When people worry they are slipping into legalism, I hope they know to reach for Martin Luther or C. J. Mahaney on the cross-centered life; but I also hope they know to reach for Galatians. I am even happy for the congregation to read Dever on the church, but I would prefer for them to know Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians."
- Page 17
I like I said, I want this book... and Amazon want to make me wake several weeks for it.... I guess I'll just keep reading through the Bible book by book... enjoying the view.


  1. Looks really good. It's straight onto my wish list. Though it will have to wait to pay day at least.

    Brave of Mark Dever to try and do every book of the bible like that.

  2. edit: 'NT' not 'bible'

    silly me

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Actually, Dever has done every book of the Bible.

    This book is the first one, called 'Promises Kept'. But a companion volume is coming out in March/April called 'Promises Made' - an overview sermon on every book in the OT!

    Visit the Crossway website for more info.