Saturday, June 02, 2007

Born Again Bargins

I went to my local used Christian book store today (Born Again Books). They had a pretty good one day sale. If you bought one book, you received 10% off, 2 books-20%, 3-30%, 4-40%, 5 or more books you received 50% off. Well, I just cannot resist that kind of offer. So I went in search of assorted commentaries. I came home with five:

* Exploring Genesis - John Phillips - This is not a great commentary but Phillips is an outlining and alliterating savant. His thoughts toward this end are VERY helpful when developing sermons.

* Zechariah - H. C. Leupold - This is a nice useable commentary with come good technical aspects to the book.

* The Thessalonian Epistles - D. Edmond Hiebert - I do not know much about this particular commentary but it looks fairly usable and well outlined. It is published by Moody so I can trust its theology.

* The Epistles of Paul to the Philippians and to Philemon - Jac J. Müller - This is a relatively tecnical commentary as it is part of the New International Commentary of the New Testament (NICNT).

* The Book of Acts - F. F. Bruce - Again, this is part of NICNT. Should be helpful in studying Acts.

These five books cost me about $35.00 so I think it was a good deal. I see good commentaries and other Christian books and resources as tools.

I usually tell my students to see their library as a mechanic would see his tool box. In any mechanics tool box there is a number of tools that they do not used every time they work on a car. However, when the time comes when that mechanic needs that tool, it is worth its weight in gold. The mechanic may not use an oil filter wrench every time they work on a car. But when they need that oil filter wrench, their job is much easier and more effecient.

This is the same with the Christian leader. When an opportunity comes to purchase a quality book at a discounted price I think the Christian leaders should grab it even though they might not immediately need it. I can testify from personal experience that when one does this, and if one is in ministry long enough, that book will be helpful at some point in time. (please note: QUALITY - there is a lot of "fluff" and some out right heresy out there in Christian bookstores).

Therefore, I always keep my eye out for great used books sales. I also try to keep in mind the kind of books for which I am looking. These help me not just buy anything I see, but to buy discriminately. One other tool that has helped me is a "Selected Bibliography" I acquired from my seminary Old Testament professor, Dr. George Klein. When studying a particular Old Testament book, I like to check his bibliography to see what some of the best sources are for that book. It also includes some of the best scholarly articles available on that book as well.

So, today I acquired the equivalent of a couple of wrenches or sockets, theologically speaking. I am looking forward using them.

I also like acquiring actual tools. But that is another post.