20 December 2011

The Pastoral Epistle for Pastors, by John Kitchen; and other terrific discounts

by Dan Phillips

Here's a little note if you're looking for stocking-stuffers for a pastor, Bible teacher or seminary student (at least). Kress Biblical Resources is offering four books at a staggering 75% discount for the Christmas month of December for American buyers.

I only have any hands-on familiarity with one of the books: John Kitchen's The Pastoral Epistle for Pastors. John is pastor of a CMA church in Ohio. My first contact with John came when I reviewed his commentary on Proverbs. That began a cyber-friendship, which led to John's gracious agreement to read and critique the manuscript of my own book of Proverbs studies.

This volume is 623 pages long, and covers 1-2 Timothy and Titus. It is endorsed by Simon Kistemaker, Warren Wiersbe, Robert Gromacki, and Dick Mayhue. John is a very careful reader and commenter. Kitchen brings to my mind R. C. H. Lenski in this regard: he pores over every word and point of grammar with great care and reverence. John has a high regard for the text, and loves God. One of the qualities that stood out as I read John's volume on Proverbs, and the manuscript for his forthcoming book on Colossians, is how unhurriedly he deals with Scripture. By that I mean he deals with each verse with devoted concentration, turning over each word and each grammatical, syntactical, doctrinal facet to the best of his considerable ability.

The book is well-produced, as I've learned to expect of Kress. John crafts it to serve as commentary, counselor and coach, gearing the text for practical pastoral application. And so the introduction, while solid and sound, is not designed to deal with every critical theory that has ever been hatched. It is 19 pages long, and crowned with four pages of bibliography (in addition to a 9-page annotated bibliography added as an appendix).

The text is spotted with "Ministry Maxims" boxes, making pointed applications of various passages. For instance, the "Ministry Maxim" on 1 Tim. 1:20 is "Truth that is not protected is truth that is not truly believed" (80). The note on 1 Tim. 6:4 is "Ignorance and arrogance are seldom separated" (257). Indeed. Each section has a set of "Digging Deeper" questions meant to point to further thought and interaction with the text.

John may not be the full Calmaniac that I am, so you might want to "Calvinize" the text here and there. Though I haven't read it all, I've read a lot of John's careful work in Proverbs and Colossians, and there's nothing of the antagonism one gets (say) in Lenski. If I kept only 5-point Calvinist commentaries, I'd lose some of the best volumes in my library.

Kitchen's work is unfailingly reverent and careful, and I could see using this as a study guide for an elder's group, or for personal enrichment. In fact, I mentioned the annotated bibliographical appendix — that is actually one of five appendices. The others provide a pastor's self-guided study of the Pastoral Epistles, another on training local church leaders from these epistles, a topical guide to the ministry maxims, and another on preaching/teaching these epistles.

And now, for December only, if you use the code BR60833557256, you will get a 75% discount. I'm not great at The Maths, but I think that's about $10, which is a terrific buy.

That same discount also applies to these books:
Just enter the code BR60833557256 to receive your 75% discount on checkout.

The sale applies only to these four books.

NOTE: If any of you have read any of them, please chime in. I'm particularly interested in hearing from anyone who's used the James study by Varner.

Dan Phillips's signature


Caleb Kolstad said...

All of these books are well worth your time and money. Kitchen's commentaries have been very helpful to this expositor.

Stuart Brogden said...

Many thanks for this post! I ordered Kitchen's book and the study on James - $22 total, delivered to my house. Can't beat that with a stick!

DJP said...

Sweet! I think you won't be disappointed. If no one else does, let me know what you think of the James volume.

Stuart Brogden said...


I still have your book on Proverbs on my reading list :-) But I will do my best to post a short critique of the book on James. It is a joy to get solid research materials at bargain prices! I pray that my service to my church will for the glory of our God and the good of His people.

Nord said...

I ordered all four last night. My book "budget" has long been blown for this year, but my sweet wife agreed it was too good to pass up. Just starting on my way though "God's Wisdom in Proverbs" and it looks great. I will be teaching the book of proverbs this next year on Sunday evening, so my congregation will benefit secondhand from Dan's insights as well as others.

DJP said...

Thanks, Nord! I hope God's Wisdom in Proverbs is a blessing and a help for you. Pastors (and others) are telling me that it's being very helpful to them. There is particular help in there for pastors and teachers as well. I'd love to hear how that goes for you.

Kerry James Allen said...

Got the James book and the Kitchen sink. Barely scratched the James book (after all, was tied up reading TWTG and Proverbs! Finished both.) However, the James book is as technical as they come but don't let that frighten you. The two appendixes (appendi? appendices? appendectomy?) "Homiletical suggestions for expositors" and "Sample exegetical outlines" are as good as it gets. I've already taught through James at our church and wish I had had this book when I did. After seeing this, we will be going through again. Get it, and at this price, you'd be really missing a great deal if you don't. "The trashy lives of most people are the fit outcome of the trash they read. A life fed on fiction is a life of fiction; a life fed on divine fact will become a life of divine fact." CHS

DJP said...

So I'm wondering what specifically is the "new perspective" on James?

Stephen said...

Dan, I can't comment on the Varner's findings (it's odd that his thesis is barely hinted at, even in the reviews). In an NT survey class though, I got to hear a presentation from an advanced grad student on his own discourse analysis of James - no formal bibliography was provided and I don't remember references to Varner. however, I would feel comfortable predicting that the 'new perspective' on James is that there is actually a unified whole, a central purpose to the letter beyond a series of proverbial maxims. The identity of the purpose may be debated between discourse analysts, I think ours found it in James 3:13-18.

DJP said...

Oh, thanks! Interesting.

Well, I remember Motyer very effectively finding a unified flow in James decades ago. I wonder how similar?

ibexdr said...

Thanks for mentioning my commentary
on James the new perspective has nothing
To do w the NPP. It is a new way of looking
at the whole of James as illustrating it's parts .
I also share done new insights on James
the man Dan, I will send you a copy if you send me
your address.


DJP said...

That'd be great, Will. But I don't have an email address for you. Please email me at filops, then @, then yahoo.com.

Sarah said...

Dan, off topic . . . But can you include a link for the Hugh Hewitt Hitchen comment?


DJP said...

If it were in print, I would have. It was on his radio show, laughing about Hitchens' and Kim Jong Il's death and their respective fates. Like Sen. McCain, he seemed to assume he knew which would happen with each.

Stuart Brogden said...


My two books arrived today. I printed out your review of Kitchens' work, to remind me not to be too critical when I become aware of his not being a "full Calmaniac". Thanks for the reminder that some of the best works available have stuff we disagree with.