John: St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary   -     By: R.C Sproul
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John: St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary

Reformation Trust Publishing / 2010 / Hardcover

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As minister of preaching at St. Andrews Chapel, Sproul follows the ancient practice of lectio continua (continuous exposition), offering passage-by-passage explication of individual biblical books. Based on his sermon series on the most theological of the Gospels, this reflective commentary illuminates John's focus on the last week of Jesus' life and his role as "redeemer." 414 pages, hardcover from Reformation Trust.

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Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 425
Vendor: Reformation Trust Publishing
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.25 X 1.0 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781567691856
Availability: In Stock
Series: St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary

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Publisher's Description

In John, the second volume in the St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary series, Dr. Sproul deals with major themes in his easily understandable style. Readers will find invaluable insights into the goals John had in writing his Gospel, the background for Jesus' time, and the meanings of some of John's most difficult passages. This introduction to the Gospel of John is packed with insights and exhortations that will draw the reader closer to the Savior and encourage him or her to a greater depth of love and devotion to Him.

John presents the fruits of Dr. R.C. Sproul's lifetime of biblical study as expressed in his most recent calling. After a long and distinguished ministry as a teacher in various settings, Dr. Sproul accepted a call in 1997 to preach at St. Andrew's in Sanford, Florida. There, he adopted the ancient practice of preaching through books of the Bible, eventually working his way through several of them.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

It’s interesting: if you look at church history, most of the great theologians are also pastoral leaders for significant portions of their ministry. Augustine was a bishop in Hippo. Calvin was leading the church in Geneva. Jonathan Edwards is considered America’s sharpest theological mind, and he pastored a church while he did most of his theological work. So, when the eminent theologian and radio personality R.C. Sproul begins to write a series of Bible commentaries based on his pastoral leadership at St. Andrew’s church in Sanford, FL for the last several years of his life, I stand up and take notice. R.C. Sproul’s John was one of the first commentaries in this series. John is a commentary that reflects the heart of a good pastor, an excellent preacher, and a competent theologian.

John is very accessible to the common reader. It is, in many ways, a layman’s commentary. Written as a byproduct of his exegetical sermons in the gospel of John, the tone of the book will remind the reader of Barclay’s commentaries from a generation ago, or N.T. Wright’s For Everyone commentaries on the New Testament. The difference between those commentaries and this one is that Dr. Sproul’s theology would be defined both as more evangelical and more reformed.

Throughout John, Dr. Sproul addresses common questions that are asked in nearly every congregation. For instance he says, “The theological question I hear most often is this: ‘What happens to the innocent native in Africa who has never heard the gospel?’”(p. 234).

Once Dr. Sproul identifies questions like the one above, he goes about answering them in a clear and succinct manner. In addition to identifying questions he knows we all want answered, Dr. Sproul clearly correlates what is happening in the Bible to what we all experience. Specifically intriguing to me was Dr. Sproul’s explanation of John the Baptist’s statement of “He must increase, and I must decrease” in John 3:30.

John is also the result of a top-notch theological mind. Over and over again, I was impressed with what I learned from Dr. Sproul, and how he noticed important points in the text that most others would completely pass over.

The only disappointing part of this for some will be with the title of the commentary series—St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary, and its relation to what the reader actually discovers while reading the book. John is advertised as an “expository” commentary. It is expositional in that it was the result of exegetical preaching. But it is not expository in the sense of clearly taking the passages he looks over verse by verse and examining them in that fashion. Instead Dr. Sproul looks at sections of Scripture at one time, as he goes through the whole book of John. I personally am very comfortable with Dr. Sproul’s approach, but some may object or feel misled.

All in all, I would recommend this commentary for a pastor preaching a sermon, a lay person teaching a Sunday School class, or a person who simply wanted to understand more of what the Bible is saying. And, after reading this commentary I am eager to read more in this series. – Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

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  1. Bentley Crawford
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Simple, Yet Profound. Vintage R.C. Sproul
    December 26, 2010
    Bentley Crawford
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    R.C. Sproul and Reformation Trust Publishing have teamed up to bring us classic teaching by Dr. Sproul in the form of commentaries. They have now published commentaries on Romans, John, and the book of Acts with another for 1st and 2nd Peter due out March 2011.

    It might also be helpful to note that these commentaries are taken from expositional sermon series that he has done at his church in St. Andrew's Florida.

    I'm a big fan of Dr. Sproul and was looking forward to reading his new commentary on the book of John and in true R.C. Sproul fashion I was not let down. I want to simply list a few thoughts I had about this commentary:

    1. It looks like a great commentary for the everyday Bible reader. It's not very lengthy nor is it technical.It is a great resource for those wanting guidance without a lengthy reading commitment.

    2. However, it is unique in how much R.C. is able to pack into such little space. Which is one of the great things about his writing ability. He is able to quickly and seemingly effortlessly guide us through complex issues, point us to Jesus at every turn, and take us quickly into worship of God. We can trust that much technical and meditative work has been done and is coming through to us in a way that is easy to understand.

    3. Which makes this an ideal commentary even for those wanting to seriously grapple with the text. Those wanting to go more technical will benefit from this commentary by having it on hand when the going gets tough to help bring them back to seeing the bigger picture. And not only that, but also with R.C's ability to write simply and profoundly there is goldmine behind each statement begging us to dig even deeper into the riches of Christ.

    4. I appreciated that the text of the Bible was written out at the beginning of each section. No doubt it can often be assumed that those looking at commentaries have their Bible's out, but why take the risk? Also, it shows the priority that is placed on God's Word and it is certainly only to our benefit that it be read afresh before diving into the commentary.

    5. Finally, each section is wrapped up with contemplative thoughts on application as the meaning of the text is brought out, showing how we can think about this passage and what it may be calling for in response from us. There are often calls for christian's worship of Jesus, reminder's of God's astonishing love and grace in our lives, and calls for repentance and faith for unbelievers.

    In conclusion, Sproul's love of Jesus and of His gospel are often evident. This commentary will hopefully prove useful in not only helping to explain the text to many, but also in eliciting our worship and experience of the gospel of our great Savior.
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