I had the rare privilege of contributing notes for a recently published study Bible edited by Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation, The Mission of God Study Bible. I found contributing something that was going into a study Bible a very weighty thing. Some people don’t like study Bibles. I do like them, though I mostly read from a Bible with no notes. But study Bibles have their place, and I have found the notes in them very helpful. My all-time favorite study Bible is The Reformation Study Bible edited by R. C. Sproul. I refer back to that one often. The Mission of God Study Bible looks to be a good addition, and if you value study notes from various perspectives, I think this one will add to your library.
I like the opening declaration of the purpose of The Mission of God study notes and how to use them.
“The Mission of God Study Bible exists for the same reason all things exist: to point us to the glory of God. The Scriptures are given by God as a revelation of Himself and to call us to redemption. Throughout the process of His revelatory work, God is honored and we can become the beneficiaries of His grace.
In the preparation of this study Bible, our hope is that you will clearly learn how God, in His great mercy, is active in creation to bring about the work of redeeming people and eventually restoring creation. The Scriptures exist for this purpose, and we have endeavored to create a study edition of the Bible that traces how God reveals Himself through redemption and restoration.”
The editors of the study Bible also have their own personal books recently released. Ed Stetzer’s Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation is an intriguing book about how our understanding of the Kingdom of God transforms and empowers authentic gospel living in our culture. “Kingdom citizens minister grace out of grace,” he says.
Philip Nation, along with Michael Kelley and Eric Geiger, have written Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. It’s a cool book because it incorporates solid research of effective church practices with clear Bible principles and much personal experience. The authors distinguish between nontransformational and transformational discipleship. Nontransformational discipleship “may provide education, improve behavior, increase happiness, add value, or make the disciple more skilled at a craft. But these are just changes. It’s the reskinning of the same thing on the inside.” Information is not good discipleship. Behavior modification is not good discipleship. Jesus calls us to and equips us for something altogether different, and this book is a good resource for anyone who wants to think deeply through what does and does not accomplish such a thing.
I have two copies of The Mission of God Study Bible to give away. To enter the drawing, just make a comment below and check back on Tuesday to see if you won.
*Winners are Modern Day Disciple, Sandra Peoples, and Sandra S. Email me at email@example.com with your address.*