Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kept: The Message of Jude – W. David Phillips

© 2007 Missional Press, Smyrna, DE

Pastor, student and mastermind behind Missional Press, David Phillips inaugurates his new venture by presenting us with what he calls a “devotional commentary” on one of the most neglected books in scripture.

In content, Phillips’ commentary is thoughtful and encouraging. He takes the text of this short letter tucked quietly away in the shadow of other letters and the Revelation of John, and opens them to the reader. He openly deals with the difficulties presented by Jude including the writer’s use of non-biblical authority as an authority for his first-century readers. Phillips relies heavily on commentaries by Hillyer, Moo, and Davids for his background working of the text. Even so, the interpretations are well presented.

The design of the book is excellent as well with a clean look. It creates an excellent first outing for both author and publishing venture. The publishers left wide margins for the student of the book of Jude to interact practically with the interpretations made by the Phillips.

In discussing the text, Phillips uses a style that both speaks of his years in pulpit ministry and endears him to his readers. As a strong supporter of the missional movement among evangelicals, Phillips gives a superb analysis (based on Jude) answering those concerned about change for change’s sake. Comparing first-century believers with many Christ followers of today, he says,

some in the community of faith were on the verge of adopting the new and doing away with the old. The problem is not with adopting new methodologies. The problem is when the new is clearly corrupt and false theology. (see page 38)
Here Phillips indicates that, according to Jude, we should test the validity of new methods in relation to their consistency with the Gospel. When the new leads people away from the Gospel it is corrupt.

If I had one problem with Phillips’ book, it falls into the editorial category. There were several places where typos and misused words jumped off the page at this former English teacher. However, with the attention given to properly handling the Word found in Jude, I would still give Missional Press’ maiden voyage four out of five reading glasses. It’s short, readable, and faithful treatment of the Word.

—Benjamin Potter, April 10, 2008


David Phillips said...

Hey man...thanks! I knew the editing would get me...I really need to go back and fix a couple of things. I should have learned to not do the editing myself.

Now that I knew some editors...I'll get it done!

Benjie said...

Not to worry, David. I did the editing on my first and five hundred copies later (including the about 300 that are still available) I discovered some major blunders.

P.O.D. helps to cure some of that "too many uncorrected copies" syndrome.

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