I like having technical commentaries on the books of the Bible, but the volumes that have been most helpful to me personally were short and pastoral. Some of the Focus on the Bible commentaries come to mind, as do the volumes in the God’s Word for You series. Added to that list is the newest addition to my library, From the Pen of Pastor Paul, which is an exposition of 1-2 Thessalonians by Daniel R. Hyde.
Hyde pastors a church out in California, and this book began as a series of sermons he preached after turning down a job offer from another church. He found that in 1-2 Thessalonians “Paul opens his pastoral heart more than to any other congregation to which he wrote” (p. 14). Hyde confesses that these sermons were more personal, earnest, and applicatory than any he had ever preached, and those emphases stand out in the book.
I found myself highlighting and sharing notes from this book more than I’ve done in a while. Hyde brings out quotes and insights from the whole span of Christian history, and his handling of the text serves as an examples to preachers and teachers everywhere how to take a passage and communicate its meaning to others.
1-2 Thessalonians deals with the end times, and Hyde is somewhat critical of the picture that the Left Behind series gave of how things will play out. However, Hyde spends most of his time on the impact these passages should have on us. Even though I agreed with most of what he said, his emphasis on the confidence and hope we should have in light of Christ’s return should be equally encouraging to those who would disagree on the finer details as it is to those who agree.
I highly recommend the book, and I’ll be looking for more titles from Pastor Hyde to grace my shelves in the future.
Thanks to EP Books for the review copy!