From the Pen of Pastor Paul by Daniel R. Hyde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A wonderful book by Pastor Danny Hyde. This is not a commentary in the strict sense of the word. You will not find chapters on Pauline authorship or the textual issues in these letters. Also this is not a slow, careful verse by verse examination of the text. These are sermons put to paper. Here are several things I enjoyed about the book.
First, it is warm and pastoral. You feel like you are sitting in the pew listening to a pastor bring you the Word of God chapter after chapter. He speaks with passion and directly to the reader. It reminds me of older commentaries, which were basically extended exhortations based on the text. Pastor Hyde is interested in our souls and it shows. This is not as easy to do as it sounds. I have read many sermons put to paper and they does not always work.
Second, several chapters read like mini-pastoral theologies, especially early in the book. I have never read Thessalonians the way it was presented in this book, as Paul pouring out his pastoral soul to the church there. If you are a pastor and find your love for your people growing cold read this book. While I was reading this book I visited one of the families at church. The book changed the way I approached that visit.
Third, Pastor Hyde is straightforward. His goal is to teach and give his congregation meat. Therefore he is clear. The longer I am in the ministry the more I see the need for this. There is a place for in-depth writing or speaking that gets into all the nuances of the text, the Greek, its connections to Roman world, etc. But that place is not in the pulpit. In the pulpit people need a clear Word from God. They need to know what the text says, what it meant for the people who read it, and what it means for them. If they leave impressed, but unchanged then the pastor has wasted his time. Pastor Hyde’s chapters are well organized and clear with exhortations to holiness as well as calls to follow Christ. You read them and find yourself examining your walk with Christ.
Finally, I appreciated all the quotes from other men, including Chrysostom, Aquinas, Calvin, Spurgeon, Stott, Bruce, etc. By doing this he introduces his readers to these great men and also adds depth to the writing.
I had a few complaints here and there. But this book is well worth your time whether you are studying Thessalonians or not, especially if you are a pastor.
I was given this book freely in exchange for an unbiased review.