Author Interview with S. M. Baugh

This week’s author inter­view is with S. M. Baugh, author of First John Reader: Inter­me­di­ate Greek Read­ing Notes and Gram­mar and A New Tes­ta­ment Greek Primer.

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what do you do in your spare time, etc.

I am Pro­fes­sor of New Tes­ta­ment at West­min­ster Sem­i­nary in Cal­i­for­nia where I’ve been in one capac­ity or another since I arrived as a stu­dent in 1982. My wife, Kathy, and I have been mar­ried for over 30 years and we have three grown chil­dren. I am also a min­is­ter in the Ortho­dox Pres­by­ter­ian Church. I just fin­ished a com­men­tary on Eph­esians and have con­tin­u­ing inter­ests in the Greek lan­guage, the king­dom of God (which is my next book project), and the book of Hebrews. I have indulged in lots of dif­fer­ent hob­bies over the years, but the only ones to have sur­vived are gar­den­ing and main­te­nance of our house and prop­erty. We have 2.5 acres in a county area north of Escon­dido which we jok­ingly call The Lazy B Ranch because of all the work it requires to main­tain. Kathy and I are gar­den­ing year round in crazy South­ern Cal­i­for­nia weather, squeez­ing apple cider with my family’s old cider press which we used grow­ing up, buck­ing and split­ting euca­lyp­tus fire­wood from our trees by hand, build­ing and main­tain­ing sheds, fur­ni­ture, etc. Things like car and motor­cy­cle main­te­nance are not hob­bies, but they also take some free time. We are any­thing but lazy out at the Lazy B!

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — When did you first want to write a book?

Actu­ally I didn’t want to write that book. I wrote the New Tes­ta­ment Greek Primer for our inten­sive sum­mer Greek class at WSC only because the text­book we had been using for­ever by J. G. Machen had gone up too much in price to be afford­able for stu­dents (it’s still about $90). I can’t say I enjoy writ­ing books as much as I really love research and learn­ing new things. It’s like being a detec­tive some­times, par­tic­u­larly with some of the arcane things which catch my inter­est that few other peo­ple inves­ti­gate. Writ­ing for me is just how I share what I’ve learned with our stu­dents and others.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — What book are you read­ing now?

I think it proves what a Greek geek I can be that I have two works on Greek word order and nat­ural sen­tence divi­sion by my bed­side, a print-out of Hebrews so that I can mark it up for things like hyper­ba­ton and what is called in Ger­man Auf­takt (“up-beat” or anacru­sis). But I also have a biog­ra­phy of the church father, John Chrysos­tom, and a Walt Long­mire novel by Craig John­son as a fun book there as well, so I’m not com­pletely off my rocker.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — What advice would you give to aspir­ing writers?

Find what works best for you. I’ve heard the advice that you should write a page per day or such, but that has never worked well for me. I tend to immerse myself in the process and find it dif­fi­cult to emerge for nec­es­sary tasks (dis­trac­tions?). Over time, I have devel­oped a rou­tine, but it is my rou­tine that works well for me not one that works for some­one else. I’m not a great writer and my work and inter­ests tend to be quite tech­ni­cal a times, but it’s what the Lord has called me to. Be your­self and true to that to which the Lord has called you is my advice.

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — Favorite sport to watch? Why? Favorite sport’s team?

I’m from a small farm town in Ore­gon and my first degrees are from the Uni­ver­sity of Ore­gon where I dis­cov­ered a love for bib­li­cal schol­ar­ship. So I fol­low most Ore­gon sports as a way to stay con­nected with my roots. Most peo­ple know about Oregon’s foot­ball team, but Ducks can also be pretty pas­sion­ate about track and field. For exam­ple, Ash­ton Eaton, the Olympic decathlon gold medal­ist and world record holder, also grew up in a small town in Ore­gon and went to the U. of O. We love our Ducks!

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Want to learn more about S. M. Baugh?

Visit his fac­ulty page on his seminary’s web­site: http://wscal.edu/academics/faculty/s-m-baugh

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NEW RELEASE — Beginnings by Stephen Smallman

Begin­nings: Under­stand­ing How We Expe­ri­ence the New Birth
by Stephen Small­man

208 pages | List Price: $12.99 | Paper­back

Sum­mary: Are Chris­tians sup­posed to be spir­i­tual sales­peo­ple, ped­dling Jesus to oth­ers and push­ing to seal the deal?

In John 3, Jesus describes the work of the Holy Spirit in a process of spir­i­tual rebirth. In light of this, Stephen Small­man argues that we best view our­selves as “spir­i­tual midwives”—not giv­ing new life, but instead being used by God to assist in the birth.

To best do this, we must under­stand how con­ver­sion works and where our spir­i­tual jour­neys begin. Fol­low­ing the tra­di­tion of Jonathan Edwards and Archibald Alexan­der, Small­man unpacks numer­ous con­ver­sion sto­ries, both bib­li­cal and con­tem­po­rary, show­ing how the Holy Spirit’s work can be traced in the lives of new believers.

Small­man shows how we can learn the sto­ries of oth­ers and tell our own sto­ries. Then we will under­stand where peo­ple are com­ing from as we inter­act with them, and we will have both hope and guid­ance in speak­ing with unbelievers.

About the Author:

Smallman1Stephen Small­man served for over forty years in pas­toral min­istry. He is an urban mis­sion­ary serv­ing with CityNet Min­istries and is Assis­tant Pas­tor of New Life Pres­by­ter­ian Church in Glen­side, Penn­syl­va­nia. He is the also the author of The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Fol­low­ers of JesusUnder­stand­ing the Faith, New ESV Edi­tion: A Work­book for Com­mu­ni­cants Classes and Oth­ers Prepar­ing to Make a Pub­lic Con­fes­sion of Faith, and 4 Basics of Faith booklets.

What Others Say About This Book:

In place of our too-often clichéd born-again nar­ra­tives, Small­man guides us to a richer under­stand­ing that is won­der­fully pro­found and reas­sur­ingly prac­ti­cal.” — Mindy Belz, Edi­tor, WORLD

Begin­nings . . . gave me an inter­pre­tive frame­work of [the] new birth that was not only more accu­rate, all-embracing, and truth­ful but, more impor­tantly, God-centered.” — Rico Tice, Founder and Pres­i­dent, Chris­tian­ity Explored

In a com­pelling way Stephen Small­man helps us under­stand . . . the super­nat­ural work of the Holy Spirit. This book will prove prof­itable to all who read it.” — Jerry Bridges, Author, The Pur­suit of Holiness

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Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.

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BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Triumph of the Lamb by Dennis E. Johnson

Tri­umph of the Lamb: A Com­men­tary on Rev­e­la­tion by Den­nis E. Johnson

400 Pages | Direct Price: $24.99 $18.50 | Hard­cover | Released: 2001

Sum­mary: The book of Rev­e­la­tion is an unveil­ing, a vivid dis­clo­sure of invis­i­ble real­i­ties. Yet its bizarre imagery often leaves us puz­zled. Den­nis E. John­son deftly guides us through ques­tions about how to inter­pret Rev­e­la­tion, what it meant to its orig­i­nal audi­ence, and how it equips us today. He explains that Rev­e­la­tion for­ti­fies the church against the Enemy’s wiles by dis­clos­ing the pro­found para­doxes of Christ’s vic­tory and glory. The cen­tral themes of Rev­e­la­tion con­verge with Christ’s tri­umph over the Enemy.

About the Author:

Den­nis E. John­son (ThM, West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary; PhD, Fuller The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary) is pro­fes­sor of prac­ti­cal the­ol­ogy at West­min­ster Sem­i­nary Cal­i­for­nia. He is also an ordained min­is­ter in the Pres­by­ter­ian Church in Amer­ica, author of The Mes­sage of Acts in the His­tory of Redemp­tion, Him We Pro­claim, Philip­pi­ans (REC), and a con­trib­u­tor to numer­ous books and the­o­log­i­cal journals.

What Others Say About This Book:

The strength of this work is the way it takes some of the best mate­r­ial on the inter­pre­ta­tion of apoc­a­lyp­tic gen­er­ally, and Rev­e­la­tion in par­tic­u­lar, and presents it in a palat­able, read­able form. John­son knows how to write, and his text is infused with a rare san­ity — rare, that is, amongst those who write at a rea­son­ably pop­u­lar level on the book of Rev­e­la­tion.” - D. A. Carson

John­son writes with mas­ter­ful skill with­out los­ing the reader down exeget­i­cal rab­bit trails. Tri­umph of the Lamb is essen­tial read­ing on Rev­e­la­tion from a man with unique qual­i­fi­ca­tions as a well-loved pas­tor, New Tes­ta­ment scholar, and now pro­fes­sor of prac­ti­cal the­ol­ogy. This book is itself a tri­umph.” - S. M. Baugh

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Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.

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Author Interview with Guy Richard

This week’s author inter­view is with Guy Richard, author of the Basics of the Faith book­let, What Is Faith?.

 

Richard_Guy

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what do you do in your spare time, etc.

I have spent most of my life in the south­east, liv­ing mostly in Louisiana, Mis­sis­sippi, Alabama, and the Car­oli­nas. I cur­rently serve as Senior Min­is­ter of the First Pres­by­ter­ian Church (PCA) in Gulf­port, Mis­sis­sippi. My wife Jen­nifer and I have been mar­ried for 22 years. We have three chil­dren rang­ing in ages from 18 to 4. I enjoy read­ing and writ­ing, teach­ing and preach­ing, and shep­herd­ing my fam­ily and God’s. Out­side of those things, I love to exercise—most espe­cially run­ning, swim­ming, and cycling—and to watch col­lege foot­ball (War Eagle!).

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — Did you always enjoy writing?

I’m not sure that I “enjoy” writ­ing now! I say that because I think that writ­ing is hard work, at least it is for me. The process of writ­ing is, there­fore, often­times not “enjoy­able.” But the end result of the hard work is quite enjoy­able. And there is def­i­nitely a sense of sat­is­fac­tion in the process too, know­ing that I am using gifts that the Lord has given me to honor and serve Him.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

It would prob­a­bly be J.I. Packer’s Know­ing God or his A Quest for God­li­ness or J.C. Ryle’s Holi­ness.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?

I like older movies like “Mr. Smith Goes to Wash­ing­ton” or “Char­i­ots of Fire,” movies that are inspi­ra­tional and moti­va­tional and make me want to work harder and sac­ri­fice more and give more of myself in ser­vice of our God.

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — What advice would you give to aspir­ing writers?

Keep writ­ing. The more you write, the bet­ter your writ­ing will become.

 

  • Ques­tion #6 — What has been the tough­est crit­i­cism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

My sec­ond super­vi­sor for my PhD, the late Pro­fes­sor David F. Wright, was espe­cially hard on me. I remem­ber get­ting papers back from him that were so cov­ered in red ink it looked like he had bled all over the pages. He pushed me to think about what I was writ­ing in a way that I hadn’t been pushed before. I appre­ci­ate his influ­ence today more than ever. I think the best com­pli­ment I have ever received about my writ­ing (and preach­ing and teach­ing) is that I am easy to under­stand. Peo­ple tell me that I have a gift for mak­ing dif­fi­cult things sim­ple. I’d like to think that is actu­ally true!

 

  • Ques­tion #7 — Favorite sport to watch? Favorite sport’s team?

Col­lege Football….Auburn Uni­ver­sity. I love it because my wife and I both went to Auburn, and I think we asso­ciate every­thing we love about Auburn (which is a lot) with the foot­ball team.

 

  • Ques­tion #8 — Lord of the Rings or The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia? Why?

Both. But if I had to choose one or the other, I would choose The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia, because of their explic­itly Chris­t­ian theme and because of Lewis himself.

 

  • Ques­tion #9 — If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?

Romans or Hebrews. I love the depth and beauty of each.

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Want to learn more about Guy Richard?

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BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Ready to Restore by Jay E. Adams

Ready to Restore: The Layman’s Guide to Chris­t­ian Counseling
by Jay E. Adams

128 pages | Direct Price: $11.99 $9.00 | Paper­back | Released: 1981

Sum­mary: Jay E. Adams is a pio­neer in the field of coun­sel­ing. Here he has taken the most essen­tial ele­ments of coun­sel­ing and pack­aged them in a non­tech­ni­cal vol­ume. The result is nei­ther sim­plis­tic, nor super­fi­cial, but a com­plete, sys­tem­atic course, use­ful for study groups, bible col­leges, church lead­ers, and indi­vid­ual study.

About the Author: 

Jay E. Adams is known for his many books on coun­sel­ing and fre­quent appear­ances at con­fer­ences on Chris­t­ian liv­ing and coun­sel­ing issues. He served for many years on the fac­ul­ties of West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary and West­min­ster Sem­i­nary in Cal­i­for­nia. He is cur­rently the dean of the Insti­tute for Nou­thetic Stud­ies, a distance-learning insti­tu­tion that pro­vides inter­na­tional train­ing in bib­li­cal counseling.

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Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.

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