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Book Review: 1 & 2 Timothy For You

Book Review: 1 & 2 Timothy For You

Book Review: 1 & 2 Timothy For You

15 June 2019

Author Phillip Jensen continues his teaching series with obvious passion, and in everyday, easy-to-understand language.

Reviewed by Mal Davies

The God’s Word For You series now includes more than 20 titles and this volume, on 1 & 2 Timothy, is a welcome addition to the growing set.

In broad terms, these books are ‘everyman’ devotional commentaries. That is, they are not academic commentaries or phrased in complex theological and linguistic terms; they are designed for a Christian who is reading through Scripture and wants some insight into what they are reading.

In this volume, our guide is Anglican cleric and former dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Phillip Jensen. For several decades, Jensen has been a champion of teaching the Gospel in everyday language and this book is a continuation and evidence of that passion.

The book works through the letters from Paul to Timothy and at the end of each exploration of a passage there are some questions for devotional reflection. The book – and the series – is also an excellent resource as a small group curriculum.

I’m reminded of the episode in Acts 8 of Philip and the Ethiopian where the man says to Philip, “How can I understand it [scripture] unless someone explains it to me?”

That’s what this book and this series does, very well.

Available now at Koorong.

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  1. Amanda Ballantyne
    Amanda Ballantyne

    While I am sure this could be a helpful book I would have thought that a word of caution would be appropriate given the points at which Peter Jensen's theology differs from that of The Salvation Army.
    Firstly he is Calvinist in theology. While this may not be explicitly addressed in 1 or 2 Timothy it will shape the interpretation. Theology has a tendency to do that, often in ways that are not apparent.
    Secondly he is complementarian. This is particularly relevant for 1 Timothy 2:11-14. Peter Jensen, along with most of the leadership in the Sydney Anglican Diocese, believes that women should not preach to a congregation in which men are present nor should they lead a church. These convictions will also colour the way he interprets 1 Timothy 3.
    I am not saying that there is nothing of value in the book but rather that there needs to be some caution exercised. I have heard Peter Jensen preach on a number of occasions and appreciated his teaching. I studied at Moore College, completing a BTh, and I appreciate the teaching I received there. However, this book would need to be read with caution and anyone leading a study based on it would need to be able to argue for the egalitarian position.
    My fear would be that it could cause division within a corps where women preach or even lead the corps. My observation is that a lot of officers and soldiers don't have a good response to the complementarian arguments, possibly because they have never been in a position where that was necessary. And I don't think that Catherine Booth's take on 1 Tim 2:11-14 (or at least the one I've seen) really cuts it.

  2. Amanda Ballantyne
    Amanda Ballantyne

    I think I wrote Peter Jensen instead of Philip Jensen. I was thinking of Philip Jensen but wrote Peter. The comments hold for Philip Jensen as well, in fact probably more so than Peter.

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