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REVIEW OF DEREK THOMAS' EXPOSITION OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH

05/26/2017

REVIEW OF DEREK THOMASí EZRA & NEHEMIAH (Reformed Expository Series)
[P & R Publishing, 2016; 442 pp.]

I can still remember back to my earliest days in ministry and hearing a godly Bible
expositor open up the book of Nehemiah. My head was swimming with walls and
conspiracies, Saballat and Tobias, swords and trowels, etc. Nehemiah was obviously
a great leader and Godís crowned his faithfulness and at times fierceness with
a real measure of success. A wall was built in record time and Jerusalem was
preserved. But since those early days, my studies and the books I have read have
shown me ďthe rest of the storyĒ to borrow from radio personality Paul Harvey. [This
volume is a case in point. I consider it one of the two or three best commentaries on
Nehemiah along with Derek Kidnerís volume in the Tyndale Old Testament
Commentary Series and J. I. Packerís stand alone A PASSION FOR FAITHFULNESS
(Wisdom From the Book of Nehemiah).]

Pastor and systematic theologian Derek Thomas contributes the 23rd volume is this
most valuable series. I say the series is valuable for two reasons: (1) it consistently
teaches the text from a covenantal and Reformed viewpoint; and (2) it shows how
a pastor today, seeking to preach through this Bible book himself, might responsibly
handle the text in teachable segments.

Like the best Reformed expositors of the Old Testament (Dale Ralph Davis, Iain
Duguid, Philip Ryken and Alec Motyer come to mind), Professor Thomas has done his homework, has read all the right things but delivers them in a pastoral fashion. These
are two books of the Bible for the people of Godónot just the scholars of God! I read
Derek Thomas for my devotions as well as for pastoral preaching preparation.

I urge pastors and Bible teachers to buy this volume and indeed, buy the whole series.
Church librarians, put these volumes in your church library. Seminary librarians, put
these volumes in your seminary library. Homiletics professors, require your students
to work through a couple of these volumes in the series to show them how to preach
through a book of the Bible responsibly.

Steve Martin
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students, IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas

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