Book Review: More Than Conquerors

The book of Revelation has brought the church seemingly equal parts comfort and confusion. While no single reading can bring out all the intricacies that are woven in this rich text, some writings on the book are more helpful than others.

One book has been considered by believers as particularly helpful since its publishing in 1939. More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation was written by one of the most respected Reformed commentators of a previous generation, William Hendriksen. The book seems to have been written as a part of his Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from Pike’s Peak Bible Seminary. Hendriksen finished a doctorate at Princeton before joining the faculty at Calvin Theological Seminary. When he died in 1982, he had written substantial commentaries on over half the books of the New Testament. His fascination with the book of Revelation continued throughout his life, and he gave special attention to it as part of the translating committee for the New International Version.

Hendrickson’s book was the very first manuscript published by Baker Book House. It has remained in print ever since and is a deserving of it’s 75th anniversary commemorative edition. The resetting of its text is a notable improvement from previous iterations.

Hendrickson divides the book into seven parallel sections. Throughout, he models a careful reading and attentive reading of the text. Few will follow him on each of his amillennial, modified idealistic interpretations (this is the book of Revelation, after all), but all would benefit from his labors.

D. A. Carson’s review of the book may seem dismissive (“It is now entirely eclipsed by more recent commentaries”), but Carson’s comments must be seen in light of his intended audience—pastor and scholars. G. K. Beale’s commentary on Revelation in the highly technical NIGNT series claims to be “heavily indebted to the labors of prior commentators, especially Hendriksen …. One could say that my work follows in the tradition of these commentaries” (xx).

Indeed, if a believer is looking for a reliable guide to join their own reading of the text of the Book of Revelation, I know of no better accompanist than More Than Conquerors.

Book Review: The New Pastor’s Handbook

Looking for that perfect graduation gift? If the graduate you love just completed seminary, I have great news: your searching is done.

Baker Publishing just released a new book by Jason Helopoulos entitled The New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry. From the very first page, it is obvious that Helopoulos has heard a lot of tried-and-true ministry advice, and it is obvious he has paid attention.

This book’s particular strength, though, is pitching classic pastoral advice directly at the new pastor. Certainly, a newly minted MDiv graduate will have Spurgeon’s and Lloyd-Jones’ books for ministers on their shelves. But with 48 chapters in under 200 pages, Helopoulos’ book will be the one they actually read. The New Pastor’s Handbook feels a bit like a “blog you can hold.” And this fits its target demographic well.

No book can cover every topic. For example, I would have liked to have read Helopoulos’ thoughts regarding personal and corporate evangelism. But each chapter clear and candid, well-conceived and well-written. And when you pair these meditations with the outstanding bibliography, you have a wonderful resource to give to your new pastor.