I want to give a shout out for a new book called It’s all Greek to me: Confessions of an unlikely academic’ Dave Black ran a small competition for title suggestions and the title is a compilation of two suggestions from Mark Stevens (Parsons Patch) and Jacob Cerone (ἐνθύμησις) Congratulations to the both of you. I believe its a book well worth reading. Dave as he likes to be called admits he is was the most unlikely person to become a academic in his vocation. He comes from Hawaii and I heard rumors that he was born on a surfboard – which translates into his love for surfing. His greatest love is Jesus and his great commission. His second greatest love is his wife Becky, who sadly passed away a few short months ago.
His blog is a wealth of information. Dave doesn’t pull his punches’, some of what he says is provocative and goes against the status quo; but, he does it in a graceful way that makes you think through what he is saying. He shares about the good and the bad in his life. His love for missions. His disdain for hierarchical leadership in the church. And he freely shares his passion for Greek and provides many handy links for students who are just starting out and those who are accomplished at understanding Greek.
Along the same note, his publisher Henry Neufield writes.
But there’s an additional, personal factor with this particular book. Becoming publisher for some of Dave Black’s books was a surprise to me. It started because one of my authors at the time—and I didn’t have very many—had taken Greek from Dave Black. At the time, Dave had written and had published more books than there were in the Energion catalog. But he entrusted his manuscript for The Jesus Paradigm to my little company.
Let me say something about that manuscript. I have a mental list of books that I think should be getting more attention than they have. I regularly wonder what I can do to bring more attention to them. The Jesus Paradigm is one of those books. More people need to read it. It will challenge the way we organize our lives and the way we do church. One pastor who read it said with some concern, “This guy is trying to run me out of a job!” Just so! Jesus didn’t die so professional Christians could have jobs. I’m not saying here that there should be no Christians paid to do the work of ministry. I don’t know how many should, but one thing I do know. I know that many, many more unpaid Christians should be doing the work of ministry.
Since I published that manuscript Dave and I have become good friends. Many people think it is an unlikely friendship. A Southern Baptist professor and a Methodist who embraces the title “liberal charismatic”? It may seem odd, but it shouldn’t. Dave is one of those many people I know for whom the kingdom of God is central. We have Jesus!
More importantly he’s very transparent, he means what he says, and he’s ready to listen to disagreements. You can have an excellent discussion with him at just about any moment. And for my more liberal friends who wonder, let me note that I’ve never heard Dave respond to an issue of interpretation by citing his own theology or tradition. He always argues facts and the text. You can disagree, but you’re going to have to deal with the data.
I’d like to commend this book (and this publishing house) to you.