Reviewed by: Brian De Jong
A Sincere and Pure Devotion to Christ: 100 Daily Meditations on 2 Corinthians, by Sam Storms. Published by Crossway Books, 2010. 2 volumes, paperback, 240 + 288 pages, list price $25.99 ($15.99 for separate volumes). Reviewed by OP pastor Brian De Jong.
Among the puzzles facing ministers is how to encourage church members to read the Bible on a deeper level. Not a few folk rarely dust off "the Good Book." Others content themselves with brief daily devotional materials. How can we stimulate more meaningful interaction with the Word of God?
Dr. Sam Storms provides an interesting approach that is part Bible study, part commentary, and part devotional aid. Having previously employed this approach with Psalms, Colossians, and the seven letters of Revelation 2–3, he now offers us 100 daily meditations that take us through the entire book of Second Corinthians.
Most of these meditations are four or five pages in length and can be easily digested in one sitting. They remain close to the text and have a warm and pastoral tone. Application flows throughout, but this is no "how-to" workbook. When the reader pays close attention to the verses in view, it provides an understandable study of one of Paul's meaty epistles.
Sam Storms is presently the senior pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. He also serves as the president of Enjoying God Ministries, and he has taught theology at Wheaton College.
Theologically, Dr. Storms is a self-described charismatic Calvinist. His theology of spiritual gifts reveals his charismatic commitments. He argues against cessationism.
Having come from an Arminian background, his perspective has been transformed through understanding the doctrines of grace. He admires John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards, and doesn't hesitate to identify himself with Calvinism. Yet baptistic elements remain, and a greater covenantal consciousness would continue his transformation.
He is also an unabashed proponent of "Christian hedonism" and is a close friend of John Piper. Piper's endorsement on the back cover says, "There are few people on the planet who embody in life and in teaching the radically biblical and Edwardsian message of Christian Hedonism better than Sam Storms."
For these reasons, it seems prudent to read Storm with care. There are times when his charismatic leanings color his interpretation of specific passages, but those are neither frequent nor too egregious.
At other points, Storms alludes to debates raging within Christian circles far removed from the OPC. The reader is left wondering what is going on "out there" in the wider arena of American neo-evangelicalism. But Storms is too committed to Paul's epistle to allow contemporary controversies to hijack his book.
Read with a careful eye, these twin volumes provide the reader with a serious study of Scripture. They are not meant to be scholarly commentaries, and would prove less useful to the theologian or preacher. But for the average church member, there would be much value in the deeper study of Scripture that Dr. Storms's books could facilitate.
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