FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – David Allen, dean of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, contributed a soon-to-be released commentary on 1-3 John to Crossway’s “Preaching the Word” series. Allen’s volume in the series, 1-3 John: Fellowship in God’s Family, will be released June 30.
According to J. D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., Allen’s commentary “is brimming with gospel hope.”
“A rich resource covering one of the New Testament’s most profound sections of Scripture, pastors and theologians of all persuasions will benefit from the thorough treatment Dr. Allen gives to these letters,” Greear wrote in his online endorsement of the book.
“A rich resource covering one of the New Testament’s most profound sections of Scripture, pastors and theologians of all persuasions will benefit from the thorough treatment Dr. Allen gives to these letters.” J.D. Greear
Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, agrees.
“1-3 John is a welcomed addition to the Preaching the Word series. The 22 studies in this volume reveal careful research, theological insight, and exegetical integrity. Anyone preaching or teaching through the epistles of John will be greatly assisted by this volume.”
Allen hopes the volume will especially be an aid for preachers. According to Allen, he analyzed 1-3 John paragraph by paragraph and wrote a “free-standing sermon” on each paragraph. Allen hopes that the volume will be “a good model for what an expository sermon should look like in terms of the balance between exposition, illustration, and application.” Each section of the commentary is also written to sermon-length and in everyday English, as it would be preached in the pulpit.
“1-3 John is a welcomed addition to the Preaching the Word series. The 22 studies in this volume reveal careful research, theological insight, and exegetical integrity. Anyone preaching or teaching through the epistles of John will be greatly assisted by this volume.” Daniel L. Akin
Allen dubbed this volume a “sermontary,” describing it as “a hybrid between sermon and commentary.”
“It is less than a standard commentary,” since it does not delve into detailed exegetical analysis of every verse, “but it is more than a sermon,” Allen said. Each sermon within the volume includes numerous “hefty footnotes” that allow the reader to explore each passage of 1-3 John in more depth. This also shows readers the kind of research and exegetical analysis that should undergird an expository sermon.
In this way, the book reveals “something of the exegetical process,” Allen said. “There are a number of exegetical footnotes where I state, ‘Here is why I preach this in this way, because this is an objective genitive (in the Greek language)’” Allen hopes that this would “be very helpful not only to beginning preachers but even … to seasoned preachers.”
According to Allen, a commitment to expository preaching connected him with Kent Hughes, the general editor of the “Preaching the Word” commentary series and the first contributor to the series.
“I first met Dr. Hughes when I was still teaching at the Criswell College and directing the preaching center there,” Allen said. “And then when I came to Southwestern, I also had him come and speak here for a preaching lecture series. And I found that my heart was knit to his in the area of expository preaching. He was really committed to expository preaching.”
After retiring from the pastorate, Hughes asked Allen if he would help to complete the “Preaching the Word” series by writing one of its final volumes. He also gave Allen the choice of which volume he would write.
“1 John has always had a special place in my heart,” Allen said, explaining why he chose the volume on 1-3 John. “That was the first book of the New Testament I preached through in my first pastorate … in 1982.”
Allen added that the epistles of John are extremely significant “in terms of practical and theological help to the churches.” The first epistle shows Christians “what is absolutely essential to be faithful and to be strongly committed as a Christian in the local church.” 1 John reveals “the necessity of truth, the necessity of love, and the necessity of holiness.”
On the other hand, 2-3 John show Christians how to respond to false and proud itinerant teachers, as well as true and godly teachers. This, Allen said, “is a perennial problem today.”
Allen’s commentary in the “Preaching the Word” series can be pre-ordered online at crossway.org/books/13-john-hcj.