Reading is a passion of mine and something I greatly enjoy. Being in seminary encourages this passion of mine, and being a reviewer for many different Christian publishers helps me to read widely across the theological spectrum. Often times in researching for various writing projects for ministry and seminary I come across a book, I wish I had more time to really reflect on.
While reading Excellence The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue by Dr. Andreas J. Kostenberger, a good friend of mine encouraged me to make sure I read through it slowly and reflect on its message. I’m thankful for this friend and his encouragement to read this book. Excellence is a book that has made a deep impact on me for a variety of reasons, which I’d like to share.
First, increasingly over the past five years the Lord has placed a burden on my heart to equip ministry leaders. To this end, the Lord has placed a burden on my heart for many years to continue my studies onto the Ph.D level, as part of my ministry. Secondly, as many of the readers of Servants of Grace know, I love to write, which is why I am focusing more time on writing blog posts, and also working on several book proposals to hopefully send out to publishers in the coming days. Thirdly, I’m truly thankful for this book as it’s helped me to really think through what it means to pursue excellence in all my work. This book challenged some areas in the current way I do research and also convicted me of sloppiness in other areas. Finally, I believe that Excellence should be required reading for all Bible College and seminary students. In my opinion every Christian would do well to read this book and digest the message of this book.
I read a lot, but it is not often that I read a book as well-written as Excellence. Furthermore it is even rarer that I read a book that combines great biblical and theological learning from the heart of a scholar who loves Jesus and is pursuing His glory. Excellence is written by a man that loves Jesus and the Church, and for that reason, I commend this book to you.
Reading Excellence will not be easy for many of you, but it will profit you, encourage you, and cause you to be confronted by the Gospel. At the end of the day any Christian book should challenge its readers with the Gospel, which is exactly what Excellence excels at. This book will help you to figure out whether your cut out for scholarly studies but it will challenge you regardless of your calling to glorify God in all you do regardless of if its scholarly studies or not.
Excellence is one of the finest books I have read in a long time. I recommend you pick it up and learn how to excel in whatever the Lord has called you to do. Read this book slowly with an open heart and open Bible, for in doing so, I believe will challenge you, and point you towards the excellencies’ of our Risen Savior—the Lord Jesus Christ.
Author: Andreas Kostenberger
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.