New CAPS website live at

new webpageOur new website is up at  The new site should be a bit more welcoming for new users and easy to navigate.  Please check it out and let us know what you think.

I have also set up a new blog there called “From the Hills.”  I encourage all our email subscribers to go to and subscribe to that blog, and then unsubscribe from this one.  In the meantime, I will copy posts in both places, but may eventually only post from, so I would encourage you to move that subscription over.  Thanks for reading!


Posted in announcements, technology | Leave a comment

2016 CAPS Preaching Class in Bristol, VA

We are looking at offering a CAPS preaching class for men desiring to learn about biblical expository preaching and have the opportunity to hone their gifts through preaching/teaching in class, with feedback from instructor and peers.  Students need to have taken the CAPS hermeneutics course or be willing to take it online while going through the preaching class.  Those who have taken the class before and would like to do so again are welcome!  The class will start in April and meet monthly on a weekday evening (TBD after those who sign up for more information have been contacted).  For more information, contact us:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sanctity of Life Resources – 2016 Update

UPDATED 1/22/2016

Let this sink in: In 43 years, at least 58 million helpless American persons have had their lives snuffed out, with the sanction of our government. Ligonier is making their course on this topic permanently free.

Also, during the month of January 2016, Sproul’s book on the topic is free:


Many churches and organizations recognize National Sanctity of Human Life Day (a practice which originated in 1984 – see here), usually on the third Sunday of the month. This is a worthy topic any time of year, but it has been traditionally observed on the third Sunday of January, to coincide with the timing of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which was made on January 22.

We should think about issues of the sanctity of human life, abortion, and euthanasia through the lens of Scripture, not missing the relevance that the holiness of God, the dignity of mankind as God’s image-bearers, and justice and righteousness bring to bear upon the issues.

Steve Baker, pastor of Coeburn Presbyterian Church in Coeburn, Virginia, and executive director of Abortion Alternatives and Crisis Pregnancy Center until 2012 (a local ministry; see website at spoke to one of our CAPS classes about the significance of this day and the importance of remembering it. He also spoke about some of the passages he had preached from (the following is adapted from his own words), such as:

  • Psalm 139:13-16 – from that marvelous chapter where David is talking about all the Lord’s blessings in his life You are intimately acquainted with all my ways, You know what I am going to say before I say it. Where can I go from Your presence or flee from Your Spirit?  Wherever I go, You’re there — and then without a break says, “Oh, by the way, You were weaving me together in my mother’s womb,” as if what You were doing in my mother’s womb was just as much a part of my life as what You’re doing now. He sees that his life before birth as a focus of the Lord’s work in his life.
  • Isaiah and Jeremiah and the apostle Paul in Galatians 1 – all 3 indicate they were called and set apart for their tasks even from their mothers’ wombs. And again, you string all these together and it doesn’t sound like the Lord is talking about an undifferentiated mass of cells or a potential person, but a human being with plans and a purpose and a role already set apart.
  • I have used the passages linked together from Luke 1. You’ve got that intriguing passage, verse 15, speaking about how John the Baptist – he would be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb, and then his mother carrying him meets Mary carrying Jesus. She says the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And those last two words, put there by the Holy Spirit, are telling us that there was emotion or some measure of comprehension behind the lurching in the womb. It wasn’t like an instinctive reaction to someone slamming the door. There was some very mysterious understanding — that’s a marvelous one.
  • Ephesians 5:11 calls us to not just to not participate in the deeds of darkness, but to expose. Sometimes I wish he had stopped at don’t participate, but he adds, part of our calling is exposing the deeds of darkness.
  • Proverbs 6:16-19 – things the Lord hates – includes hands that shed innocent blood
  • Prov 8:36 “all those who hate me love death” – that’s an interesting way of looking at it – nobody would admit loving death, but part of being separated from Christ and totally in a lost and godless state, they tend to be drawn to things that are deadly – practices – personally as well as policies that are deadly in a culture.
  • Proverbs 14:34 – righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people
  • I’ve preached from passages in Jeremiah. Jeremiah speaks of the people of that day as those who didn’t know how to blush, had lost all sense of moral absolutes, and so no sense of embarrassment. It wasn’t a physical problem, it was their whole attitude about sin and the holiness of the Lord.

There are many other passages that could be used to highlight a focus on sanctity of life, such as Exodus 20:13 (forbidding murder), Exodus 21:22-25 (case law for a situation where a pregnant woman is struck and delivers early or miscarries as a result), Proverbs 31:8 (speaking up for the oppressed who cannot speak for themselves).

Here are some other resources to help educate pastors and churches about these issues and some good example of preaching on the topic (including other texts than those mentioned above):


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Book Review: Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

NTOTG. K. Beale & D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007.  Jacketed Hardcover, 1239 pp.

Purchase links (affiliate):
WTS (hardcover)
Amazon (hardcover)
Amazon (Kindle)


The Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (CNTUOT) is not a commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament in the sense of, “This is how the NT writers used the OT, and now we will talk about a method to use for interpreting the OT today.”  This work is, however, about specific ways that specific OT references were used by specific NT writers in their specific contexts.  The purpose of the book is not to “survey contemporary debates over the use of the OT in the NT,” but to provide a “reasonably comprehensive survey of all the textual evidence,” examining the New Testament context of the quotation or probable allusion, the Old Testament context from which it is drawn, how it was handled in Second Temple Judaism or early Judaism, textual factors such as manuscript traditions, how the New Testament employed the Old Testament in the specific example being considered, and the theological use to which the quotation or allusion is put (xxiii-xv).

The book aims to show the flexibility and variety of ways in which NT authors used the OT, the way they applied Scripture to Jesus and the church, the interpretive difference between the NT writers and Jewish contemporaries who rejected the Messiah, the question as to whether a writer used a text to expound a teaching from the OT or whether he used the OT to confirm or justify Christian experience, and that an eclectic grammatical-historical method can be used to assess the use of the OT in the NT, with the caveat that NT authors would have looked at Scripture differently than “any of the dominant historical-critical orthodoxies of the last century and a half” (xxvi-xxviii).

G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson have edited the contributions of 18 biblical scholars (including themselves) into this large reference work.  Besides the editors, the writing team is comprised of Peter Balla (2 Corinthians), Craig Blomberg (Matthew), Roy Ciampa (1 Corinthians), George Guthrie (Hebrews), Andreas Kostenberger (John), I. Howard Marshall (Acts), Sean McDonough (Revelation), David Pao (Luke), Brian Rosner (1 Corinthians), Eckhard Schnabel (Luke), Mark Seifrid (Romans), Moises Silva (Galatians, Philippians), Frank Thielman (Ephesians), Philip Towner (1-2 Timothy and Titus), Rikk Watts (Mark), and Jeffrey Weima (1-2 Thessalonians).  Carson handles James through Jude and Beale covers Colossians and Revelation.  The book has a brief introductory overview, followed by treatment of each New Testament book in canonical order, followed by a bibliography.  The one exception is Philemon, since it has no quotes or probable allusions to the OT; a single paragraph touches on a relevant OT background text and recommends a couple of resources for studying this epistle.  A sizable index of references to Scripture and other ancient literature is provided at the end, while the work begins with a table of abbreviations for various scholarly publications referenced.


In evaluating this resource, I want to raise and answer two questions.

First, who could benefit from this work?

Generally speaking, the treatments in the book are not only thorough, but often thoroughly academic in their language and tone.  There is a great deal of interaction with other sources and viewpoints (though the authors are generally conservative theologically).  The target audience is presumably Bible scholars, theologically trained pastors, and seminary students.  Someone who has learned through self-study will need to have attained to an advanced level or be willing to learn some new vocabulary to get the maximum benefit from this work.  Some use of the biblical languages, as well as terms like midrashtargum, and pesher may present difficulties to those without adequate education.  That being said, this would be a great resource to have in a Bible college or seminary library, or in the study of a scholar or theologically educated pastor , or student receiving a theological education.  It would not be a helpful resource for those without this training.  For those with such training, the use of this work will hopefully help their understanding of the biblical text in the early stages of their study, so that they can rightly interpret and apply it.

Secondly, is this work necessary?

I’m not sure this work is necessary for everyone who could benefit from it.  I am currently consulting it as I preach through Ephesians, and it gave me some considerations to chew on as I looked at Paul’s use of Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8.  But I also have several commentaries on Ephesians I am using, in addition to notes from various study Bibles.  The CNTUOT went into much greater detail to examine the questions surrounding this passage than any of the commentaries I had.  However, I ended up finding the most plausible approach in a study Bible note that gave an explanation not even considered in the CNTUOT.  While such instances are probably rare exceptions, this reference work may not be necessary for people who have libraries of scholarly commentaries that treat the handling of OT quotes and allusions in the NT.  Some of the better study Bibles should also treat the NT use of the OT, and busy pastors probably will find all they need if they have several key commentaries and consult several helpful study Bibles (such as MacArthur, ESV, HCSBReformation Heritage, Zondervan study Bibles).  If a pastor has a large part of his week devoted to study, this work should enrich that study, but I would not consider it indispensable if he has access to plenty of quality resources.

On the other hand, if one needs a one-stop, thorough treatment, and one has adequate training, this could easily and affordably fill a needed gap.  A student specializing in either the OT or NT could greatly benefit from this volume, as could a trained pastor with a very limited library.

Using this resource in tandem with further study in the area of Christ-centered interpretation as dealt with in books such as Edmund Clowney’s The Unfolding Mystery, James Hamilton’s God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, and David Murray’s Jesus on Every Page could help one fill out and process some of the specific details when going through each passage and will hopefully help one to better understand God’s Word and how its parts relate to each other.  Including this study of Christ-centered interpretation will also help one grapple with whether the apostolic interpretation of the OT is a matter of historical record only or whether they provide a model for today, something this book is related to, but is not designed to address on its own.

Thanks to Baker Academic for providing me a copy of the book at half price in exchange for a review.

Purchase links (affiliate):  WTS (hardcover)    Amazon (hardcover)   Amazon (Kindle)

Reviewed by Doug Smith

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deal Alert: New Testament Introduction Free for Kindle Oct 1-5, 2015

Free for Kindle through Oct 5, 2015:  Paul Weaver’s Introducing the New Testament Books

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Deal Alert: Old Testament Introduction Free for Kindle Today

Free for Kindle today, Paul Weaver’s Introducing the Old Testament Books.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deal Alert: Pulpit Supply Handbook and Keeping the Faith in a Christian College

Keeping the Faith in a Christian College (ESV edition) (KJV edition) and Pulpit Supply Handbook are free for Kindle through June 15.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deal Alert: Counseling, Commentary on Philippians

Both of these books are free for Kindle through June 9:

Speaking the Truth in Love – Great Bible-based, practical, accessible counseling book by David Powlison

BE JOYFUL – Commentary on Philippians by Warren Wiersbe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deal Alert: Seven Arrows – Aiming Bible Readers in the Right Direction

This looks like another good book on Bible study.  Free for Kindle through April 28.

Matt Rogers and Donny Mathis, Seven Arrows – Aiming Bible Readers in the Right Direction

Comes at the recommendation of my seminary prof., Dr. Rob Plummer at SBTS.

Arrow 1: What does this passage say?
Arrow 2: What does this passage mean to its original audience?
Arrow 3: What does this passage tell us about God?
Arrow 4: What does this passage tell us about man?
Arrow 5: What does this passage demand of me?
Arrow 6: How does this passage change the way I relate to people?
Arrow 7: What does this passage prompt me to pray to God?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deal Alert – Unlocking the Scriptures

Hans Finzel’s Unlocking the Scriptures looks like a good introduction to inductive Bible study and it is FREE today and tomorrow for Kindle.  Click here to get it.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Deal Alert – Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life $2.99 for Kindle

Dr. Donald S. Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is on sale for $2.99 for Kindle and well worth the price and then some. Sale goes through March 21.  Click here to view or purchase.


Drawn from a rich heritage, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will guide you through a carefully selected array of disciplines. By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to become more like Christ and grow in character and maturity. Now updated and revised to equip a new generation of readers, this anniversary edition features in-depth discussions on each of the key disciplines.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment