Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Jonathan Pennington* has written an extremely helpful book on reading, understanding, teaching and preaching the Gospels: Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction (Baker Academic, 2012). Early in the book Pennington gives “Nine Reasons We Need the Gospels” (pp. 38-49, italics original).
Many/Most Evangelicals are Pauline in the sense of preaching from his Epistles and emphasizing justification and righteousness. These are essential truths! But we pay less attention to the Gospels and the key teaching of Jesus, the kingdom. This, too, is an essential truth and is foundational for understanding Paul’s teaching! Both emphases are necessary as they make up the one New Testament. Not only will this book help you to understand Jesus and the Gospels, it will also enable you to understand the rest of the Bible, with the Old Testament preparation for Jesus and the Gospels, and the application of Jesus’ person, teaching and ministry after His death, burial and ascension as recorded in the rest of the New Testament. This book fills a much-need gap for Evangelicals.
*Pennington received his M.Div. from TEDS, his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews, and presently serves as Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.