Thursday, June 09, 2005

Google - Man's New Best Friend

I am currently involved in a study of the book of Romans with two other guys. We each have been charged with the duty of finding a commentary to read through as we study Romans in order to give us some guidance. I am a little bit behind because I have missed two of the three weeks of the study... but that is not the point of this post.

I feel rushed to get a commentary so that I can participate in the study... so I went to Border's bookstore to find one. That was my first mistake. I went to the Bible section of the store and I saw a nice collection of commentaries by William Barclay. I know I have heard his name used before... but I can't remember where. I think it was used in a good way... and that scares me (as you will soon understand why).

So I purchase the commentary relying strictly on the fact that I have heard him quoted... it is expositional in nature... and he is Scottish (OK, that was not really part of the criteria... but Dovie is probably reading this).

I decided to research the guy by way of a Google search, and I found out some very interesting bits of information:

  • Barclay does not believe in the literal virgin birth of Jesus

  • Barclay does not believe that anyone will go to hell (he believes in Unversalism which says that everyone will be gathered up to heaven).

  • Barclay does not believe in the substitutionary atonement of Chris on the cross. (this is at least consistent with his Universalist beliefs, but wrong nonetheless)

So the point of this post is to simply say something that everyone else in the world may know (but I had to learn the hard way)... research authors before you buy their books. I was a little sick to my stomach when I realized that I had just bought a commentary written by someone who does not affirm some of the basic Truths of the Christian faith.


dovie said...

SWEET! I think I'll add "Have I Googled this person?" to my list of speaker/author evaluation questions.

Thankfully, not all of the Scots have such poor theology!

Joel said...

A good Christian (and "Christian") author reference site, if you haven't seen it before...

riles said...

Wikipedia is another good source. Ah, the wonders of the www. ;)

riles said...

Another thing to watch out for... I got Matthew Henry's Commentary. It's very good, but it is referenced to the KJV. Not a terrible thing, but I did see one later that was linked to the NIV, which I was using at the time. Of course, mine was on sale and the NIV one was about four times as much, so I don't really regret it.

You can also go to e-sword and get some free goodies, including Strong's indexed KJV and foreign language translations, as well as many commentaries. You just have to be willing to read everything on your screen (which is nicely laid out, I might add).

Carissa said...

Just in case anyone hasn't found this already, Dr. Constable's (Mike Cabiro used to use him a lot) commentary is online here:

Anonymous said...

I took a seminary class last fall and Douglas Moo's commentary on Romans was highly recommended, especially for its understanding of the cultural context and how that opens up the meaning of the book.