“Have this mind among yourselves ...”
Everyone needs examples. We all need mentors we admire and after whom we can pattern our lives. Without them, we will not mature.
Philippians is a letter full of good examples. Paul, Epaphroditus, and Timothy are all portrayed as exemplars. But none is more important than Jesus himself. In Self-Giving Love, Dean Flemming shows how Jesus and the story of his self-emptying love are the very heart of Philippians. This ultimate example provides a lens for clearly seeing the rest of the letter. By emulating Jesus’ radical love, we will become mature, foster unity, and find joy.
Self-Giving Love presents the message and themes of Philippians in a concise and accessible guide, with probing questions for reflection and discussion.
Philippians is my favorite letter from the apostle Paul, and now Dean Flemming’s masterful engagement with this gem has become my favorite travel guide to the letter. It is eloquent, perceptive, and relevant to Christians today—just like the letter itself. Philippians is full of joy, community, and (above all) Jesus the self-giving Lord of love. Dean’s exposition of it will richly reward any and all who read it.
–Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University
This book is easy to read and understand. It is a cross between a lay commentary and a Bible study, built on Dr. Flemming’s in-depth scholarship in Philippians. It is a great small group tool and personal study book, as well as a pastoral resource for preaching on the timely themes of self-giving love, joyful discipleship and community unity.
–C. Jeanne Orjala Serrão, professor of biblical literature, Mount Vernon Nazarene University
This theological guidebook to Philippians captures the heart of Paul's message to this beloved church: live in and imitate the love of Jesus. Flemming is a wise, warm, and witty companion on the journey to better understanding this rich letter.
–Nijay K. Gupta, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
Many writers of a full-size commentary on a biblical book struggle with summarizing its thoughts succinctly in straightforward language. Not so Dean Flemming, despite having written a much longer treatment than this on Philippians! This gem of a little book introduces the reader to the key themes of this wonderful letter of Paul, in easy-to-digest chapters. Practical applications and personal illustrations, including questions for thought and discussion at the end of each chapter, keep the reader’s feet firmly on the ground. At the same time, Flemming constantly points us to what in Philippians supports his conclusions, and he writes with a distinguished missionary career behind him that absolutely brims with integrity, service and self-sacrifice for others. If you let it, this book can change your life.
–Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Dean Flemming is professor of New Testament at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. Dean has pastored churches in Ohio and Japan and taught in various countries throughout the world as a missionary educator for over twenty years. Dean is the author of several books, including Contextualization in the New Testament, winner of a 2006 Christianity Today book award; Philippians: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, which received a Smith-Wynkoop book award; and Recovering the Full Mission of God.