Family Notes 02/03/2016


My Assignment . . .

It was nearly nine years ago, but in my mind it seems but yesterday. Illumined by the first rays of morning, three volcanic mountains gradually appear and encircle us in the distance. As the sun rises over Guatemala, the cobblestones of Antigua glow beneath my feet. It is August 2007. I am here on a professional retreat with my employer, the Lanier Law Firm of Houston, Texas
( )

A request and an answer

This early morning walk starts my day with prayer. After a period of confession, thanksgiving, and praise, I raise a few requests. Today I am asking God for a new writing assignment — something he will enable me to do to bless others and bring him honor.

Within hours, I begin to sense my new Assignment. There is no mistaking the big picture. I am about to write a new commentary on Hebrews, though many details still remain unclear. Like the Book of Hebrews itself, this book will focus entirely on Jesus Christ — the Son of God who became a man to bring fallen human beings to their glorious intended destiny. This Assignment will become my preoccupation for the next 19 months, including many joyful 14-hour days.

Over the following months, the details unfold step by step and the Assignment seems to gain a life of its own. This book will tell the Jesus story–just as Hebrews does–based on four Old Testament Psalms. I will work from the original Greek text, but my book will contain no Greek words. This new commentary will present the best of scholarly research — stated in every-day language. It will explain Hebrews verse-by-verse, but it will use the narrative style of a regular book.

From the beginning, I believe that God will embolden me to ask some highly-regarded scholar/author/preacher to contribute a foreword to this book, and I believe that person will do that. “That person” is Haddon W. Robinson, then President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and author of Biblical Preaching, a book widely used for training preachers in Christian seminaries of all kinds.

Work done and affirmed

Years ago at age 29, I had published a commentary on Hebrews titled Our Man in Heaven. (Free on my website at: ). F.F. Bruce contributed its foreword and God graciously used that book to encourage and strengthen many readers around the world. Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today enjoys the benefits of 35 more years of my own maturing, studying and preaching from this wonderful, mysterious, Jesus-centered, New Testament book of Hebrews.

Please move forward with me now to 2016. This book has now been published for nearly six years. From that sunrise prayer walk in Guatemala until today, I have keenly felt God’s blessing on this Assignment. Even before the book was printed, 36 Bible scholars and church leaders from around the world read the manuscript and contributed meaningful endorsements. These endorsers include Will Willimon, Simon Kistemaker, David Fleer, Sarah Sumner, Rubel Shelly, Brian McLaren, and 30 others. They represent a broad spectrum of Christian interpretation, and they hold many different and even opposing views on a number of texts in Hebrews. You can read their feedback in the first six pages of Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today. Or you can go to my website at:

I praise God that he gave me this Assignment and enabled its fulfillment. Please join me in asking him to use Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today to encourage many and to bring him glory. You can order this new narrative commentary from Amazon, or from the publisher at: . (Click “Search book title” then search by author and fill in name “Fudge”.) In USA, you can order by phone toll-free at 877-816-4455.