I have read...so many books on biblical interpretation and hermeneutics that sometimes, I thought my brain would explode. Not because I am so well-read, but because some were so scholarly and theoretical (hermeneutics is a deep and detailed subject) that they were practically ineffective for personal Bible study or sermon preparation. And others were so trendy and innovative, trying to make God's Word "relevant" to "contemporary generations" that I wondered about their trustworthiness. Well, right in the sweet spot in the middle is the aptly-named "Understanding and Applying the Bible," and the title truly matches the contents. I was privileged to sit in J. R. McQuilkin's lecture while he was "beta-testing" (so to speak) his notes for this book in the hermeneutics class at CIU years ago. I believe that what I learned there set a firm, theologically-conservative foundation for one to handle the Scriptures with devotion, care and respect, and to avoid novel or overly-subjective interpretations.
"Understanding and Applying the Bible" treats the Bible as if it is indeed the very Word of God. Faith in the God of the Bible is assumed, as is the inerrancy and harmony of Scripture, and therefore the principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture. (This is quite important, and is also rarer than one might think, as scholarly works are generally expected to be neutral about such issues. You can read this book with confidence that the author is not trying to introduce some "new perspective" of his in an area of devotion or doctrine.) And instead of dealing with hermeneutics in an ivory-tower vacuum (to mix my metaphors), valuable and reliable help is given to the pastor preparing sermons, or anyone who wants to read and understand (and apply!) the Scriptures. I highly recommend Dr. McQuilkin's book to you. Its value has only increased since it was first written, given the post-modern excesses of some current church movements. In my opinion, if the student of God's Word could own only one book on interpreting the Scriptures, this would be the one. May the Lord bless and guide you as you study His Word.