Presbyterians of the Past

Review, Motyer, Loving the Old Testament

The Old Testament is sometimes neglected by Christians even though it constitutes three-quarters of the Bible’s content. Sermons using its passages tend towards expositions of the creation account in Genesis, Psalms for comfort, Ten Commandments for direction in righteousness, narratives such as David and Goliath which are interpreted in a moralizing way, and prophecies that have been fulfilled in Christ for Christmas and Easter messages. Alec Motyer’s A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story, Christian Focus, 2015, includes a foreword by Tim Keller and an afterward by D. A. Carson and it presents the case for the Old Testament for those who have trouble understanding its importance for post-incarnation Christianity. Subjects covered include—one Bible, one Covenant; knowing God through the Divine names each of which provides a perspective on his nature; encouragement to think like an Old Testament person looking forward to Christ and then consider how that anticipation would have affected New Testament authors; the importance of special terms such as goel—kinsman redeemer—which is essential for understanding Ruth’s contribution to maintaining the seed line that would bring the Messiah through the tribe of Judah. Christians struggling to understand how the Old Testament relates to the New and the unfolding message of redemption given through its pages will find this guide a handy summary. 

Barry Waugh

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