Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Review: The Scriptures Testify About Me

The Scriptures Testify About Me: Jesus and the Gospel In the Old Testament. Edited by D.A. Carson. Featuring essays by R. Albert Mohler Jr., Tim Keller, Alistair Begg, James MacDonald, Conrad Mbewe, Matt Chandler, Mike Bullmore, and D.A. Carson. 2013. Crossway. 188 pages.

From chapter one,

The entire Scriptures--and Jesus was referring specifically to the Old Testament--bear witness to Jesus. In other words, Jesus said, in effect, "You cannot read those words without reading of me. You cannot read the Law without reading of me. You cannot read the History without reading of me. You cannot read the Psalms without reading of me. You cannot read the Prophets without reading of me." (18)

I love the Bible, and I love the Old Testament. I know some readers don't take the time to read or try to understand the Old Testament, but, for me it's worth it. There are treasures to be found in discovering what the Old Testament has to say about Jesus Christ. This book highlights eight examples of Christ in the Old Testament. The first chapter, "Studying the Scriptures and Finding Jesus," serves as the introduction to the concept of preaching Christ from the Old Testament. The scriptural foundation is John 5:31-47. The remaining seven chapters are drawn from the Old Testament. The passages highlighted include: Exodus 14:1-31, Ruth, Psalm 25:1-22, Jeremiah 23:1-8, Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8, Zephaniah, Psalm 110:1-7.

The Scriptures Testify About Me is a collection of sermons or a collection of essays. Each writer has their own style or their own voice. Some chapters meant more to me than others. Some I felt were really strong and persuasive, others not quite as much. What all writers have in common is a passion for the Word of God, a zeal for making Christ known to their audiences.

The chapters can be read in any order.

Favorite quotes:
The Old Testament is not the story we have to know before we know the real story. Rather, the gospel is in all of it. (Mohler, 24)
We mush preach Christ from all the Scriptures and find Christ in the gospel of the Old Testament as well as in the New. We need to allow the New Testament to train us how to read the Old. We must put the Bible back into the hands of believers--intact and whole--with Christ and the gospel of our redemption at the center. (Mohler, 32)
If there is one Old Testament passage that the New Testament invites us to read in a Christ-centered way as a paradigm of Christ's salvation, it's the exodus...What can we learn from the Red Sea crossing about Jesus and our salvation? Three lessons: salvation is about getting out, but it's about 1) what we're getting out of: bondage with layers; 2) how we're getting out of it: crossing over by grace; 3) why we can get out of it: the Mediator. (Keller, 36)
Redemption means to be released from bondage. The very heart of our understanding what salvation is all about is release from bondage. (Keller, 38)
Sin is the suicidal action of the human will. It destroys the power to do right, which is man's true freedom. (Keller quoting W.G. T. Shedd, 40)
You are not saved because of the quality of your faith. You are saved because of the object of your faith: the Redeemer, the God who is fighting for you. (Keller, 47)
If there is fog in the pulpit, we should not expect clarity in the pew. When it comes to our preaching Christ in all the Scriptures, our congregation should not be mystified by our wizardry, exclaiming, "How did he do that!" Rather they should be edified by our clarity, declaring, "That makes sense to me." We should have confidence in unfolding the Scriptures in this way because Jesus explained to his followers that the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms (the threefold division of the Hebrew Bible) point to him (Luke 24:44). (Begg, 57)
The litmus test of whether you understand the gospel is what you do when you fail. Do you run from God and go clean yourself up a little bit before you come back into the throne room? Or do you approach the throne of grace with confidence? If you don't approach the throne of grace with confidence, you don't understand the gospel. You think you can get yourself clean enough to stay in the club. It's not you only at your worst that God has a problem with. It's you at your best. (Chandler, 120)
Do not assume the gospel. It must be explicit, and it must constantly be explicit. If you assume it, then all people will hear is moralistic therapeutic deism: "Do this. Don't do that. Go here. Don't go there." They will not understand that their righteousness is blood-bought. Don't assume it. (Chandler, 123)
The glory of the gospel is this. The One from whom we need to be saved is the very One who saves us. (Bullmore, 136)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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