Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review: Name Above All Names (2013)

Name Above All Names. Alistair Begg and Sinclair B. Ferguson. 2013. Crossway. 192 pages.

Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names. The names assigned him begin in Genesis and end in Revelation. Taken together, they express the incomparable character of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Reflecting on them better prepares us to respond to the exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon him, and to meditate on how great he is.

I really enjoyed Name Above All Names by Alistair Begg and Sinclair B. Ferguson. Noting that "being able to think long and lovingly about the Lord Jesus is a dying art," they've written this book to inspire or encourage readers to consider Jesus more. The book is divided into seven chapters. Each chapter focuses on a name of Jesus; together these chapters illustrate: how Jesus Christ is the Seed of the Woman, how Jesus Christ is the True Prophet, how Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest, how Jesus Christ is the Conquering King, how Jesus Christ is the Son of Man, how Jesus Christ is the Suffering Servant, how Jesus Christ is the Lamb on the Throne. Each chapter is rich in Scripture. The two make a very good argument that Jesus can be found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. I love how they use the Old Testament, how they focus on how Christ has fulfilled OT prophecies. I think I learned the most from chapter one, "Jesus Christ, the Seed of Woman."
[Genesis 3:15] And so these words, almost at the beginning of Genesis, give us an important insight into the whole message of the Bible. It is a library of books that traces an ages-long cosmic conflict between the two "seeds." (20)
In fact, the apocalyptic vision of Revelation 12 is almost like a movie version of Genesis 3:15. We are invited to watch, in dramatic, high-definition, Technicolor with special effects, the prophesied ongoing conflict between the seed of the woman and the seed of the Serpent and its final outcome.This is the underlying plotline of the whole of Bible. It appears in embryo in the very next chapter of the book of Genesis. One brother (Cain) is in conflict with another brother (Abel) because the latter's sacrifice was acceptable to God. Jealousy and murder result as the seed of the Serpent (Cain), seeks to destroy the seed of the woman (Abel). The same plotline makes its way through the tow of Babel as man seeks to build his kingdom over against God's. But in sovereign power God pulls down that kingdom and destroys its unity. This is also the story of Egypt against Israel. It is the story of Goliath against David. It is the story of Babylon against Jerusalem, of Nebuchadnezzar against Daniel. It is the story of Satan against Jesus, and of Pontius Pilate and Herod seeking to destroy the Savior. It is the story that runs through the Gospels and beyond. The Jews seek to destroy Jesus during his ministry: "You are of your father the devil," he says. It is the story of how the enmity then turns on the Christian church. Thus the story of the ages is beginning to unfold here already in Genesis 3:15. (22-3)
I also found the chapters on Jesus as prophet, priest, and king very helpful! I'd often heard that Jesus is prophet, priest, and king. But hearing it and understanding it aren't the same thing! Some of these titles or names are very familiar, but being familiar doesn't mean we understand everything we need to know, or know all there is to know.

I would definitely recommend this one!

Favorite quotes:
Sometimes non-Christians say to us, "The God I believe in is a God of love." But they do not know themselves. For the Bible's analysis is: "No--you have exchanged the truth about God for a lie. You don't believe that he is love. You wouldn't live the way you do if you really believed that." (32)
It is the cross alone that ultimately proves the love of God to us--not the providential circumstances of our lives. (32)
[Quoting Robert M'Cheyne] "Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. Let your soul be filled with a sense of the excellence of Christ." (37)
This is our great need--to have our minds and hearts filled with a sense of the greatness and incomparable glory of Christ. When you think about the deeply narcissistic age in which we live and how much we are tempted and encouraged to be focused on ourselves M'Cheyne's words still echo in our ears down through the corridors of time. We need to take them to heart every single day." (37)
The reason he comes to us as prophet is to deal with our ignorance. (38)
G.K. Chesterton shrewdly commented on this kind of thinking when he said that once people stop believing in the God of the Bible, they don't believe in nothing--they begin to believe in anything! (42)
Jesus is not only the revealer; he is the revelation! (45)
Jesus leads every worship service you attend! He is the "worship leader." (66)
In true worship, Jesus is present, and he is leading the singing! (71)
That puts a new light on worship. Who would not want to sing with Jesus? He makes our singing give pleasure to his Father. His singing of praise covers all the inadequacies of ours. (71)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Annette said...

Thanks Becky! I'm working on my review today.