Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament

Many of us have experienced reaching for a specific product on a shelf but somehow mistakenly picking up a product next to or underneath the product you desired. We may not know that we have done this until we arrive at home. We puzzle over how we could reach for what we wanted yet ended up with something totally different.

When I reached for or selected “this” book I thought I was reaching for something different. I saw the title and the little blurb that was provided and I came to a conclusion. I believed this was a book written to exposit passages of Scripture that identified our Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Sadly, for my purposes this is not what the book is about.

Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament is a one year devotional book. Each day of the year, beginning with January 1st a short half page to one page devotional is written about a particular Old Testament subject or event. New Testament scripture references are drawn in to supplement the theme of the day. Each devotional ends with a one to two sentence question, thought, challenge, or prayer as a means of application.

The author, Nancy Guthrie, seems to state her intent in her introduction as she writes, “Most of my life I have read and been taught the Old Testament as a series of life lessons or faith lessons…I knew that the Old Testament spoke of Christ, but in my mind that was limited to the prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. I did not see that, in fact, all of the Old Testament is preparing us to understand who Christ is and what he came to do. What I did not see is that the Old Testament tells a story that only finds its completion in Jesus Christ.

Guthrie takes an event or story and gives a very brief synopsis. She then supplements that synopsis with a New Testament reference. We really don’t see a delineation or exposition of Jesus Christ as recorded by the Old Testament. We are provided antidotes and applications of New Testament principles. She seems to do this fairly well and in an interesting fashion.

These devotions are very easy to read. They provide “food” for contemplation and meditation. The can be read in a short period of time along with a good cup of coffee and tea during one’s private devotional time with the Lord.

I couldn’t find anything about the author other than tragically yet in God’s sovereign plan she and her husband have lost two children. I don’t know her education, background, theology, or her perspective. She has quoted from and used some very reliable and biblical sources. She uses many writings, messages, and studies from a number of good and solid men of the faith. Hopefully with this basis much of the material will be biblically accurate.

Being a devotional book, meant to be read one page per day, I did not read the entire book but skimmed a number of devotions from various parts of the book. I found them to be easy to read, enjoyable, and thought provoking. I am hesitant to recommend anything that I don’t know the foundation of, but from what I have read this would be good reading for a new Christian or one with a shallow background. I think this would be a good stocking stuffer for various family members for Christmas or birthdays.

1 comment:

Gregg Metcalf said...

I just erased the last 50 of your wonderful, gracious, and blessed comments. I did not mean to do this. I was in my dashboard trying to get rid of some spam and some very disturbing comments and I misunderstood what I was doing and accidentally erased your comments. Please forgive me. They were so good and meant a lot to me. I am just sick.