We know that Jesus is the central character of the New Testament and His presence shines brightly after Bethlehem. What if, however, He's also the cen...moreWe know that Jesus is the central character of the New Testament and His presence shines brightly after Bethlehem. What if, however, He's also the central character of the Old Testament? This is the conceptual soil from which this book grows. It provides a stirring look at Jesus, as He really is, the "towering figure" of all history.
Resources showing how to preach Christ from the Old Testament are quite the rage nowadays, and when I hear trendy theological ideas that are quite the rage, I tend to instinctively dig in my heels and resist them. However. I believe the contemporary church does need a renewed sense of the presence of Jesus in the Old Testament.
Murray's book is rather unique in its approach. It's basic and personal, even a bit autobiographical. It's all about finding Jesus in the Old Testament, not just some potential Messiah figure.
The journey begins on the road to Emmaus, where Jesus delivers a sermon based on a big text: "Moses, all the Prophets, and all the Scriptures". Murray provides autobiographical details on how he found Jesus in the Old Testament and he show sus the difference it made. In His search, he found that "[Jesus] wasn't just here and there [in the Old Testament]--He was everywhere". This discovery came not as a mere academic nuance, but a real, living, passionate reality that shines in the way Murray writes.
Murray unravels his discovery in a orderly and systematic, though not at all dry, way. He writes in an easy and light way and he's very careful to present the information in bite-sized pieces. He's a great communicator.
Murray's examination of the different types of prophesy fulfillment in regard to the Messiah is delightful. I liked his discussion of how to find Jesus in creation and in the law--it was compelling and inspiring. His coverage of the Psalms was fantastic. I must admit as he proceeded to the Song of Solomon, so much interpretative baggage abounds with that book, and yet I found Murray handle it well and actually gave some surprising advice there! I also think Murray's discussion of Christ in the moral law alone is worth the price of the book.
I've found that throughout the book, Murray's approach strikes a delicate balance, neither diminishing the importance, relevance and power of Old Testament examples on the one hand, nor devolving into a simplistic moralization of them on the other. He very patiently walks the reader through the nity-gritty of analyzing and interpreting the Old Testament. There are a lot of nice little details about Murray's approach, such as the way he uses alliteration in his writing.
In my mind, the weakest part of the book was his look at the Pauline teaching on the Old Testament. It wasn't nearly as focused or well-targeted as the rest of the book. It became wrapped up in dealing with specific objections, rather than presenting a positive analysis of Paul's teaching. It certainly bogged things down. I was left wishing it was more like his presentation of Peter's teaching. While Murray was covering some important points and I enjoyed the information he presented therein, such a prolonged discussion of and response to objections at that point may have been better placed in a footnote or a longer tome which expands on the subject.
This is a great book and I suggest picking it up. Don't forget to read the short postscript and work your way through the extensive study questions, they are great! I came away from it not only with a deepened appreciation of Jesus Christ's presence in the Old Testament, but also a heightened sense of the wonderful riches of His humanity and divinity. The Christian puts his or her faith not in "a humanized God or a deified man, but a true God-man", as Warfield once put it. Murray has done a wonderful job of conveying his passion for this marvelous Jesus in a winsome and eloquent way. (less)
I highly recommend this book on the life of David. It's highly informative, but isn't merely a list of facts. It is very passionate and Chantry does a...moreI highly recommend this book on the life of David. It's highly informative, but isn't merely a list of facts. It is very passionate and Chantry does a fantastic job of weaving application into factual information.(less)