Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: Judges for You

Judges for You. By Timothy Keller. The Good Book Company. pp. 224. (List Price $22.99 Hardcover | $9.99 Kindle)

Five out of five stars
Every once in a while I come across a book that really impresses me. Judges for You is one of those books. As a seminary student and small group leader, I've found that narrative sections of Scripture, and the Old Testament in particular, are difficult for many people to understand. Perhaps in some places and some times it was expected that everyone would have a basic understanding of what happened in the Bible. I do not live in those places nor those times, so any resource that can help introduce and explain these sections of scripture are very valuable to me.

The book of Judges is a greatly misunderstood book. It is somewhat depressing and contains passages that no children should be exposed to. All in all it is a dark time Israel's history. Explaining the purpose of the book, or merely seeking to understand one of the many episodes contained in it, is quite the task given the sensibilities and expectations of modern audiences. However, it, like all of the instruments, is an important part of God's story, and points forward to the Gospel.

I for many positive things about Tim Keller and his books. This is my first experience with him, and if this book is representative of his normal output, I will definitely be investing in his earlier work, Galatians for You, which is from the same series. It is kind of like a commentary that anyone can read: he doesn't get lost in the details but carefully explains the central point of each passage and carries readers to practical application rooted in the Gospel by showing how these passages point forwards to the work of Christ. Is a great example of how to teach these Old Testament narratives. As a matter of fact, I am planning on using a similar style when I teach and preach from the Old Testament.

Just one example of how Keller shows the link in the foreshadowing between these passages in the life of Christ:
"First, both Samson and Jesus were betrayed by someone who acted as a friend – Delilah, and Judas… Both were handed over to the Gentile oppressors. Both were tortured and chained, and put on public display to be mocked. Both were asked to perform (though Jesus, unlike Samson, refused). Both died with arms outstretched... Samson prefigures Jesus triumph, at the cost of his own death, over Satan. As Samson killed many as he died, so it took the death of Jesus to 'kill' Satan – the unseen power of idolatry, and the power of death itself."
I highly recommend this book.

I received this book from the publisher for purposes of review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

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