For many, reading the Old Testament can be a challenging and daunting task. In my experience in the Church, people tend to just give up and then turn to the New Testament to read the Gospels. If people read the Old Testament, it is likely just Proverbs and Psalms. Yet there is a richness and depth in the Old Testament to include topics such as grace, redemption and God working through His people that should not be overlooked. While reading the book of Judges and Tim Keller’s new book Judges for You, I was reminded that while I’ve read Judges quite a few times over the years, I’ve never really studied it other than when I heard lectures on it in my Old Testament classes in bible college and seminary.
As I read Judges and Judges for You, what stood out to me is how God was at work in the midst of people’s brokenness, sin, and rebellion. This should not surprise us at all because the Bible has a unified story, that of God redeeming people from their sin and rebellion and pointing them towards Himself and His Son. Judges has one hero – God. As you read Judges, you’ll come to understand how God works in history through ordinary people and uses them in extraordinary ways. Judges is not an easy read but it is an essential book to understand the times we live in. While many people misunderstand the stories in Judges and use them in moralistic ways to point out the “lessons” we can learn from them, Dr. Keller points first to the redemptive lesson underlying the stories in Judges and then helpfully guides us through the application of those lessons.
Reading Judges for You was like a breath of fresh air for me. While I hadn’t studied this book in any considerable depth, I was instructed, refreshed and at times rebuked for my own apathy. A book that engages the Bible well will consider what the passage means, the overall context the verses, chapters, and the overall book itself has within redemptive history, then move to apply in a grace-centered way the point of the passage to its readers. This is what Keller does so well in this book. He considers the meaning of the passage, examines how it fits within redemptive history, and then briefly applies the teaching of the chapter or passage to his readers. Keller excels at explaining and applying the passage, ensuring his readers are instructed in the truth of the Bible and giving examples of how to write and apply the truth of the Word of God to the people of God. As with the other books in the Read, Feed and Lead series, Judges for You will challenge you, help you to grow in Christ, and in turn allow you to lead others in preaching or leading a Bible study. I highly recommend this book for use by Pastors, Sunday School teachers, laymen and seminary students alike.
Author: Tim Keller
Publisher: Good Book Company (2013)
I received this for free from The Good Book Company for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”