The Miracles of Jesus

Like virtually all other topics, themes, issues, fields and disciplines in the Bible miracles, especially the miracles of Jesus, have received an abundant amount of ink. The Miracles of Jesus: How the Savior’s Mighty Acts Serve as Signs of Redemption is Vern S. Poythress’ contribution to that discipline.

Poythress holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, a position in which heThe Miracles of Jesus has been entrenched for over thirty years. He has written approximately seventeen books (at my last count) and a multitude of scholarly articles. Undoubtedly he is eminently qualified to analyze the miracles of Jesus.

With this volume Poythress considers the miracles of Jesus from a redemptive-historical viewpoint. As the title speaks, it’s all about redemption in the miracles. The book is divided into four parts with the bulk of the volume centering around the twenty-eight miracles recorded in Matthew’s gospel. Each one is analyzed in the redemptive vein.

If you simply want to learn more about miracles as miracles, I would suggest a thorough reading of “Part I: Introducing Miracles.” The initial chapter, “The Reality of the Miracles of Jesus,” is an excellent assessment and defense of the miracles of the Savior. The remainder of the volume delves heavily into redemptive theology and will take some comprehensive personal consideration.

This is a volume written by a theologian for theologians by a highly qualified reformed theologian and should be treated as such. Except for Chapter 1, I would not recommend this book to the Sunday-go-to-church believer. Each chapter will likely sound repetitive.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by Crossway for a fair and honest review.

The Heart of Revelation

In a Christian literature world that is full of commentaries on virtually every book of the Bible, Revelation, as you might expect, gets more than its proportionate share. I’ve reviewed about half-a-dozen in the past year that lean on the Revelation-Prophecy-End Times theme.* And there is another one stacked up, in line to be finished and reviewed.The Heart of Revelation

Typically with each one the author presents his/her view of Revelation-Prophecy-End Times and you decide whether or not you like it or agree with it. Now we have presented to us this volume: The Heart of Revelation: Understanding the 10 Essential Themes of the Bible’s Final Book written by J. Scott Duvall. Duvall is a Ph.D. who teaches at Ouachita Baptist University. You might recognize him as a co-editor of The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook and the author of Revelation in the Teach the Text Commentary Series. (BakerBooks is also the publisher of this volume.) He also teaches Revelation at Ouachita. So, bottom line, Duvall knows Revelation.

The Heart of Revelation is a unique approach to unraveling the mystery of the final book of the Bible. Duvall has identified ten themes that he believes are prevalent and interwoven in Revelation. It is an uncommon approach. The themes are apparent such as “God, Worship, The Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Judgment” and five more.

As I began to read this, I found it was a bit difficult to keep focused on the fact that the book is all about Revelation. But as you move along the task becomes easier. I quickly took the author’s advice and read the book with my copy of The Book right next to me. Don’t “breeze through” the “Introduction” and especially not the section on the “Cast of Characters.” It is seven pages that define the major players in Revelation. Also, so that you don’t get lost or lose focus, Duvall provides “Key Texts,” a “Reading Plan,” and “Community Group Questions” at the end of each chapter. It is a well thought out and distinctive slant to Revelation.

If you’re looking for another chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse exposition of Revelation, you probably will be disappointed. But, if you want to increase your knowledge and understanding of Revelation, this is a must read – and study.

*There will be a blog on the reviews of all these soon.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by BakerBooks for a fair and honest review.