BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Walking with Jesus through His Word by Dennis E. Johnson

Walking with Jesus through His Word: Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures by Dennis E. Johnson

312 pages | List Price: $16.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Kindle ($9.99) | iTunes/ePub ($9.99)

About

What connects the whole Bible into one purposeful story?

Dennis Johnson takes readers of the Bible on a journey of discovery through the Old and New Testaments, pointing out a network of trails in the text. These are recurring themes that link different parts of the Bible to Jesus the Christ, the fulfiller of God’s promises and redeemer of God’s people.

Dennis emphasizes how each biblical passage must be read in its close and canonical contexts, revealing the Bible’s identity as a book about a relationship—the covenant between God and his people. This helps us to see Christ and his mission as a pattern that emerges naturally throughout the tapestry of Scripture.

God embedded in Israel’s history events, individuals, institutions, and offices that foreshadowed Christ, his saving work, and his church. Those landmarks point the way to Jesus, who reveals the Father, reconciles us by his sacrifice, and rules us by his Word and Spirit.

Endorsements

“Dennis Johnson has poured his decades of research, teaching, and life into one volume that reignites our passion for Bible study. . . . For anyone wanting to see how the Bible fits together, this book is a treasure.”

—Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“Johnson shows us how we can read the Bible ourselves in a Christ-centered way and how this approach enriches our understanding of the Word of God.”

—John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary

About the Author

Dennis E. Johnson (ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary California. He is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, author of The Message of Acts in the History of Redemption, and a contributor to numerous books and theological journals.

Preface to The Christ of Wisdom by O. Palmer Robertson

Here is the preface of O. Palmer Robertson‘s book, The Christ of Wisdom: A Redemptive-Historical Exploration of the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament.


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Preface

Several decades ago, at the encouragement of colleagues, students, and friends, I laid out a long-term plan for a ministry of writing. The whole endeavor was to focus on the theme “Christ in all the Scriptures.” It was to be a programmatic representation of all the various portions of the Bible—God’s infallible and inerrant Word—as they variously focused on the anticipation and the realization of the promised Christ.

First on the list came The Christ of the Covenants (1980). This work viewed the progress of redemptive history in terms of its movement from creation to consummation. As the successive covenants provide the architectonic structure of Scripture, so these divinely initiated bonds inevitably shape God’s working in this world. From Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses to David to the new covenant in prophecy and fulfillment, the Sovereign Lord oF the Covenant determines the course of his grace as it came pouring out across human history.

Next came The Christ of the Prophets (2004, with a reorganized edition in 2008). This work asks: What was the focal moment of the entire prophetic movement? What redemptive event was this grand band of spokesmen for God commissioned to interpret? If the exodus was the encapsulating event of the Mosaic period, and the coming of king and kingdom defined the days of David, what event with comparable significance characterized the era of “my servants the prophets”? From Hosea to Malachi the answer is clear. Exile and restoration, death and resurrection, expulsion from God’s presence and rejuvenation in his presence describe the days of the prophets. The cataclysmic events of exile and restoration emerge as the key that unlocks the significance of the varied ministries of Israel’s prophets. Some prophets anticipate exile, other prophets experience exile, the final prophets return from exile. It’s all about the Christ, the Israel of God, the Suffering Servant of the Lord, who experiences abandonment in sin-bearing and restoration as he sees the travail of his soul and finds satisfaction.

Third in this grand scheme of things was to be “The Christ of the Psalmists and Sages,” dealing with the poetical books of the Old Testament. But it was not to be. An initial effort at composing a brief twenty-page introduction to the theology of the Psalms proved to be a rewarding endeavor of personal enlightenment. The three-hundred-page result was The Flow of the Psalms (2015), in which the magnificent structure of the Psalter unfolded before my wondering eyes as a life-changing reality leading to God-centered, Christ-focused worship.

So now comes the other half of that originally conceived unity of “Psalmists and Sages.” The Christ of Wisdom (2017) deals biblically-theologically with five poetic volumes of the Old Testament that plumb the depths of divine wisdom. Internationally respected scholars find no natural resting place for the wisdom books of the Old Testament in a redemptive-historical approach to biblical theology. The books of wisdom resist pressure to take their proper place in the straightaway developmental timeline that stretches from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses to David to Christ. In fact, except for Lamentations, you will be hard-pressed to uncover a single reference to the flood, the patriarchs, the exodus, Sinaitic lawgiving, or Davidic king-making in these books of wisdom. So how do you fit these wisdom books into the flow of redemptive history that consummates in the Christ?

By letting them be what they are in their own distinctiveness. They are, it should be remembered, canonical, divinely revealed, and authoritative writings that tell the world how and what to think about the deeper mysteries of human life. Rather than submitting to the moldings and bendings of modernity, these books broaden our understanding of the nature of redemptive history. Divine progress in the complete restoration of reality does not merely move in a purely linear fashion like the flight of an arrow moving across time and space without deviation until it reaches its target. This “third dimension” of redemptive history moves in a cyclical pattern. For certain aspects of God’s salvation perform according to a pattern of regulated repetition. To ignore this dimension of redemptive history is to exclude a major portion of the old covenant canon—and that you do not want to do. Just as creation has its cycles, so also does redemption. Each year has its seasons, each day its hours. Each life has its birth, its budding, its decline, its death. So the life of faith and repentance in one patriarch somehow repeats itself in each subsequent patriarch. God’s people sin; the Lord inflicts judgment; they cry out in repentance; a singular saving hero appears; and the cycle begins again. Six times over, this identical pattern recurs in the age of Israel’s judges.

So the wisdom books of the Old Testament conform to this repetitive pattern. A regal father instructs his son how to walk in wisdom’s way, and expects him to pass on his enlightened understanding to the next generation (Proverbs). Dialoguing friends young and old come to a climax when they dialogue with the Divine. Joining in the discussion, the Almighty encourages humility whenever a person is forced to puzzle over the deepest challenges of life (Job). Male and female, bride and groom explore the wonders, the beauties of passionate love in vivid detail even as they pass along their perspectives on propriety in sexual relations to maidens of the next generation (Song of Songs). A wealthy king employs his vast resources to learn how to cope with life’s frustrations, and shares his insights as the singular Shepherd with other instructors (Ecclesiastes). How to weep rightly in the midst of life’s calamities represents an aspect of human wisdom eventually needed by one and all (Lamentations).

How can humanity live life to the fullest without the God-inspired wisdom of the wise? Everyone—young and old, male and female, rich and poor—sooner or later will need every bit of practical advice found in these “how-to” books of the Bible. Indeed, you may bungle along by the impulses of your own brain if you choose. But would it not be far better to “get wisdom,” to “get understanding”? With all the powers of your “getting,” “get wise!”

If you find yourself tantalized by these wisdom books to seek consummate wisdom, then turn your expectant eyes toward Jesus the Christ. For all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge consummate in him. He is the incarnate Word of wisdom who will willingly teach you his way.


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Endorsements

“I have often complained that modern Christians, even when diligent about ethics and worship, often fail to think deeply about epistemology, about knowing, about wisdom. They seek to grow in Christ, but they commit their education to secular teachers without any attempt to critique. That leads to spiritual shipwreck. The Bible speaks not only of trusting Christ and serving him in ethics and worship, but also about trusting him as the standard for thought. This is what biblical wisdom is about. It is a pattern of thinking that keeps the rest of life in proper order. Robertson’s book is the best I know of on this subject. It focuses on what the Bible itself says about wisdom, particularly in the wisdom literature. I have learned much from it, and I hope that many others will as well.”

—John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida

“Once again, O. Palmer Robertson has provided us with a mature fruit of his patient, wise, and meticulous biblical research. From a conservative-evangelical perspective, he explores the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, opening up new vistas of study and understanding of this part of Scripture, which until recently was undervalued and sometimes even neglected in Old Testament research. In his new book, Robertson convincingly argues that the so-called wisdom books do form an integral part of God’s Word, with their message and theology deeply embedded in redemptive history. Perhaps surprisingly, Lamentations is also included in this section. To call the books of wisdom ‘the how-to [puzzle, lament, love, etc.] books’ in the Old Testament canon is an eye-opener, just one of the many that the reader comes across in this rich and insightful work. Robertson’s joy in biblical research is contagious, as is his love for God’s Word that inspires him. The reading of this book is a joyful experience, and does not disappoint even if the reader disagrees with the author on some minor point.”

—Eric Peels, Professor of Old Testament Studies, Theological University, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

The Christ of Wisdom is a major contribution to Christian understanding of wisdom in the Old Testament. As always, Palmer Robertson’s work is firmly rooted in the full authority of Scripture and in the supremacy of Christ over all creation. Thus, he helps us explore many portions of Scripture that evangelicals often overlook. He not only addresses academic issues, but also provides enormously helpful insights into the practical application of biblical wisdom to modern life. Every believer will find that this volume expands his or her vision of what it means to follow ‘Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Col. 2:2–3).”

—Richard L. Pratt Jr., President, Third Millennium Ministries

“The work of wisdom is the purview of the good king. Jesus is a sage greater than Solomon (Matt. 12:42) because he is the true and final son of David, yet many pastors and teachers still find it difficult to preach Christ from the Old Testament wisdom books. This is why Robertson’s work is so greatly needed. As with his other writing, he carefully maps out the many ways in which the teaching of the Old Testament speaks to the broader story of redemption and the person of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Throughout this book, he reminds us that wisdom literature will not merely make us wise, but also acquaint us with the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

—John Scott Redd Jr., President and Associate Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

“How do the Old Testament wisdom books testify to the person and work of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27, 44)? In what way is Christ the incarnate wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24)? Let O. Palmer Robertson answer these questions for you in this book! I can think of no better treatment of this challenging topic from an orthodox, biblical-theological, redemptive-historical, covenantal perspective. As a master teacher, he leads his readers through the ancient world of wisdom literature, demonstrates how this material is vitally relevant for the church today, and magnifies the Christ of wisdom in each successive chapter. Robertson has helped us to heed the call of Scripture to ‘get wisdom’ (Prov. 4:5; 23:23) and so come to know the One ‘in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom’ (Col. 2:3).”

—Miles V. Van Pelt, Alan Belcher Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages; Director, Summer Institute for Biblical Languages; Academic Dean, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

War Psalms of the Prince of Peace: Lessons from the Imprecatory Psalms, Second Edition

War Psalms of the Prince of Peace: Lessons from the Imprecatory Psalms, Second Edition by James E. Adams

176 pages | List Price: $13.99 | Paperback | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Kindle | ePub/iTunes

About

25th Anniversary Revised And Expanded Edition

Although the Psalms are much beloved by readers of the Bible, some hostile language in individual psalms may be disconcerting. Are these seemingly vindictive prayers acceptable in the mouths of Christians? How is a pastor supposed to preach these texts?

James E. Adams wants us to embrace God’s Word in its entirety, and that means examining the parts that make us uncomfortable. In short, helpful chapters, Adams answers a number of questions: Are these psalms from God? Who is the speaker in the psalms? May we pray these psalms today? It turns out that the Prince of Peace has much to teach us about war, and even the imprecatory psalms may be prayed with the merciful goal of conversion.

Twenty-fifth anniversary edition—includes a new epilogue and additional chapter.

 

Table of Contents

Foreword

Preface

Chapters

1.  Those Puzzling Prayers from the Psalms

2.  Are These Prayers the Oracles of God?

3.  Who Is Praying These Psalms?

4.  Are Jesus’ Prayers Contradictory?

5.  May We Pray the Imprecatory Psalms?

6.  How Can We Preach These Prayers?

7.  Marching to War in God’s Kingdom!

Epilogue

The Psalms—Christ’s Prayer Book

Appendices

1. The Christian’s Duty Towards His Enemies

2.  Two Sermon Summaries

3.  The Messianic Cup of Wrath and Joy

4.  Index to Psalm Imprecations

5.  New Testament References to the Psalms

Notes

Bibliography—Help from Good Books

Gratitude

 

Endorsements

“James Adams’s book on the rather startling imprecatory psalms is the best of its kind. . . . Christ-centered throughout, it is enlightening, succinct, warm, practical, and helpful for everyone grappling with the strong language of these psalms—including pastors! Once you’ve read this book, you will no longer feel confused or embarrassed by these psalms, nor will you want to avoid them. . . . Let Dr. Adams’s book assist you to preach, teach, and pray the ‘war psalms’ as never before!”

—Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“Dr. James Adams’ War Psalms of the Prince of Peace must rank among the finest studies on the imprecatory psalms. . . . I routinely advise others to read this book when any question about those psalms arises. . . . We would all do well to spend time in this book, with these psalms, and in prayer for God to triumph over the forces of evil we face today.”

—Michael A. Milton, Chair for Missions and Evangelism, Erskine Theological Seminary

<About the Author?

About The Author

James E. Adams (DMin, Westminster Seminary California) has been the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Mesa, Arizona, for more than thirty-five years and has taught theology for Reformed Baptist Seminary and in Latin America.


 

Excerpt from God’s Names by Sally Michael

The following is an excerpt taken from God’s Names by Sally Michael.

Taken from the preface:

“You have before you a mini-primer on the character of God as revealed by His names. It is meant to be an interactive dialogue between adult and child as you discover God’s character together. It is also intended to serve as a springboard for trusting God in everyday experiences as truth is applied in real life.”


Chapter 2:

Elohim (ĕl ō hēm)

Strong Creator

The Bible shows us, little by little, name by name, who God is. It starts with the very first verse. Can you say the first verse in the Bible? If you said Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” then you are right. The very first book in the Bible tells us one of God’s names. In English, we just say “God,” but the Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language. There are many Hebrew words for the name that we call “God” in English. In Genesis 1:1, God’s name is Elohim. In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth. Can you say “Elohim”?

“Elohim” means “strong, mighty, powerful Creator.” The very first thing we learn about God in the Bible is that He is the Creator and He made the whole world. Some people don’t believe that God made the world, but the Bible is very clear that God is the Creator.

Let’s try an experiment. Cut up ten small pieces of paper and number them 1–10. Put them in a paper lunch bag. Have your mom or dad help you blow up the bag like a balloon and twist the top. Then shake the bag. Did you shake it well? Now pop the bag by hitting it with your hand—maybe Mom or Dad can help you. Did it make a big BANG?

Dump out the paper numbers. Are the numbers in a nice straight line? Are they all right-side-up? Are the numbers in order from 1 to 10? How will the numbers get in order? Right, only if someone puts them in order. Order does not happen by itself.

Our world is like that, too. Someone had to create the world and put it in order. The trees didn’t just fall into the ground with the roots going down. Someone had to put the stars in the sky and the mountains on the ground—instead of the other way around. That Someone is God, Elohim, Strong Creator.

Think about the trees. Are the leaves ever on the inside? No, they are always on the outside. Think about God's Names_planetshow flowers grow. Every flower has a stem. The stem has leaves. The petals grow out of the center of the flower. Do petals ever grow out of the ground? No, flowers follow a pattern—stem in the ground, leaves on the stem, petals from the center. Do patterns happen all by themselves? Who made the pattern for flowers? It was God, who is Elohim, Strong Creator.

The name “Elohim” tells us that God is the Creator, and it also tells us that God is a strong, mighty, powerful Creator.

When you made your numbers, you used paper. Did you make the paper? No, you used something that was already made. You didn’t make the paper . . . or the tree the paper was made from…or the sun that made the tree grow…or the seed that grew into a tree. You needed all these things to make your paper numbers.

Who made all the things the world is made from? It had to be Someone strong and mighty and powerful. Elohim, the Strong Creator, made the world and everything in it out of nothing! God just spoke and the world was created by His words. God is Elohim, the Strong Creator. No one helped God. He created the world by Himself. This is what God said about creating the world:

I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself. (Isaiah 44:24)

God did not need any help. He is Elohim, Strong Creator.

How many sandwiches could you make for your family? Could you make 10 sandwiches? Could you make 50? Could you make 500? Why couldn’t you make 500? Yes, you would get too tired, and you would run out of bread and other things for your sandwiches.

But God never gets tired, and He never runs out of things. Remember, He is Elohim, strong, mighty, powerful Creator. God didn’t make one bug or 50 bugs or even 500 bugs . . . God made MILLIONS of bugs! We don’t even really know how many bugs God made, because we keep finding bugs we didn’t know about. Only a strong, mighty, powerful Creator could make so many bugs. Only Elohim! Our God, Elohim, never gets stuck—He doesn’t run out of “bug material.” He never runs out of energy. He never runs out of ideas!

We haven’t even discovered all that God has created. Think about beetles. How many different kinds of beetles have you seen? We aren’t even sure how many kinds of beetles there are, because we are still finding more of God’s beetles. Some say 300,000. Others say 350,000. How do you know when man has found all the kinds of beetles? But Elohim knows because He made every single one of them. Don’t you think God must have enjoyed making all those kinds of beetles—each one a beetle, but each one different?

“Elohim” is a very good name for God. He is a strong, mighty, powerful Creator. When we look at God’s creation, our hearts should say, “God, you are great! You are Elohim, Strong Creator.” We should say, like Jeremiah:

Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17)

Learning to Trust God

  • Read Jeremiah 32:17 again. Ask God to give you a heart like Jeremiah’s that knows nothing is too hard for God.
  • Sing a worship song or hymn about the greatness of God.
  • Activity: Discover God’s world. Take a hike with your family. Look at the patterns in the world. Try to count the number of different things you find. Remind yourself of Jeremiah 32:17.

Excerpt taken from pages 20-23 of God’s Names by Sally Michael, copyright 2011, P&R Publishing.

NEW RELEASES — Christ and Covenant Theology & It Has Not Yet Appeared What We Shall Be

Christ and Covenant Theology: Essays on Election, Republication, and the Covenants by Cornelis P. Venema

504 pages | Direct Price: $24.99 $18.50 | Paperback | Kindle | ePub/iTunesAUTHOR VIDEO

About

“In the biblical drama of the living God’s works in creation and redemption,” writes Cornelis Venema, “no theme is more lustrous than that of God’s gracious intention to enjoy communion with humans who bear his image and whose lives have been broken through sin.”

This collection of Venema’s essays summarizes and defends a broad consensus view of the doctrine of the covenants in the history of Reformed theology and clarifies several areas of dispute.

Venema argues that (1) the distinction between a pre-fall covenant of works and a post-fall covenant of grace is an integral feature of a biblical and confessionally Reformed understanding of the history of redemption; (2) the distinction between a pre-fall covenant of works and a post-fall covenant of grace is necessary to preserve the sheer graciousness of God’s redemption in Jesus Christ; and (3) the doctrines of covenant and election are corollary doctrines, not opposed to each other, but mutually defining.

Endorsements

“No one today is better qualified to address the perennially important issues of covenant theology than Cornel Venema. In this volume he considers some of these issues in the context of current discussions and debates, doing so in a particularly instructive and helpful manner.”

—Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Cornelis Venema sheds much-needed light on issues ranging from the doctrine of republication to the Federal Vision theology. Regardless of whether one agrees with all of Venema’s specific conclusions, his arguments cannot be ignored. A must-read.”

—Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformation Bible College

“Cornel Venema . . . is an expert to whom I have often looked for analysis and assessment of important issues relating
 to classic covenant theology. . . . Venema is superb in his synopsis of and engagement with these kinds of issues.”

—Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary

“We have come to expect great things from Dr. Venema’s writings and this volume does not disappoint. Treatments of three major issues currently troubling Reformed churches are done with masterful analysis. Quite frankly, these pages are necessary reading from one finest theologians of our time.”

—Derek W. H. Thomas, Chancellor’s Professor, Reformed Theological Seminary

About the Author

Cornelis P. Venema (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is president of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, where he is also professor of doctrinal studies.



It Has Not Yet Appeared What We Shall Be: A Reconsideration of the Imago Dei in Light of Those with Severe Cognitive Disabilities by George C. Hammond

336 pages | List Price: $49.99 | Paperback | Series: Reformed Academic Dissertations

About

The doctrine of the imago Dei has been criticized for technically excluding people who suffer from severe cognitive disabilities. With such people in mind, Hammond reexamines the doctrine and sets forth a more accurate and inclusive understanding. This work concludes with implications and practical applications to help seminary professors, pastors, and church members include, embrace, and welcome people with severe intellectual disabilities and their families.

Endorsements

“A gift born out of much affliction of soul and mind. . . . In an age when the secular discussion of ‘personhood’ runs parallel to the theological discussion of imago Dei, Dr. Hammond gives us a careful, clear, and theologically detailed treatment of this vital doctrine for our day.”

—Michael S. Beates, Dean of Students, The Geneva School, Winter Park, Florida; Author, Disability & the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace

“This book is a gem, for it defends the traditional view of who we are in the face of the relevant theological and scientific issues. . . . It is unique, powerful, biblically sound, and practical. I am not aware of anything quite like it.”

—William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

“A powerful study of the image of God and also of the practical impact that our beliefs hold for our treatment of those who are mentally broken. This carefully researched and well-written book will move, disturb, challenge, and bless readers.”

—Chad Vandixhoorn, Chancellor’s Professor of Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

Also commended by:

  • Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
  • Peter Y. Lee, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC
  • Bryan Estelle, Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Seminary California

About The Author

George C. Hammond (M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary; D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is the pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Leesburg, Virginia, and a teaching fellow of the C. S. Lewis Institute Fellows Program.

About the Series

P&R’s Reformed Academic Dissertation (RAD) series consists of top-tier dissertations (Ph.D., Th.D., D.Min., and Th.M.) that advance biblical and theological scholarship by making distinctive contributions in the areas of theology, ethics, biblical studies, apologetics, and counseling. Dissertations in the RAD series are carefully selected, on the basis of strong recommendations by the authors’ supervisors and examiners and by our internal readers, to be part of our collection. Each selected dissertation provides clear, fresh, and engaging insights about significant theological issues.