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Archive for the ‘messianic prophecies’ Category

Song of a Suffering King Fesko

This is a short and wonderful devotional commentary through the first eight Psalms.  It might seem unusual that the author J.V. Fesko is a professor of systematic theology at WSC is writing this commentary on the Psalms but I thought he did a good job for a devotional commentary.  Every theologian ought to be able to write something like this since the Word is what every theologian is building upon.  Fesko’s commentary is trying to show the readers how the first eight Psalm is about Jesus Christ.  I think for those who want to see what Christ-centered preaching/reading of the Bible is like, this is a book to get the flavor.  My favorite chapter was his look into Psalm 1.  I really enjoyed the author’s observation and argument from the content of Psalms 1 that the “righteous man” in Psalm anticipates more of Christ than it does anyone else since only Christ is the one who is totally righteous.  The author insist strongly that Psalm 1:1 ought to be translated “blesses is the man” rather than something more generic such as “blessed are those,” since the “man” here is referring to Jesus.  Fesko then makes the point from the New Testament that we can be righteous too provided we are grafted into Christ, thus playing on the motif within Psalm 1.  I appreciated the devotional questions in the back of each chapter.  The author was able to point us to Christ and also not neglect the original context of the Psalms themselves (David and his life, etc).  I only wished he could have brought out more insight from the text itself at times (that criticism is one not only for this book but one that I have for most devotional commentary in general).  Excellent book, I recommend it.

NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher Reformation Heritage Books through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion. The thoughts and words are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

Get it on Amazon: Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1 8

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Three years ago I posted .

In light of the fact that Black Friday was yesterday I thought I add a few more books to that lists of books I recommend if you are looking for gifts for those who are curious about Presuppositional apologetics or getting more into it.  Of course, if it’s someone who is intensely into Van Til’s apologetics, it doesn’t hurt to ask whether or not they have it already.

Here are a few that I think I can recommend with links to my review:

1.) Christian Apologetics by Dr. Cornelius Van Til

Christian Apologetics

Note: For some reason I really enjoyed the format of this book more than Van Til’s Defending the Faith.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

2.) Pushing the Antithesis

Pushing the Antithesis

Note: Found this helpful for apologetics discipleship with the format though not without concern (see comment section of the review).

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

3.) Persuasion

Persuasions A Dream of Reason Meeting Unbelief Wilson

Note: Good sketches of what apologetics and evangelism conversation with a Van Tillian bent looks like with different folks.

Purchase: Amazon

4.) 

Schaeffer on the Christian Life

Note: This spiritual biography is authored by a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary.  A good devotional and spiritual read for an apologist, to keep one’s life spiritually balance and not just “head knowledge.”

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

5.) 

Unfolding Mystery Edmund Clowney

Note: 25th Anniversary edition.  I think it’s important for Presuppositionalists to also really know their Scriptures and their Old Testament Messianic prophecies pointing towards Jesus Christ.  If one claims to be driven by Scripture in apologetics (where the Word sets the framework for apologetics) I think it’s also important to know how the Old Testament prophesied about Jesus as the Messiah.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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Daniel's Prophecy of the 70 Weeks

Don’t be fooled, this short little book surprisingly is a heavier weight of exegesis than what its size may look like.  After seeing this work cited in various footnotes in Dispensational books and journal articles, I thought I go to the source and read this book myself.  I was not disappointed.  The book focuses on the Prophet Daniel’s oracle of the Seventy Weeks in Daniel chapter nine.  In analyzing the passage the book is divided into three parts:  The first sixty nine weeks which predicts the coming Messianic Prince; then the gap between the sixty ninth and Seventieth week; and finally the seventieth week and the coming of the Roman Prince.  Daniel 9 has Messianic prophecies that have significance for apologetics which the introduction of the book rightly points out.  It is a testimony of the power of the Scriptures and also stirs confidence for the believer that the remaining prophecies of the Seventieth week will no doubt also be fulfilled.  I appreciate this book’s argument for why the “weeks” means groupings of seven years and also showing how prophecies up to the sixtieth ninth week have been fulfilled quite literally.  This of course strongly suggests that details of the future Seventieth week will be fulfilled literally as well.  I thought the author did a good job in carefully cross referencing other passages in order to illuminate Daniel 9 and he was able to do it such a way that one gets the sense he did justice to the text instead of merely “proof-texting” with disregard of the context and also lack of care in thinking through the passage’s inter-textuality.  Originally written in 1940 (before the 1948 formation of Israel) and having gone through multiple printing, I find this book to be a classic and a must read.

UPDATE: RALPH AKA “BOGRAPHY” HAS SHARED THAT THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE ONLINE IN A 5 PART PDF SET IF YOU CLICK HERE.

If you must really buy a hard copy of the book, get it over at AMAZON.

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Unfolding Mystery Edmund Clowney

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Recently there have been several books published on the topic of Jesus in the Old Testament.  While technically not a new book, P&R will be releasing the 25th Anniversary edition of The Unfolding Mystery on August 28th 2013.  In the introduction Edmund Clowney makes the point that it is possible to know a story from the Bible and yet miss the Bible’s story.  I agree with Clowney of the importance of seeing the Scripture as a whole pointing us towards Jesus Christ whether prophetically, typologically or directly.  This includes the Old Testament.  In nine chapters, Clowney provides the reader with a survey of selected passages from the Old Testament and how it points us towards Christ.  In most instances Clowney does this well.  I enjoyed how he observed the meaning of names of various Biblical characters has significance in anticipating Christ through a redeem lineage:  Seth is related lexically to the verb meaning “appoint” or “establish” that is echoing Genesis 3:15 of how God has appointed enmity between the Messianic “Seed” and the devil’s seed.  Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude” that reflects the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant.  Issac’s name meant laughter—with the mother Sarah laughing not in unbelief as she did previously but because of incredulous joy.  Israel’s name meant “God Prevails,” which indicate who really won when Israel wrestled with the Divine Angel of the Lord.  There were however instances that Clowney was trying too hard to put Christ into the text such as the account of Jacob wrestling in the dark was described by Clowney as foreshadowing Christ’s agony in the darkness of Gethsemane.  He also wrote that “the theocratic law of Israel as the people of God is continued in the church,” but also add that “its sanctions are spiritual, not physical.”  I would say the theocratic laws of Israel is for the state and not the church, and that they are not “spiritual,” if by spiritual Clowney means “non-physical,” since there can not be any such thing as a non-spiritual law if it’s coming from God.  This is not to take away the bigger portion of the book that is good, and that Clowney does a good job of unfolding Christ in the Old Testament.  The format of the book is also helpful:  Clowney’s granddaughter has written study and application questions that are included at the end of each chapter that are excellent for personal reflection and also group discussion.

NOTE: This book is provided to me free by Presbyterian and Reformed and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Brief_Illustrated_Guide_To_Understanding_Islam

Three months ago I refuted a frequent Muslim argument that the Bible in Deuteronomy 18 is a prediction about Muhammad, specifically as it was presented in A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam.   In today’s post, I want to revisit a quote from the book in order to reinforce the Christian claim that Deuteronomy 18 is a predication about Jesus Christ and not Muhammad.  According to the booklet:

So, this prophecy refers to Muhammad  and not to Jesus, because Muhammad  is more like Moses than Jesus.” (Page 34)

One of course has to ask, “In what ways is Jesus like Moses?”  Rather than point out trivial similarities  between the two (something I think A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam commits in trying to “prove” Muhammad), I think a better way is to ask how the Bible in the New Testament presents Jesus as the paralleling “New Moses” (while remembering that the Quran obligates the Muslim to believe in the veracity of the New Testament as I have argued elsewhere on our blog).

Here it would be appropriate to read the account of Moses in Exodus, and Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.  Both were originally written for a Jewish audience.  Thus it would be reasonable to expect Matthew to make allusions and echoes of events of Moses’ life recorded in Exodus if Jesus was the one predicted in Deuteronomy 18.  It turns out that the Gospel of Matthew intentionally presents Jesus as the New Moses.  The following are ways Jesus was like Moses.

  1. Born during the reign of an oppressive king (Moses with Pharoah in Exodus 1:8-14; Jesus with King Herod in Matthew 2:1)
  2. The evil ruler decree the killing of children that threaten the newborn’s life (Exodus 1:15-16; Matthew 2:16-18)
  3. The witnesses of the birth of the child obeyed God and therefore disobeyed the ruler (Midwives in Exodus 1:17-22; Magi in Matthew 2:12, 16)
  4. Soon after being born, the baby was placed in a box (ark for Moses, manger for Jesus)
  5. God protects the witnesses (Midwives in Exodus 1:17-22; Magi in Matthew 2:12)
  6. Child was raised by a non-biological father (Pharaoh for Moses and Joseph for Jesus)
  7. The newborn survived by hiding in Egypt (Exodus 2; Matthew 2:13-15)
  8. When the child grew older, God leads them to depart from Egypt (Exodus 13-14; Matthew 2:19-23)
  9. After leaving Egypt, water around them symbolizes a new era (the parting of the sea Exodus 14:13-31; Baptism, Matthew 3:13-17)
  10. Both enter the Wilderness for a considerable time of testing (Forty years, Exodus 16:35; Forty days, Matthew 4:1-11)
  11. Both expounds on God’s law to God’s people in a mountain (Mount Sinai, Exodus 19-20ff; Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7)

The parallels are astounding.  A Muslim might say that the above are “trivial” parallels.  I would say look up the passages and let the Holy Spirit bear witness through His Word.  Moreover, if these parallel are insignificant and trivial, what do we have to say about the Muslim’s case for Muhammad being like Moses?  However, readers must not forget the conclusion made in the previous post on Deuteronomy 18 that the New Testament explicitly teach in direct didactic passages of epistolary literary forms, that Jesus is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18.  Muslims are in a dilemma here when their own Qur’an affirm the authority and textual reliability of the Bible while the parallel of Jesus to Moses is much more greater than the parallel of Muhammad to Moses.  The right thing to do would be to surrender to Jesus, and start hearing Him speak as a Prophet about Himself in the Bible.  Then by the grace of God, may any reading this who do not know Him come to the saving knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

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Good Friday and Easter (Resurrection Sunday) is around the corner.  I think this would be appropriate.

isaiahwealllikesheepblackcrucifix

Here is a four part audio series titled “The Scriptural Road of Emmaus” which covers Messianic Types and Prophecies found in the Old Testament:

Road to Emmaus: Sin, why we need a Savior

Messianic Type: Sacrificing Beloved Only Son

Messianic Prophecy: Psalm 22

Messianic Prophecy: Isaiah 53

The title of the series is playing on the account of the two disciples walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus recorded in Luke 24 in which Jesus gives a study on the Old Testament predicting the Messiah.

Note: The last one is bi-lingual, it is preached in English but has another language that it’s being interpreted into.

As I have said previously in this blog, I believe Presuppositional apologetics’ stress on being biblical in approaching apologetics is a good thing; and like other Presuppostionalists I would agree that the Christian apologist must be Biblical in one’s worldview, epistemology and philosophy of evidence, etc.  But I would also say that it’s important for the Presuppositionalists to know their Bibles well enough in particular with their Old Testament: so that they can marshal Messianic Prophecies!  Afterall, Old Testament Messianic prophecies are the evidences that God has given directly in His Word pointing to and predicting the Messiah’s life and ministry that Jesus Christ has fulfilled.  It would be ironic for the apologist who stress so much about being Biblical to end up being weak in the Evidences that God’s direct special revelation has given.  That of course is not to downplay the importance of being conscious of the philosophy of evidence and presuppositions when dialoguing since these are not neutral (Presuppositionalists’ point) nor does that mean we should not master the actual details of the facts of Jesus’ life and ministry (often, the traditional Evidentialist’s big focus).  But if we believe it’s the hearing of God’s Word that produces faith then we best master it to expose His Word to those whom we are evangelizing and giving a defense towards.

Plus there is something about incorporating and studying Messianic prophecies that makes one’s apologetics doxological since it’s centered on Christ!

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Not too long, internet Christian apologist J.W. Wartick had a good post about recovering the lost defense of Christianity.  I’ve enjoyed what he had to say, and had myself here on Veritas Domain introduced apologetics’ resources from the past that still have value for today (besides the value of historical insight into the development and progress of how Christian apologetics have progressed today, or even how the past can point out similar timeless truth!).

Why not as old, I this resource is one that is important, concerning Messianic prophecies.

William N. Harding is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Biblical Theological Seminary and presently serves as the Seminary Chaplain. He continues a lifelong teaching ministry at churches, Bible conferences, and college campuses worldwide. He is a graduate of the King’s College and Faith Theological Seminary (M.Div and S.T.M.)

His syllabus could be accessed by clicking HERE.

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