Saturday, May 3, 2014

Book Review: Is Jesus in the Old Testament? by Iain Duguid

Reading, studying and preaching from the Old Testament has made a resurgence lately and likewise there has been a numerous new books published on the subject. Just last year Iain Duguid made a valuable contribution to the list of books with Is Jesus in the Old Testament? Written for the Basics of Faith series, it is a handy guide to begin seeing Jesus in the Old Testament.

Duguid begins by stating his purpose, Rightly interpreted, the whole Old Testament is about Jesus Christ. This is the premise of the book and accurately stated. He writes, The Old Testament is therefore a book whose every page is designed to unfold for us the gospel of Jesus Christ, accomplished by his sufferings and resurrection and applied through the outpouring of the Spirit on all nations. Indeed it does. Duguid just plainly lays out that the O.T. unfolds the story of Christ.

I most appreciated his statement, According to Jesus and the apostles, then, when you interpret the Old Testament correctly, you find that its focus is not primarily stories about moral improvement, calls for social action, or visions concerning end-time events. Rather, the central message of the Old Testament is Jesus: specifically the sufferings of Christ and the glories that follow...  Too often the O.T. has been boiled down to moral situations that are solved by our O.T. heroes. Though we can learn much about God's morals for us there, the thrust has been misplaced and its teachings misapplied. Hence, all of Scripture points to the gospel.

Then with clarity Duguid instructs how not to read the Old Testament by avoiding some often used strategies; allegorical moralism, allegorical interpretation and moralism.  To say the least, Duguid is spot on with each observation.

In the final chapter the reader gets to the heart of the matter in Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament. Duguid weaves his way, back and forth, through the Bible's meta-narrative shedding light on the culmination of Scripture: Jesus Christ and His finished work. And we see that all of the Old Testament, therefore, points to Christ. It is the groundwork for all we have in the New Testament. By far this is the best chapter of the book. The ministry of Christ in his suffering and resurrection is thus the central focus of the whole Old Testament...It is the good news of the gospel that we have been called to declare to the nations, beginning in Jerusalem and continuing until the message has been heard to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

This little volume is perfectly written for the new believer or a high school class. Moreover, it would be well suited to a believer transitioning out of Arminianism. I enjoyed it and I think you will, too. Four out of five stars!

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