About This Blog

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Walking with Jesus Through the Old Testament" (Paul Stroble)

TITLE: Walking with Jesus through the Old Testament: Devotions for Lent
AUTHOR: Paul Stroble
PUBLISHER: Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2016, (136 pages).

The Old Testament points to Jesus in more ways than most people would have thought. With Lent approaching this Wednesday, it is appropriate to prepare our hearts through a more devotional life, to let Scriptures capture our imagination; to walk through the Old Testament with an eye on the cross; to put ourselves in the shoes of Jesus. The hope is that as we do this, we will experience the presence of Jesus in some very special way this Lent and every Lent. Each day, there is a title and scripture passages. Following this is a prayer and a challenge to dig deeper into the mood of Lent by self-examination, self-denial, and daily actions. The "Sunday Reflection" is a summary reflection of the week, which reflects on the whole week's passage themes as a block. This helps readers to think back on the past week. The first week shows us how the prophecy all started. The second week gives us a glimpse of Jesus' early years on earth, from the infanticide due to Herod's evil; to the pronouncement of Jesus' ministry with the baptism episode. The third week shows us snippets of Jesus' ministry. The fourth week helps us see the manifold blessings of Jesus via teaching, healing, and helping. In the fifth week, we see the themes of salvation like Israel's exodus from Egypt; the covenants; the giving of the Law; the Prophets; the Priests; and glimpses of Christ's sacrifice.
The book is structured as follows:
  • Week 1: Beginnings
  • Week 2: Jesus’ Early Years
  • Week 3: Jesus’ Ministry
  • Week 4: Jesus and Our Well-Being
  • Week 5: Great Themes of Salvation
  • Week 6: Jesus and Other Biblical Figures
  • Holy Week
Paul Stroble is on the faculty at Webster University and Eden Theological Seminary. He is also an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church as well as the author of numerous articles and books. Here, he has given us a devotional framework that models how we can walk through the Old Testament with Christ in mind. In doing so, we can learn to read the other passages with similar themes. The strengths of this book lay in the consistent framework, the clear biblical thrusts, the weekly reflections, and the challenge for individuals to dig deeper. Like many other devotionals, the key weakness is not the devotional itself but the temptation for readers NOT to read the Scripture passages concerned. This can be reduced by including the passages into the devotional itself, but that would make the devotional bulky. For the ebook, links can be included. That makes it more convenient but still depends on the readers to manually click on the passage.

All in all, this book presents a fresh way to prepare our hearts for Lent. Use it beginning this Ash Wednesday.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Westminster John Knox Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

No comments:

Post a Comment