When Christopher J.H. Wright produces a book, it will be worth checking out. Every book of his that I’ve read, whether it be a commentary or theological work, is simply above average. I think the reason he so often succeeds is that his scholarship on any issue involving the Old Testament can stand up against any other scholar’s work, yet his works possess a spirituality that few of them can match. Every time I read one of his works, I’m reminded of how much he possesses the flavor of his mentor, John Stott. Not that he just repackages Stott’s work, but he has that special gift to blend scholarship and spirituality that is too often lacking these days.
This work is a little different. Not in quality, but in what he usually writes. IVP has started publishing these books (I enjoyed the one on philosophy) and I assume a series may follow. As you can imagine, these books are more of a survey. In this case, we are getting our overview from seven key texts of the Old Testament. Both the number seven and the choice of texts are arbitrary, or at least debatable, but Mr. Wright has chosen as well as anyone could. What he did accomplish, though, is using these texts to cover more ground. For example, when he chose, “the Lord is my shepherd”, he covered what all the Psalms and wisdom writings are attempting to accomplish in the Old Testament. In other words, he pulled off this difficult writing assignment.
His choices were creation with Genesis 1:1, Abraham with Genesis 12:3, Exodus with Exodus 20:2, David with I Samuel 13:14, the prophets with Micah 6:8, gospel with Isaiah 52:7, and Psalms and wisdom with Psalm 23:1. As I said above, he covers much more ground than those texts suggest. To my mind, he chose these texts to unlock the larger narrative of each section of Scripture.
This book would be ideal for a Bible student’s first pass at surveying the Old Testament. Pastors might not need this book as much as others he has written but would probably be happy to put it in the hands of their people. Still, even the most seasoned Christian will find nuggets along the way in this winning volume.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.