God Has Appeared
If you’re a genuine believer, you know for certain that God has appeared to His creation. Have you ever stopped to think about what this really means? Is the God of the Bible like the gods of pagan religion? Does He show up in ways that make Him seem more human than divine? Does He reveal Himself only to certain special people? Is He intersted in the people He created or does He stand far off passively watching? The answer to these questions and many more can be found within the pages of scripture. Vern Poythress’ excellent work Theophany aids readers in finding these answers, and many more, in scripture. In Theophany, Poythress set out (in 48 chapters!) to provide a thorough study of the various ways God appears in scripture, the purposes and patterns of His appearances, the progression of His appearing in the Old Testament, and His appearances to the Church in the New Testament—especially in the Son and Holy Spirit.
A Pastor’s Book
As a preacher and pastor, Theophany will be of great use in my preaching, teaching, counseling, and writing. Poythress’ in-depth writing on the various appearances of God will prove to be useful no matter what section of scripture I find myself in. Whether I am nestled deep in the intricate wording of Pauline epistles or traveling the broad scope of an Old Testament historical book, God will appear. When I am in the prophets or teaching from the apocalyptic texts, God is there also. Poythress not only shows this to his readers, but he walks them through the intricacies of those theophanies and how they point to the broader theme of God appearing to His creation and particularly to those who have placed their faith in Him. Theophany will prove to be a useful tool for God-centered preaching anytime we encounter God’s presence, whether physically or metaphorically, in the biblical text.
A Believer’s Book
This book is easily accessible and will prove to be a blessing for any believer seeking to more deeply understand and worship the God Who has come. The majority of this book is devoted to the Old Testament theophanies and how God made Himself known to the world in the days before Christ. As an evangelical in 2018, I can see a great need for more depth of knowledge in the Old Testament. We live in times where the Old Testament comes under fire from mainline and so-called evangelical preachers more often than we would like to admit. Poythress has provided a great resource for believers to use while engaging with God in the largest three-fourths of His written word.
To Stimulate Worship
Theophanies wasn’t merely written as an academic book reserved for library shelves and seminary bookstores. Poythress’ work is written to stir us up in our communion with God. His concluding sentences remind us of the monumental focus and aim we should have in all of our theology:
“Because God is God, in the communion and indwelling of the persons of the Trinity, he is pleased to present himself to us in his manifestation and his appearing. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, world without end! May the reality of our communion with God stimulate us to serve God in the hope of the fuller communion to come: He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Rev. 22: 20)”
Rating: 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Chrys Jones is a Christian, husband, father of three, pastor, and teacher. He is also a recording artist and producer for Christcentric Records and a book briefer for Accelerate Books. In his free time, Chrys loves to spend time with his family, roast coffee, read good books, and listen to beat tapes and jazz.