Headphones And Homiletics
Get To Know Motyer
If J. Alec Motyer is not on your list of authors to read, it’s probably about time to get to know him. Though he recently entered his heavenly abode (August 2016), Motyer’s voice is still very present through his numerous commentaries, devotional books, and other writings. For me, reading Motyer was like unearthing a gold mine of Old Testament theology. I haven’t yet seen writings on the Old Testament that contain more sound scholarship and devotional warmth than Motyer. He takes a largely neglected and misunderstood section of scripture and reminds readers that the Old Testament is flavorful and vital food for our souls.
How Do You Feel About The Old Testament?
Motyer opens this book with a much-needed question: “Do you find the Old Testament more than a little bit daunting?” This is a question many people will answer with, “yes, of course!”. This book is written to help those who not only feel it is daunting, but also carry a misguided view that keeps us from actually reading the Old Testament much. Notice that I said “us”. I, too, do not read much of the Old Testament and feel lost in a foreign world that I have been told doesn’t correlate with the New Testament Christian experience.
A Devotional Work
Motyer traces 6 Old Testament themes throughout this devotional book. Why do I consider it devotional? Frankly, because Motyer clearly states in the introduction that “the readings are more important than the introductions, so if you find any chapter best left for later, why not get on with the readings and then come back to it?” He desires communion with God in His inspired Word rather than merely reading his words and missing out on the treasures of the scriptures themselves. For each major theme, he offers 6 days of readings with some brief commentary to supplement the readings.
The 6 themes he shares will help readers enjoy the Old Testament in a more organized and accessible way than they may have tried before. Rather than aimlessly picking up in a random place or dreadfully trudging through the law with no concept of what’s going on, Motyer gives brief overviews of the themes of history, religion, worship, prophecy, wisdom, and God as they present themselves in the Old Testament. In the appendix, he also provides 24 weeks worth of short daily readings with more brief commentary to help readers explore the riches of the Old Testament for themselves.
A Swiss Army Knife
Swiss army knives are known for their numerous practical uses. Motyer has presented the Church with a swiss army knife on the Old Testament. This book could be used for personal devotion, discipleship, small group classes, or even a sermon series. The six themes are easily identifiable, and the readings are brief enough to illustrate the theme while not forcing the theme onto the biblical text. The commentary is brief enough to illuminate some truths in the passages while also giving readers the hunger to do more digging for themselves.
Get your copy of “6 Ways The Old Testament Speaks Today” here!
Note: I received a free copy of this book from Crossway. I was not required to write a positive 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.