Skip to main content

God's Word, Our Story


God's Word, Our Story




God’s Word, Our Story: Learning from the Book of Nehemiah, Edited by D.A. Carson and Kathleen Nielson

What is needed in our world is not a slender vision of God and a massive vision of human flourishing.  We desperately need to hear and interpret God’s Word in a way that first signals glory to Him and secondly calls us to a robust living where grace and holiness are met.  In this new book on the book of Nehemiah, God’s Word, Our Story,  various Gospel Coalition authors bring together much wisdom on Nehemiah, our place in God’s story, and the  mighty God behind it all.

Kathy Keller begins our study with a look at the rebuilding of the Temple but primarily looking at the reign of King Cyrus.  She writes with clarity, “But whatever Cyrus’s motives were, God had promised through Isaiah and Jeremiah that Cyrus would be his shepherd—Isaiah actually uses that word, shepherd—to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. So here we see the first of many examples of the Word of the Lord finding its fulfillment in the mixed motives of a pagan king (23).”  The fragility of Israel and the waywardness of her inhabitants was quite unsure about Cyrus, but God repeatedly told them that their rule would not end even with Cyrus, for he would be part of God’s plan.  We also get a strong sense of the power of God’s Word in the midst of Nehemiah’s prayers in the early chapters of his book.  The strong connection of God working amidst a pagan king and a devoted follower of God in Nehemiah (not least his prayer life) brings out the wisdom and relevance of Nehemiah for today.

Kathleen Nielson reminds us that the returning exiles of Nehemiah’s day ordered their lives and their worship on the promises of God and on joy (121).  The offerings of the Levites and the priests both offering sacrifices and reading the Law could’ve been a snooze affair, but the people rejoiced over the people and the priests who ministered to them.  Why is this so important?  Because this attitude brings glory to God and it enlivens our own spiritual path.  It is easy to chafe at God and see his law as a burdensome weight on our shoulders, but the people here reveled in God’s promises with joy.

This book is a really good synthesis of careful study of Nehemiah and practical application.  I hope many find encouragement in these words.

Thanks to Crossway Publishers for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…