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Dennis Kinlaw, Lectures in Old Testament Theology

Last week I spent some time in Lectures in Old Testament Theology, by Dennis Kinlaw (with John Oswalt). This is a very useful summary of Old Testament teaching. It is essentially the transcripts of oral addresses and thus it reads very easily. Though aware of the academic issues, these addresses are pitched at a level for interested lay people and students. The volume is especially strong on theology and application.

I liked how he placed the Psalms at the center of Old Testament theology (see below).

Here are a few quotes to illustrate the approach of the book:

“The basis of the ministry of the church of Christ is in the Scripture” (13).

“The place to begin reading the Old Testament theologically is with the book of Psalms” (13).

“…my concern is that too often we separate theology from worship. If the goal of theology is the knowledge of the true God, the end result of that experience ought to be adoration and praise and prayer” (13).

“The book of Psalms is, without question, one of the greatest pieces of human literature” (13).

“…let us take Psalms for our starting point, because here is where we find what Israel really believed, and how it affected their daily lives” (14).

“…it is, as I have said, the truest record of Israel’s faith. The Psalms portray Israel at prayer. And it is when we pray that we find out what we really believe, what our theology actually is” (15).

“You will not find Him in a bit of superficial reading. You must immerse yourself in the text. This is not because God is hiding Himself or ‘playing hard to get.’ He wants to be found far more than we want to find Him. It is just that we are so superficial that God cannot break through us very easily. So you live in the text. You must get to the place where God’s Word is part of you. But if you do, you will go back and give thanks for this study the rest of your days, not because of the teacher or the textbook, but because of the exposure to the Word of God” (16).

“One of the reasons the New Testament does not live for us is because we do not really know the Old Testament the way we should” (17).

“The Bible’s purpose is that we might have communion with God” (21).

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