Book Review- The Unfolding Mystery

Erik Raymond —  July 9, 2009

It is one of those “I wish I could have been there moments”.  You know the scene.  It is post resurrection.  The Lord Jesus is walking with his disciples only they have no idea that it is him.  Instead of giving them a whack on the back of the head and telling them who he was Christ unpacked the Scriptures that pointed to him.  It was this unpacking, Luke says, that ultimately caused their eyes to be opened and see Christ.  The disciples very hearts “burned within” them (Luke 24.32).

What did Jesus preach?  The text tells us broadly “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (24.47).  This was not an isolated proof text here or there but rather a systmatic unpacking of the Bible’s central story-line that culminates in the person and work of Christ.  This seven mile walk must have been sermon after sermon of how the Old Testament Scriptures point to Christ.  O’ how wonderful this walk must have been!

We obviously do not have access to the sermon notes but we do have the text.  And Edmond Clowney aims to help us see how the Old Testament Scriptures point forward and speak loudly as to Christ.  Beginning with Adam and Eve and working throuhout the biblical narrative, Clowney carefully and passionately points us to Christ.

I say that he does so carefully because there is a dangerous tendency to find Jesus in passages where he is not there.  I often times hear preachers run to Christ from a passage and wonder how they got there; I am delighted that they are bragging on Christ but wonder how in the world they made it there.  Clowney does not do such things.  He carefully and faithfully explains the passages within the overall biblical context and shows how Christ is seen in the Scriptures.  From the narratives surrounding Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Solomon we are given healthy insights into Christ’s prefigurement in the Old Testament.

This book is an easy and fun read.  Clowney was a great writer who had the ability to teach you without feeling like you were working too hard.  You come away from each chapter with your heart burning a bit within you!

This book has made it to my top 10 list and will be reread regularly.  I highly recommend it.

Discounted copies are available at Westminster Books or Amazon.

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond