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5 Stars Out Of 5
A great introduction to Biblical Theology
December 3, 2012
[Special thanks to Penny Glover and IVP UK for providing a review copy of this book. Read full review at mydigitalseminary.wordpress.com]
T. Desmond Alexander has provided the church with a magnificent work of Biblical Theology that is both accessible and scholarly.
From Eden to the New Jerusalem attempts to give a big picture (meta-narrative) of God's plan for creation by tracing six central themes throughout the Bible. With this thesis, Alexander hopes to address an area of neglect that he sees in Biblical scholarship, showing how the Biblical storyline works as a whole.
The first theme is the presence of God on earth, which others are built upon. As a result this chapter proves to be the most substantial (61 pages out of 193 total), which is welcome considering the concept being foreign to many. _ It is heavily grounded in Scripture and very persuasively argued. Unfortunately, Christ as the temple is only briefly touched on, which seems to me a significant oversight since Christ is not only the hero of our story, but also because He and His work are the hinge on which God's presence turns from being limited to a holy building to indwelling a now-holy people. _
The final chapter was a little confusing as no clear overarching thesis could be discerned. An interesting comparison of Babylon to the New Jerusalem quickly morphed into a mini-â€˜sermon' against capitalism. While this is natural in discussing Babylon, it felt like a misstep and distraction from the book's overall purpose.
My most significant issues with the book are a) the neglect that Christ receives in some chapters rather than being central, and b) a lack of discussion about the role that heaven plays as a temporary waiting place for the New Creation.
However, I must praise this tremendous book highly. It is amazingly concise given the Scriptural wealth found within. Alexander sets a great example in his very clear writing, bringing sometimes-complicated truths down to earth for the rest of us in this thoroughly eye opening and Biblical book.
I would eagerly recommend this to both new and seasoned Christians, as I believe both would benefit greatly from this book.
T.D. Alexander's proposol of a biblical theology that links Genesis and Revelation is to my sense something that we all thougt about but never could formulate with such clarity. Using the garden of Eden has a blueprint for the temple of God that will find it's full expression in the New Jerusalem is remarkable because has the author suggest "the biblical description of our future existance has more in common with our present life than most people assume...". I say remarkable mostly because that theme is well developped and easy to understand. It gives a new flavor to that restored relationship with the Father that we can expect to lived, a life to it's fullness, sinless but in an environnment not so different from the one we live in. Can't hardly wait to get there.