les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doing justice to Judges ?

Book review - Judges for you - Tim Keller

When I read Prodigal God I was, as they say, blown away. It immediately became the book I recommend first to folk. My response to King's Cross was less unequivocal; there were certain parts that I found less helpful.

So when I got Judges for You to review I was prepared for almost anything. Not only that, but I preached through Judges a few years ago, helped enormously by Dale Ralph Davis' book.  Judges is a wonderful book. It has everything : warfare, human interest, humour, heroic women and strong men - characters larger than life all set against a background of chaos and decline - and overarching it all, the covenant grace of the Saviour God. It's hard to really do justice to Judges !

Keller deals with the book very well indeed, and I think this could be the book of choice for small group Bible study. 

He does enjoy the humour - witness the story of Ehud. He does face up to the more earthy details of the story. He does direct the reader to Christ - more than I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Keller is going to address the issues that concern him in his contact - so there's sections that deal with judgement, battle and slaughter, for example. His approach to Deborah's ministry is well-discussed and measured. His conclusion is attractive but would need careful thinking through before it could be implemented in a local congregation. Jephthah's is a story that invites long and hard reflection. Keller doesn't shrink from hard-hitting conclusions that search us deeply.

In short, this is a very good book indeed. It is a good complement to other volumes. Used for personal reading and reflection or for group study it will confront us with the dreadful possibility that for us, too, perhaps God's people have become indistinguishable from the people around, effectively lawless and kingless - and will direct us to the King we need. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused Reviews book review programme. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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