Larry R. Helyer,
Yesterday, Today and Forever
The Continuing Relevance of the Old Testament
Second Edition

 

List Price: $36.95
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 459
ISBN(10):  1-879215-470
ISBN(13): 978-1-879215-47-4
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Description:

This updated and expanded edition is intended for use as a text in Christian and Bible college courses such as Old Testament Survey or Biblical Literature. Dr. Helyer presents the study of the Old Testament with a fresh approach which springs from the conviction that the basic theological issues of the Old Testament are as relevant now, at the beginning of the 21st century, as they were when originally penned. The reason lies in the unchanging nature of what it means to be human. The fundamental questions of human existence are theological questions-questions which are the same at all times and in all cultures. Questions like: Who am I? How can I know and please God? What will happen to me and the world? The essential message of the Old Testament speaks to these enduring questions, so the passage of centuries has not rendered it out-of-date.

Review:

" Dr. Larry R. Helyer has been able to chart one of the most interesting courses for threading one's way through detail that usually bogs most readers down. Without oversimplifying the difficult or jettisoning the complex, he has singled out eight theological themes that allow us to be introduced to the heart of the message of the Bible. Like a guided tour of a city or site in another country, Helyer's text will help you get the 'big picture' of the whole of God's revelation by taking you on a tour of the most essential sites." - Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Excerpt: (from the forward)

What is more relevant in the age of modernity now passing into the age of post-modernity than the revelation God has given in the Scriptures? And with over three-fourths of that word being embodied in the Old Testament, it would seem more than reasonable that that portion of the canon of Holy Scripture should be given some sort of pride of place for those who aspire to know God, his will, and his truth. Alas, for most readers of the Bible, the Old Testament is the last place to which they would turn for a word from God! What an enormous treat is being missed by such a decision!

But despite many hesitancies, the Old Testament turns out to be one of the most pleasing, surprising, and foundational studies for understanding both the New Testament and many current problems in the post-modern age. Dr. Larry R. Helyer has been able to chart one of the most interesting courses for threading one's way through detail that usually bogs most readers down. Without oversimplifying the difficult or jettisoning the complex, he has singled out eight theological themes that allow us to be introduced to the heart of the message of the Bible. Like a guided tour of a city or site in another country, Helyer's text will help you get the 'big picture' of the whole of God's revelation by taking you on a tour of eight of the most essential sites.

But why should you even be interested in such a visit to these eight highlights of the essential message of the Old Testament? Simply because the Old Testament is the master issue that affects all of Christian theology! There is hardly one issue that we currently face in the Church or in our modern world where the Old Testament does not possess some foundational pieces of truth that must go into the decision-making process.

This becomes all the more apparent in Helyer's four core concepts that provide the centerpiece around which the permanent value of the Old Testament is described. Foremost among these four core concepts is the unity of God's plan of salvation. Too much emphasis is usually given to the details and particulars of most disciplines, including the study of the Old Testament, with little or no emphasis being placed on any discussion of overarching themes. But here you will see a wonderful balance between a study of the parts and the whole.

The other three core concepts are nonetheless valuable, while also being unusual for textbooks of this sort: faith and politics, faith and the future, and faith and ethics. Helyer rightly resists all of modernity's easy bifurcations between faith and its involvement in the real world. Not everyone will agree with every detail-especially in the area of politics-but no one can afford to think that the faith taught in the Old Testament has nothing to do with one's politics. And what one places one's hope for the future in must be shaped by the God who will be there in the future shaping and governing all that happens. Likewise, how we behave must be directly connected with what we believe, or the people of our generation may turn out to be the biggest phonies around.

So if you are somewhat tentative about starting out on a journey in studying this book that you are not sure will be of much use, do I have news for you: this will literally turn your life upside down. You are in for one of the biggest treats and surprises you have ever had in your academic career! Some of the sections will shape your thinking for this life and for eternity. Here are the sections that I think will have a profound impact on your life: creation, the kingdom of God , worship, the restoration of Israel , and the promise God made to Abraham.

If you give yourself to the study of the Old Testament, you too will become, as I am, a real fan of the older testament from God. Where once the Old Testament may have been thought to be remote and irrelevant, it will be just the opposite: essential for balanced Christian thinking and acting.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
  • Preface
  • Preface to the second edition
  • List of abbreviations
  • 1 - An Overview of the Old Testament
  • 2 - The Old Testament Teaching on Creation
  • 3 - The Fall and the Flood
  • 4 - The Promise and the Patriarchs
  • 5 - The Exodus from Egypt and the Sinai Covenant
  • 6 - The Kingdom of God: Part One
  • 7 - The Kingdom of God: Part Two
  • 8 - The World and the Spirit: Prophecy in Israel
  • 9 - Eschatology of the Old Testament
  • 10 - The Way of Wisdom and Worship
  • 11 - Epilogue: The Relationship of the OT and NT
  • Indexes: Authors, Biblical Names, Charts, Scripture, and Topics

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