Book Review -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 07:3 (Jul 2001)
Article: Book Review
Author: Anonymous

Book Review

Knowing the Will of God, by Bruce Waltke, with Jerry MacGregor (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1998). Paperback $8.95. 167 pages. Reviewed by George Meisinger.

Dr. Bruce K. Waltke is one of this generation’s outstanding Old Testament and Hebrew scholars. Serious students of the Bible know him for The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.1 and as co-author of Biblical Hebrew Syntax.2 He wrote “Micah”3 in the Tyndale Commentary Series, as well as countless high-level journal articles. Dr. Waltke was on the committee of biblical translators of the NIV and was the Old Testament editor of the New Geneva Study Bible. A publisher recently noted that a commentary on Genesis by Waltke is forthcoming. He started his teaching career at Dallas Theological Seminary—where this reviewer had the privilege of majoring under him. Since those days, Waltke has departed his dispensational roots and taught at Regent College in British Columbia, Canada, Westminster Seminary, and presently is Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Florida.

In light of these high-level works, it may surprise some to find this new book so practical and down-to-earth. However, those who have sat in Waltke’s classroom, talked with him personally, or listened to his messages at a church or Bible conference, know that for him the Bible is not merely an academic textbook, or battleground for theological debate. He is a man in pursuit of truth, though many of his theological convictions depart from those

embraced at CTS. Nevertheless, what he shares with his readers in this booklet has value.

The broad strokes of the book are two: Part One: Right and Wrong Concepts, i.e., regarding the pursuit of God’s will, and Part Two: God’s Program of Guidance.

Chapter one asks the question “What is God’s Will?” noting that “will” is a difficult term for it has multiple uses in the Bible. These he helpfully explains and, as throughout the book, he roots what he says in Scripture, dealing with the ideas of “‘Finding’ God’s Will,” “Man’s Search for Authority,” and “Divining the Will of God.” He makes the point that the will of God is not always fair, as man defines fairness.

Instructively, the outcomes of faith for the first three heroes of faith celebrated in Hebrews 11 vary considerable. Abel believed God, and he died; Enoch believed God, and he did not die; Noah believed God, and ev...

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