Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JETS 40:1 (March 1997) p. 113
Mighty to Save: A Study in Old Testament Soteriology. By T. V. Farris. Nashville: Broadman, 1993, 301 pp., $19.99.
“This study evaluates selected key passages that reflect Old Testament instruction and/or illustration concerning its total message of salvation … with a secondary reference to chronological sequence” (p. 14). Accordingly, in Farris’ fifteen chapters he treats the following texts and their contexts: Gen 1:1; 3:1; 4:26; 15:6; 32:28; Exod 19:6; 34:7; Lev 17:11; Job 19:25; Josh 6:2; Joel 2:32; Isa 1:18–20; 52:13; 55:1; and 59:19.
In this excellent thoroughly and extensively documented study, scholars and pastors will find an enormous amount of exegetical and Biblical theology to reflect on for many years. Given the fact that there is so little produced in the area of the doctrine of salvation in the Old Testament, besides the confusion and incorrect analogies that are now getting into evangelical theology in the area of missiology due to poor understandings of Old Testament soteriology, this study fills an enormous vacuum. I found the volume so extremely stimulating that I asked for the privilege of reviewing it in order to call it to the attention of a larger evangelical audience.
Farris’ goal in this book is “an attempt to evaluate selected Old Testament passages and terminology that represent the core salvation message contained in the ‘Old Covenant.’” He warns that his survey is not “extensive,” “exhaustive” or even a “fully structured soteriology.” However, in light of the scarcity of material currently available on this topic (a judgment with which many of us could agree), he hoped he could “call attention to the exciting ‘Gospel in the Old Testament.’” In our judgment he has most assuredly succeeded in that goal.
This does not mean that I always agreed with all the positions that Farris took. On the contrary, I found myself in strong disagreement at several critical points. For example, in discussing the Abrahamic covenant, Farris agrees that it was a unilateral, promissory, “grant”...
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