Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
RBTR 3:1 (Spring 2006) p. 173
Readers will understand that we are not able to supply these books.
A Better Way: Jesus and Old Testament Fulfilment, Simon Austen, (Christian Focus, 2003, 185pp.), reviewed by Richard C. Barcellos
Simon Austen’s A Better Way is a display of Biblical Theology clearly articulated. It is written in the same vein as Graeme Goldsworthy and, to a lesser degree, William J. Dumbrell, though on an easier level of assimilation. Its fourteen chapters are brief and simple but packed with thought-provoking analysis of some of the most important promise-fulfillment/type-anti-type motifs of Scripture. The book is aimed at “everyday Christians” but it may also be an aid to pastors, ministerial aspirants, Sunday School teachers, parents, and others. For the more theologically inquisitive, it may serve as a primer to other, more technical works on Biblical Theology (i.e., Vos, Dumbrell, Beale) or as a brief, simple review. It might be claimed as an introductory level Vosian approach to “an applied tour of the Bible” (11).
The author states his goal very clearly and succinctly: “This book is a gentle attempt to give the Old Testament back to everyday Christians” (11). The methodology with which Austen seeks to meet this goal can be amply displayed in its chapter titles: A Better Adam, A Better Son, A Better Passover, A Better Covenant, A Better Law, A Better Provision, A Better Sacrifice, A Better Priest, A Better Temple, A Better King (I), A Better King (II), A Better Answer, A Better Servant, and A Better Way. He attempts to show how each of these topics are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Austen applies his hermeneutic (see below) to salvation history as chronologically unfolded in Scripture. Accordingly, he starts in the Garden of Eden with Adam. He then shows how Jesus is the last Adam, who like Adam is God’s Son (17), who “unlike the first Adam…did not submit to the serpent’s lies (17; cf., Matt. 4:3), who performs a better service (18–19), who procures a better gift (19–20; cf., Rom. 5:16), and who brings about a better destiny (20–21). He then notes the failures of Cain, Noah, and Babel. With this backdrop, he focuses on the promises given to Abraham-a promised people, land, seed, son, and nation. He shows how these promises function, in God’s grand redemptive scheme,
RBTR 3:1 (Spring 2006) p. 174
to restore Eden-“God’s people once again enjoying God’s blessing” (32). He shows how Christ fulfills and brings these promises to their redemptive-historical goal-the church and, ultimately, the eternal state.
The Garden of Eden, looked at in its can...
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