Friday, March 11, 2011

The Four - Peter J. Leithart

The Four: A Survey of the Gospels by Peter. J. Leithart
Canon Press 2010

Rating: 9
Readability: 8
Some of it might seem a bit slow when he's getting into scholars arguments on dating etc... Why can't biblical scholars just believe the Bible? Most of it is extremely interesting and it continues to get more and more exciting as the book progresses.
Impact: Very high, I hope.

Read it Again: Yes! Slower with my Bible, pen, and paper in hand.
Recommend it: Highly.

What to Expect

The Four is organized like A House for My Name with bite-sized portions followed by review and thought questions.

Leithart gives an excellent overview of what we commonly refer to as the "intertestamental period" and in the process, information on the prophets. He then dedicates a chapter to the four Gospels and how they relate and differ before going on to a full chapter on each individual book. As always his writing is clear and exciting and his Bible knowledge is staggering and inspiring.

My Squib

I have been so immersed in Old Testament books with this Ligonier course. This was really fun to read. I literally flipped out when I saw it was coming out last October. I'd just been griping that Leithart didn't have enough on the NT.

The introductory stuff on the history before the Gospels was especially good for me as I haven't heard much on that era. The way he pointed out the different thrusts of each book and how they related was excellent. I really felt like copying the whole book out in my "notes/quotes journal".

I had very high expectations and wasn't in the least disappointed. I only wish there was more...

From the Book

See this quote I posted earlier.

Okay...this is a long quote and I hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws, but this is simply awesome and should show you how much you need to read the book.. :-)

As Matthew tells the story, Israel's history is a story of a spurned husband who refuses to give up on His bride. His bride spurns Him and finds other husbands, but He woos her back. He is the relentless, pursuing Hound of Heaven.

That is the message of the final act of this romantic comedy. Yahweh comes in flesh; Israel's Father comes as Israel's Son, and He is rejected yet again. He is rejected more thoroughly than ever. Persecuting prophets is bad; killing God Himself is worse. But the resurrection shows that Israel's God will not let Israel have the final word. He will not let Israel's rejection stand. He keeps coming back, even after Israel thinks they have killed Him. Israel does her worst: Yahweh comes as man, and Israel kills Him. If this were not the gospel, it would be a horror story, because this God cannot be stopped, cannot be buried. He comes back, and back again, even from the grave.

This is the great good news, the unsettling gospel of God. Matthew's gospel reveals that God is love, and Matthew's gospel shows us what kind of love God is: He is relentless, faithful, persistent love.

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian

1 comment:

Rosanne E. Lortz said...

Nice review--I want to get this book. And I really like the cover art!