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Although the Old Testament can appear irrelevant, outdated, and difficult to read, there are precious nuggets of truth in it which are vital for Christians to understand. That is why Michael Barrett provides this practical approach to reading the books of law, history, prophecy, and poetry through the lens of Jesus. As Barrett explains, “Seeing Christ and the gospel in the Old Testament gives life to what otherwise seems to be dry and outdated.” Grow in personal holiness today as you learn to read and apply the Old Testament properly.
Presuppositions About the Bible
Misunderstandings of the Old Testament
Procedures for Bible Reading
Purpose of the Bible
Practical Reading of the Old Testament
Michael P.V. Barrett is vice president for academic affairs/academic dean and professor of Old Testament at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“Which believer doesn’t want to be holy? Which believer doesn’t want to understand the Old Testament better? Well, here’s a short booklet that will do both for you. While Dr. Barrett concedes that parts of the Old Testament are frustrating and difficult to understand, he also outlines simple, practical steps that will not only give you greater understanding of the Bible but also produce greater likeness to Christ.” – David Murray, professor of Old Testament and practical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said, “The world today is looking for, and desperately needs, true Christians. I am never tired of saying that what the Church needs to do is not to organize evangelistic campaigns and attract outside people, but to begin herself to live the Christian life. If she did that, men and women would be crowding into our buildings. They would say, ‘What is the secret of this?’”
Many people who are new to the church need instruction in the most basic aspects of godly living. Even where churches are engaged heavily in discipleship, visitors and members often have gaps in their understanding and practice. One of the greatest needs of our time is for the Spirit of God to cultivate biblical godliness in us in order to put the glory of Christ on display through us, all to the glory of God the Father.
For these reasons, Joel Beeke and Ryan McGraw are coediting a series of booklets titled Cultivating Biblical Godliness. These booklets treat matters that are vital to Christian experience, and each contribution aims to address a wide variety of people and circumstances at a fundamental and introductory level. This includes teaching people what to believe in order to practice personal holiness as well as specific directions on how to cultivate biblical godliness in relation to issues that are common to God’s people.
The distinctive feature of this series is its experiential tone. While some booklet series aim to enlighten the mind, these booklets aim to warm the affections as well. The goal is to promote communion with the triune God and to transform the entire person in thought, speech, and behavior. To this end, we intend to include a wide range of authors whom the Spirit has blessed to skillfully stir up the church to personal holiness and affection to Christ through their preaching and writing ministries.
We need a Christianity that puts the transformative power of God in the gospel on display through developing a communion with God that is visible to the world. Our prayer is that through this series, the Lord would revive His church by producing Christians who are full of love for Christ, who deny themselves in order to follow Him at great personal cost, and who know the joys of walking with the triune God. This is the kind of Christianity that we need. This is the kind of Christianity that the triune God has used to turn the world upside down. May He be pleased to do so again.
Joel R. Beeke is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a prolific author.
Ryan M. Mcgraw is pastor of First OPC in Sunnyvale, CA. He is also author or The Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath.