Item description for Themes in Old Testament Theology: A Dramatic Debate on the Issues Surrounding Abortion by William A. Dyrness...
Overview Studying the New Testament without a background in the Old is like listening to only the last movement of a great symphony. Unless we begin at the beginning, we miss the sense of developing themes and their subtle variations. To fully appreciate the must of the Bible, we need to listen to its early movements. William Dyrness helps us by providing a set of program notes to important Old Testament themes: the self-revelation of God, the nature of God, creation and providence, man and woman, sin, covenant, law, worship, piety, ethics, wisdom, the Spirit of God, prophecy, and the hope of Israel. By attuning our ears to these themes, Dyrness sets us on a course of enriching study and and increased understanding.
Publishers Description Studying the New Testament without a background in the Old is like listening to only the last movement of a great symphony. Unless we begin at the beginning, we miss the sense of developing themes and their subtle variations. To fully appreciate the music of the Bible, we need to listen to its early movements. William Dyrness helps us by providing a set of program notes to important Old Testament themes: the self-revelation of God, the nature of God, creation and providence, man and woman, sin, covenant, law, worship, piety, ethics, wisdom, the Spirit of God, prophecy and the hope of Israel. By attuning our ears to these themes, Dyrness sets us on a course of enriching study and increased understanding.
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Studio: IVP Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.31" Height: 0.73" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2000
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0877847266 ISBN13 9780877847267
Availability 0 units.
More About William A. Dyrness
William A. Dyrness (D.Theol., University of Strasbourg; Doctorandus, Free University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of many books, including The Earth Is God's: A Theology of American Culture.
William A. Dyrness currently resides in the state of California. William A. Dyrness has an academic affiliation as follows - Fuller Theological Seminary, California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Themes in Old Testament Theology?
making sense of the old testament's themes Jan 22, 2007
this is a helpful book dealing with the many themes found in the old testament. If you are trying to come to grips with the main concepts of the old testament, give this work a try.
Still Valuable Semi-Introduction Dec 16, 2006
If you are looking for a concise overview of Old Testament theology from a conservative Protestant perspective, this book by William Dyrness might fit the bill. Dyrness discusses the material thematically, with attention paid to the historical progression of various concepts. The approach is quite conservative, particularly as concerning the dating of texts, sources, and the like.
I should mention that this book presupposes a fair amount of knowledge of the history of ancient Israel as well as theology, so it isn't for those lacking a basic knowledge of these subjects. The book was published in the late 70s, making it a bit dated, but the subject matter is, as they say, timeless.
Helpful and recommended Jul 23, 2005
I recently began looking at the Old Testament with greater vigour.
My focus has historically been on the New Testament, as I venture is the case for most Bible reading and studying Christians. Sure, I reference the O.T. when reading the N.T., and spend time in the Psalms and other well-known passages like Isaiah 52 and 53, Daniel, Job, (particularly the first few and final few chapters), Genesis and Exodus, etc. And I read through the O.T. regularly. However studying the O.T. is another thing.
I just wanted to advise you laymen out there who have a similar desire to dig in to the other two-thirds of God's Word that this book was a significant help to me. It 'broad-brushed' the issues in such a way as to make it a most enlightening read.
Insightful overview May 13, 2005
In this well-written overview of Old Testament themes, Dyrness seeks to redress an imbalance he sees in modern evangelical theology that emphasizes the New Testament almost to the exclusion of the Old. In contrast to this practical minimization of the relevance of the Old Testament in the modern church, he declares that "there is real movement of God toward humankind and a real fellowship between them" (18) in the Old Testament. As he explores such overlapping themes as God's self-revelation, sin, the covenant, piety, worship and the hope of Israel, Dyrness draws attention to this movement of grace and fellowship between God and humanity. Although he is a systematic theologian by training, he takes the Old Testament at its own words, rather than trying force a systematization on it. In so doing, he generally avoids sectarian dogmatism, although on rare occasions something he says could be controversial for an evangelical Christian (e.g., his dismissal of theistic evolution (79)). What shines through on nearly every page, however, is his erudition and deep insight into Old Testament theology. I highly recommend this books to students of the Bible.
A Relational Loving God Apr 7, 2000
A theology of the Old Testament has always been an encyclopedic subject to tackle for theologians. The wide variety of theological themes are as diverse as day and night, and yet they are as connected with each other as light and shadow - one theme leading to another. William Dyrness' book does just that. Although he does cover many different themes from the Old Testament, his treating seems to flow together in harmonious song. It is not difficult to perceive that Dyrness sees the God of Israel as one who has an affinity for relationship with His people. This appears to be one of the major threads that unifies not only the author's book but that of the Old Testament itself. It was interesting to read that Israel's God, as opposed to the contemporary pagan gods of the day, identifies Himself not through His territory - this is assumed - but through His relationship(s) with human-beings and the events which characterize His dealings with them. It is through these relationships that God reveals himself to humanity. Therefore, the author suggests that God's revealing Himself through major encounters with humankind is " . . . clearly the foundation upon which the patriarchal history rests." (29) God in the Old Testament is identified through His activity among men, not by some forensic definition alone. God is intricately involved among the people of whom He has chosen to reflect His holiness in the earth. The author goes on to say that at issue is not God's existence but man's faith. It is this faith that allows man to enter into relationship with God. In this relationship which is characterized by a Suzerain covenant, "there is a particular behavior that is appropriate. . . ." (28) This is expressed through God's will which " . . . was revealed at Sinai" and is the basis of all judgement concerning the relationship. (56) Although many of the contemporary pagan gods were feared of bringing destructive judgement upon a less than obedient constituency, the God of Israel's judgement is different. God is the true judge whose judicial appraisals become redemptive in nature - again, the relationship aspect of God is present even in His judgement. The author expresses the difference between the pagan myths of creation and the creator God of the Old Testament. Unlike the pagans, the Hebrews saw this God as being intricately involved with all of His creation. It is not a myth for the Hebrew but history taking its natural course. Therefore, nature is not seen as existing independent of God. He (Dyrness) is careful to express the Old Testament's belief of God's somewhat metaphoric interaction with nature which is against pantheism. (74) I was somewhat dismayed at this statement however. What exactly is metaphoric (or not) about God's interaction with His creation? The author does not appear to clearly outline his meaning here. Even so, God's creation of human-beings is completely different from all other creation in-that "their fundamental relationship lies with God, and within that relationship lies their fundamental independence of the creation." (80). They are separate and above all other created life based upon their ability to interact with God upon a superior relational level. Humans are considered souls created wholly by God and do not carry souls around in hollowed bodies - both are the entire package. However, this creation abused God's friendship and stepped outside of its proscribed boundaries. Dyrness suggests that the term "your eyes will be opened" shows that they would see things differently from the moment they ate of the fruit. They would see beyond that which God limited them to see. It would seem that God seeks to re-affirm this "limited" eyesight through the expression of His will - the law. Even though it was promised that Adam and Eve would die after they sinned, the Old Testament still assumes a theme of resurrection after death. This hope, suggests the author, is founded in the O.T. belief that God is the unique progenitor of life and faith in Him gives life. Those who would be partakers of this life beyond that of human (earthly) existence must walk in the way of the righteous which in-turn brings forth the fruit of a life that - like Job - will be "vindicated" by the one who judges righteously. "Here the faith of the OT reaches to the very threshold of God's further revelation in Christ." (241). Here is a faith that is completely founded upon a trusting relationship with God; so much so that one's life is given over to Him in the belief that He will justly preserve it. All other avenues of preservation are discarded and God's original purpose for self-revelation is finally attained - the redemption of humanity. I must admit I did not believe that this book would be as enlightening as it was. Although small for a complete theology on the O.T. it is credible and biblical in its findings. I enjoyed the author's style of writing and would seek to find other books from his pen.