27 December 2011

Book Review: The Symphony of Scripture

The Symphony of scripture: Making sense of the Bible's many themes by Mark Strom (1990) was required reading for the next class CCEF biblical counseling class I am taking, this one focused on biblical interpretation.  It had to be read before the class begins, so I tackled it over this Christmas break. The author provides a survey overview of the Bible, looking for the university in diversity. It is certainly Christocentric in its focus, a major strength of the book. The author cautions against our tendency to interpret details without considering the overall theme of scripture. As Christians, I believe we have the tendency to do this with first things and last things. We try to make sense of the many details grounded in Genesis and Revelation, without realizing the centrality of Christ. For example, Strom rightly points out the central theme of Revelation is not whether people will be literally marked with a 666, or whether it is a literal 1000 years, but that Christ will win and will be restored in the end. Believers are called to persevere, knowing that Jesus has accomplished all, and that God is sovereign.  That is the point of Revelation. When we move from that, we end up with things like Left Behind or even worse, Harold Camping. 

I admit this book was a hard slog for me. The print was hard on the eyes and Strom was more academic than I (yes, even I) like. He does know his stuff, however.  3.0 stars. 

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