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WHAT DOES GOD WANT OF US ANYWAY PB (9marks) Hardcover – 9 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; First edition (9 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143351415X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433514159
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,070,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A quick overview of the whole Bible.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Small in Size but Heavy on Impact 10 Jun. 2010
By Erik Raymond - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mark Dever has a burden to simplify the message without surrendering the message. He has done this in his preaching and writing ministry. He has preached a sermon on the whole Bible, the New Testament, and the Old Testament. Furthermore, he has written books that catalog a sermon on every book of the Bible (OT & NT). Dever's goals seem to be show the continuity of the Bible's big picture. This big picture is ultimately the unfolding of the person and work of Jesus.

Now Dever has simplified things even more for us by publishing a small, hardback book containing his three sermons mentioned above. The title of this helpful little book is What does God want of us Anyway?

The three sections of the book are:
>The Message of the Whole Bible
>The Message of the Old Testament (Promises Made)
>The Message of the New Testament (Promises Kept)

The book is sneaky in its instruction. I say sneaky because Dever is basically teaching Old & New Testament Survey to the background music of Biblical Theology. He is also writing as a pastor, so his examples have real lives attached to them.

The book is good for new Christians who are trying to put their Bibles together. But it is also for older Christians who have either forgotten about the continuity of the Scriptures or have never learned this. Overall, it is a helpful tool to put in the hands of people who are trying to better understand the Bible. I thank God for people like Mark Dever who helps to teach and build up the universal church with his writing and preaching.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Brevity is the Soul of this Little Book" 11 April 2010
By John Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Mark Dever has a passion for teaching the Word of God. And, like all good teachers, he wants his pupils to be equipped to learn on their own. A key to understanding the Bible is seeing how all the parts fit together--the big picture. In order to understand who God is and how He deals with His people, we must consider His entire revelation. Considering isolated lines out of a text on the Civil War would be a poor way to study American history, just as considering verses outside of the context of the whole Bible is a poor way to study God.

"What Does God Want of Us Anyway," as the subtitle tells us, is a quick overview of the whole Bible. There are three main parts--the Message of the Whole Bible, the Message of the Old Testament, and the Message of the New Testament. These parts originally came from three sermons Dever preached at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

Those who listen to Dever's 9Marks interviews know that he loves brevity. He often asks his guests to give one-line gospel presentations, one-sentence summaries of the books they've written, or one-word responses to books they've read. His new book proves that he can summarize with the best. Even the subtitle, A Quick Overview, didn't prepare me for the tiny package that arrived in the mail. After all, it is the whole Bible, a work which only the most skilled can explain in 122 pages.

Dever explains the main themes throughout the Bible, which, he says, is primarily a history book, albeit inspired. Through His acts in history, God reveals who He is, who we are, and how He deals with us. The same themes--God's holiness, man's sin, the need for redemption, and covenant promises--run through the entire book. But Dever doesn't ignore the trees in his zeal to show us the forest. He summarizes, in about one line each, every single one of the 66 books of the Bible. And he does a great job of it.

Many Christians study only their favorite parts of the Bible. Some even ignore the entire Old Testament. But Dever says this is a mistake:

"If we can better understand the Old Testament, we will have gone a long way toward better understanding the New Testament and, therefore, better understanding Jesus Christ, Christianity, God, and ourselves."

A better understanding of Jesus Christ--isn't that the goal? And if we reach that better understanding through taking a look at the Bible as one unified book with one unified, consistent message, then this little book of Dever's, though most basic, is most important.

Since the three divisions of the book are based upon three sermons, there is some overlap and repetition. Dever himself points this out. But other than that, it will be hard to find a more concise yet more helpful book on understanding the Word of God.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Crossway.
Excellent Overview of the Message of Scripture 28 July 2014
By Michael C. Boling - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For some, the thought of reading the Bible can be quite daunting. Many view the Bible as a collection of books they just cannot seem to relate to due to the strange language, events, and people it describes. In an effort to help those who fall into that category as well as people who may even feel they have a good handle on what Scripture has to say appreciate the overall message God has provide in His word, Dr. Mark Dever has written What Does God Want of Us Anyway?: A Quick Overview of the Whole Bible.

This little book is indeed a very quick overview of the entire Bible. Dever’s intent is not to engage every single nuance found throughout Scripture. Conversely, his approach is to provide the reader with a solid background of and insight into God’s message to humanity as revealed in Scripture, namely one of promises made, promises fulfilled, and promises yet to be fulfilled all wrapped up in the great hope we can have in God and His faithfulness to His people.

The three studies provided in this book came about from a series of sermons Dever gave to his church that have been edited into book format. Dever divides this book into “The Message of the Whole Bible”, “The Message of the Old Testament”, and “The Message of the New Testament” with the first two sections further divided into a quick overview, discussions on the particular history being addressed, the passion for holiness exhibited by God, and the promise of hope contained in Scripture. The final section takes a slightly different approach with the focus being the promise of redemption kept through the coming of Christ with additional discussion taking place on the body of Christ, concluding with a notation of the future promise of the final redemption of all things which will take place when Christ returns.

As one who has had the opportunity to read a number of large and small introductions to the message and contents of Scripture, I will submit that despite its somewhat diminutive size in comparison to the larger and more extensive insight of Scripture available on the market today, Dever’s effort is one of my favorite biblical overviews. It is a favorite not due to the number of footnotes (for which there is none), the extensive bibliography (for which there is none), or the interaction with other scholarly works (for which there is very little if any). It is a favorite because of its simplistic profundity, meaning Dever brilliantly captures the overall flow of Scripture in a way that reminds everyone from the most seasoned brilliant theological minds to the newest believer of what exactly God has been up to since the beginning, namely the movement towards redemption. That is the crux of all of Scripture and Dever ably drives home that message at every opportunity.

What is also useful is the overview Dever provides of each book of the Bible. There are many books Christians unfortunately never take time to read and many of those reside in the Minor Prophet section of the Bible. Dever shares a short yet informative overview of every book of Scripture in a way that helps people appreciate how the message of that particular book fits into the greater overarching message of Scripture. If you have never thought about reading Nahum or Habbakuk, after reading Dever’s book I submit you will suddenly find an interest in those oft neglected books.

I highly recommend this book for all believers and I especially recommend that churches keep a large stash of this book available to provide to new believers. This is an excellent tool for new believers to have as they begin their lifelong journey reading God’s Word and appreciating its message of hope.
Needed Study, Needs Work 13 Jan. 2012
By Benjamin Potter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What Does God Want of Us Anyway? - Mark Dever

© 2010 Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois

I am slowly working my way through a number of short titles written and produced by a variety of authors at 9 Marks. Some of them have been placed on my "must read" shelf, while others are good, but probably won't be revisited. Among the books are What Is a Healthy Church?, Dever's concise discussion of his original Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (I recommend the smaller digest for all but the really deep readers out there); Thabiti Anyabwile's What Is a Healthy Church Member? which highlights the purpose and life of a Christian who really wants his Christianity to mean something (it's a nice concise overview of Church Life, and I recommend it to anyone who either is unsure about joining with a local church or is considering what kind of church to join); and What Is the Gospel?, the little black book by Greg Gilbert that I think ought to be read by everyone--Christian and non-Christian alike.

My latest read in this "What Is . . ." series is a digest of some material that Dever presents in two volumes elsewhere at great length. In this short book, the author takes us on a whirlwind tour of the Scriptures. Part I composes roughly the first half of the book and argues that the entire Bible (Old and New Testaments) are worth our while as Christians. In parts II and III, Dever focuses on the Old Testament and the New Testament respectively.

The really positive aspects of this book may spur you to get a copy for a quick read. It is short (only about 120 pages), it reminds the Christian of the usefulness of studying Scripture, and it develops excellent arguments concerning the unity of the message in the whole Bible which leads to a unique unity in the preaching that is based on the Bible and the Life that is lived according to the message found within its covers.

All that said, there are some drawbacks to this volume. For all its shortness, I found it easy to put the book down to read something more interesting. The writing is at times dry, and (even with the author's warning that it's about to happen) the repetitive material can at times bog down the reader. I have not read the longer books--Promises Made: The Message of the Old Testament and Promises Kept: The Message of the New Testament (collections of sermons that this volume is based on)--but think that it might serve the reader to dive into the them for a more complete look at this much needed topic.

Three and one-half out of four reading glasses.

--Benjamin Potter, January 13, 2012
Overview Based on God's Promises 8 April 2010
By Jonathan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
God has made many promises and they are found in Scripture. Mark Dever, in his book "What Does God Want Of Us Anyway?", outlines God's promises in Scripture. He looks to the Old Testament as the place where God makes His promises. He looks to the New Testament as the place where God keeps His promises. Dever does an excellent job and looking at God's promises. He shows how these promises are full of hope, not only because the promises are made, but more importantly because God keeps all of the promises that He makes.

This short book does an excellent job of writing a great overview of the whole Bible. The message of the Bible is seen very clearly through the Promises of God. Dever uses these promises to help outline the message of the whole Bible. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get an overview of the Bible.
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