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The Word Became Fresh: How to Preach from Old Testament Narrative Texts Paperback – 20 Sep 2012
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I think Davis succeeds admirably in his goal. I found myself stirred up reading the book. He writes well and shows how, even though there are difficult and confusing parts of Scripture, it is not that difficult to find key truths. This is a very encouraging and helpful book. (Ray Van Neste ~ Director, R. C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee)
"Davis maintains that avoidance of difficult texts gets us and nowhere and impoverishes the church'. His excellent chapter on appropriation/application includes the damming sentence: I hold a reader who does not appropriate and/or a teacher who will not apply Scripture is practising abortion on the Bible' You may or may not want to imitate Davis Style but if you read this book you will want to lift his structures and insights straight off the page. And that is no bad thing for the church." (Ann Benton ~ Author and family conference speaker, Guildford, England)
"There is no more gifted expositor of the Old Testament in our day than Ralph Davis. His book not only brings scholarly research to bear on the subject, but also reflects his many years of preaching week after week through the Old Testament. What a gift to the church to have such a fine book." (Richard Pratt ~ President, Third Millennium Ministries, Orlando, Florida)
This is vintage Dale Ralph Davis - accessible and practical scholarship in a readable and stimulating Style. The Subtitle of the book is 'How to preach from Old Testament narrative and that's exactly what Davis describes. With many examples, and that's exactly what Davis describes. With many examples, and interesting illustrations, he teaches us how to grapple honestly with what sometimes can be intimidating, difficult and uncomfortable portions of Scripture. (Evangelical Times)
"Dale Ralph Davis has written a wonderfully straightforward, readable book entitled, The Word Became Fresh: How to Preach from Old Testament Narrative Texts (Christian Focus; pb., 154 pp.). Davis, like Goldsworthy, laments how complicated we have sometimes made biblical interpretation and instead outlines a basic approach to careful, sensible reading which opens up the theology of Old Testament narratives. This is one of those books that makes you want to preach after reading it!" (Preaching.com Bible and Bible Survey Review 2007)
"With many examples, and that's exactly what Davis describes. With many examples, and interesting illustrations, he teaches us how to grapple honestly with what sometimes can be intimidating, difficult and uncomfortable portions of Scripture...This book is not only suitable for preachers and teachers, but can be read with great profit by all Christians who want to get more of a handle on Old Testament narrative." (Evangelical Times)
About the Author
Dale Ralph Davis is Minister in Residence, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina. Prior to that he was pastor of Woodland Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi.
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The logic of Davis' exegesis is usually so compelling, that the preacher can often be left asking himself the question, Why couldn't I see that? This makes this new book (full title: The Word became Fresh: How to Preach from Old Testament Narrative Texts) extremely appealing.
After an introductory chapter on the right approach to the Old Testament, Davis deals with seven different ways in which Old Testament writers get their readers' attention and make their point. Each chapter is full of brief, but pertinent, examples from Scripture, which makes one wish a Scriptural index of the passages discussed had been added.
Of course this little book (150 pages) cannot contain all the answers. That is not its intention. But what it does, it does remarkably well. It opens our eyes to the riches of the Old Testament, and the skill and insight of those responsible for its content (both human and divine). It reminds us that exegesis is truly a hard work. This book makes clear that there is no magical formula that will make our sermons just fall into place. Davis' wisdom has come through years of patient study. This book may speed things up for us, but it won't make endeavour unnecessary. This in turn reminds us of our great need for the Spirit to help our study. But, just as importantly, this book fills us with enthusiasm for the Old Testament. I wanted to preach a sermon every time I turned the page! As I read the book with an open Bible, what I learned was too good not to share (just ask my wife!). Davis' intention was that the book is to be `an exercise in reading the Old Testament for fun and profit'. It is certainly that.
With this book, Ralph Davis has rescued us from any excuse to fear or neglect Old Testament narrative, or to put it out of the reach of our congregations through shoddy workmanship. If you can buy only one book on preaching this year, put this one at the very top of your list.
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