A senior Baptist pastor tracks the faithfulness of God through the books of the Bible.
As a fairly clear signal to what is obviously his target audience of fellow fundamentalist Christians, McClure (Made for Glory, 2016, etc.) begins this work of biblical exhortation with a faith claim. The Bible, he writes, is unlike any other volume because its origin is divine: “Its author is God; it contains the words of God and shows how the believer is to apply His word to his life.” He asserts that it is to be read not piecemeal, but as one completed book (“It is a completed plan, God’s plan of redemption for a lost humanity, and in the divine plan God reveals to us our ending is our beginning”). In saying this, McClure writes, “I am fully aware of the naysayers who cite the Bible is nothing other than a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over a period of approximately 1,600 years.” But as McClure must know, it isn’t just “naysayers” who cite these things—it’s also centuries of biblical scholars establishing actual, textual, datable, verifiable facts. Maintaining otherwise is the epistemological equivalent of declaring that water is chocolate candy, and only readers willing to make such a leap will likely follow McClure to the end of his work’s 168 pages. But once past such a daunting requirement, audiences should find that the author is a genial, welcoming reader of Scripture who patiently and enthusiastically traces the “crimson thread of redemption flowing through God’s divine plan.” McClure follows this ribbon through nearly every book of the Bible, adroitly picking passages to illustrate his contention that God has from the beginning of time sought to create beings capable of having a fruitful relationship with him, a “loving fellowship” that was only brought to fruition through the teachings and sacrifice of Jesus. McClure effectively illustrates his readings with real-world comparisons, from the playful (about baseball) to the intensely personal (his sister’s fight with cancer).
An engaging and scripturally literate call for readers to “open their spiritual ears” to God’s plan for them.