A writer offers the second of a two-part work of Christian exegesis.
Fugate’s (A Shadow of Good Things to Come, 2014) sequel continues the plan of her first volume, providing readers with a narrative of the key characters and events of the Old Testament while tracing a Christian thread running through Scriptures written by people who’d never heard of Jesus. The author paints this portrait of redemption and foreshadowing with a sure hand. Like its predecessor, this book is a pitch-perfect combination of drama and pedagogy, leading readers through familiar biblical stories with luminaries like King Solomon and many far lesser-known tales featuring such figures as King Hezekiah and his son Manasseh, the warrior king Nebuchadnezzar, and the prophet Ezekiel. Each chapter concludes with a “Deeper Insights” series of useful discussion questions. In this installment, Fugate explores these later stories of the Hebrew Bible and then steers readers to the New Testament, examining King Herod and a young Nazarene girl named Mary's being visited by an angel. The volume’s second half consists of the author’s careful and comprehensive synthesis of the Gospels, combining narratives that will be familiar at least in outline to her Christian audience with a gentle, scholarly explication that readers should find intriguing. Fugate is frequently ready to translate important terms in Hebrew or Greek and unpack their meanings. The work’s proselytizing intentions become much clearer in this latter half as well, as the author emphasizes the end result of all those Old Testament tales for Christians in the present day: “We can now have a personal relationship with the Father through Jesus, the heavenly High Priest.” Throughout her survey of the Old Testament’s kings and prophets, Fugate demonstrates the process of divine wrath and reconciliation, and her book’s conclusion stresses unity: “Jesus did not come to abolish the Law which showed God’s holiness; but he abolished the Law as a means of making atonement for our sins and reconciling us to God.” The ultimate effect is bracing.
A knowledgeable and involving recapitulation of the Bible’s Christian themes.