Book Review: “The New Testament in Seven Sentences” by Gary M. Burge

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I’m so pumped up this set of new books by IVP that I never think twice of getting this book and Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau. I think I’ve  been reading and reviewing books that are either about salvation or Christian living that I long to read something about the Bible. This new book by Gary M. Burge really rewarded me of that craving.

The New Testament in Seven Sentences tackles the major themes of the Bible and not just the New Testament as the title may suggest. These themes helps us better understand the Bible and it’s message. Further it helps us focus on what God’s sovereign plan through Jesus from here and eternity. Burge crafted this book that as you read, you’ll find the Old and New are inseparable and indispensible. Burge is absolutely good in this part stitching both OT and NT together, that you’ll get glued in reading this book. He imparts his skill to provide a solid read that requires less illustration that won’t overwhelm or bored you to death. I was hooked that I read a big chunk of it the moment I started reading it. And I hope you’ll find that enthusiasm over connecting youself with the topic of this book.

The seven sentences in the title are seven verses in the New Testament that presents the seven themes. They are Matthew 16: 16, fulfillment;  Mark 1: 15, kingdom; Luke 9: 22, cross; 1 Peter 2: 9, covenant; Romans 8: 9, spirit; and Revelation 21:1, completion. Some of these verses are familiar and you might know what they convey.  You might dismissed this as another one of the books that will have the same content discussing themes of the Bible. Think again! Burge breaks the familiarity and brings insights that you might have missed as he digs deeper to the OT to bring light to these themes.

My favorite chapter of the book is Burge tackling grace. Burge excellently delivers the the familiar mash up with insights that will further elavate the familiar and illuminate insights you might not heard of. The well balanced blend in the book is a delight for the readers.

The New Testament in Seven Sentences is an engaging book that supersedes its intention as an introduction for the major theme of the Bible. It’s not an introductory book that you will feel hurried or summarized that will leave you wanting but gives you a satisfying read. Please don’t supplement it for something less or it might steal the other book’s thunder. In fact, you might just need this one to do the job in understanding the crucial themes in the Scriptures. Highly recommend!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(InterVarsity Press provided the digital copy for this review)

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “The New Testament in Seven Sentences” by Gary M. Burge

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I always look forward for October because it’s our cottage prayer meeting at our house. Our cottage prayer meeting consist of having our church members come to our home, have a 30 minute devotion led by our pastor and the rest is  fellowship over a meal. October is also the birth month of my father in law, sister in law, wife and our daughter. So it’s fitting to celebrate the birthdays by having a cottage prayer meeting. This year will be held at my parents house. Aside from the birthdays it will be a thankagiving celebration because of how God sustains my father in law through his dialysis. Please consider praying for us specially that the gospel may be preach and God may open my relatives heart as they hear the message.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book by Gary M. Burge, The New Testament in Seven Sentences, published by 10 of Inter Varsity Press. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at IVP.

“This is the mission of the church. This is the task of God’s people who have followed Jesus since his resurrection and ascension. We don’t simply equip people to go to heaven; we invest in kingdom building here on the earth.”

“…the Hebrew experience of God’s kingly rule had two dimensions. God ruled the present—sustaining nature and guaranteeing Israel’s present experiences in history. And God ruled the future—promising that his vision could see what was to come and his power could bring about his will. God ruled the future, and this meant he would decide how the future would unfold and how human history would end.”

“There is a difference between the experience of grace and recognizing it as a primary Christian (or Jewish) doctrine. The New Testament—from Jesus to Paul—wants to press us to return to first principles: that God has been working on our behalf throughout history and that this has been seen with pristine clarity in the arrival of Jesus.”

“The church that we know so well is thus not simply a collection of believers who have faith in Jesus. It is a community of men and women who are living out the mission given to Abraham four thousand years ago. The church is thus the “tribe of Abraham” now joined to a messianic mission that began with Jesus.”

Your identity was not exclusively anchored to what you believed intellectually about Jesus (though this was important). It was also anchored to a dynamic experience of God that could be quantified only with difficulty. As in Nicodemus’s conversation with Jesus (John 3), the Spirit is like the wind, which blows unpredictably. No one doubts its reality, but no one can calculate its movements.”

“The church in the New Testament is called the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27), which means not simply that the church belongs to Christ but that he indwells the church and gives the church its life. His Spirit indwells its members and equips them to sustain Jesus’ work so that it is not a cliché when we say that we are Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.”

“These Gospel writers believed that a colossal shift had taken place in Judaism—and in the world—and they are about to tell us what it is. And they knew it was going to be controversial. The Gospel writers do not shy away from the fact that whenever this story is told in full by Jesus, crowds are either won over or they are resistant and disturbed.”

“For the New Testament, the death of Christ was a turning point in history. God had shown his righteousness by achieving in Jesus our righteousness through a dramatic act of forgiveness on the cross.”