Thursday, November 16, 2006

Book Review - The Power & The Fury (Dale Ralph Davis)

The Power and the Fury
Dale Ralph Davis

Christian Focus

5 years ago Davis brought out his commentary on 1 Kings, and those who enjoyed it have been eagerly looking forward to the arrival of 2 Kings.

What are we to make of the ministry of Elisha – how always seems to be in the shadow of Elijah? What about the endless succession of kings, where it becomes almost impossible to keep track of who’s who?

Davis is a brilliant at explaining the familiar stories, and showing you what is really happening. So often we read the Old Testament narrative as if it was just a filler between Eden and the Gospels – well we may not actually think that in so many words, but we read it simply as stories with a few moral lessons thrown in, instead of asking ourselves what is God doing here. Dale Ralph Davis always focuses on God, the covenant making and keeping God. The great strength of this book is that it helps us to see God rather than the people who fill the stories.

In a way that is refreshing, humorous and penetrating Davis opens up the book of 2 Kings and provides sound, wholesome teaching. It is only when you look in the footnotes at some of the weird and wonderful interpretations from various scholars that you begin to appreciate the quality of what Davis is giving to you. His quick-fire no-compromising-with-scripture demolition job of these authors, coupled with his simple clarity, reassures the reader.

His writing is deceptively simple, but underneath it lies a wealth of knowledge. And one of the great benefits of Davis’ books is that as you read them you learn how to understand how books of the Bible are put together, and how to see the big themes that Davis himself keeps coming back to.

Like his other commentaries ‘The Power and the Fury’ is pointed in its application, and revealing in its illustration. It is hard to read this book and not be encouraged by who God is, and challenged by our own faithlessness.

As I said the last time I reviewed Davis – go and buy everything he has written on the Old Testament.

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