Monday, April 18, 2016

The Emmaus Code by David Limbaugh

This turned out to be one of those books that I actually had to purchase a copy of  for my personal library, so that I can refer to it whenever I feel the need. Despite the title, there's no "code" involved, just a serious and thorough study of the Old Testament which reveals the promise and presence of Christ permeating the text far more than I, after years sitting in the pews, had ever realized.

Limbaugh gives us some good information summarizing the contents and purpose of each of the OT books right up front, covers the locations of a surprising number of recapitulations of the history of God's redemption plan for his people from Deuteronomy through Psalms, then continued in the New Testament, put there for both for the purpose of reminding the Israelites of the things he had done for them already and his plan for their future and for the disciples to demonstrate how that history set the scene for Christ's gospel.

One little tidbit that I hadn't understood before was concerning the origins of the Samaritans (remember the tales of the Good Samaritan, and of the woman Jesus met at the well?). When Assyria conquered Israel in 722 BC, they removed a large portion of the population, and replaced them with forced settlement by other conquered people. When these settlers intermarried with the remnants of Israel, they eventually became the Samaritans.

There is a nice section on all of the biblical covenants (most Christians could probably only identify the Mosaic and New Covenants), from the Edenic to the Adamic, Noahic and Abrahamic, Mosaic, Palestinian and Davidic, culminating in the New Covenant established by Christ. Like the repeated histories, the essence of the covenants is repeated many times throughout scripture, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. He also explains the difference between conditional covenants, where God promises to do certain things in response to Man's behavior, versus the unconditional covenants, where God's actions are not predicated upon Man's actions, but will be fulfilled by God without fail.

Limbaugh also clarifies one little doctrinal issue that I'm sure I've heard preached on before, but simply forgot - the difference between Dispensationalists and non-Dispensationalists. The Dispensationalists believe that the New Covenant promises are still applicable to Israel, while the other side believes that Israel has lost the favor of God.

Many biblical prophecies are a type of progressive revelation, wherein God reveals a bit of his plan at first, gives more information at a later date, and eventually fully reveals what he has in store for Israel and/or Christians.

In Chapter 8, Limbaugh begins to discuss the subject of Titles, Christophanies, Typology, Prophecy and Analogy in the OT. He explains the difference between the pre- and post-Incarnate appearances of Christ, and shows examples of the appearance of the triune godhead in the Old Testament.

All in all, I found this a very enlightening book, and will definitely return to it for reference in the future.

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