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Major Points from the Minor Prophets

By John Blanchard
August 2012 | Review by Ali McLachlan

Synopsis

A simple way to introduce these studies in the Minor Prophets will be to ask and answer these questions about them: Who were they? Why are they known as ‘Minor Prophets? When and where did they live? What was their ministry? What was their message? Once we have answers to these questions we will be in a position to look at the prophets' main themes before focusing on one specific statement made by each one of them. Not only should we rely wholeheartedly on the faithful exposition of the Bible as the written Word of God, we should not insist on signs and wonders as an authentication of a preacher's ministry. The message is clear: if people will not listen to the Word of God and turn to him in repentance and faith as a result, no ‘signs and wonders' will move them to do so, not even a long-buried friend coming back to life. The Bible is the only infallible word we have or need, revealing to us that in the Lord Jesus Christ we have the Prophet to end all prophets, the Priest to end all priests and the King to end all kings. Our great need today is not for prophets but for preachers, men who will give themselves sacrificially to the study of the Word of God and to its systematic exegesis and exposition, ‘rightly handling the word of truth' (2 Timothy 2:15) and applying its truth to their hearers.

  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-0-85234-782-9
  • Pages: 288
  • Price: 8.99
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Book Review

Major Points from the Minor Prophets
John Blanchard
Evangelical Press
288, £8.99
ISBN: 978-0-85234-782-9
Star Rating: 0

As the ‘clean pages’ in our Bibles they appear culturally foreign and remote from our modern Christian understanding. Some chapters can strike us as uncouth and inhospitable.

But the author serves us superbly, becoming to the Minor Prophets what Lonely Planet is to, say, Yemen. His aim is not to provide in-depth analytical commentary. Rather, to whet the appetite and give us a hankering to visit the twelve books from Hosea to Malachi.

Like a trusted tour guide saying ‘You must sample these’, ‘Isn’t this extraordinary’ and ‘Watch out for that,’ Blanchard fills his book with striking quotations, cultural commentary and doctrinal explanations. His vivid overview approach is enticing and provocative.

The mental gap between God’s dealings with them in their day and with us in ours is significantly lessened 

The book considers similarities between all twelve prophetic messages. The common denominators are God’s utter and undeniable sovreignty, his inevitable judgement against sin, his amazing love, a passionate call to get right with him, and predictions of the coming Messiah.

The ‘major points’  are investigated with New Testament light, historical understanding, enormous literary breadth and keen human observation. Its selected themes convince us of the abiding relevance and power of Scripture, which is written, Minor prophets and all, for our admonition.

When a resourceful and reliable author like John Blanchard pens such an exploration of the uncharted chapters of Scripture, pastors will be planning their consecutive expositions, and church members will determine on sight-seeing tours of their own. Reading this book will get you eagerly reading twelve more.

Ali McLachlan, Dundee

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