Holy People, Holy Land: A Theological Introduction to the Bible

By Easterling, John | Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, September 2006 | Go to article overview

Holy People, Holy Land: A Theological Introduction to the Bible


Easterling, John, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


Holy People, Holy Land: A Theological Introduction to the Bible. By Michael Dauphinais and Matthew Levering. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2005, 266 pp., $15.99 paper.

Holy People, Holy Land is a look at the unfolding achievement of God's work and of God's people down through the ages from the beginning of time to the culmination of the ages. Dauphinais and Levering, theology professors at Ave Maria College in Naples, Florida, have written a theological approach to studying the Bible from a Roman Catholic perspective built on the following theme: "What we mean by 'holy land,' then, is the spiritual condition of dwelling with God, in the interior presence of God, a spiritual condition that elevates and perfects our bodily nature as well. Holy Land is the divine indwelling that makes us 'holy people' who live in God. People become holy by dwelling with God, in communion with his creative wisdom and love. 'Holy people" describes human beings who are without guilt or impurity, full of righteousness and justice, who can stand before God and each other without shame. As the covenantal history will make it increasingly clear, 'holy land' refers to the indwelling of God, to a place-ultimately man himself-made holy because God himself dwells there" (p. 32).

The logical sequence of this book develops a series of unifying themes of Scripture beginning with the Garden of Eden and its loss and traces God's covenant blessings through the lives and works of Abraham, Moses, and David. Chapter 5 bridges the transition looking at Psalms and Prophets: New King, New Temple, and New Covenant. Law and sacrifice of the Old Covenant give way to the theme of grace and forgiveness in the New Covenant.

The authors' theological survey of the NT includes the Gospel of Matthew as they address the King and his Kingdom; the Gospel of John the Temple of the Trinity; the Pauline epistle to the Romans with the theme of the Righteousness of God and the Body of Christ; the epistle to the Hebrews highlighting the Priest-King of the New Covenant; and the book of Revelation focused on the Lamb as king and temple. Christ was the fulfillment of the Law; he perfected justice and is now the true temple.

Each chapter skillfully weaves the covenantal promises and blessings to God's people progressively through the unfolding of Scripture. Dauphinais and Levering blend the OT themes of promise with the NT themes of grace and divine love.

The unifying theme of this work focuses on "holiness" both of God and of those who dwell in God. …

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