The Majesty of God in the Old Testament: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching

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The Majesty of God in the Old Testament: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching. By Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007, 174 pp., $16.99.

While writing this review, I felt like the proverbial dwarf on the shoulders of a giant in OT studies. Kaiser is no stranger to OT studies, having written extensively on the topics of OT exegesis and theology starting with what would become standards, his The Old Testament in Contemporary Preaching in 1973 and continuing with his Toward an Old Testament Theology in 1978 (just to mention two examples). Kaiser's expertise in the field is now showcased in The Majesty of God (2007), filling a void in the presentation of the OT.

In the introduction, Kaiser precisely states his thesis and lays out his methodology. He succinctly states that "in this book, I wish to give God's people new insight into this avenue of thinking and believing by reviewing ten outstanding Old Testament texts that set forth the majesty of our Lord" (p. 9). He accomplishes this in such a way as to provide a guide for preaching and teaching the OT (per subtitle). The methodology he follows throughout consists of (1) presenting an aspect of study that delineates the general appeal of the biblical text under consideration; (2) identifying the topic/focal point of the text; (3) applying the "famous six interrogatives" to the passage; and (4) determining a homiletical key word that yields the sermon proposition. While he gives a negative example of a homiletical key word, it would also be helpful at this point to include a positive example. A couple more items are also missing at this early stage, namely the sermon proposition per se and the sermon/lesson outline. This is such a carefully crafted guide overall; it is surprising that Kaiser does not discuss these. At any rate, some general guidelines would certainly be helpful here.

Following the preview of his methodology, Kaiser anticipates, in good OT numerical fashion, three possible objections to teaching/preaching from the OT. While the approximately six pages are in no way proportional to the debate surrounding the relationship between the OT and NT, Kaiser does offer a forthright conclusion/solution.

The meat of the book consists of ten chapters in which Kaiser explicates ten OT passages that emphasize some aspect of God's majesty. …