Friday, December 12, 2008

The Minor Prophets, Thomas B. Warren & Garland Elkins, Editors

The Minor Prophets, Thomas B. Warren & Garland Elkins, Editors

A study of the Minor Prophets is as much needed in our day as in any other time. The lessons on how to be pleasing to God by living a holy life are much needed in churches and our nation. The material in this section of Scripture, while often neglected, has some of the richest material for sermons & classes that needs to be taught in the churches today. I appreciate what brother Elkins and brother Warren stated in the Forward, “Though the ‘minor prophets’ were written long ago the principles that they set out therein are more up-to-date than tomorrow’s Newspaper!” There are several predictive prophecies among the Minor Prophets that are enriching reminders that God indeed rules in the affairs of men. There are those who seek to deny the Bible is the Word of God; however, their assaults are feeble at best when compared to the evidence of predictive prophecy. The term “minor” does not denote their importance…just the length of the manuscripts are shorter than the longer (or major) ones.

This book is the written record of the 1990 Power Lectureship in Southaven, MS with Garland Elkins and Thomas B. Warren serving as editors. Each of the prophets is addressed from three standpoints: introduction to the book, commentary, and then applications from the prophet. Another resource this book provides is an overview of the Minor Prophets by Rex A. Turner, Sr.; which makes the book invaluable if for no other reason. The descriptive catch phrases he assigns to each of the prophets are indicative of the type of message or messenger:

· Joel, The Pest Exterminator Preacher
· Jonah, The Gourd Vine Preacher
· Amos, The Country Preacher
· Hosea, The Preacher Whose Wife Was A Swinger
· Micah, The Preacher For The Church Across the Railroad Tracks
· Obadiah, The Preacher With A Message of Doom For The Nation Of Edom
· Nahum, Another Preacher With A Message of Doom – This Time for Assyria
· Zephaniah, The Preacher Who Held Several Degrees – Pedigrees, That Is
· Habakkuk, The Impatient Self-Righteous Preacher Who Dared to Remonstrate With God
· Haggai, An Old Preacher Whose Sermon Top Was, “Bag With Holes”
· Zechariah, The Young Preacher Who Saw Visions – Eight In Number
· Malachi, The Didactic-Dialectic Preacher

Before writing to advise that these are listed in the incorrect order, be aware that this is the list in chronological order. Also, the prophets served various kingdoms including the nations of Israel and Judah. Possessing a good understanding of the background for each of these prophets is vital to a fuller understanding of the message and power of the word of God in their day. While it takes effort to glean the background of each of these prophets, it is a very enriching study, which this book will provide. The lesson material from this section of Scripture is abundant for both class instruction and from the pulpit. The material in the book contains many lessons of application for us today, which is evident in that each prophet has its own lecture entitled “Great Lessons From…”

There are many books on the Minor Prophets. This one is edited by two of the most reputable men in our brotherhood who have assembled a lectureship that must have been wonderful to attend and just as profitable to read from.

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