The discipline of Old Testament theology continues to be in flux as diverse approaches vie for dominance. Into the stream Paul R. House sends this student-friendly offering that should prove useful to a wide audience. Following introductory chapters on the history of the discipline and his own method, House discusses the theological emphases of each book in the order of the Hebrew canon. Readers with little prior background will find House's thematic surveys particularly helpful for coming to grips with basic biblical content as well as for probing the theological nuances of individual parts of the canon.
The book concludes by forging a set of summary statements concerning God and his character, the people of God, and links between the Old and New Testaments that suggest avenues for the exploration of a full biblical theology.
“Israel stands alone in claiming that a single God created all that exists. Monotheism in creation means that God is limited neither in nature nor by region to a particular place. God has no rivals. God has jurisdiction over all created persons and things.” (Page 60)
“If Genesis 1–11 highlights the creation of earth and humanity, then in a very real sense Genesis 12–50 emphasizes God’s creation of a special clan, or nation. This group of chosen people plays several strategic roles. First, their election is the key to solving the sin problem related so unrelentingly in Genesis 3–11. Second, they provide a visible symbol to the world of God’s forgiving grace to sinful human beings. Third, they demonstrate the necessity of commitment and adherence to the one Creator God. Fourth, they illustrate the necessity of exercising faith in their relationship to the Lord.” (Page 71)
“Election here does not exclude or condemn anyone. Rather it works exclusively as a benefit to a world that has no intention of doing what is right. Election in this case proves God’s merciful kindness to the world, not just to Abram.” (Page 73)
“This book uses the Old Testament’s insistence on the existence and worship of one God as a major, normative, theological and historical emphasis.” (Page 56)