Probably about the same as mine. Sixty-six books, same order. Hold it up to the light and you’ll probably see that it’s slightly grubbier around the New Testament and Psalms.
How much of that book refers to Jesus? That’s not a trick question. We all know the answer: all of it.
But how much are we confident about using evangelistically? Probably just the grubby part.
And that’s a real shame, for at least two reasons.
First, if the whole of the Bible shows Jesus in his full glory, then it should be possible to use all of it to describe his love and grace. Now, we might find some of it a bit of a long reach, but both Jesus and the apostles used it to explain him, his significance and the right response. They used the Old Testament evangelistically and that probably means we need to beef up our confidence in doing the same.
Second, there are some people who will more likely be converted that way. I remember hearing a few years ago about an evangelist who was using the Old Testament among his Jewish neighbours, and I thought that a brilliant idea. When I showed a Jewish scholar around our college library and he picked up a book about the missionary theology of Jonah, my mind travelled down the same road.
That evangelist was on the staff of a church where John Woodhouse (pictured above) was the Rector, and that prompted the Evangelists’ Conferences to invite John over from Australia to explore preaching Christ from the Old Testament.
Oak Hill is one of the sponsors of these conferences, in London next Tuesday October 9th, and St John’s Hartford on Thursday October 11th. If you haven’t booked yet, there’s still time for both venues. Hope to see you there!