A review of Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption through Scripture. Authors: Roberts, Alastair J. and Andrew Wilson.
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  Roberts, Alastair J. and Andrew Wilson.  Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption through Scripture.  Wheaton: Crossway, 2018. 173 pp. “[The] exodus is central to the Scriptures, central to the gospel, and central tothe Christian life”. That fact has been recognised and formative in many recentworks on  NT  theology—as it also is in Roberts and Wilson’s. But Roberts andWilson pay particularly close attention to how ‘echoes of the exodus’ are presentand fulfilled not only in the redemptive work of Christ, but also throughout theentire  OT .Why does history (Biblical history included) so frequently repeat itself? Longbefore the exodus takes place, Noah is ‘remembered’ and delivered from a gener-ation worthy of judgment through the watery wrath of God; he is brought outonto a mountain top, where he receives a new covenant and new laws. Abrahamheads down into Egypt due to a famine in the land of Canaan; there Pharaoh isplagued and Abraham is sent out of the land, enriched by Egypt’s wealth. Lot istaken out of a land under judgment in the middle of the night when unleavenedbread has just been baked; and, later, he and his family are commanded to ‘ariseand get out’ of the land because of what God is about to do. Why all theseechoes of the exodus in these narratives?Part of the answer suggested by Roberts and Wilson is because God is the au-thor of history and has a particular way in which he likes to write. Robertsand Wilson liken the narrative of Scripture—and hence of world history—to apiece of music where a particular motif is introduced and then frequently reca-pitulated, sometimes in part, sometimes in full, sometimes against one backdrop,sometimes against another. Each recapitulation of that theme—in this case, theexodus—teaches us about a new aspect of God’s work in the world and aboutthe great exodus fulfilled in Christ’s ministry. Roberts and Wilson do not set outrigorous criteria by which such themes can be identified, but then nor do theyseek to. They instead seek to draw our attention to the existence of such themes,and hence invite us to listen to the music of Scripture. (Books should always bereviewed on their own terms, i.e., on the basis of what they themselves set out todo.)‘Echoes of Exodus’ is a helpful book for at least two reasons. The first is becauseit demonstrates one of the ways in which the  OT  can and should be read. Ithelps us to connect up the many incidents and details of the  OT  and to see themin light of a bigger and greater picture. It also encourages to think about howour own world fits into God’s exodus story. Are we now alive at a time when 1  new pharaohs have arisen who ‘do not know Joseph’? Or does our world fit echosome other aspect of the exodus narrative?The second is because of how ‘Echoes of Exodus’ encourages us to think aboutthe interaction between the  OT  and  NT . The  NT  is not the product of a group of visionaries who wanted to find a way to contextualise their experiences; on thecontrary, it is the continuation of a long-established pattern first evidenced in the OT  itself. As such, the narrative of the  OT  repays careful study. Roberts andWilson do not want us to leapfrog straight from  OT  texts to their  NT  fulfilments,but first to consider each  OT  text in light of the whole  OT . They encourage us toknow our Bibles better, to think carefully about the structure of Scripture, andto rejoice in both the detail and coherence of what God has done in his word andhis world. 2
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