Johanna W. H. Van Wijk-Bos. Making Wise the Simple: The Torah and Christian Faith and Practice

Johanna W. H. Van Wijk-Bos. Making Wise The Simple: The Torah In Christian Faith And Practice. Eerdmans, 2005.

Van Wijk-Bos, professor of Old Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has written a helpful and important, if somewhat frustrating, book on a Christian appropriation of Old Testament law.

I greatly appreciate Van Wijk-Bos’s sympathetic reading of Torah and her deep concern for faithful Christian living. She helps us better understand how from the start Torah was rooted in God’s healing mercy–not legalism and fearfulness. She writes as a Christian, but with high regard for the Jewish tradition. While the scholarship is deep and sound, the writing is accessible, clear, and generally engaging.

However, the book’s organization seems fragmented and the book doesn’t follow as coherent a flow of logic as might be desired. It’s impact is lessened by its scatteredness.

Overall, though, Making Wise the Simple makes a strong contribution on a vital theme.

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