So interwoven are the themes of Scripture that Steve Lawson notes, “When you pull a thread in Genesis, it crinkles the page in Revelation.” Alastair Roberts and Andrew Wilson see this too. For them, the basis of that connection is seen through the Exodus, which they propose is a theme that permeates throughout the entirety of the Bible. To convey such a proposition, they have written Echoes of Exodus.
Utilizing music as a metaphor, the authors have come together to convince readers of the connections of Scripture that they may have otherwise missed. In doing so, they have expectations that believers will begin to see the history of the church so that it may understand its identity, an identity that will bring true freedom as it connects people to God and one another (1).
Echoes of Exodus takes readers from Genesis to Revelation, moving from one book to the next more quickly than one is able to process the information being presented. Considering the book is 22 chapters and only 178 pages, that is to be expected. Despite the rapid-fire of information, the authors do a tremendous job of directing readers’ attention towards God. As the book is God-oriented, readers themselves are oriented towards God as well. This can be seen especially on the explanation of freedom (chapter 5) as the authors note that humans were not made to be free from constraint as noted by the fact that Scripture emphasizes more what our freedom is for and not so much what they are freed from. How does this relate to the Exodus?According to them, the Exodus exemplifies biblical freedom because it demonstrates that it was not merely about delivering the people from their old master, but guiding them to find delight in serving their new master.
Despite the authors’ ability to direct readers towards God, there are serious concerns with the book. Those concerns include the following:
Methodology of Rationalization: At the outset, the authors are forthright in their denial of logic, stating that the things they are attempting to show cannot be proven by logic. While their point is understood, there must be certain guidelines in place, which the authors don’t stipulate. However, without those guidelines, a person is free to employ his or her own rules, which permits open interpretation and application of Scripture.
Methodology of Application: Additionally, the authors’ own application of their premises is at times disconcerting. While certainly I would not expect to agree with every point and the authors express in the beginning the some will accuse them of being liberal with their application. However, this appears to be exactly the case. At times their connections are so general that it would be hard not to see the connection, and at other times they make connections where there seem to be none (i.e. their description of Genesis 3-6 and Exodus 1-2).
Methodology of Interpretation: Finally, many of the issues in application come from the issues the one will find in their methodology of interpretation. The authors interpret all of Scripture based upon ‘exodus’ and yet have failed to give what they define as ‘exodus.’ At times, their interpretations of other parts of Scripture are based on the event, as one would expect. However, at other times, they seem to refer to ‘exodus’ as the entire book of Exodus and utilize it for their methods of interpretation. Even more general still, sometimes it is neither of these as many would expect, but instead, they simply use the word ‘exodus’ as their basis for interpretation.
Together, these three aspects raise concerns about the book.
There is much merit to this book. Drawing readers’ attention to God by itself is both necessary and worthwhile. The authors’ assessment of the current status of Christianity also offers some interesting and valid points that we would do well to consider. However, despite the moments of revelation, there are concerns that I have with the methodology that warrant attention and perhaps are serious enough that we should pursue other resources that carry fewer doubts before pursuing this one.
To purchase a copy of Echoes of Exodus, click here.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, my review was not influenced in any way by the author, the publisher, or any other person associated with the book and it is the result of my own reading of the book.
(1) This is my paraphrase of the authors’ goals (pg. 14-16). I confess in the short space available here, I do not have the conciseness to capture their words and so I admit that I am not conveying the profundity of the authors’ goals as they mentioned them in their introduction.