Cover Image: The God of Promise and the Life of Faith

The God of Promise and the Life of Faith:
Understanding the Heart of the Bible

Scott J. Hafemann (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2001)

Blurb Review


This is a really brilliant book. It is a biblical theology of the whole Bible, attempting to provide a clear covenantal account of creation, the Sabbath, the law, good and evil in the world, the suffering of God's people and the necessary relationship of faith to obedience. Hafemann writes with a scholar's knowledge and a pastor's heart, combining the two in clear writing that engages with the real issues of everyday Christian living. Many I know who have read this book say it opened up the Bible in completely new ways to them and this book would make an excellent choice for small group study and discussion. Particularly welcome is Hafemann's persuasive outline of a covenantal structure at the heart of the Bible although I would want to quibble with one or two aspects of the way he outlines this. (For instance he understands this one uniform covenantal structure to be different from Law versus Gospel or covenant of works versus covenant of grace systems of unity which divide the Bible into two conflicting messages. Certainly the latter position at any rate, in its best expressions, definitely does not posit two conflicting messages and Hafemann's treatment of this viewpoint is misleading). But this book should be in the hands of as many pastors and laypeople as possible. It teaches a rich grasp of the whole Bible as Christian Scripture and reveals profound reasons for turning aside to worship and prayer.


Introduction: Back to the Bible
1. Why do we exist? Lessons from the creation of the world
2. What does it mean to know God? The covenant God of the Sabbath
3. What went wrong and what has God done about it? Self-reliance and the call to rest
4. Why can we trust God, no matter what happens? The focus and foundation of Faith
5. Why does God wait so long to make things right? 'Saved in hope' - Living for the Future
6. Why is there so much pain and evil in the world? Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
7. Why do God's People suffer? The school of affliction
8. Why do God's people obey him? Holiness and Hope
9. What difference does Jesus make? Faith, forgiveness, and the Freedom to Obey
10. Conclusion: Who are we? The marks of a Christian

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