Book Review: The Servant King

The Servant King: The Bible’s Portrait of the Messiah begins with a helpful analogy bringing the progression of the biblical story into focus. T.D. Alexander likens redemptive history to that of a canvas upon which a master painter applies brushstrokes. As more paint is added, the picture emerges with greater clarity.[1] Because the master painter knows the end from the beginning, the first strokes are just as purposeful as the final strokes. Because God is the divine author of the Scriptures, the first chapters begin the story that the final chapters bring to completion. The Servant King summarizes the story of the Bible from beginning to end bringing clarity to each stroke along the way. Alexander’s method is simple. He summarizes a portion of Scripture at the beginning of each chapter and then he follows the story line of the Kingdom of God fallen, promised, inaugurated, and consummated. From the promised seed of the woman who would one day crush the serpent, to the son of David who would sit on a throne forever, to the angelic announcement that the King is born, and the promise that he will come again, Alexander clearly and concisely follows the Messianic thread from Genesis to Revelation.

Beginners in biblical theology will benefit greatly from The Servant King. The chapters are short, readable, and saturated with the Bible. Alexander provides key texts at the beginning of each chapter, and discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this book useful for discipleship relationships or small groups. While other books more exhaustively retell the story of the Bible through the lens of God’s Kingdom, The Servant King is a more obtainable read for the average church member. Every Bible reader needs an understanding of the full biblical portrait. Without an understanding of the full picture, readers will misinterpret or mis altogether the beautiful brushstrokes of God’s promises made in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New. Too many Christians for too long have assumed that Christ is Jesus’ last name. They have missed the beauty of what Christ came to accomplish and what that means for expanding the Kingdom of God until he comes again.

[1] T.D. Alexander, The Servant King: The Bible’s Portrait of the Messiah (Vancouver, British Columbia: Regent College Publishing, 2003), 11.

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