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  • Lamentations Made Simple: The Old Testament Made Simple (Dr Anthony Loke) 9789832762119 (Pustaka Sufes)

    Product Description:
    Rev Loke’s book introduces Lamentations to the reader in an interesting way. The introduction is simple and yet scholarly – a special writing gift the author has. The first part of the book deals with several technical and textual matters that help readers to understand how to approach Lamentations. The section on Hebrew poetry is particularly helpful in understanding some of the technical and interpretive issues since Lamentations is essentially a collection of poems ranging from helplessness and despair in the face of mega catastrophes to stubborn faith and hope in a God who will keep His promises. The book helps us to understand that the textual architecture of the book itself has a message. It is like being guided to look at a house and to be thought to appreciate its architectural significance – of how the structure and the material used are messages in themselves. This overview is most helpful for those entering the “house” to examine the furniture and meet the people, so to speak.

    The spiritual message of Lamentations comes through in the latter sections of this book – and talks of a sturdy faith that can (almost) shake a first at God out of anger, despair and disbelief at what is happening and at the same time relax the tight first to become a hand of trusting prayer, echoing the words we find in the Nee Testament: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). God is the ultimate reality we can cling to even in (and especially in) calamity, in situations where we lack understanding and there is unbearable darkness and pain. Why? Because Lamentations has to be places in the context of the whole Old Testament which speaks of a God who is holy and loving, a God who makes covenants with His people and who keeps the covenants, a God who remembers redemptively, and a God who has the power to deliver. This God cannot be neatly squeezed into our religious boxes for He is bigger than our conventions and theories. C. S. Lewis wrote words that express this well. A character in the Narnia Chronicles when asked if Aslan the Lion (representing Christ) is safe says: “Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good, He’s the King, I tell you.”

    It is therefore a great service that Rev Loke has done in turning people ‘s attention to the value of Lamentations and the importance of its message in a world of superficial quick-fix solutions and in a modern church that may be guilty of trying to domesticate God and therefore of distorting who He is, and weakening the solid foundations that He provides for earthly life that can be confusing and difficult, uncertain and frustrating.

    Bishop Robert Solomon,
    The Methodist Church in Singapore