Meeting the Saviour
Derek Tidball, BRF, 2007, 154pp, £6.99, ISBN 1 8410 1497 4
‘There's glory for you!’. Although he of course meant something very different by it, Humpty Dumpty’s words (in Lewis Carrol’s Through the Looking Glass) given their usual meaning, are a fitting summary of this latest book by Derek Tidball. The substance of the book, indicated by the subtitle, is a study of Jesus in the Gospel of John, specifically through the filter of the concept of his glory.
The introduction discusses the concept of glory and John’s use of it, suggesting that Jesus’ glory is often to be seen even where explicit glory terminology is absent. Twenty-six short studies, working chronologically through the Gospel, form the core of the book. In each case the focus is on seeing how the glory of Jesus is revealed by what he said or did.
The approach is devotional. The book is written in a pithy, preaching style, as reflected in the use of catchy headings for the short sections in which the material is presented. This makes it very readable. At the same time, Derek Tidball demonstrates an awareness of the more scholarly theological and critical issues related to this Gospel. He does not avoid the difficult questions, although, rightly in a book of this kind, these are never the primary focus. A remarkably light touch is displayed; points are quietly touched on without losing the essential focus or detracting from the readability of the book.
There are always points of detail where one might take a different view but, as one who has been engaged for a number of years in research on the Gospel of John, I found this book informed, insightful and inspirational. It is a superb introduction to some of the key themes of the Gospel of John. More importantly, it is a wonderful introduction to and exposition of Jesus and his glory. An opportunity to meet him that is not to be missed. There’s glory for you!
Reviewed by Chris Jack, Chaplain and Lecturer in Applied Theology at the London School of Theology. This review first appeared in LSTs Review Magazine (Spring 2007) and is reproduced with permission.
Headline Autumn 2007 p.28