When Moses Preached the Gospel

Tim Keller | April 4, 2017


Editors’ note: The following article is an adapted excerpt from the new book Coming Home: Essays on the New Heaven & New Earth, edited by Don Carson and Jeff Robinson. 


The Old Testament purposefully has an unresolved narrative tension in it, and this very tension is the whole basis of the gospel. Narrative tension means you don’t know what’s going to happen and there are opposing forces at work. In other words, “Little Red Riding Hood took her grandmother some goodies” is not narrative. It’s just a report. “Little Red Riding Hood took her grandmother some goodies, but the Big Bad Wolf was waiting to eat her up” is a narrative, because we’ve got tension. We’re led to ask, “What’s going to happen?”

The narrative tension that drives the whole book of Deuteronomy is the same narrative tension that drives the whole narrative arc of the Bible, all the way up to the cross.

“But,” you reply, “I guess it doesn’t get resolved in Deuteronomy.” Yes and no. What is beautiful about the Bible is the wonderful foreshadowing we see throughout of how resolution is going to happen. And there is foreshadowing in Deuteronomy 30.

This chapter says much about…


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