God in Eclipse, God Has Not Always Been Silent, by John B. Metzger (Keller, TX: J House Publishing: 2013) pp. 227, paper $9.99
John Metzger, missionary and educator with Ariel Ministries, has written God in Eclipse directly to Jewish people “to put into simple language a debunking of the issues surrounding God’s nature” (p. 5). Most Jews have abandoned even Judaism (pp. 13, 19) and rejected Christianity, partly due to mistreatment by Christians throughout the ages. Therefore, Metzger distinguishes true believers and biblical Christianity from the corrupt forms that have too often emerged (e.g., p. 13). But the bulk of the book deals with an analysis of Scripture to demonstrate that the Old Testament (the Jewish Bible) clearly teaches the same truths honored by authentic Christians and taught in the New Testament.
Some of the highlights include:
Demonstrating that the use of Elohim (Elokim) for God shows that God exists in a oneness in plurality, thus allowing for the doctrine of the Trinity (pp. 20-23, 51-60, 69-76. 164-175).
That the Angel of the Lord as found in the Old Testament is God and yet distinguished from the Father. The Angel is thus a preincarnate appearance of the Son (pp. 38-48).
The “fence” that the Rabbis built around the Law in a misguided attempt to assure obedience to the Law. This fence is what Jesus dismantled (pp. 62, 155, 213-214).
The oral Law of Moses never existed; it was an invention of the Rabbis during the Second Temple Judaism era (450 BCE – 70 ce).
The credentials of Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah (pp. 152-154) are given, along with proof that He was Messiah (pp. 187-189) as well as helpful answers to common objections to His Messiahship (pp. 181-186).
Metzger deals well with some of the most complicated teachings and prophecies concerning Christ found in the Old Testament, such as: the seed prophecies (pp. 78-95), the two messengers coming before Messiah taught in Malachi (pp. 131-135), and Messiah as the branch (pp. 159-168).
Numerous important scriptural texts are well exegeted such as Genesis 4:1, 6:1-5; 49:9-10; 1 Kings 12:28; Isaiah 7:14; 53.
Not everyone, even some among premillennial dispensationalists, will agree that the birth pangs, prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:5-8, have already been fulfilled (pp. 192-193), or that the battle described in Ezekiel 38-39 takes place before the Day of the Lord and is predominately against Muslims (pp. 192-194), but Metzger’s positions are well worth pondering.
God in Eclipse concludes with a call to Jewish people to be reconciled to their own God (pp. 201-205) and the “Jerusalem Road,” (drawn entirely from Old Testament Scripture) modeled after the better known Roman Road method of evangelism is provided and is an excellent source for explaining the gospel to Jewish people (pp. 206-212).
Whether given directly to Jewish people interested in knowing God or used as a resource for those evangelizing Jews, God in Eclipse is a valuable tool.
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher, Southern View Chapel