Some Christians believe Jesus and Paul overturned the laws of the Old Testament and in their place instituted new laws of love and grace. In God’s Law, Captain Sonny Paago seeks to correct this view by explaining that the Old Testament laws were fulfilled—not repealed—in the New Testament and that they are still relevant to Christians today.
Opening with discussions of God’s love, Man’s love, and the attributes of God, Paago establishes that the Old Testament and the New Testament reflect the same God who seeks ultimately to love humanity and to have humans share love with one another. The various types of Old Testament law (written and oral; ceremonial, civil, and moral) are explained along with relevant scriptures. The Ten Commandments are given prominent attention, including a discussion of each one as well as of the two recorded versions and of the multiple enumerations. The explanation that the commandments were restatements of principles from prior biblical stories is especially thought provoking.
Most surprising to many readers will likely be the convincing case Paago offers for why Christians should uphold the Friday/Saturday Sabbath in addition to worshiping on Sundays. Paago concludes with a discussion of how the “Law of Love is the essence of the law” and that “Jesus Christ is the Word who became flesh—the same God who wrote the law on two tablets of stone.” Proper application of the total law is made clear in a series of questions, which Paago then answers with four guidelines based on scripture. The numerous tables and diagrams throughout the text and in the appendices greatly help readers to visualize the sometimes difficult material.
After a career as an international sea captain and maritime instructor in his home country of Indonesia, Paago attended seminary to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree and now serves as an evangelist with Straight Path Fellowship Ministry. As a layperson turned minister later in life, Paago writes with broadly accessible language that condenses the complex Biblical laws. Doing so, he is able to explain in simple terms their immediate and symbolic meanings for Christians.
On the whole, Paago avoids theological terminology, textual analysis, and points of scholarly debate. With few citations to non-biblical resources and with extensive biblical passages reprinted, God’s Law is an easy-to-read Bible study guide more than it is a critical work. As such, laypersons without theological training will find Paago’s book a most appealing primer for their study of Old Testament law and its fulfillment in the New Testament.
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