The Song of Zechariah - Timothy Cross
R. Catchpole, London
Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON L3K 6A6, Canada.
In the preface, Timothy Cross describes the song of Zechariah, recorded in Luke chapter 1 verses 67 to 79, as ‘no ordinary hymn’ but one that owes its origin ‘to the working of the Holy Spirit of God in the heart, mind and tongue of the aged Zechariah’. He notes that these were the first recorded words of Zechariah after nine months of silence, a song primarily concerned not, as we might have anticipated, with his own son, John, who had just been born, but with the Lord Jesus. Sixteen chapters are then devoted to an analysis of the leading themes of the song. Within those chapters a vast number of subjects are considered, embracing God’s mercy and His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises, the lineage and essential deity of Christ, the salvation provided in Christ, the forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ, the joy of salvation, and the light, life, and peace which comes to the believer in Christ. The sixteen chapters are short, and very readable. Sadly, this book does not provide the reader with an exposition of the song, but, rather, the author’s application of it. In the opening chapter, Cross asserts ‘The New Testament teaches that Christians are the true Israel’ and the song is approached as being relative to the Church, and not to Israel nationally, an ‘a-millennial’ viewpoint, that leads to confusion in the book regarding prophetic events. Other statements in the opening chapter relative to the grace of God and the work of Christ, though not expanded, are consistent with belief in the doctrine of ‘particular redemption’. Overall, this is not a book which I would recommend.
[Our thanks to Richard Catchpole, South Norwood, for this review]