Book Review: Glory Veiled and Unveiled by Gerald M. Bilkes
My friend and colleague Dr Jerry Bilkes’ first book was worth waiting for! Those who know him best will find Jerry written all over the book: wise, insightful, discerning, warm, Scriptural, Christ-centered, pastoral, concise, practical, experiential, organized, Church-loving, and inspiring. That’s the book, and that’s Jerry!
Of course, there are other books on the parables, but this book is quite unique in the genre, especially in the way Jerry arranges the parables under four main headings:
- The Glory of the Kingdom
- The Glory of Kingdom Grace
- The Glory of Kingdom Consummation
- The Glory of Christ the King
Each parable is then set out using four categories
- The Scenery: How does Christ use the context, setting, background, and culture reflected in the parable to reach within human hearts?
- The Substance: What is the main message that Christ gives in the parable about His kingdom or aspects of it?
- The Savior: What does the parable unveil about the glorious Savior, His person and His work, to those who believer?
- The Searchlight: In what ways does the parable search our hearts and lives and expose what is in them, as well as guide us into the knowledge of Christ as the gracious and glorious king of the kingdom?
Jerry’s also managed to encapsulate each parable in a pithy memorable phrase. Some samples:
- The Glory of Kingdom Mercy: The Parable of the Good Samaritan
- The Glory of Kingdom Fruitfulness: The Parable of the Unfruitful fig tree
- The Glory of Kingdom Wisdom: The Parable of the Rich Fool
- The Glory of Kingdom Provision: The Parable of the Great Supper.
I’ve enjoyed using this book as a daily devotional, reading a chapter a day (25 parables with 8-10 pages on average), but I’ve also found it an indispensable aid to preaching the parables. The only downside is that you’ll find it hard not to preach them as Jerry writes them!