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Book Review: Rejoice & Tremble Reviewed by Brian Wong

Rejoice and Tremble
Michael Reeves
Crossway, 2021 (ISBN: 9781433565328, 176pp)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” Proverbs 1:7

In this book, Michael Reeves, President and Professor of Theology at Union School of Theology, explores what the Bible has to say about the fear of the LORD. 

In his words, “the gospel both frees us from fear and gives us fear”. It frees us from a sinful fear that hates God based on a misunderstanding of who he is. Conversely, gospel-inducing fear is an “intensely delighted wondering at God, our Creator and Redeemer”. As Christians reflect on the cross of Christ and its stupendous achievements, they cannot but grow in their filial fear of the LORD! 

In the words of Revelation, 

“Great and amazing are your deeds, 

O Lord God the Almighty! 

Just and true are your ways, 

O King of the nations! 

Who will not fear, O Lord, 

and glory your name? 

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship you, 

For your righteous acts have been revealed.” 

Revelation 15

This book is clear, concise and compelling. Its arguments are well supported by passages from Scripture. They are further reinforced by quotes from Bible-saturated authors, such as John Calvin, John Bunyan and Jonathan Edwards. 

The reviewer would have appreciated further thought on how the theme of the fear of the LORD is developed throughout Scripture. For example, what does the Law teach about this subject? How is this teaching then expanded upon in the Prophets? How do the gospel and the epistles further develop this theme?

In summary, this book clarified my understanding of the fear of the LORD and convinced me that it truly is a biblical response to our awesome Creator and Redeemer God.

I heartily recommend it to all Christians, especially those who are pastor-teachers and elders. There is an abridged version of this book available, which is entitled, “What does it mean to fear the Lord?” for those with less time on their hands.

Brian Wong