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Book Review by Kenneth LaPrade

Book Review by Kenneth LaPrade

A BOOK REVIEW by Kenneth LaPrade: 
Salvation in the Name of YHWH
(An Exposition of Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, and Romans 10:13)

I would like to heartily endorse this wonderful, enlightening work of Biblical scholarship about a topic so relevant to monotheistic studies regarding the identity and faithful activity of YHWH (Yahweh), the one true God and his unique Son, the lord Jesus the Messiah (the Anointed One.)

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of YHWH shall be saved.” (Joel 2:32)

This key truth from the book of Joel (within its vital setting) is later quoted in Peter’s Pentecostal thesis in Acts, chapter 2, and also in Paul’s dynamic salvation message for Jews and Gentiles in Romans, chapters 9-11. All three contexts are systematically developed in this eye-opening book which offers a special, logical approach to word study priorities.

On top of the valuable points made here concerning accurate Biblical integrity, personal “fruit” from the writer shines brightly throughout her well-researched theme; the author (Rosablanca Suen) is someone who has practiced continually “calling on the name of YHWH” and, also, “calling on the name of the lord Jesus” for decades! She displays very lucidly how these two aspects (calling on Yahweh and calling on Jesus) are perfectly harmonious. Heart and lifestyle are integral, rather than superficial formulaic approaches. She is extremely thankful for precise Biblical training and an emerging awareness of Biblical monotheistic truth learned directly from Eric H.H. Chang (the author of the detailed masterpieces: The Only True God: A Study of Biblical Monotheism and The Only Perfect Man: The Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ.) She is also quite thankful for others who have lovingly helped her in her faith journey.

The clear dominance of the word YHWH in the book of Joel is beautifully highlighted within the context of all 16 significant terms used in Joel. The importance of God’s personal name is appropriately emphasized; God was never a vague, general reality for devout, ancient Israelites! Also, key phrases about YHWH are carefully explained: “the day of YHWH”, “YHWH your God”, “the house of YHWH”, “O YHWH”, and “the ministers of YHWH.” Despite upcoming judgments to come on “the day of YHWH”, salvation is offered to those (like Joel himself) who faithfully call on the name of YHWH. Whether in prayer or in proclaiming God’s unique virtues, calling audibly on His name from the heart is a reality heard and answered by Yahweh! By the way, the name “Joel” means “Yahweh is God.” He – Yahweh – must be known personally!

Practical reminders (with several citations from Psalms and other Scriptures) are given to help us not to be distracted from calling on His name and seeking His face (or His presence) in intimate prayers. Heart­felt intercession for others is shown to be vital. The depth of repentance from a contrite heart is also key. Such dynamic themes in the book of Joel are totally applicable to us nowadays, as we truly know that the future day of YHWH is approaching! Blessings from the one true God, both physically and spiritually, are present upon those who call on the name of YHWH from the heart!

The book then moves into the quoting of Joel 2:32 in Acts 2:21 within the context of Peter’s Pentecostal message (Acts 2:14-40) and the wider context of the entire book of Acts. Just as Joel is a Yahweh-centered book, Acts is a God-centered book – in which theos (God) refers to the same YHWH who permeates Old Testament records. In 30 prominent words used in Acts such an emphasis is quite clear. Also, 24 significant words in the Pentecostal message (2:14-40) are given, showing a keen emphasis on God Himself, Jesus’ being chosen (as a man), his death, his resur­rection, and his bold exaltation – as lord and Christ. It is very important how relevant prophecies by David and Joel are fulfilled. Also, God’s spirit being poured out freely in an unlimited way is very significant, so that presently, greater numbers of people (with genuine spiritual insights) can continually speak God’s Kingdom truths in power­ful ways!

God’s perfectly planned salvation agenda through Jesus, the Anointed Messiah and lord (kyrios) is wonderfully elucidated in the book’s meticulous study of this Pentecostal sermon, the rest of the book of Acts, and several other New Testament Scriptures. It is illustrated clearly that Jesus’ exaltation to God’s right hand (as in Psalm 110:1) is totally compatible with consistent, Biblical monotheism. This chapter about the meaningful event on Pentecost further describes and summarizes de­tailed insights about authentic change (or repentance), baptism as united with Christ, the essential reception of holy spirit, what spiritual thinking and living truly looks like, calling on the name of YHWH, calling on Jesus as lord, the future day of the Lord, present and future Kingdom of God realities, and “being saved from this crooked generation.”

The remaining chapter focuses on the citation of Joel 2:32 in Romans 10:13 within the context of Romans 9-11, a section concerning the salvation of Israel (and also of Gentiles). Key terms in this section (22 of them) are carefully considered. The dilemma of Israel’s widespread rejection of the Messiah is addressed. The distinction between ethnic Israel and the remnant of spiritual Israel is thoughtfully discussed. The merciful inclusion of Gentiles is logically explained. Statements about the stumbling stone are carefully analyzed. Chapter ten’s significant words and salvation themes (along with confession and believing) are beautifully described. God’s overall fairness to both Jews and Gentiles is very evident. There is then a major thesis comparing Joel 2:32 in the Septuagint (Greek) to Paul’s quoting of it in Romans 10:13. The compati­bility of using this quote to call directly on YHWH or to call on Jesus (as kyrios – lord), as God’s unique representative, is clarified in great depth.

The epilogue of the book, “from a pastor’s heart”, summarizes the above observations with a diagram illustrating YHWH’s willingness and ability to save those who honestly call on Him. His plan of salvation through Jesus is then expounded, highlighting his role as an exalted man now seated at the right hand of God. We currently await the hope of his return with great joy – when all things will be subjected to God.

Three useful appendices give careful sentence block diagrams of Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2, and Romans 9-11.

Pastor Kenneth LaPrade, Texas

November 20, 2021


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