In chapter 1, on page 17, Martin writes, “The aim of the present study is to demonstrate that the land promised to Abraham advances the place of the kingdom that was lost in Eden and serves as a type throughout Israel’s history that anticipates the even greater land – prepared for all of God’s people throughout history – that will calm as a result of the person and work of Christ.” In short, he states, “The land and its blessings find their fulfillment in the new heaven and new earth won by Christ” (17). Methodologically, Martin employs biblical theology in a diachronic fashion to prove his thesis. The rest of the chapters (2-9) survey the relevant biblical text before concluding in chapter 10 with a brief theological reflection upon the implications of the study.
This book is a tremendous example of a diachronic, biblical-theological study of the Bible. Martin does a wonderful job surveying the biblical landscape while incorporating a broad range of opinions from contemporary scholarship. He argues his case clearly and convincingly without being overly polemical. He does not overstate his position, and shows great respect for those with whom he disagrees. Specifically, Martin makes a strong case for understanding the land promises of the Old Testament in light of their typological relationship to the Edenic land of Genesis 1-2 and their subsequent fulfillment in the New Testament. Any serious attempt to argue for the future, literal fulfillment of land promises to a national Israel must interact with Martin’s biblical-theological argument. If it does not, then it is not worth our attention. Martin’s argument is too comprehensive and coherent to be disregarded. I recommend it to all who would dare to have their presuppositions challenged and minds sharpened. This is an excellent book.