Below is part one of a two-part interview with well-known conservative and Christian author David Limbaugh on his new book, The Emmaus Code. Limbaugh wrote his latest book to help unlock the complexities many have in reading and studying the Old Testament, including many Christians.
Limbaugh argues the Old Testament continually points to the person and work of Jesus Christ and the plan to reconcile us to the Trinitarian fellowship and love of God.
CP: While you have written a good deal on Christianity, you are primarily known for political commentary. What prompted a book about the Christocentric nature of the Old Testament?
Limbaugh: Yes, I have written seven books now. The first five were political books – though one of those, Persecution, concerned discrimination against Christians in the United States. Then I wrote Jesus on Trial last year, which chronicled my personal journey from skeptic to believer, and was also a book on Christian apologetics. This book, The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament, is the culmination of an idea I had more than twenty years ago. The messianic prophecies of the Old Testament were pivotal for me. It's probably not an overstatement to say that I came to Christ through the Old Testament.
After becoming a Christian I was on fire to learn as much as I could about the Bible and theology. I was blessed to have good mentors and to read books from trustworthy scholars who emphasized the Christ-centeredness of the Old Testament. Seeing Christ throughout the Old Testament allowed me to read Scripture in an entirely different light. I was immensely enthusiastic about it and wanted to share what I'd learned with others. I began writing a book that I called Roadmap to the Cross, which I intended to be an Old Testament introduction for the lay reader, featuring the Christ-centeredness of it. For various reasons that project didn't get very far.
Twenty years later, with six books and some 1,700 columns under my belt, I decided to return to this project. I had written Jesus on Trial and now it was time to complete what had been but a dream two decades ago. By that I don't mean that I dusted off my old, partial manuscript and began where I left off. No, I started this book anew, with much more knowledge and understanding than I had when I began Roadmap to the Cross. Understanding that Christ pervades the Old Testament has been incredibly faith building and fulfilling and I hope that I can help others understand this. It's sad how much certain Christians miss by undervaluing and ignoring the riches of the Old Testament. I want to do my small part in correcting that.
CP: Sometimes Evangelicals deemphasize the humanity or incarnational nature of Christ for his divine nature and atoning death on the Cross. Give us a few examples of important themes of the incarnational nature of Christ in the OT?
Limbaugh: In my book Jesus on Trial I made that very point: to fully appreciate Jesus we must understand he is both fully man and fully God. His humanity is paramount because it is a major reason we can relate to Him. He experienced much of His suffering on our behalf through His humanity. He felt the full force of God's wrath for our sins in His humanity. We must understand that. In the Emmaus Code, I detail the many ways Christ is prefigured in the Old Testament and one of those is the Christophanies.
These were events where Christ appeared in human form and interacted in Old Testament history. These were different from His actual incarnation in which He actually has a permanent human nature.