“A name expresses authority,” writes Tomás A. Belmar. And no other name, the author contends, expresses more authority than Jesus. To understand and embrace this idea is the first step toward union with God.
This notion is at the heart of Belmar’s work. Here, he attempts to discuss the power of the names of God and how they play into salvation history. He takes readers through the three stages of understanding the divine: the most basic, Elohim Worship, sees God as a collection of foreign, supernatural beings; the second stage, El-Shaddai Worship, is a movement toward a more personal relationship with God; and Yahweh Worship is the understanding that God is the one great power in all of creation, the nature of being itself. Moreover, Belmar explores how Jesus in the New Testament becomes the key name in initiation into union with God. The key to this marriage of the sacred and humanity, the author argues, is “water baptism” in the name of Jesus Christ only.
Belmar has a decent grasp of Old and New Testament scholarship. His understanding of the importance of ancient names is spot on, and he provides interesting exegetical arguments about the nature of covenant. Unfortunately, the book is hit and miss. While some passages read well, others are marred with grammatical mistakes (e.g., “Many texts speaks [sic] about God’s Spirit, but none prove a personality”) or have unclear syntax (e.g. the opening paragraph of the book: “In a world where the different religions and beliefs divide the humanity, there is at least one denomination that follows the righteous path, and under the influence of many opinions, assumptions, and decrees like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, won’t depart from the righteous path nor the truth”).
These shortcomings are regrettable, as there is potential for readers to gain a better understanding of matters human and divine here, but the book needs editing before it is ready for a wide audience.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.