Featured Items Ritchie Christian Media

January 2005

From the editor: Bitterness
J Grant

The Lord’s Coming and Future Events (4)
Albert Leckie

Jacob’s Gift to the Ruler of all Egypt (1)
T Ratcliffe

Book Review

Words from the Cross (1)
C Jones

Ahithophel - Traitor or Man of Integrity?
C Cann

Question Box

Follow Me (3)
M Wilkie

Notebook: The Kings of Judah - Uzziah
J Grant

Whose faith follow: John T Dickson (1881-1968)
J G Hutchinson

The First Epistle of John (9)
S Whitmore

The Risen Lord
W Alexander

Into All The World: Portstewart Drive-in Gospel Outreach
S Moore

With Christ

The Lord’s Work & Workers

Notices

Book Review

The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel; published by Zondervan; price £9.99. Available from John Ritchie Ltd.

The Case for a Creator is the third book in a series that began with The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith. It adopts the same approach as the first two books, viz. the approach of a journalist. Indeed the Publishers sub-title this book "A journalist investigates scientific evidence that points towards God". Although sometime after his conversion Strobel was a pastor in two large churches, he does not use Scripture as his starting point, nor does he punctuate his researches or conclusions with references to the inspired Word.

The Case for a Creator is nevertheless a fascinating book to read. Strobel writes fluently and presents complex scientific information through the medium of transcripts of interviews with leading scientists and philosophers. His work is thoroughly researched; indeed 22 pages of this 340-page paperback are given over to his bibliographic sources. These formulate the questions he poses to scientists with unchallengeable credentials. The author has also edited skilfully the wealth of detail emerging from those interviews. An index of 10 pages assists the reader in following sub-threads of Strobel’s arguments.

Predictably, Lee Strobel’s focus is on a number of issues Darwinism does not face: how nothing produces everything; how non-life produces life; how randomness produces the finely-tuned universe essential to life; how non-reason produces reason. These challenges he sets out alongside the current scientific reasoning of his interviewees.

The Case for a Creator does not venture into matters like the "young earth theory" or the literality of the six days of Genesis 1, 2. He uses the language of "the big bang" rather than the words that Holy Spirit teaches and has given us through Moses. Within that context there is much in it that will interest readers and cause most to wonder why thinking men continue to hold tenaciously to their denial of the Creator.

TW

Obedience The Key to our Problems by Stephen Hulshizer; published by Believer’s Bookshelf Canada; price £3.50. Available from John Ritchie Ltd.

This short book gives one of the clearest treatments of the Biblical meaning of obedience which this reviewer has come across. It is thorough and pointed, highly recommended as reference material for all Bible students, and, more importantly, for day to day practice in every aspect of life.

After a brief but very relevant introduction, the first chapter carefully defines the meaning of words used in the original languages for our word obedience. We are shown that to gain benefit from the rest of the book, a clear grasp of this meaning is necessary. It is primarily an attitude of heart towards a higher authority, not a mechanical doing for its own sake. Legalism which places the commandment higher than the commander, and conformity which deals with the outside of man, are both far short of true obedience. Also all consideration of "rights" is vain, for aside from the grace of God, man has no rights, only privileges. This concept is clearly at odds with popular thinking with which even believers may become subconsciously affected.

Chapters 2-8 are short reminders of the matter of obedience in several realms such as Satan’s downfall, Adam’s also; then the perfect obedience of Christ, and the link between obedience and faith, love and life. The final chapter is the longest, taking up almost half the book, dealing with the discovery of true blessing through obedience - in the family, in the assembly, in personal prayer, in evangelism, and in everything. On page 69 there is the pertinent statement: "In order to have true, lasting happiness a person must be in the position that God has designed for him or her."

It could be said that on a few pages the style of writing is somewhat stilted, and the presentation of the book could have been improved with more attention to better and bigger typeface at certain places. A brief note about the author, and perhaps an index would also have helped. But the theme of the book and its message for today is certainly a "key to our problems".

RWC

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