Behold the Saviour, by Warren Henderson; published by Gospel Folio Press. Available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £8.99.
Is there any greater occupation than that of contemplating the vast worth of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Behold the Saviour will assist the reader in fulfilling this objective. The Four Gospels are the focus of attention. Warren Henderson indicates his vantage point in the Foreword: "It is to be understood that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are not a harmonizing attempt to portray the life of Christ but four inexhaustible and unique themes of His person and attributes".
The aim of the author is not to provide an intricate expositional analysis of each Gospel, but rather, to clearly convey an overview of each book. He asks, "Why Four Gospels?", and then identifies the symbolic meaning of the number four in Scripture as, "the number of earthly order, as created by God".
Four "behold" statements from the Old Testament form fitting invitations over the Gospels to Behold the Savour: Behold Your King (Zech 9.9) - Matthew; Behold My Servant (Isa 42.1) - Mark; Behold the Man (Zech 6.12) - Luke; Behold your God (Is 40.9) - John.
Prominent features of each Gospel are then highlighted in orderly categories such as: key words and phrases, literary design, theme development, different writing styles, omissions, variations and inclusions. The method adopted opens up vivid panoramic views.
Enlightening quotations from various writers occur throughout the book. Here is one pithy example from Warren Wiersbe: "Prayer is not an escape from responsibility; it is our response to Gods ability".
A Bibliography lists the works of respected writers such as: J G Bellett, J N Darby, W Kelly and W MacDonald. There is also a section of Endnotes to facilitate further research.
The author concludes by addressing the question: "What is the Aspiration of the Gospels?". He drives home the challenge of the book: "Christianity is more than coming to the Lord for salvation; it is also going on with Him in spiritual life". Behold the Saviour will enhance your understanding of the Gospels and encourage you to gaze on the glories of Christ.
From now on , by Ralph Shallis; published by Gospel Folio Press. Available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £7.99.
The deep longing of Ralph Shallis is that the reader might grow into rich spiritual maturity. The reason presented is the plain fact that God Himself desires it.
As a young Christian, the author studied the lives of a number of godly believers, including R C Chapman. He found that each had an intimate knowledge of Christ that was beyond his own experience. Their example made a profound impression on him. From now on is the outcome of that encounter. The author focuses upon Scriptural provisions for spiritual growth, that will enrich the life of the believer.
The first chapter, entitled "The Initial Shock", deals with three enemies that the Christian will inevitably face. The author explains, "You need to know their strategy and confront them with weapons forged by God". This helpful study is followed by a consideration of the inner conflict between the two natures, preparing the way for the main thrust of the book.
The seven pillars of wisdom found in Proverbs 9.1, are utilised to illustrate seven provisions for Christian growth. These are divided into two sections.
The first part deals with three spiritual principles: 1) "Grieve not the holy Spirit of God" (Eph 4.30) - instant repentance. 2) "Quench not the Spirit" (1 Thess 5.19) - instant obedience. 3) "Walk in the Spirit" (Gal 5.16) - instant faith. The author shows why these principles are the main pillars that sustain the spiritual life of the believer and how they all converge in a single issue. To discover what that issue is, read From now on
The second part deals with four supports, or practices, which help us to maintain a high standard of spiritual life, namely: 1) Prayer. 2) The Word of God. 3) Fellowship. 4) Witness. The author observes, "Without these, our faith remains infantile and has no real hope of developing". He then proceeds to prove why this is so from the Word of God.
From now on is for all who realise that spiritual progress is an ongoing priority. Ralph Shallis has certainly grasped this and fervently exclaims, "Overwhelmed with the revelation of Christs face we have no thought but for Him alone".