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Book Review

Hallowed Be Thy Name, by Warren Henderson; published by Gospel Folio Press; 150 pages. Available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £7.99.

This book focuses on the subject of "revering Christ in a casual world". The first chapter addresses the question, "What’s in a Name?". The author stresses the significance attached to personal names in the Bible since "a name reveals not just the identity of a person but also their features and character".

The various names and titles of God, as found in the Scriptures, are considered. This is followed by an examination of the third commandment, where the reader is reminded of just how serious an offence it is to God when His name is used lightly.

The question is then asked, "Can a Christian blaspheme God?". An in-depth study of the word "blasphemy" is conducted and it is claimed that "in one form or another, we often unconsciously demean God’s name". Not only does the author urge us not to speak blasphemy but "not to live blasphemy either (Jas 2.7)". He appeals that all conduct which would cause others to blaspheme the name of the Lord, be avoided. "Loss of reverence for the Lord’s name has degraded the name of Christ throughout the world".

Having highlighted the dangers of treating the Lord’s name with disrespect, instruction is then given as to a right use of the Lord’s name. In the chapter entitled, "The Blessings of the Lord’s Name", the following pertinent points are developed: To pray in His Name; To proclaim His Name; To suffer for His Name; To gather in His Name. This is only a selection. You can relish the rest when you purchase the book!

Hallowed Be Thy Name concludes with six practical suggestions as to how a believer can sanctify the Lord’s great name. Advice is also given on how to respond when the Lord’s name is blasphemed and there is an extensive sixteen page appendix of "Names and Titles of Christ".

If you are seeking guidance as to how you can glorify the precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ in daily living, this book will certainly provide both challenge and encouragement that will prompt you to exclaim, "Hallowed be Thy Name!".

AC

Getting the Gospel Right: A Balanced View of Salvation Truth by C. Gordon Olson; published by Global Gospel Publishers; 374 pages. Available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £8.99.

Readers may recall the book Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism. This is the latest revised and updated version of that earlier scholarly work.

Realising that he is about to wrestle with controversial subjects, Gordon Olson expresses the desire to "manifest a spirit of love to fellow believers" and goes on to assert, "If I have failed to do this in this book, I ask your forgiveness. However, if the truth makes you angry, I cannot apologize for that!".

The author ministered among assemblies in Pakistan, and at the outset, makes the observation, "I find it unthinkable to refer to ‘Jesus’ without giving Him His proper titles, since Muslims never refer to Hazrat Isa without using terms of respect…even though they do not believe in His deity." A reverential spirit characterises the author as he approaches the Holy Scriptures.

The first section deals with foundational gospel truths where it is stated, "It is the thesis of this book that the gospel is that any sinner can be saved". This precedes the burden he has to show that both Calvinism and Arminianism as systems are seriously flawed.

The main body of the book is devoted to the interpretation of crucial passages by examining the contexts, the usage of key words and the grammar of each sentence. From this, the doctrine of limited atonement developed by Calvin’s successor, Theodor Beza is denounced. It is then shown that the extrapolation of human depravity into total inability is without Biblical warrant. It is also concluded that the doctrine of irresistible grace has been derived through a deductive process from the other points of the acronym TULIP, rather than through proper study of all relevant Scripture: "When a careful word study of the usage of the term ‘calling’ is done, there is no basis left for irresistible grace".

The author does veer towards a corporate election standpoint. The argument for this is not crystal clear, since apparent contradictions appear on p.283 and doubts are expressed on p.290. These page references will help you to reach your own conclusions! This is a book that will make you think, and provide help as you conduct a balanced study of the great truths of the gospel.

AC

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