Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace by Alva J McClain; published by BMH Books 1989; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 253 pages; price £9.99.
Alva J McClain was a member of the Scofield Reference Bible Revision Committee.
Due to the fact that the contents of this book were originally presented as expository addresses, a conversational style is retained. This feature adds a homely warmth to the commentary. The American Standard Version is frequently referred to as well as the King James Version.
"A General Survey of the Epistle" takes the reader on a quick tour, giving glimpses of Romans under four helpful headings: Condemnation, Salvation, Vindication, and Exhortation.
The epistle is then considered under four divisions. Each part is shown to answer a particular question: Section One (1.18-3.20) "Is the world lost?". Section
Two (3.21-8.39) "How does God save sinners?".
Section Three (9.1-11.36) "Why is Israel rejected?". Section Four (12.1-15.33) "How shall a saved man walk?".
Commenting on the seventh chapter of Romans, the author states, "However difficult this seventh chapter of Romans may be, no trouble will be encountered whatever if we have actually mastered what the sixth chapter has taught". His own answer is then expanded, and will be revealed when you purchase the book.
A variety of helpful outlines are suggested for Romans chapter 8 plus a fuller consideration of the chapter under the profitable theme of seven "new things".
Chapters 9-11 are summarised in the following balanced way: "The absolute sovereignty of God is seen in election. The moral responsibility of man is seen in rejection. The final purpose of God is seen in reception - that is, the future reception of Israel back into the will of God".
The aim of the author is that the doctrines of the epistle "may be experienced in our lives". The final chapter is entitled, "The Heartwarming Conclusion to a Great Revelation". This is appropriate since the heart of the reader will certainly be warmed as well as challenged through reading these studies on Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace.
Right With God by John Blanchard; published by Banner of Truth, 2007; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 127 pages; price £4.00.
Well-known author John Blanchard sets out in his Introduction to establish that he has in mind anyone who is a "genuine seeker".
The first chapter entitled "The Truth" begins with a clear statement of reliance upon the Word of God, "From now on I am going to quote frequently from the Bible, and rely upon it for the basic truths of everything I say in this book".
Two vital lines of truth are then developed. Firstly, that the Bible is completely true. Secondly, that the Bible is constantly true.
The next chapter deals with "The Problem". Four words are used to describe man from a scriptural perspective: dignity, disobedience, death, and depravity. Our own efforts to gain salvation through self-merit are considered in a four-fold way: race, ritual, religion, and respectability. These are all shown to completely fail in any attempt to save the soul. The conclusion is clear, "Left as you are your case is hopeless. You are lost".
The book then turns to focus upon the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It deals with his descent, deeds, declarations, death and resurrection. It is shown from the Word of God that "God has provided the perfect answer to man's greatest need".
The chapter entitled "The Need" falls into two parts: "You must be born again" treats the new birth as a mystery, a must, and a miracle. The second part considers the need for conversion.
Right with God concludes with a chapter specifically for the new believer. The wise advice of the author to the new convert, and indeed to every believer, is expressed in the statement, "Give time to the careful reading and studying of the Bible, to memorising its truth and to meditating on its value".
On the final page, space has been designated for a contact name, if a person should be interested in receiving further help. Right With God is certainly a book geared towards helping the genuine seeker get Right With God.