My Lord and My God - The Deity of Christ, the Perfect Man, by John W de Silva; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 248 pages; price £7.95.
The sinless perfection of our Saviour and His eternal deity have frequently been denied by some and diluted by others, and over the centuries different authors have taken up their pens to defend and restate it from the basis of Scripture. This thorough treatment of such a fundamental and important subject by a present day author ranks among the best and clearest of these efforts and deserves the attention of all who want to know exactly what it is and why it matters. It was written especially with the needs of young believers in Australia in view, to affirm and establish these truths in their hearts and minds. It will be of similar help to many in the northern hemisphere.
The book begins by considering some commonly held opinions about the deity of Christ, and carefully correcting these from the only reliable source - divine revelation in Scripture. Near the end there is a very useful chapter dealing with several texts such as many cults and their teachers use to peddle their false notions about the Son of God. It is shown that in each case the context provides the true meaning of the verses. The main body of the treatise (for so it may correctly be described) majors on the definition of deity and the attributes of God, and then on Christs deity as revealed in the Gospels, in His names and titles, and in certain passages in the epistles. It also shows to great effect why the deity of Christ is essential for every aspect of His work, past, present and future, whether on our behalf or in fulfilling the eternal counsels of God. A short chapter near the end deals concisely with the essential link between His virgin birth and His deity.
The style of writing is scholarly, requiring some effort on the part of the reader to follow the arguments in their stages. But it is well worth reading through, for it exalts and glorifies Christ in every possible way. As with Thomas, whom its title suggests, it will promote worship in our souls and in our gatherings, as well as provide us with material to help us answer those who ask us about the person of Christ. For ease of reference and finding particular matters, comprehensive indexes are given of topics, verses used, and Hebrew and Greek words. This is a book worth having.
The Glories of our Lord, by H C Hewlett; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 144 pages; price £6.95.
The elderly Christian who years ago gave me his 1950 edition of The Glories of our Lord knew what he was doing. Although there are many other valuable studies of Christology (one thinks, for example, of John F Walvoords Jesus Christ our Lord, B B Warfields scholarly collection of articles entitled The Person and Work of Christ, and two useful assembly symposia, The Person of Christ, compiled by Norman Crawford, and R E Harlows God the Son), I know of none to beat this for incisiveness, doctrinal precision and devotional stimulus. Not a word is wasted. H C Hewletts twelve chapters are packed full of matter, methodically unfolding vital truths such as the Lords deity, sinless humanity, crucifixion, and exaltation. His trumpet gives no uncertain sound about contentious issues such as eternal sonship or absolute impeccability. Here the reader will find the clearest restatement of orthodox teaching about the Saviour, always expressed in terms of the deepest reverence, for the writer believed that the Lord Jesus is to be the object of our adoration, not our intellectual analysis.
Here, for example, is his memorable summary of what happened at the incarnation. "In Person, He remained all that He had ever been, and yet became that which He had never been."
He is equally to the point when describing the Saviours meekness: "Meekness is not lack of strength, but rather the presence of it strength of character to accept the will of God in its entirety without question, without dispute and without resentment".
I know of no better definition than that. This book deserves to be on every Bible students shelf for three reasons: it clears the head of false doctrine, it warms the heart to Christ, and it lifts the soul in worship. Brethren who read Hewlett have even less excuse for silence at the breaking of bread.