March 2010

Cover Image

From the editor: "Then Jonathan . . . loved him" (1 Sam 18.3)
J Grant

Occasional Letters - Men who Gathered to David
D Newell

Why I Believe: That the Bible is the Word of God
W Stevely

Book Review

Jotham’s Parable - Judges 9.1-21 (3)
T Ratcliffe

Fundamentals for Young Believers (2)
M Wilkie

Question Box

Contemporary Issues: Passing on Responsibility - Getting Ready to Hand Over
D E West

Notebook: Great Cities of the Old Testament: Babylon
J Grant

Into All The World: Updates from Brazil (1)
Terry Blackman

Into All The World: Updates from Brazil (2)
John McCann

Whose faith follow: Mr William D Halliday (1919-2009)
I Gordon

The Lord’s Work & Workers

With Christ

Forthcoming Meetings

Notices

Book Review

The Lord From Heaven by Sir Robert Anderson; Classic Reprint Series, 2009, 118 pages; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £5.99. (9781904064855)

The Lord From Heaven continues Ritchie’s Classic Reprint Series with Sir Robert Anderson’s defence of the deity of Christ. Anderson’s preface to the second edition of this 118-page book contains the author’s conviction that "a book of this kind is needed". Learned works did not reach the majority of Christians, and books aimed at a general readership did not satisfy the thoughtful reader. At the same time sceptical theologians were questioning the teaching of the New Testament as to the Lord’s essential deity.

Anderson sets out as foundational the distinction between sons of God and children of God before presenting studies in the Lord’s person and work as Son of man and Son of God. These studies are amplified in a survey of testimonies to Christ of Matthew, John, James, Hebrews, and Paul.

He roots the title Son of Man in the first vision of Daniel 7. From that passage he concludes that that the title Son of Man is a Messianic title without attaching significance to the inclusion of "all people, nations, and languages" (Dan 7.14) or to phrases such as "the works of thy hands" (Ps 8.6) or "all things" (Heb 2.10), where Psalm 8 is cited. The author also refers to "the Lord’s essential glory as the Son of Man" in contradistinction to "what he became" as a Man; the reader might seek further clarification as to the full import of the sentence. Although Ezekiel is mentioned in the chapter in connection with his enforced silence (Ezek 3.26-27), no mention is made of the much-used appellative "son of man" in the prophecy of Ezekiel.

Sir Robert’s comments on the Son of God are helpful and are echoed profitably in the subsequent chapters of The Lord From Heaven. One point that he stresses is the importance of appropriate language when speaking about the Lord Jesus, a lesson many Christians need to learn. We should not refer to the Son of God as Jesus.

TW

Redemption Truths by Sir Robert Anderson; Classic Reprint Series, 2009, 191 pages; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £6.99. (9781904064848)

The Gospel and its Ministry was the first book from Sir Robert Anderson the reviewer read in his youth. The author’s Prefatory Note indicates that Redemption Truths was also written to "help those who are seeking peace with God, or who desire to lead others into the way of life". The prevailing climate, as Anderson saw it, was one in which false doctrine and apostasy thrived, and consequently the gospel of the grace of God was under attack. Redemption Truths rebuts many of the doctrines that would undermine the purity of the gospel, including baptismal regeneration (the pagan origin of which Anderson exposes), Augustine’s doctrine that "… the bosom of the Church, afforded the only refuge from divine wrath", and other doctrines among the much "borrowed … from Babylon".

Among Redemption Truths’ profitable 191 pages, Anderson writes with great clarity on the essential nature of sin, the Passover and redemption by blood and by power. He devotes two chapters to the Passover which he describes as: "The key picture of our redemption story … perfect even in details." He also devotes two chapters to the leper and his cleansing (Lev 13, 14). Although in many ways instructive, his second chapter on the leper is less lucid that the first. Nonetheless, both chapters are rewarding to the diligent.

Not surprisingly, given the references above to the blood of Christ, there is a great emphasis on the death of Christ and its efficacy. The author raises and addresses the question: "Was Christ punished for my sins?" He points out that the language of the question is not used in Scripture, but adds that Scripture does contain: "Who ... bore our sins on his own body on the tree" (1 Pet 2.24-25); "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" (1 Cor 15.3). Anderson appeals for accuracy, then relates pouring into the ear of a dying suicide the story of Calvary in the words of Isaiah 53.4-6.

Redemption Truths is a helpful, if at times demanding, study.

TW

 

 

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