The Cross, Its True Meanings by David Boyd Long; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 52 pages. Price £3.99. (9780946351459)
David Boyd Longs The Cross, Its True Meaning may only be 52 pages long, but it teaches lessons that are not easily learned, and seldom presented. They are lessons that Christians of all ages need to hear again and again. So often this vital New Testament truth is dealt with in a few cursory remarks, often creating the impression that every listener or reader will already understand the far-reaching implications of truth that "first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed unto us" by the Holy Spirit.
Rightly, on the cover of The Cross, Its True Meaning the Publishers note that the authors emphasis throughout this reissue is that the vocabulary "cross" and "crucify" are not synonyms for another fundamental truth "the death of Christ." Briefly, the author distinguishes between the death of Christ, the slaying and hanging (or crucifixion) of Christ, His offering and sacrifice and His passion (or suffering). He deals thereafter with the eleven references in the four Gospels to the historical crucifixion of Christ and the six passages recording the Lords teaching about the cross in relation to discipleship. He sees the teaching developed by the Lord as the basis on which Paul and the Hebrew writer consider this fundamental doctrine.
The five chapters that deal with the cross in Pauls epistles and the Hebrew letter will prove helpful to a wide audience. They do show the relevance of the doctrine of the cross to the range of issues that troubled, or might trouble, saints in very differing circumstances. The author does not seek to accommodate the true meaning of the cross to the tastes and ambitions of a 21st century readership. He shows clearly the demands of the cross and the ineffectiveness of Christian testimony where its application is absent. He suggests our prayer ought to be: "Lord, teach us to learn what Christ taught about His cross and to think as Christ thought as He faced the cross".
Jim Elliot - He is no Fool by Irene Howat; published 2005 by Christian Focus Publications and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 160 pages. Price £5.99. (9781845500641)
Jim Elliot - He is no Fool is a Torch Bearers book. This popular series is designed for a younger readership, with each biography being suitable as an ideal gift for young people.
These profitable biographies, each considering a particular hero of the faith, may provide the necessary spark that will ignite an interest in spiritual things. This will prove to be of priceless value to any reader whether young or old.
Jim Elliot is familiar to most as being a devoted Christian who was willing to lay down his life in the endeavour to advance the spread of the gospel and bring glory to his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Born on 8th October, 1927 in Portland, Oregon, Jim Elliot was raised by godly parents. "The Elliot young people couldnt remember a time when their day had not begun with a reading from the Bible and prayer, and they couldnt remember a night when it hadnt ended in just the same way."
Saved at a young age, Jim went on to attend Wheaton College where he met Elisabeth Howard whom he would eventually marry. After four years of study he came to the conclusion that he should spend a year at home. "He knew there was plenty to keep him busy, preaching in his local assembly maintaining the Assembly Hall that needed a great deal of work done on it."
It was during that time on 28th October, 1949 that he wrote the well known words, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose". He quietly told his mother that day, "I have given my life to the Lord. I just wonder what he will do with it between here and heaven".
This inspiring book traces Jims journey until he was speared to death on a beach of the Curaray River. In the chapter entitled "Afterwards" the reader will discover how many of the Auca Indians became Christians, even some who were involved in the murders at Palm Beach.