2 Short Book Reviews

Monday, 30th October 2023
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Book Reviews

As you know we like to update the blog with some fresh reading material for you. Both Edwin and Johnny have recently read and reviewed new books from Union Publishing and would recommend that you read them as well!

 Scripture Is Supreme (Tim Chester)

by Edwin Ewart

This little book is one of a series of ten planned, designed to summarise essential gospel truths. The author’s volume on the authority of the Bible considers this key doctrine from a variety of angles, describing biblical authority as supreme, personal, extensive, vital and dynamic. The writing is clear, biblically supported and superbly illustrated with historical and contemporary examples. In a subject area on which a great deal of ink has been spilled, Tim Chester makes a fresh and thoroughly engaging contribution.

One: Being United to Jesus Changes Everything (Clive Bowsher)

by Johnny McClaughlin

The purpose of this book bursts forth from the opening line: “This book is about God’s heart and your heart”, and continues by encouraging the hearts of all who read to delight further in their union with Christ. The writer confesses early life struggles—seeking perfectionism and a works-based righteousness before a Holy God—only to discover the liberating truth found through a vibrant relationship with Christ. Issues with which many readers may be able to identify.

Introductory remarks naturally flow into the thesis running like a golden thread throughout: for the Christian to know the “me-in-you-and-you-in-me” love of Christ as taught by the Lord in the upper room in John 14–17. Bowsher supports his theme by revealing nine things Jesus tells us in John’s gospel that “you will” experience because of His resurrection (12), and shapes the chapters around these. At times, this outline felt a little imposed upon the text, but still offers help to the reader.

Particular highlights of the book include the writer’s burning desire to move the reader from orthodoxy to orthopraxy (113): that what the believer knows about Christ theologically would ignite into a rich, bountiful and delightful relationship with the Triune God influencing all of life. Another strength was the writer’s ability to appropriate the teaching of Christ, sharing illustrations from his own life in each chapter, thus illustrating how being united to Christ changed his thinking and his living.

I would commend this book to all; but particularly if a Christian was feeling cold and distant in their relationship with God and/or wanted to grow further in union with Christ.

Top Five Quotes

“And the most astonishing thing - Jesus draws you and me into his divine life and love, into his dazzling life and love, into this dazzling glory (John 17:24). God is already drawing us into this beautiful love, to share it with him today.” (p.22)

“I’m struggling through my week; work is hard. This image of the vine comes to mind, and I’m reminded about the reality of being one with Jesus. There are really resources for the battles we face.” (p.32)

“God loves you so much that he actually wants to spend time with you.” (p.70)

“If someone is a means to an end for you, you won’t love that person for who she is… And as long as we see Jesus as a means to something different, we’re missing the beauty of who he is. When we realise he’s everything, he becomes the goal, and ‘heaven’ becomes where he is.” (p.95)

“I’ve never met anyone who seems as free as Jesus. He’s free from fear and the need to impress… Jesus is free enough to have the strength to lay down his life because he loves you. And his life is one of entwined dependence on the Father: his life is one of ‘me-in-you-and-you-in-me’ fellowship with the Father.” (p.104)

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