Book Notices -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 10:4 (Fall 2001)
Article: Book Notices
Author: Anonymous

Book Notices

Deepening Your Conversation With God: Learning To Love To Pray, Ben Patterson. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers (2001). 171 pages, paper, $10.99

Ben Patterson, a pastor previously in New Jersey and California, is now campus pastor at Westmont College, in Santa Barbara, California. He is a frequent contributor to Leadership and is a person, and a writer, whom I always find both thoughtful and pastoral. In this little book he seeks to show how prayer can be moved from being a spiritual discipline we exercise to a much-anticipated delight we engage in with wonder and deep joy.

Serious prayer is not a special gift. It is a practical privilege that we can, and should, all engage in day-by-day. One of the unique delights of this book, for me, was its emphasis upon praying with others and the importance of the church seeking God in prayer as an act of community. This is not a heavy book but it is a delightfully helpful volume that would benefit most earnest Christians.

Eschatology, Hans Schwarz. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2001). 431 pages, paper, $26.00

When most conservative Christians in America hear the word eschatology their minds race to the apocalypse and related millennial concerns. This is both tragic and unbalanced. Recent Y2K fever should show just how unprofitable such idle speculation really is. What is needed is solid biblical, historical and theological work on this field of study. Hans Schwarz, professor of systematic theology at the University of Regensburg, Germany, provides just such a work. This is sane, careful, and readable theology.

Schwarz writes 307 pages before he even gets to a chapter helpfully titled, “Controversial Areas of Eschatological Hope.” Most of what he says here is a much-needed corrective to the rampant dispensational remnants of an American approach to this area of theology. Most evangelical pastors will be forced, if they will read Schwarz, to grapple with a serious range of orthodox and heterodox thought prior to the rise of our popular systems of millennial madness, most of which owe more to heterodoxy than orthodoxy. Throughout this book the author is concerned to keep “hope” alive in the life of the confessing church. Schwarz writes: “If we abandon the hope for an actual transformation of our world into God’s kingdom, faith becomes empty and meaningless and is hardly bearable” (368). Amen! This book should be read by serious leaders of the church at large. It is not too technical for many to profit by it.

Ancient Christian Commentary On Scripture: Old Testament I (<...

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