Book Briefs -- By: Jonathan Armstrong

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 11:3 (Summer 2002)
Article: Book Briefs
Author: Jonathan Armstrong

Book Briefs

John H. Armstrong

Grieving A Suicide, Albert Y. Hsu. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press (2002). 180 pages, paper, $12.00

One million people die by suicide every year. Every seventeen seconds an American dies by suicide. Most of us have either known someone who took his or her life or we know of someone who has been touched by this profoundly heart-wrenching trial. After the suicide of his father, Al Hsu, experienced the shock and pain associated with this trauma. The usual questions came with great intensity. Why did this happen? Why didn’t we see this coming? Could this have been prevented? How do we face the future and go on? Suicide survivors need a basis for facing the future. They need to draw upon the grace of God in the midst of their unmingled sorrow. This book was written for both counselors and those grieving people who have tasted this bitter experience.

What happens to Christians who commit suicide? (I think Hsu’s moral and ethical answers are quite balanced.) The fact is that the Christian church has never given a uniform answer to this question. In the process we have often failed to know how to respond to a family touched by suicide. This book offers profoundly personal help in a distinctly Christian way. It is a gripping story told well. I highly recommend it.

Praying The Attributes Of God, Rosemary Jensen. Grand Rapids: Kregel (2002). 176 pages, paper, $9.99

Rosemary Jensen, a gifted thinker and teacher, offers a simple, useful and immensely practical little book that links the spiritual disciplines to the character of God. Each study, which could best be used privately, takes one of the divine attributes and relates them to the well-known acrostic on prayer: ACTS. The author’s desire is to lead the reader into deeper worship of the true God. She has accomplished her purpose in a most excellent way.

Appealing To Scripture In Moral Debate, Charles H. Cosgrove. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2002). 224 pages, paper, $22.00

Among those who take the Bible’s authority seriously the most pressing issue of our time is hermeneutics. How do we arrive at moral decisions? How are ethics determined by our appeal to Holy Scripture? Cosgrove, a professor of New Testament and Christian ethics at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary employs a wide range of literature, both biblical and extra-biblical to arrive at a conclusion that will not satisfy everyone but should profit all who wish to delve into the subject seriously.

Cosgrove presents five basic hermeneutical perspectives (“rules”) to direct the disc...

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