Spurgeon’s Sorrows by Zack Eswine

Eswine, Zack. Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression. Geanies House, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2014. 144 pages. $9.99. Purchase at Westminster for less or for Kindle.

Note: The review first appeared in The Pathway.

Gary L. Shultz, Jr., Reviewer

Many Christians know what it is like to go through dark times of the soul, whether because of circumstances, disposition, or dryness in one’s relationship with God. Many other Christians know what it is like to watch those they love go through those dark times, wondering how they can help or what they can say. Sometimes those dark times persist, becoming so overwhelming that all of life seems to be a burden and a struggle. Unfortunately, Christians are not immune from depression.

Yet for many in the church, depression is a taboo subject. Some Christians assume that depression is always a result of sin, is really just a bad attitude with another name, or that Christians are immune from depression because of the promises of Jesus Christ. These false assumptions have hurt many people struggling to see how God can help them through their long bouts of grief and anxiety. This is where a book like Spurgeon’s Sorrows is so helpful. Zack Eswine, a pastor in the St. Louis area, uses the experience and preaching of Charles Spurgeon, a well-respected and beloved pastor from the past, to help us understand what depression is and how Jesus Christ offers grace and hope even in the midst of the darkest times.

Charles Spurgeon was the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, a Baptist church in London, for 38 years in the latter half of the nineteenth century. As pastor of one of the earliest megachurches, Spurgeon regularly preached to thousands of people. Early in his ministry, at age 22, Spurgeon was preaching when someone falsely yelled, “Fire!” The panic that resulted left seven people dead and 28 seriously injured. Married for less than a year, with newborn twins, Spurgeon was blamed by many for the disaster. All of this stress had a profound effect on Spurgeon’s disposition, and left him struggling with depression not only in the aftermath, but for the rest of his life. Depression was a subject he returned to in his preaching again and again.

The book is divided into three sections: understanding depression, learning to help those with depression, and learning daily helps to cope with depression. Eswine uses Spurgeon’s experience to help us understand that even the most faithful Christians can battle depression. Sometimes depression results from painful circumstances or spiritual crises, but sometimes depression is a result of a person’s physical chemistry or disposition from birth. Spurgeon believed this about himself, and often encouraged those in his congregation suffering from depression to seek out not only spiritual causes and remedies, but physical ones as well. Yet no matter the cause or the depth of the depression, there is help in Jesus Christ.

So learning how to help those who suffer from depression or working to overcome our own depression means acknowledging that depression does happen, even to Christians, and that there is no one-size-fits-all cure. Coming to see ourselves in Christ, and that his grace is deeper than our sorrow no matter the cause or the depths of our despair, is what brings genuine hope. Jesus Christ himself suffered with us and for us as the “man of sorrows,” and comes to us in our own unique pain and circumstances. Eswine helps us remember that as we strive to remember and pray Jesus’ promises, take advantage of the natural helps he gives us in creation, and choose life over death, we experience his grace. We might even come to a time where we being to see what God is doing in our lives through our suffering.

Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 7

Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 7. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 604 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 7 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction

I have reviewed many of Richard Sibbes’ books in the past. This is now the sixth of seven volumes in his collection of Works produced by The Banner of Truth Trust. It has taken me almost a year to get this far for a myriad of reasons, but one thing I know is that this set of works has been invaluable to my personal walk with the Lord.

Summary

Volume 7 contains 30+ sermons of Richard Sibbes from throughout his ministry as well as a number of his extant “other writings.” Also included is a bibliographical list of all of his known writings as well as a glossary showing where particular words were used. The indices, however, prove to be invaluable for those who are doing research on the specific texts he preached as well as the many topics on which he wrote.

Review

While this final volume in the 7-Volume Works of Richard Sibbes is comprised of the indices and glossaries and end of work materials, do not be fooled. There are a number of sermons that today’s believer would do well to read and become familiar with. Most of these sermons are under 20 pages in length with quite a few under 15 pages, this volume makes for a great devotional of sorts.

One sermon on 1 John 3:3, The Pattern of Purity, offers excellent advice on how to live in an age where lust seems to rule the day. Then you recall that this sermon was preached in the 1600’s and you realize that Satan’s methods have not changed.

The 7-volume series as a whole provides an excellent snapshot of what a puritanical ministry looked like over the course of a minister’s life. The cumulative effect is to show that the Word of God was and is powerful and to show that the Word of God applies to all people at all times in all cultures. In other words, the message of God’s holiness and our need of salvation never changes.

Recommendation

Chances are you have either already purchased the entire set in which case buying volume 7 by itself makes no sense. If, however, you are looking for a lengthy introduction to the ministry of the Puritans, specifically, Richard Sibbes, you would do well to purchase this volume as it offers a number of lesser-known sermons with a wide array of subject matter.

Who Moved My Pulpit? by Thom S. Rainer

Rainer, Thom S. Who Moved My Pulpit: Leading Change in the Church. Nashville: B&H, 2016. 143 pp. $12.99. Purchase at Amazon or on Kindle for less.

Note: This review was first published in The Pathway.

Gary Shultz, Jr., Reviewer

Nine out of ten churches in North America are either declining or growing more slowly than their communities. As Thom Rainer, President of LifeWay Christian Resources, states near the end of this book, “We are reaching fewer people. Our back doors are open widely. Church conflict is normative. Pastors and church staff are wounded. Many have given up altogether” (124). Yes, there are exceptions to this reality, but they are exceptions. Most churches need to do things differently. Most churches need to change.

The title of this book is drawn from a true story. An established pastor of 23 years, with eight of those at his current church, begins altering his preaching style in an attempt to reach younger adults in the community. He makes the changes incrementally, leading his congregation to understand why he is changing his style and giving them time to adjust to it. The changes go well, resulting in growth, and eventually the church embraces the new style.

Then the pastor decides that the church’s current pulpit did not fit with his new preaching style, so he replaces it. Unfortunately, he does it without telling anyone, assuming that people would understand or at least not care all that much about such a minor issue. But the church does care, and without exception people voice their opposition, even going so far as to replace the new pulpit with the old one without informing the pastor. While he is still at the church, the pastor believes they lost about two years of ministry momentum from dealing with the fallout over that seemingly minor change.

The purpose of this book is to help pastors and church members lead their churches to change, and to do it well. The above story illustrates why change in established churches can be so difficult. First, leaders don’t always lead change well. Though usually well-intentioned, sometimes leaders act before praying, don’t think through unintended consequences, fail to communicate, don’t deal with people issues, and react poorly when their attempts at change are rejected. Second, church members often refuse to accept any changes in the church. According to Rainer’s research, only 25% of a typical established church is open to change. The rest fall into one of five kinds of church members: those who deny the need to change, those who feel entitled to doing church their way, those who blame everyone but themselves for the church’s problems, those who lodge complaints at any hint of change, and those who are confused about what needs to be changed.

Change is possible, however. The heart of the book is a roadmap for leading change. There are eight steps, with a chapter devoted to each one: stop and pray, confront and communicate a sense of urgency, build an eager coalition of people open to change, become a voice of vision and hope, deal with people issues, move from an inward to an outward focus, pick low-hanging fruit that allows your church to see immediate successes, and continue to implement and consolidate change, because the process never ends.

We need more change-agents in the church. We need people who love God, love their churches, and love people outside the church enough to do what is necessary to try and reach them with the gospel. We need leaders with courage, commitment, and vision. Rainer is clear that his roadmap is not just another program or a quick-fix solution, but a biblical approach to helping churches move toward health and obedience to the Great Commission. There are all kinds of wrong ways to lead change, but there is a right way.

The New City Catechism Edited by The Gospel Coalition

The New City Catechism: 52 Questions & Answers for Our Hearts & Minds. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2017. 128 pp. $7.99. Purchase at Amazon.

Introduction

Catechisms are making a comeback and The Gospel Coalition is helping in this endeavor. You can find out much more at newcitycatechism.com.

Summary/Review

Divided into three parts and 52 questions, this catechism is a simple as ask a question and give the answer. Part 1 looks at God, Creation & Fall, Law. Part 2 is dedicated to Christ, Redemption, Grace. Part 3 looks to the Spirit, Restoration, Growing in Grace. Each part has its own dedicated color: red, blue, and green respectively.

This little book is meant for family or personal devotions and can be used by any believing Christian regardless of denominational affiliation. Personally, I find the flow of the catechism to be well thought out as the writers assume unbelief of the reader and progresses toward belief and growing in Christ. Very simple in design, the questions are on the left page while the answers and biblical support are on the right page.

Also, they offer memorization tips (hint: consistent repetition) as well as some reasons as to why catechizing your children (and maybe yourself) will benefit them over the course of their lives. Overall, this little catechism is well designed and will easily slip into your Bible case or on your coffee table for ready access.

Recommendation

We have used other catechisms with our children which have proven extremely helpful. The New City Catechism offers an excellent family devotional resource. Its simple design makes this resource an excellent addition to any Christian family’s library and family worship time.

God at Work by Gene Edward Vieth, Jr.

Vieth, Jr., Gene Edward. God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2002. 176 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for less or for Kindle.

Note: This review first appeared in The Pathway.

Gary L. Shultz, Jr., Reviewer

Work is hard. Although God originally created us to live with him in a perfect world, fulfilling our tasks in flawless harmony with him, one another, and the creation, we now live in a sin-cursed world where we make our ways by the sweat of our brows, with thorns and thistles frustrating our harvests. Work is often monotonous, boring, and thankless, something to endure rather than a blessing to celebrate. Even jobs that make a real difference in peoples’ lives, that come with high pay and an enhanced reputation, wear people down. Despite the amount of time we all spend working, whether paid or not, we often struggle to see the purpose of our work, or how we can possibly do our work to the glory of God.

Historically, the doctrine of vocation was meant to address these concerns. While we typically use the term “vocation” today as just a fancy word for “job,” the term comes from the Latin word for “calling,” and originally meant much more than just a “job.” We are called to salvation through the word of the gospel (2 Thess 2:14), we are called to a particular act of service in the church (1 Cor 1:1-2), and we are called to be married or single (1 Cor 7:15-20). The doctrine of vocation helps us understand that our careers, along with our callings in the family, the church, and the community, are God-given. It also gives us insight into why God has us work and how we are supposed to work.

Gene Vieth’s purpose behind God At Work is to help us recover the doctrine of vocation and the practical difference it makes in living for God. He begins by exploring the purpose of vocations, discovering your vocations, and how God works in and through vocations. He then examines the various vocations to which every person is called, and finishes the book by addressing some common questions and problems with the doctrine.

All people, believers and unbelievers, have multiple callings. Every person is called to live as a citizen of a particular community and country, with the attendant responsibilities that entails (Rom 13:1-7). Every person is called to serve other people with their unique gifts and abilities, whether in the home or in the workplace. All people are called to be in families, and might even have several vocations in their families, such as father, son, and husband. There is one key vocational difference between believers and unbelievers, however, as believers are called through the gospel unto salvation and then called to live and serve in the church, the people of God (1 Pet 2:9-10).

God’s purpose in our vocations is for us to honor him by fulfilling our callings among the people he has put in our lives. I am supposed to serve others through my vocations, and you are supposed to serve others through your vocations. When this is happening as it should, everyone is constantly giving and receiving. Concerning work, I didn’t harvest the grain that went into my biscuit for breakfast, and I didn’t bake it either; others did this on my behalf through their vocations of farmer and baker, even if they didn’t do so consciously. In exchange, I pastor, preach, teach and write. Behind all of this is God, who works through both believers and unbelievers. The difference for us as believers is that we are to live out our vocations by faith, as followers of Jesus Christ. God calls us to work, in all the areas of our lives, in order to bless us and bless others through us, for his glory and for our good.

Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus by Andreas J. Kostenberger

Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation – Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus. Andreas J. Kostenberger. General Editors, T. Desmond Alexander, Andreas J. Kostenberger, and Thomas R. Schreiner. Nashville, B&H Academic, 2017. 612 pp. $39.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

I reviewed the first volume to be published, Hebrews, back in 2015. Dr. Kostenberger is senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also is the founder of Biblical Foundations.

The Commentary Series

The Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation Commentary series explores the theology of the Bible in considerable depth, spanning both Testaments. Authors come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, though all affirm the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture. United in their high view of Scripture, and in their belief in the underlying unity of Scripture, which is ultimately grounded in the unity of God himself, each author explores the contribution of a given book or group of books to the theology of Scripture as a whole. While conceived as stand-alone volumes, each volume thus also makes a contribution to the larger whole. All volumes provide a discussion of introductory matters, including the historical setting and the literary structure of a given book of Scripture. Also included is an exegetical treatment of all the relevant passages in succinct commentary-style format. The biblical theology approach of the series will also inform and play a role in the commentary proper. The commentator permits a discussion between the commentary proper and the biblical theology that it reflects by a series of cross-references.

The major contribution of each volume, however, is a thorough discussion of the most important themes of the biblical book in relation to the canon as a whole. This format allows each contributor to ground Biblical Theology, as is proper, in an appropriate appraisal of the relevant historical and literary features of a particular book in Scripture while at the same time focusing on its major theological contribution to the entire Christian canon in the context of the larger salvation-historical metanarrative of Scripture. Within this overall format, there will be room for each individual contributor to explore the major themes of his or her particular corpus in the way he or she sees most appropriate for the material under consideration.

This format, in itself, would already be a valuable contribution to Biblical Theology. But there are other series that try to accomplish a survey of the Bible’s theology as well. What distinguishes the present series is its orientation toward Christian proclamation. This is the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation commentary series! As a result, the ultimate purpose of this set of volumes is not exclusively, or even primarily, academic. Rather, we seek to relate Biblical Theology to our own lives and to the life of the church. Our desire is to equip those in Christian ministry who are called by God to preach and teach the precious truths of Scripture to their congregations, both in North America and in a global context.

It is our hope and our prayer that the 40 volumes of this series, once completed, will bear witness to the unity in diversity of the canon of Scripture as they probe the individual contributions of each of its 66 books. The authors and editors are united in their desire that in so doing the series will magnify the name of Christ and bring glory to the triune God who revealed himself in Scripture so that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved—to the glory of God the Father and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, under the illumination of the Holy Spirit, and for the good of his church. To God alone be the glory: soli Deo gloria.

Summary

As with any commentary, there is an in depth introduction of each book looking at the author and date as well as its historical context. Also, there is a literary analysis and a look at the structure which offers a discussion of the genre and vocabulary used throughout.

After all of the introductory material, the author offers the occasion and purpose of each book as well as whom the opponents were. From there, the book offers commentary in such a manner that the reader will understand how the book fits into the larger scope of the overall context that surrounds the passage as well as how it fits into the overall flow of Scripture.

Review

As a pastor, I use a number of commentaries. Most of them are simply broke down by pericope and then verse. This series not only does that, but offers much greater detail and breaks down the passage into further subheadings. For example, each section includes a bridge which shows explicitly how the passage applies to a modern day context.

Regardless, the ultimate use of this commentary will be to help the student of Scripture orient himself (or herself) to the larger theme of the Bible. This is a great aid for so many who think that these three epistles do not apply to anyone except pastors. Kostenberger does an excellent job of exegeting the Scriptures and allowing each passage to be understood by the rest of Scripture. Sometimes this will present a challenge for the pastor and exegete but it shows that the authority of Scripture reigns in the mind of the author. Furthermore, it is abundantly clear that the series is based on an understanding of inerrancy as basic foundational approach to the Bible.

Recommendation

As a pastor, I cannot wait for the rest of this series to be published. As a Christian, I appreciate the accessibility and readability of the commentary such that anyone who wants to study the Word deeper can. I highly commend this resource to any thinking Christian or any pastor who wants to take his study to another level.

 

The SBC and the 21st Century edited by Jason K. Allen

Allen, Jason K., ed. The SBC and the 21st Century: Reflection, Renewal, Recommitment. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016. 269 pages. $29.99. Purchase at Amazon or on Kindle for less.

Note: This review was first published in The Pathway.

Gary Shultz, Jr., Reviewer

What does the future look like for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)? The SBC is one of the largest denominations in the world, with over 15 million members and over 40,000 churches in the United States alone, but both membership and baptism numbers have been slowly declining for several years. For Southern Baptists, this decline raises questions about our methods of reaching people for Christ, our faithfulness to what we say we believe, and our attitude toward our culture. How should we minister and witness going forward in a rapidly changing world?

In September of 2015 Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MWBTS) in Kansas City, MO hosted a symposium to consider these issues. This book, edited by Jason Allen, the President of MWBTS, is a collection of those presentations along with several other essays addressing the SBC’s future. Divided into three sections, these essays address three important questions. Will the SBC grow more unified around its convictions and mission or fragment over secondary doctrinal differences? Will the SBC continue to maintain its Baptist identity while engaging and partnering with other evangelical churches? Finally, will the SBC be willing to think through its structures, programs, and efforts to most effectively reach this world for Christ or will it continue to do the same things it has always done?

The heart of the SBC is collaborative ministry, exemplified by the Cooperative Program, through which SBC churches together fund missions, education, and other denominational institutions at both the state and the national level. Yet a host of issues threaten this collaboration, including differences of opinion on how to cooperate, doctrinal disagreements, and methodological preferences. Including essays by denominational leaders such as Frank Page, Thom Rainer, and the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Executive Director John Yeats, the first section addresses questions of how Southern Baptists should continue to cooperate. These essays highlight the importance of the Cooperative Program, state conventions, and engagement with the broader evangelical community in helping the SBC accomplish its mission, but also stress that they are means to that end, not the end in and of themselves.

While the heart of the SBC is collaborative ministry, the identity of the SBC is found in its doctrine. At this point in its history, the SBC has united around the truths expressed by the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. However, the rapid changes in our culture continue to challenge our theological foundations. The second section, including contributions from Albert Mohler, David Dockery, and several professors from MWBTS, highlights the need for solid convictions on doctrines such as regenerate church membership, human sexuality and gender, and the nature of the church.

As necessary as cooperation and doctrine are, they are meant to keep us on mission for our Savior. The third group of essays, with chapters from denominational leaders such as David Platt, Ronnie Floyd, Jason Allen, and Paige Patterson, speak to the future of the SBC’s missions institutions as well as the continuing relevance of preaching, prayer, and theological education. Ultimately, doctrine, mission, and ministry complement one another, and the SBC must continue to stay strong in each area in order to effectively reach the coming generations for Christ.

After I finished reading this book my main takeaway was hope. God in his grace has used the SBC to reach millions of people for Christ. As we continue to unify around our mission, stand boldly on our doctrine, and commit ourselves to gospel witness and ministry, I believe that God will continue to use the SBC for his glory. These essays will encourage and equip you and your church as we look towards a future of fulfilling the Great Commission together.

Resplendent Bride by E.M. Welcher

Welcher, E.M. Resplendent Bride: Essays on Love & Loss. Dubuque: ECS Ministries, 2016. 160 pp. $9.95. Purchase at Amazon or for Kindle.

Introduction

Welcher is a young man who married the love of his wife and hoped to grow old in the ministry together. He currently serves as pastor of First Christian Church, Glenwood, Iowa. You can follow him on Twitter.

Summary

Divided into three parts, Welcher offers a brief biographical look at his and Danielle’s life and marriage and the diagnosis of cancer in the first part. The second part looks at the first year following Danielle’s home going to the Lord while the third part offers reflections a couple years removed from the trial.

Review

Many times, congregations want to know how a pastor handles a tragedy like death in an accident with an elektrische scooter. Evan Welcher shows how he did so in this very intimate book. Full of various essays, Welcher points the reader to God at what can only be described the most difficult time of his life. Furthermore, his sense of humor is on full display throughout the book. For example, chapter 12 is entitled ‘The Leader dies in Christianity’ with a footnote explaining, “This was adapted from a sermon…because I’m a preacher.”

Not meant to be a deep theological study on death and a proper biblically-influenced response to the trials of life, it is abundantly clear that Welcher does have a depth of faith and knowledge of doctrine that has supported him throughout the entire ordeal.
As you follow Welcher’s remembrances of his bride and growing faith in Christ, you will be challenged to a deeper faith yourself. You will laugh and cry (sometimes on the same page!) and through it all, you will see a mature faith, forged in adversity and death, on full display. These essays can be read devotionally and meditatively, but they should not be read lightly. Though he grieves publicly, he does so with the hope of eternity in heaven and knowing that he will see his bride again in all her glory.

Recommendation

Granted E.M. Welcher is not a “household name,” but that is what makes this book so appealing and commendable to you. Being able to see how a regular believer with faith in the Lord walks through the valley of the shadow of death is a blessing from the Lord. I highly commend this book to anyone facing the loss of a spouse or loved one as an example of what Christian grief looks like.

Fool’s Talk by Os Guinness

Guinness, Os. Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2015. 272 pages. $22.00. Purchase at Westminster Books for less or for Kindle.

Note: This review first appeared in The Pathway.

Gary L. Shultz, Jr., Reviewer

Every follower of Jesus Christ is called to be a witness of his life, death, and resurrection. Yet we live in an age when fewer and fewer people in our culture are interested in the truth of the gospel, and more and more people are resistant or even hostile to it. In response, many Christians and churches have simply given up on evangelism, hoping their lifestyle or commitment to social justice will be enough to influence their neighbors toward Christ. Others, resisting the pressure of our culture to stop sharing the gospel, continue to witness as if most people were interested in what Christians have to say. Even if they do end up getting a hearing, a reliance on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism often obscures the message and keeps them from connecting to others.

If we are to be effective witnesses of the gospel today, we need to recover the art of persuasion, of presenting the gospel to people who don’t agree with us or care about our message. This is the purpose of Os Guinness’s latest book, Fool’s Talk. According to Guinness there are three kinds of fools in the Bible. The first fool, the one we are most familiar with, is the fool who refuses to acknowledge God. The second type of fool is very different: the person who is not actually a fool at all but who is prepared to be treated as a fool for Christ’s sake (1 Cor 4:10). The third type of fool in the Bible goes a step farther, and is prepared to be treated as a fool for Christ’s sake so that he can speak truth to power, shaming and subverting the wisdom of the world. This of course is what God did on the cross through the death of Christ (1 Cor 1:18-31).

The way of the third fool is the way to recover the art of persuasion in our Christian witness. This way means embracing a personalized, gospel-centered witness rather than a specific technique in presenting the gospel. Guinness is adamant that when it comes to our witness, there is no single method that will reach every person. Jesus never spoke to anyone the same way, and neither should we. Gospel-centered witness means embracing the heart and the mind, using stories and/or rational arguments depending on the person. It means getting to know a person, loving them in the same way that God loves them. We are not called to share our faith out of guilt or a desire to compete for cultural influence, but out of love for God and others. We must reconnect apologetics and evangelism, making sure our best arguments for the gospel are in the service of leading people to Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the strongest aspect of Fool’s Talk, and the biggest reason you should read it, is that Guinness doesn’t just explain the need for recovering the art of persuasion or what it means, but takes the time to walk through how to do it. He presents several broad responses we can employ as we talk to people about Jesus, encouraging the use of humor, creativity, imagination, and compassion. He includes chapters on how to respond to questions we can’t answer, how we should react to the charge of hypocrisy, and on engaging people wherever they are on their spiritual journeys. Relentlessly biblical and well-aware of our contemporary culture, this book encourages and equips us to be the gospel witnesses God calls us to be.

Prayers for Trump by Charles M. Garriot

Garriot, Charles M. Prayers for Trump: Petitions for the 45th President. Washington D.C., Riott, 2017. 95 pp. $18.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

I have reviewed Charles’ previous book, Prayers for Obama. With a new President comes a new round of prayers. You can find out more at MinistryToState.org.

Summary

Divided into 12 chapters, Garriott offers a devotional-esque commentary on a passage of Scripture and then offers a written prayer for the President specific to the topic of the chapter. For example, there is a chapter entitled petition for truth and another entitled petition for family. By the end of the book you will have prayed for most every area of the President’s life public and private and will have done so from the Book of Proverbs.

Review

This may be a dangerous book to write today given our current political climate. Garriott is not concerned with that perception, however. His overarching concern is that we pray for “kings and all who are in high positions.” While President Trump is not a king, he is most certainly in a high position. As Christians, we are commanded to pray for our secular leaders who have been put there by God (Romans 13:1).

Garriott offers objective, Biblically informed and saturated prayers for the President. For that, we should be thankful. Not only do these prayers become a sound starting point for praying for the President, but they become a diving board from which you can also jump into deeper prayer for the leader of the USA.

Recommendation

Regardless of your political leanings or whether you like the man who is the President of the United States, as a Christian, you are mandated to pray for him. Charles Garriott is concerned for Biblical fidelity over and above political affiliation. Every Christian would do well to read this book if they struggle to pray for the President…especially if they struggle because they disagree with him.

Short, introductory reviews of Christian Books