Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Believing God

I have entered into an agreement with the publishers at Reformation Trust. My part of the agreement states that I will publish on my blog an review of one of their current book listings. In this case, I chose R. C. Sproul, Jr's. latest, Believing God. There are twelve chapters along with a Foreword and Preface. Here then is a review of that first portion, with twelve posts remaining.

Both the Foreword and Preface were written from personal experience. Ray Comfort shared the former and R. C. Jr. the latter. I sense that these two experiences in and of themselves are not the key to the real depth of this book. R. C. states, "I knew I needed to learn better to believe God, not because my life was moving from comfort to ease, but because God—for His own good purposes, and for my good as well—was putting me through a time of significant challenge. In other words, I do not find it easy to believe God’s promises because He’s given me an easy life. Instead, I know I need to believe God’s promises because He has, wisely, sent me some hard providences."

On the contrary, I have heard many times over the years that a Christian with a life of ease sometimes has a harder time believing God. I think both positions are valid as Agur said in Proverbs 30:7-9, "Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."

However, experience is not the key to belief regardless of the difficulty or ease thereof. God is sovereign and He will use whatever means He desires to conform us to His image. That's the point R. C. makes as he ties his life experience to the discussion surrounding one of his former books, Almighty Over All.

That point may be difficult to capture even with R. C.'s explanation of the term "Bulverism". That little clue leads me to believe that Jr. writes in the same vein as Sr.. Readers are likely to encounter a lot of big terms and fortunately they come with explanations. Gentlemen, the laity thanks you.

Despite the big words and the experiential ticklers, I know I will enjoy this book. Sproul is a student of the Word and my little peek forward shows me I will not be disappointed with the Word in abundance to encourage me to believe God with my whole heart.

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