Book Review: The Unbound Scriptures by Rick Norris

unboundHave you ever picked up a history book and just could not put it down? Even though you were familiar with that part of history, did that book bring so much information that you have never considered before? This is how I felt about The Unbound Scriptures.

History is long gone, especially 1611 England. Over the years, many have assumed certain things to be true of the King James translation. Without clear, historical documentation, many things were just assumed or misunderstood. Since true historical facts require documentation, it is absolutely critical to find those documents. Without the documents, historical revisionism creeps into our understanding.

Rick Norris shows a commitment to historical accuracy in his book, The Unbound Scriptures. The amount of sources he used is staggering. I would love to see his library. Norris includes well-known people and lesser known. His research is wide-ranging.

While the book has an encyclopedic feel to it, it is very readable. He provides prolific quotations throughout the text. There is no need for you to flip to the end of the chapter to read endnotes or glance up and down the page to see footnotes. Each point is sufficiently illustrated and proven with direct quotations from the source. In cases where there are open questions, Rick gives both sides of the argument.

This is not a book that you will leave on your shelf once you read it. You will revisit it over and over as an encyclopedic resource.

The King James Only idea is certainly controversial. It morphs with every generation. The book keeps pace with the current arguments and simply brings forth quotes of those who lived during the times of the translation, those who fought the Bible translation battles in the past and today’s voices. This is a must add to your library.

How do you get a copy?

Here is the ordering information:

The regular price for one copy of book The Unbound Scriptures–$18.00 plus $3.00 for shipping and handling and plus 7% sales tax for North Carolina residents. Shipping to foreign countries is more than $3.00. Future postage increases by the post office may result in higher shipping costs. Contact the author at the following email address: rick1560@juno.com or by mail at Rick Norris, 508 Westminster Drive, Statesville, NC 28677

Book Review: "God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism" by Bruce A. Ware

Book Review of “God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism” by Bruce A. Ware

Reviewed by Brad Anderson

[amazonify]1581342292[/amazonify]Bruce Ware’s book is a welcome and weighty addition to the debate over open theism. Those who desire to understand open theism and why the idea is so dangerous to orthodox theology should pick up this relatively short (230 pages) paperback volume.
The book is divided into three major sections, the first examining what open theism teaches, the second showing what is wrong with open theism, and the third exposing how open theism is inimical to daily Christian life.

The first section of the book starts by asking the question, “Why should you be concerned” about open theism? In answering, Ware proves that open theism is nothing less than a redefinition of Christian theology, and even of God Himself. He then tracks the rise of open theism from within the Arminian tradition, showing both similarities and differences between the two and proving that open theism diverges significantly from the classic Arminian position. Ware explores the perceived benefits of open theism, namely, that God is thought of as present with and infinitely interested in the lives of believers. God took a genuine risk when He gave man a free will, and now God has to live with the free choices of man. Because God genuinely does not know (indeed, cannot know) what a free agent will choose, He often ends up changing His mind, regretting His choices, and following plan B when sinful people reject plan A.

Part two is a brilliant exposure of the weaknesses and unorthodox notions of open theism. Ware shows that open theism’s interpretive methods are mistaken by looking at several key passages. In each case, he demonstrates how open theism has mishandled the text or come to an erroneous, unbiblical conclusion. Chapter Five is perhaps the dagger in the heart of open theism. In it he demonstrates conclusively that the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that God possesses exhaustive foreknowledge of all future events, an idea open theism strongly rejects. He also shows from Scripture that man is not able to thwart God’s eternal plan.

In Part Three, “What difference does it make in daily life?” Ware demonstrates how open theism has a negative impact on many aspects of the Christian life. If God cannot know the future in many cases, and if He is powerless to influence free agents, of what use is it to pray? If people often thwart God’s plans, and if God’s plans often fail to materialize, why should we trust Him? Why should we believe that God will ultimately be victorious? As to the problem of evil, open theism can at best suggest that God empathizes with the suffering. In reality, suffering may have no meaning or value whatever. God is unable to prevent it or bring any good from it.

In the short concluding chapter of the book, Ware argues that, while open theism claims that its view of God actually heightens God’s glory, the exact opposite is the result. He shows that if God is so often unsuccessful in what He attempts, His glory is of necessity diminished. God’s sovereign control of all things is directly related to glory being ascribed to Him. If God is not sovereign, the glory He would be entitled to is decreased. Ware joyfully reaffirms God’s sovereignty and the glory that should accompany such a truth.
One of the strengths of the book is its logical format and clear exposition of ideas. The author proceeds in a clear and sensible way that helps the reader digest the information, something this reader greatly appreciated. Section headings abound. Ware successfully avoids the harsh tone of many polemic works. The book is on a level that most serious Christians could understand and profit from. The conclusions at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book are helpful, serving to review and reinforce the preceding material. I wish more authors would follow suit.

Ware repeatedly shows how open theism is not just another intramural doctrinal fracas, but a genuine deviation from orthodoxy. As the title of the book implies, the author is greatly concerned about how open theism diminishes the glory of God and God’s ability to do good for His people. Ware’s concern about how open theism may potentially downgrade Christian worship as well as denigrate the glory of God is evident throughout the work. This penetrating critique of open theism deserves a reading as well as shelf space.

Book Review: The Lie by Ken Ham

Book Review: The Lie by Ken Ham

Reviewed by Barry Pendley

[amazonify]0890514461[/amazonify]Creationism is alive and well. If you were to search Amazon.com for books on Creationism (pro & con), you would find 205 books on the topic. The Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis, and other organizations are equipping the modern believer to do “battle royal” against the evolutionist pundits.

You should note well that not all Creationist material is created equal. Some creationists think that by proving Noah’s Ark exists that unbelievers will be convinced that the Bible is true. Ken Ham’s approach is different. He assumes, rightly so, that unbelievers already know that the Bible is true when it speaks on matters of creationism. They merely suppress that truth so they will not find themselves accountable to the Creator God (Rom 1:19–23). Taking this approach, Ham exposes the evolutionist’s assumptions and teaches the believer how to biblically respond to those presuppositions. By reading this book, not only will you gain a greater understanding of Creationism, but you will also be introduced to the study of Apologetics (the study of defending one’s faith).
The Lie shows how evolutionism has reframed society’s ethical structure. Evolution contributes (and promotes) the moral ills of abortion, suicide, homosexuality, and racism.

Many Christians are trying to blend Genesis 1 and evolutionary thought. Ham’s book exposes the fallacies of the gap theory, day age theory, and the local flood theory.

The Lie is a good introduction to Creationism, providing a solid theological, biblical approach.

Book Review: Fundamentalism and American Culture by George Marsden

Fundamentalism and American Culture by George Marsden

by Brad Anderson

[amazonify]0195300475[/amazonify]In case you haven’t noticed, there are competing strains of theological conviction within fundamentalism. There are traces of Billy Sunday-style tent revivalism, higher/deeper life pietism, Calvinism, Arminianism, Puritanism, and mysticism, to name a few. Why are such divergent views reflected within fundamentalism? To find out, read George Marsden’s book Fundamentalism and American Culture (Oxford, 1980). Although written nearly twenty years ago, the book cogently answers such questions.

Marsden starts all the way back in 1870 to get at the roots of the fundamentalist movement. Fundamentalism was the result of theological conservatives from various backgrounds coming together to contend for the faith. He traces the movement as it battles Darwinism, higher criticism, philosophy, and liberalism.

One of the many strengths of the book is the perceptive descriptions of early fundamentalist leaders, such as Moody, Riley, Torrey and others. It’s also interesting to see how writers like Darby, Scofield, and even Francis Bacon influenced the movement. Also fascinating is what Marsden calls “The Great Reversal” (85f), explaining how fundamentalists changed from active engagement in civic reform to disengagement.

The primary benefit of this book is that it helped answer the question, “Who was the true fundamentalist? I or the guy whose views are hostile to mine?” Marsden points out that fundamentalism has historically embraced a variety of theological tenets. As he suggests, “Fundamentalism was a mosaic of divergent and sometimes contradictory traditions and tendencies that could never be totally integrated” (43). Fragmentation has been the norm historically. Everyone from Reformed/Calvinist traditions to Keswick deeper life advocates, from Warfield to Moody to Billy Sunday, have been represented within the fundamentalist fold. What bound them together was their common enemy: liberalism. Those who read Marsden (and other histories of fundamentalism) will better understand the current state of fundamentalism and can come to their own conclusions regarding the future of the movement.

Book Review: The Power of Crying Out by Bill Gothard

For Crying Out Loud: A Critique of Bill Gothard’s book, The Power of Crying Out1

by Barry Pendley2

[amazonify]1590520378[/amazonify]Since the seventies, Bill Gothard has enjoyed wide acceptance in the evangelical world. Tens of thousands attend his seminars each year. If you have been a believer for some time, it is likely that you may have attended his seminar or know someone who has. His influence so permeates the evangelical world that he has created his own subculture. Unless you have been deeply involved in his culture, you will find very little about his actual beliefs. Now that Gothard has entered the public scene, we can expect that his theology and philosophy will become more widespread.

Until now, Gothard’s materials were only available to his “alumnus.”3 The book, The Power of Crying Out is his first widely published work. God expects his people to eagerly examine the teachings of spiritual leaders (Ac 17.11). Therefore, Gothard’s book begs a critique such as this.

Who promotes this book?

The book begins with four pages of recommendations. Those who recommend the book include pastors, CEOs, congressmen, and an entertainer (Pat Boone).

What is especially notable is that Gothard does not have any Bible scholars or theologians advocating the book. This raises suspicion for at least two reasons:

  • He sets forth a novel view of prayer. Those who intend to intend to influence the larger Christian community should make sure that their views are biblical. Having recommendations from Bible scholars or theologians would demonstrate that Gothard is in line with orthodox teaching. Since he did not, we cannot assume from the recommendations that he is orthodox.

  • He has access to leading Old Testament scholars. If they agree with the contents of the book, they would be great advocates.

Bruce Wilkinson, the author of the popular book, The Prayer of Jabez, heartily recommends this book. In fact, the acknowledgements reveal that Gothard relied on Wilkinsons’ “faith and counsel” to publish this book. Since Wilkinson already violated proper hermeneutics, his counsel and recommendation of this book brings suspicion.

Only one (Adrian Rogers) of the eleven promoters testifies that this book reveals Gothard’s ability to properly interpret the Bible. Even Rogers reveals that he follows Gothard’s principles instead of biblical principles.4

Perhaps we could bypass analyzing these testimonials if the book was based on biblical teaching. Since it is not, these testimonials do reveal the weaknesses we will consider further.

Gothard presents a false dichotomy between prayer and “crying out.”

“After knowing the Lord Jesus Christ and teaching and studying His Word for many years, it was only recently that I made what was for me a life-changing discovery. I saw that the Bible makes a distinction between “prayer” and “crying out to God.” (12).

These two sentences can summarize Gothard’s thesis. For Gothard, a verbal, crying out is something more than prayer. He cites many passages of Scripture5 and recalls many life illustrations and that support his conclusion that “crying out loud” is a higher form of prayer. To him, “crying out loud” is the preferred way to seek God with our requests while other forms of prayer are something less.

Notice that he goes so far as to say that God is most moved by requests that are voiced aloud.

“He particularly hears us when our requests are voiced aloud.” (19 emphasis his)

This distinction is unnecessary. What is worse is that it leads to a reliance on a form of prayer rather than the content of prayer. While it is true that the OT contains examples of God’s people crying out, it never elevates “crying out” as the most effective way to pray.

In fact, Gothard’s premise is misleading. Some OT saints enjoyed an effective prayer life when they approached God with silent prayers. Gothard hardly mentions this.

God used Hannah’s voiceless prayer for Samuel in a miraculous way.

12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.”

15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” (1Sa 1.12–17)

To be fair, Gothard does address Hannah’s silent prayer. What is remarkable is that he still maintains that a verbal, crying out, is the preferred way to pray:

“But more frequent in Scripture is the example and encouragement of truly crying out to God, using the voice, in sincerity and trust.” (28)

“It could even be said that the most significant difference between the prayers of God’s saints in Scripture (so powerfully effective) and our prayers today (so seeming ineffective) is this: The prayers of biblical saints were much more often spoken out loud – with corresponding fervency.” (19)

Under the umbrella of intellectual honesty, Gothard should have included the example of the search for Isaac’s wife. Gothard uses this passage to defend his view of courtship dating. Therefore, this passage, so familiar to him, should have been treated.

45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ (Ge 24.45)

In order to validate his distinction between effective prayer (voiced prayer) and ineffective prayer (silent prayer), Gothard picks and chooses the passages that prove his point.

Also, should we simply add up the number of verses that mention “crying out” and assume that God prefers the “crying out loud” method? Sound biblical interpretation practices require more than a consideration of word frequency.

Gothard primarily supports his conclusions by using anecdotal evidence

D. James Kennedy writes: “Gothard’s anecdotal approach to the kind of prayer that gets real answers from God makes for lively and rewarding reading.” (Prefatory recommendations)

Anyone familiar with Gothard’s writings realizes that he is a “master” of using anecdotal evidence to support his points. Often he “proves” his point with anecdotal evidence instead of Scripture. This book is no different.

The practice of using life’s experiences to prove one’s points is very dangerous. While illustrations can help one understand biblical truth better, they should never be used to support biblical truth.

The proper way to interpret the Bible is by using what is called the grammatical/historical approach. What we mean by that is one needs to first consider the grammatical elements of a passage. He needs to identify the meanings of the words, how the words are put together into sentences, and how those sentences relate to each other. Next, the careful student looks at the historical context. He finds clues in other passages that relate to his passage. He also studies the background of the writer’s culture.

Bill Gothard almost completely ignores this approach. At times he identifies key Hebrew words in the “prayer” group, but as this book proves, he misuses the biblical languages. The context of the passage is rarely discussed. However, you will find many illustrations from life’s experiences.

Gothard misuses the biblical terminology for prayer

“Both the Old and New Testaments employ an amazing variety of words to describe human communication with God. In most cases the inherent meaning in these words includes some sort of audible sound – an aspect that doesn’t always come across as strongly in the English translations.” (20)

“hagah is actually translated as “speak” “And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness”; “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom”; “For my mouth will speak truth.” It wasn’t the term for normal speaking, but implied a lower, repetitive sound.” (25)

Is it true that the majority of OT and NT word meanings inherently include “some sort of audible sound?” The charts below reveal that this is not true.

The following are OT “prayer word” group:6

Palal: pray, prayer, make intercession

Tephillah :pray, prayer

Chanan: beseech, prayer, prayer, make supplication

Athar: Pray, prayer

Paga: Pray, prayer, make intercession

Siach: Pray, prayer

Darash: Seek the face of God

Chalah: Pray, prayer, beseech, entreat

Qara: Call to the Lord

Baqash: Seek the face of God

Shaal: Ask, enquire

The NT “prayer group” words are:

Dehsis: Ask, request, beseech

Aiteo: Ask or request

Proseuche: Prayers

gonu: Fall on one’s knees

Enteuxis: Thanksgiving

euchomai: Pray, request

proskuneo: Worship, prostate oneself

erotao: Ask, ask a question, request

krouo: knock

entugxano: Meet, turn to, approach, pray, intercede

Gothard admits that the Bible uses an amazing variety of words for prayer. That is true. What is not true is that a majority of these words inherently include some audible vocalization.

For nearly a decade, anyone has had the ability to research these word groups in the original languages. It no longer takes a student of Hebrew and Greek to use the tools available today. It is a strange thing that Gothard did not avail himself of these tools.7

Gothard’s God is too passive

“God’s people, in their time of need, cry out with their voices for His help, and He promptly answers with His saving power.” (14 italic emphasis his, bold mine)

“Again and again, in story after story – in the Bible’s pages and in all history since then – we see God’s active involvement triggered by the cry of His people.” (36 emphasis mine)

“Incredible as it seems, the Creator of the universe desires an intimate, loving fellowship with the people He created. A vital component of that fellowship, as we will discover in these pages, is the actual voicing aloud to Him of our need for Him – particularly in times of great trouble.” (13)

God certainly hears and answers our prayers. However, we should never think that God becomes active because His people pray. God is active because He plans and wills to be active.

God is always active, never passive. The picture Gothard paints is that God responds especially to the “crying of his people,” “promptly answers,” and is “triggered into action” “particularly in times of great trouble.”

Gothard leaves himself open to the charge of teaching a work’s based salvation

This crucial act of calling on the name of the Lord for salvation was something Paul later taught and explained: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (65 emphasis mine)

Paul himself had cried out for salvation. (65)

Anyone who cries out for God’s mercy in salvation will be given that mercy and salvation by the Lord. (66 emphasis mine)

Those who genuinely cry out to the Lord for salvation are instantly born again by the Spirit of God, who then dwells forever within them and energizes them to cry out for further needs.” (66)

As Gothard has defined “crying out” in his book, this statement leaves him open to the charge that he believes salvation comes only to those who “cry out with their voices.”

This passage is not teaching that one has to cry out verbally to be saved. Rather, Paul is using a familiar figure with the Roman believers. In the judicial setting of the Romans, one would make a confession before a judge and be tried by his statements. Unlike a human judge, which requires some kind of verbal or written confession, the Lord will hear the confession of our minds.

To press this verse to demand a vocal utterance for salvation, puts one in the realm of believing in a “works-based” salvation. What about the mute?

Gothard fails to reconcile his teaching with Jesus’ teaching on the subject of prayer

Jesus taught that prayers made in secret are preferable to the public prayers of hypocrites.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Mt 6.5–6)

Jesus warns against praying to be seen of others. He prayed publicly on occasions (Lk 10.21–22, 23.34. This is not to say that Jesus was against public prayers. He prayed within eyesight (and probably earshot) of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Further, the Apostle Paul encouraged congregational prayer.8 What it does teach is that public prayers must not flow from a heart of hypocrisy. To safeguard us from Jesus teaches that the preferable form of prayer is that done in secret. Gothard does not comment on this passage.

Jesus did not teach that “crying out” is a preferable way to pray

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He did not instruct them to pray in a “vocal” fashion. In fact, He mentions nothing as to the form of prayer.

If Gothard is right that “voicing out loud” was the most effective way to pray, then we would expect that Jesus (and the New Testament writers) would have taught us so.

Conclusion

Gothard presents a method for prayer. He focuses on the form of prayer rather than the content of prayer. In so doing, he violates sound hermeneutical principles and deceptively uses the Hebrew for his own advantages.

In many cases, praying out loud would not be appropriate. Should we consider these prayers to be less effective?

  • Believers in Afghanistan probably should pray silently more often.

  • When confessing your sins, it is often best to keep the confessions between you and the Lord.

  • Praying for the unsaved to respond to the preaching during a church service should be done silently.

C. Samuel Storms provides wisdom related to forms of prayer:

Acts of prayer have no efficacy in themselves. No mere ritual, no mere physical posture, no mere recitation of words can account for the results we read about in the Epistle of James and elsewhere in Scripture. Prayer is powerful for only one reason. It is the means whereby we avail ourselves of the power of God. God is the ultimate source of power. All other power, human or otherwise, is derived. It is God who is “powerful and effective” (James 5.16), while prayer is merely the instrument he has chosen by which we may secure his purposes in heaven and on earth. Prayer is powerful because God is powerful.9

1 Bill Gothard, The Power of Crying Out (Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2002)

2 Barry Pendley is the associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois. He can be contacted at pendley@fbcrockford.com.

3 He calls those who have attended his seminars, “alumni.”

4 Adrian Rogers writes “Bill Gothard’s teaching has been transformational in my life, giving me a foundational understanding of biblical truths, especially on authority.” Gothard’s teachings on authority are not sound biblical teachings. In fact, much of his teaching on authority on familial relationships violates the “leave and cleave” principle.

5 Mainly OT texts

6 Notice that the Hebrew words and Greek words in the following charts have been roughly transliterated to benefit non-Hebrew and non-Greek readers.

7 Two great resources for the non-Hebrew and non-Greek reader are the New International Dictionaries of Old Testament and New Testament Theology.

8 In 1 Timothy 2, Paul instructs Timothy in congregational worship. In that passage, he urges that prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made.

9 C. Samuel Storms, Reaching God’s Ear ((Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1998), pp. 214–5.

Book Review: Law & Grace by J. Alva McClain

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The careful student of God’s Word recognizes that there is a discontinuity between the Old and New Testament. That is, he sees a very real difference between the people of Israel and the Church. They are distinct in many ways including their future blessings and way of life.

This distinction between Israel and the Church raises many questions for those who desire to apply the Old Testament. Should the interpreter directly apply Old Testament principles to New Testament believers? If so, in what way? If not, why not? More precisely, since the entirety of Scripture is “useful” (or “profitable” kjv 2Ti 3.16) how should the New Testament believer view the Mosaic Law? Many volumes have been written with the sincere goal of aiding the modern believer in his interpretation of the Old Testament.

Alva McClain’s work, Law and Grace, is an essential read for those with any of the above questions. As an introduction to the subject of the Law, this book is a must. McClain aptly demonstrates that the Old Testament Law was designed to show sinners their plight. With this divine purpose (though there are others) in mind, he shows that the Law has never brought salvation to the Israelites, Gentiles, or Christians.

Yet, the Law is not to be ignored. The last three chapters are especially helpful. In those McClain discusses the dangers of putting Christians under the Law. He also demonstrates that the Law is profitable and should be studied by every believer.

At times, this book is somewhat pedantic. This should not frustrate the reader. The book is only 80 pages with 10 chapters. The brevity of each chapter allows the reader to quickly reread portions that were not assimilated the first time. Besides that, the reader will appreciate the wealth of information found in such a brief book. Furthermore, the believer will gain a new appreciation for the Law and its divinely intended roles.

Book Review: Thoughts for Young Men by John Charles Ryle

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John Charles Ryle was a bishop of Liverpool, 1880–1900. He was a prolific writer who enjoyed wide circulation of his writings. More than two million of his publications were distributed in his day.

However, that was the nineteenth century. Since that time, his name has become virtually unknown among mainstream Christians. The republication of his book, Thoughts for Young Men, brings this nineteenth century writer to twentieth century believers. He writes in an expressive, clear style. One may not realize (with the exception of a few archaisms) that this book was written over a century ago!

Thoughts for Young Men is rather brief, but in it Ryle covers many subjects. In pastoral-like fashion, he challenges young men to take life seriously. He identifies the many dangers facing young men – pride, fear of man, bad friends, and an undisciplined mind. The strength of this book lies in his ability to apply truth using many vivid illustrations.

Since J.C. Ryle was Anglican, one can expect to stumble across an occasional misapplied OT principle. In particular, he refers to Sunday as the Sabbath. Also given his theological perspective, on a couple of occasions he speaks of the means of grace. Overall, the book does not suffer because these are treated as minor points.

One of the most unfortunate things about this book is its title, Thoughts for Young Men. Every parent would do well to encourage their teens, guys and girls, to read this book. Mature Christians will also benefit from this book.

This is a quick read, but one which has been and will be reread by this reviewer.

Book Review: When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch

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Some writers have an exceptional ability to write about a familiar subject in a refreshing, thought provoking way. With his book, When People are Big and God is Small, Ed Welch does just that.

Ed Welch is a counselor at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Pennsylvania. Unlike many counseling centers today, CCEF is thoroughly biblical in its approach to man’s problems. You will not be disappointed as you read Welch’s book.

In his desire to make this book readable and understandable to those familiar with psychobabble, Welch uses commonly used terms like peer pressure, codependency, and self-esteem to introduce his topic. Yet by the end of the book, the reader will begin assigning the biblical term, a fear of man, to such new fangled problems.

Welch divides his book into two parts: How and Why We Fear Others and Overcoming the Fear of Others. In the first section, Welch probes the minds of those who fear man more than they fear God. You will be surprised as you read how the fear of man ensnares the minds of Christians. He exposes the fear in all of us. In the second part, Welch amply supplies biblical principles so that one can eradicate the fear of man and develop a fear of God.

The strengths of this book are many, but at least this should be stated. Unlike the majority of self-help books, Welch does not merely state his opinions, he uses Scripture profusely. The bulk of the book (over two-thirds) is devoted to fixing man’s problems. He does not simply bemoan the fact that people fear man more than they fear God. He gives biblical solutions.