It is a regular occurrence that I receive free copies of books asking for my review or endorsement. I must admit I do not get to all of them but I do give honest reviews after a thorough reading. I am generally thankful for anyone who has taken the time and pain staking effort to write a book. Once in a while I am stricken with the content to the point I think the author hit a cord with issues we are confronted with today in the confessing church.
One such book has dawned my desk. It is a compilation of many authors but edited by John Warwick Montgomery and Gene Edward Veith. Two editors who use their middle names must be worth reading, right! The title of the book is “Where Christ is Present” a theology for all seasons on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There are 12 different chapters, all dealing with the clarity and essence of the Reformation. I don’t want you to think this is just another historical account of an event long ago. There is of course some history in it but the vast majority is pure, practical theology.
I think this book would be an excellent resource for bible study or selected lectures you may give as you prepare your congregations and schools to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on October 31, 2017. The entire book could be an outline or each chapter is divided with headings for the same purpose. The single most beneficial aspect of this book is that it brings the theology of the Reformation to the conditions we find ourselves as citizens in a shrinking world and ever worldly society. Some of the comparisons between the 16th century and the 21st century are almost eerie.
The great blessing of the book is that it displays the courage we may have in our theology as we confront the issues of a dying world. Sin and corruption have not changed in their consequences, only the means by which it is carried out in the lives of human beings. The Reformation shows us that the Word of God has confronted such a context in the past and it does so still today. The victory of Christ over sin and death is as powerful for us now as it was when Luther and the Reformers risked their lives for the sake of the Gospel. The Lord of the Church then is the Lord of the Church now. Preaching Christ crucified was the direction given by Paul in the 1st century, it was followed by Luther in the 16th century, it has not changed and is still given to us in the 21st century.
I highly recommend this book for every church worker and confirmed member of our church. Some chapters are more helpful than others but that is always the case when a book has multiple authors. I commend this book to your reading and pray the blessings I received from it may also be yours.
Rev. Dr. Brian Saunders
The book is published by:
NRP Books, an imprint of 1517. The Legacy Project
P.O. Box 54032
Irvine, CA 92619
Find “Where Christ Is Present” on Amazon: http://amzn.to/24fxXNb