Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Review: O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: Facing Death With Courageous Confidence in God. Edited by Nancy Guthrie. 2011. February 2011. Crossway Books. 160 pages.

This is the fourth book in a series of essay collections edited by Nancy Guthrie. The first, Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (2008) is perfect for Advent. The second, Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross (2009) is perfect for Lent. The third, Be Still, My Soul (2010) is about pain and suffering. The fourth, O Love That Will Not Let Me Go (2011) is about death and dying. These essays--these sermons, these writings--are to instruct and encourage Christians. They examine what the Bible says about death and resurrection.

From "Only When You Know How To Die Can You Know How To Live" by J.I. Packer

It has become conventional to think as if we are all going to live in this world forever and to view every case of bereavement as a reason for doubting the goodness of God. We must all know deep down that this is ridiculous, but we do it all the same. And in doing it, we part company with the Bible, with historic Christianity, and with a basic principle of right living, namely, that only when you know how to die can you know how to live. (15)
From "Death's Sting Is Removed But the Bite Remains" by Michael S. Horton
The hope of the gospel gives us the freedom to expose the wound of our human condition because it provides the cure. (20)
Bring him your doubts, frustration, and even anger. He can handle it. Remember the cross and God-forsakenness of the Beloved: God, too, knows how to sing the blues. (22)
From "Not of the World" by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The more I try to live this Christian life, and the more I read the New Testament, the more convinced I am that the trouble with most of us is that we have never truly realized what it is to be Christian. If only we understood what the Christian really is and the position in which he is placed, if only we realized the privilege and possibilities of that position, and, above everything, the glorious destiny of everyone who is truly Christian, then our entire outlook would be completely changed. (35)
To be of the world can be summed up like this--it is life, thought of and lived, apart from God. In other words, what decides definitely and specifically whether you and I are of the world is not so much what we may do in particular as it is our fundamental attitude. It is an attitude toward everything, toward God, toward ourselves, and toward life in this world. In the last analysis, to be of the world is to view all these things apart from God. (36-37)

From "Finishing with Few Regrets" by Randy Alcorn

The key to spirituality is the development of little habits, such as Bible reading and memorization and prayer. In putting one foot in front of the other day after day, we become the kind of person who grows and endures rather than withers and dies. (57)
Renewing our minds requires conscious, deliberate effort. (56)
When our life here is over, what will we wish we'd done less of and more of? (62)

From "Rubbing Hope into the Reality of Death" by Timothy Keller
Nobody who knows you completely can love you completely. There are people who think you're great because they don't really know you. There is nobody on the face of the earth who could know you to the bottom and love you to the skies. But we want that.
When someone likes you but doesn't know you, it's not that satisfying. And when someone knows you and doesn't like you, that certainly isn't satisfying. What we want is to be utterly known and utterly loved.
And on that day, at the coming of the Lord, we'll finally get what we've longed for--from him and one another. We'll be utterly known and utterly loved. Yes, the future is a world of love, the kind of love you want, a personal love. (89-90)

Contributors include J.I. Packer, Michael S. Horton, John Piper, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, B.B. Warfield, Joseph Bayly, Randy Alcorn, R.C. Sproul, Abraham Kuyper, John Eaves, Jeremy Taylor, Timothy Keller, John Owen, Richard Baxter, Martin Luther, Thomas Boston, Joni Eareckson Tada, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, R.L. Dabney, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and Richard Sibbes.

I didn't love this collection as much as previous ones in the series. But I still really liked it. I found it good being rich in truth, and easy to understand. The chapters are short and relevant. Reading several chapters a day, this makes a nice devotional book.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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