Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Review: Our Only Comfort

Our Only Comfort. Neal Presa. 2015. Westminster John Knox Press. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Are you familiar with the Heidelberg Catechism? Do you want to be more familiar with it? You should consider reading Neal Presa's devotional book, Our Only Comfort.

Within is the Heidelberg Catechism itself, plus devotional readings and prayers for each Lord's Day. (The Heidelberg Catechism is divided into 52 Lord's Days. Several questions are focused on each week--each Lord's Day. There are 129 questions in all.)

Theological fitness is important, and, the Heidelberg Catechism covers the basics of the faith from a historic Reformed position. The catechism covers--among other things--the Apostles Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the church sacraments of the Lord's Supper (communion) and baptism. It also quite properly focuses on sin, the law, and man's need for a Savior.

Here's the first question:
Question 1.
What is thy only comfort in life and death?
That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a)
am not my own, (b)
but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c)
who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d)
and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e)
and so preserves me (f)
that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g)
yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h)
and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i)
and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j)
(a) Rom.14:7,8. (b) 1 Cor.6:19. (c) 1 Cor.3:23; Tit.2:14. (d) 1 Pet.1:18,19; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:2,12. (e) Heb.2:14; 1 John 3:8; John 8:34-36. (f) John 6:39; John 10:28; 2 Thess.3:3; 1 Pet.1:5. (g) Matt.10:29-31; Luke 21:18. (h) Rom.8:28. (i) 2 Cor.1:20-22; 2 Cor.5:5; Eph.1:13,14; Rom.8:16. (j) Rom.8:14; 1 John 3:3.
I would definitely recommend reading and studying the Heidelberg Catechism. I think it would prove quite beneficial. 

Our Only Comfort is a devotional book with devotions and prayers. Some people really do enjoy reading devotional books, and benefit greatly from including devotional readings in their spiritual lives. For anyone who does enjoy devotional readings, Our Only Comfort would certainly be worth considering. 

But not every Christian enjoys devotional books. For me, it's a very rare devotional book that impresses and wows. I found myself more interested in the catechism itself than in the devotions.   

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